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The United States of A-scare-ica: Each state’s favorite horror movie

Posted at 9:06 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 21:06:25-04

Infographic courtesy of

There’s nothing quite like a good scare.

Just in time for Halloween, the staff at took IGN’s list of the top 25 horror movies and used 2017’s Google Trends data to see which horror films were most popular in each state. They also conducted a survey about when people start watching scary movies and which ones they found to be the scariest.

“It,” “The Exorcist” and “Saw,” respectively, were named as the top three scariest movies ever made. Those who answered “It” may be referring to the original 1990 miniseries instead of the 2017 remake, CableTV noted.

The average age at which survey respondents said they watched their first scary movie was 7.2 years old. The following films were named as the first scary movie participants ever watched:

  1. “It”
  2. “A Nightmare on Elm Street”
  3. “Scream”
  4. “Friday the 13th”
  5. “Halloween”
  6. “Child’s Play”
  7. “The Exorcist”

Nineteen different horror movies were among the most searched in at least one state. Nine of those were the most searched in exactly one state, meaning only nine states can say they have an original favorite scary movie that no other state named.

These include:

  • “Alien” (Alaska)
  • “Jaws” (Hawaii)
  • “Psycho” (Minnesota)
  • “Bride of Frankenstein” (Nevada)
  • “Let the Right One In” (Washington)
  • “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (Texas)
  • “Cabin in the Woods” (Vermont)
  • “Night of the Living Dead” (Pennsylvania)
  • “The Shining” (Colorado)

Virginia’s favorite scary movie is “Scream,” while North Carolina’s favorite horror flick is “The Ring.”

In fact, “The Ring,” a scary movie about watching a scary movie,” was the top horror movie in 18 states. The next most popular movie was “The Silence of the Lambs” – despite the fact that some may not even consider the 1991 film to be a scary movie – which was associated with five states.

CableTV noted that “The Ring” was particularly popular in the South, where it ranked number one in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. Eight out of the 10 remaining states where the film was the most popular were heavily clustered in middle America.

The following states are where “The Ring” was the most-searched horror movie:

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

As far as hometown pride goes, only three states’ favorite movies were set in those states:

  • Colorado with “The Shining”
  • Pennsylvania with “Night of the Living Dead”
  • Texas with “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”

Below is a list of favorite horror movie by state, including the District of Columbia:

  • Alabama – “The Ring”
  • Alaska – “Alien”
  • Arizona – “The Silence of the Lambs”
  • Arkansas – “The Thing”
  • California – “Suspiria”
  • Colorado – “The Shining”
  • Connecticut – “The Silence of the Lambs”
  • Delaware – “The Ring”
  • District of Columbia – “The Silence of the Lambs”
  • Florida – “Scream”
  • Georgia – “The Ring”
  • Hawaii – “Jaws”
  • Idaho – “The Ring”
  • Illinois – “The Exorcist”
  • Indiana – “Scream”
  • Iowa – “The Silence of the Lambs”
  • Kansas – “The Ring”
  • Kentucky – “An American Werewolf in London”
  • Louisiana – “The Ring”
  • Maine – “Suspiria”
  • Maryland – “The Exorcist”
  • Massachusetts – “Rosemary’s Baby”
  • Michigan – “Dawn of the Dead”
  • Minnesota – “Psycho”
  • Mississippi – “The Thing”
  • Missouri – “The Ring”
  • Montana – “Dawn of the Dead”
  • Nebraska – “The Ring”
  • Nevada – “Bride of Frankenstein”
  • New Hampshire – “The Ring”
  • New Jersey – “An American Werewolf in London”
  • New Mexico – “Suspiria”
  • New York – “Suspiria”
  • North Carolina – “The Ring”
  • North Dakota – “Dawn of the Dead”
  • Ohio – “The Silence of the Lambs”
  • Oklahoma – “The Ring”
  • Oregon – “Suspiria”
  • Pennsylvania – “Night of the Living Dead”
  • Rhode Island – “Rosemary’s Baby”
  • South Carolina – “The Ring”
  • South Dakota – “The Ring”
  • Tennessee – “The Ring”
  • Texas – “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
  • Utah – “The Ring”
  • Vermont – “Cabin in the Woods”
  • Virginia – “Scream”
  • Washington – “Let the Right One In”
  • West Virginia – “The Ring”
  • Wisconsin – “The Ring”
  • Wyoming – “The Ring”

Did your favorite horror movie make an appearance on the list?

Click here to read the full study.