It's Official: Florida Is the Scariest State in the U.S.

People from up North love to pretend to be afraid of Florida because of its crazy conservatives, dangerous gun laws, and general WTF-ness. But according to a new study, Florida really is the scariest state in the U.S. -- for far different reasons.

See also: Florida Is the Most Stressed State in America, Study Says

Real estate blog Estately published a ranking of the scariest states in the nation Tuesday, and yep, the Sunshine State landed in the lead, beating out Texas (#3), Louisiana (#4), and Mississippi (#9).

The list is based on statistics related to common fears: "bears, clowns, going to jail, hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning strikes, shark attacks, meth labs, murderers, volcanoes, lightning strikes," for example.

Here's your silver lining: Florida's ranking isn't due to clowns and meth labs -- at least not substantially. According to Estately, "Florida earned top spot due to high rankings in these categories: hurricanes (1st), shark attacks (1st), tornadoes (1st), lightning (3rd), and spiders (9th)."

First place for meth labs? That honor goes to Missouri. First place for clowns? North Dakota. Let's all take a moment to appreciate the vast stretch of land separating Missouri from North Dakota.

Fine, so Florida is a terrifying place to be. But on the upside, maybe Florida can turn this into an opportunity for Halloween tourism. Florida-themed haunted houses could be this year's big trend.

Follow Ciara on Twitter @ciaralavelle.

Send your story tips to Cultist at [email protected].

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ciara LaVelle is New Times' former arts and culture editor. She earned her BS in journalism at Boston University and moved to Florida in 2004. She joined New Times' staff in 2011.
Contact: Ciara LaVelle