With Halloween right around the corner, some Americans might feel jumpy as the spooky holiday may bring upon their most irrational fears. And for Utahns... it's clowns.
According to a recent report from the data team of YourLocalSecurity.com - a security blog partnered with ADT - coulrophobia is the phobia plaguing the Beehive state.
For the blog's methodology, YLS analyzed the search volume for nearly 40 different "fear of" terms and focused on the top 15. Its data team then pooled together Google Trends data from August 2018 to August 2019 to determine the top phobia for each state.
YLS's data suggests that most Utahns are afraid of clowns - a fear shared with Iowa and West Virginia. According to the report, YSL believed that the resurgence of Pennywise the Clown from the "IT" franchise contributes to the aversion that Utah and other states have to the colorful bozos.
When it comes to other fears and phobias, the fear of holes - trypophobia - had the highest search volume of any term analyzed, taking first place as this year's most popular phobia. YSL stated in its report that the fear seemed to have "skyrocketed" in search popularity recently with media mentions everywhere from TV shows and iPhone descriptions to science articles.
"Phobia" is an ancient Greek word meaning "morbid fear." In today's society, a phobia is defined as "an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation," according to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary. It is also defined as an "intolerance or aversion for," which could explain why some with a phobia might feel disgust and fear equally when confronting their phobia.