America's Top 10 Fears Are Much Freakier Than Any Halloween Ghost or Ghoul

scared womanHalloween time is upon us, a time for celebrating all the scary things that go bump in the night. And while we might be enjoying the imagined spookiness of ghosts, a haunted house, or other ghouls and goblins galore, a new survey reveals America's top fears. Spoiler alert: It isn't toilet paper–loving trick-or-treaters!


Researchers from Chapman University surveyed over 1,500 adults to gauge their level of fear when it comes to 88 common fears ranging from clowns to public speaking to terrorism.

What they found was a surprising list of top fears. Below are the top 10 things that Americans report being "afraid" or "very afraid" of and the percentage of Americans who share that concern:

1. Corruption of government officials (58%)

2. Cyber-terrorism (44.8%)

3. Corporate tracking of personal information (41.4%)

4. Terrorist attacks (44.4%)

5. Government tracking of personal information (41.4%)

6. Bio-warfare (40.9%)

7. Identity theft (39.6%)

8. Economic collapse (39.2%)

9. Running out of money in the future (37.4%)

10. Credit card fraud (36.9%)

I'm somewhat surprised that #9 is the only thing on this list that has ever kept me up at night worrying about. Now I'm worried that I don't worry enough!

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Looking at the rest of the list, you can see there are some other eyebrow-raising findings ... For example, more people are afraid of vaccines (8.4%) than of clowns (6.8%), but zombies (8.5%) are still scarier. People are also more afraid of robots (28.9%) than of gangs (14.1%), being raped (14.5%), or being murdered (16%).

Perhaps the most surprising, and depressing, item on the list is that almost 20% of Americans fear the idea of "whites no longer [the] majority" in the United States. Really?

Finally, this survey shows that when it comes to animals, we're most afraid of reptiles (33%), followed by insects (25.5%) and then mammals (dogs, rats, other animals).

Bottom line? If you are a snake-owning clown, don't worry: People are more afraid of your snake than of you!


Image via tatakis/iStock

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