It’s official: Florida “scariest” state in U.S.

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It is now official: not only is Florida the “most stressed,” but it also won the title of “scariest state” in the U.S.

But it is not because of gun laws, nutty conservatives or general weirdness.

In “The United States of Fear” from real estate blog Estately, Florida edged out other worthy contenders like Texas (at No. 3) Louisiana and Mississippi (Nos. 4 and 5, respectively). Findings came through reported statistics of common fears such as bears, clowns, going to jail, hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning strikes, shark attacks, meth labs, murderers and volcanoes.

To take the top spot, Florida ranked highly in a variety of categories. The Sunshine State was No. 1 in hurricanes, shark attacks and tornados, while ranking third in lightning and ninth in “spiders.”

“The most dangerous state in America is the most likely place to experience a real life Sharknado,” writes Ryan Nickum of Estately about Florida’s dubious win. “Or even a Sharkicane. Both are sometimes accompanied by Sharking, which is terrifying.”

One bright spot for the Sunshine State is that Missouri took first in “meth labs” and “clowns” came in first for North Dakota.

Now only if the state could use this new badge of honor to its advantage, wonders Clara LaVelle of the Miami New Times.

Florida-themed haunted houses, perhaps?

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.