Most of the fears on the list are fairly generic, but a few may surprise you. Tennesseans fear there might be a ghost in their house, for example, according to the report, while Virginians are afraid someone might hack into their Wi-Fi and those in Pennsylvania seem to be afraid of sinking homes.
The most common fear in the United States? Mold.
Of the 50 states, people in 11 different states either searched for mold or black mold — making it the most common household fear in the country. And for good reason: A simple Google search for “mold exposure symptoms” comes up with sneezing, runny nose, coughing and irritated eyes, along with a plethora of other nasty symptoms.
South Dakota, along with five other states, searched for the next biggest household fear — carbon monoxide poisoning. This is a pretty rational fear because according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20,000 people visit the emergency room each year for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Minnesota’s biggest concern is gun safety. The state of Georgia, on the other hand, is very concerned that someone might be in their house. (If you’re truly concerned that someone is in your house, consider calling the police rather than researching online.)
Speaking of people lurking around houses, if you live in North Dakota, the report says chances are one of your biggest fears is stalkers. However, a different recent study released by Your Local Security, an ADT Security Services site, says North Dakota doesn’t have any fears.
Why the discrepancy between reports? To generate its list, A Secure Life talked to homeowners, scoured social media and compiled a list of common household fears. From there, the site added a few more similar fears and ran that list through Google Trends. This allowed A Secure Life to figure out which fear was the most-searched in each state.
The report from Your Local Security, meanwhile, was based on Google’s autocomplete feature. The 15 most common ways to end the phrases “why am I afraid of/to” and “why am I scared of/to” were determined, and these phrases, along with the scientific names of those fears, were run through Google Trends to see which phobias each state was searching more than any other.
One of the most commonly searched across the country was fear of humans, or anthropophobia, including in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Like Alaska and Delaware, South Dakota seemed to be searching a lot for fear of needles. But North Dakota didn’t show up for any of the fears or phobias on the Your Local Security list.
If these findings made you nervous, don’t fret: A Secure Life may have missed a few fears, and Your Local Security didn’t research everything, so we can’t fully guarantee the accuracy of the reports.
And just because the most-searched fear nationally seems to be mold, not every house is moldy. But we don’t know if those ghosts are limited to Tennessee or why Minnesotans are so afraid of people.