Virtually everyone has something they’re afraid of. Phobias seem to be an inherent part of the human condition.  I am certainly rowing that boat. While I pride myself in “not being afraid of anything”, I do have an aversion to and fear of snakes, clowns, mustard, cottage cheese and slicing my eye on the metal edge of an end cap display at a grocery store. Okay, I know some of you just got triggered with the mention of being afraid of clowns and snakes. Coulrophobia (the fear of clowns) and ophidiophobia (the fear of snakes) are relatively common phobias around the country.  See! I am not alone in those fears. However, I’m guessing there aren’t a lot of you that walk in the middle of the grocery store aisles and make insanely wide turns so you don't cut your eye on a metal shelf. I may be waving that freak flag by myself.

Since phobias are a relatively common occurrence, I was curious to see what my fellow Kentuckians are reportedly afraid of. As it turns out, the most common fear shifts from year to year, but there are several recent reports and polls that cite very specific examples.

GAMOPHOBIA (The Fear of Commitment)

A 2017 Huffington Post article shared the results of a survey conducted by the security company ADT. They used Google Trends data to see what phobias people- from state to state- are looking up on the internet.  Among the terms searched they analyzed? “Why am I afraid of ____?”

Randomly, that year, Kentuckians were struggling with commitment.

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TRYPOPHOBIA (The Fear of Holes)

A 2019 survey showed that Kentuckians suffer from trypophobia, which is the fear of holes. To be more specific, it’s fear of clusters of small holes. In 2019, trypophobia was THE most searched phobia across the United States and Kentuckians were carrying that torch. But why are people, why are Kentuckians, so afraid of holes? Where did that come from?

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PHILOPHOBIA (The Fear of Love)

Quite interestingly, a 2022 study by the folks at Healthy Minded showed that Kentuckians, like folks in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri, are afraid of love. Wait! What? Yep! Apparently, folks here in the Bluegrass State, in addition to being gamophobic, are also philophobic. They are scared of love or becoming emotionally connected with another person.

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MEGALOPHOBIA (The Fear of Large Things)

Also in 2022, Cats.com combed through additional Google analytics and discovered this about Kentuckians. As a general rule, many of us have a fear of large things. In that particular survey, megalophobia was the most commonly researched fear.

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ACROPHOBIA (The Fear of Heights)

A 2022 Digg.com article summarized findings from ProWritingAid who also sourced search data from state to state. Last year, many Kentuckians had developed acrophobia. The most common phobia in the Commonwealth 12 months ago was the fear of heights.

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So, now that we're owning our strange, but real fears. What are YOU afraid of?

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