Want to avoid America's scariest state? Don't live here

Real estate search site Estately.com has arranged our great states from most to least scary based on things like bears, dentists, and yes, clowns.

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Spiders, snakes, and bears. Oh my. Estately.com

Personally, I've always thought Florida was kind of creepy -- what with all those alligators, bird-size mosquitoes, and grown men in Mickey Mouse ears. Now, a new ranking our most frightening states by real estate search site Estately has confirmed my suspicions: Florida is indeed the scariest state in the country.

While I have my own reasons for being a bit Florida-phobic, Estately used slightly different criteria to point out why the Sunshine State might need to change its nickname. It earned its top spot on the list thanks to its preponderance of hurricanes, shark attacks, and tornados -- which means that at any moment, a sharknado (or even a "sharkicane" as the site points out) could touch down on all that freakishly flat land, carving a path right though people enjoying $4.98 early-bird dinners at bad restaurants.

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Where should you live if you're a fraidy cat? Click to enlarge. Estately

While Florida might hold the top spot as scariest overall state, I can tell you there's another state I never plan on visiting: North Dakota. Why? Because it ranks No. 1 in terms of clowns, that's why. Shivers. Give me a tooth-filled tornado over a "smiley" clown any day. Fortunately, my home state of North Carolina, while ranked sixth scariest overall, comes in at 17 on the clown count. Whew!

Aside from clowns, sharks, and bad weather, other criteria the Estately team used to create its scary ranking include dentists, murderers, meth labs, spiders, snakes, prison inmates, and of course, bears (oh my). So if snakes scare you, stay out of 13th-ranked Arizona, while you should avoid Missouri (16th) if you don't want a Walter White-like character for a neighbor.

Unlike other stunt rankings we've seen that normally rely on Facebook stats to arrive at their most unscientific conclusions, this one is actually backed up with some pretty decent stats. The clown figures, for example, come from the National Clown Directory (I can only imagine the evil that lurks there), while the dentist stat comes from the CDC. It's still not a scientific ranking, but it sure is fun.

Oh, and where should you move if you're just scared of everything? It looks like South Dakota might be your best bet. Coming in at the No. 50 spot, there's not much there to spook you, except maybe huge tracts of land with no sign of civilization anywhere. Hmm, on second thought, maybe Florida's not that bad.

About the author

Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for Crave and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.

 

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