For many, Halloween is the most wonderful time of the year, giving them the perfect excuse to hide behind their sofas as they “watch” their favorite horror film or to indulge in a frightful TV series.
But which films and TV shows give which states the biggest frights?
Here at Comparitech, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular movies and TV shows by state (based on what’s trending on IMDb for horror) to see what people are finding most spooktacular.
Some states are getting their frights from the latest horror offerings, some are heading into the past to give themselves the creeps, and others are prolonging the agony with lengthy series.
Some states are getting their scares close to home
There were a few states whose favorite movies were made in their own backyard. This includes:
- Illinois for Halloween (1978) – The original film movie from the Halloween series, Halloween introduces us to Michael Myers. After been committed to a mental institution for the murder of his 15-year-old sister (he was 6 years old at the time), Myers escapes after 15 years and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield in Illinois to continue his killing spree.
- Maine for It (2017) – A remake of the popular classic (derived from Stephen King’s novel of the same name), It is set in the small town of Derry, Maine. Here, a group of bullied kids gets together to try and destroy a monster that disguises itself as a clown and preys on children.
- New York for Sleepy Hollow (1999) – Even though Sleepy Hollow was filmed in North Carolina, it’s set in 1799 in the Dutch hamlet of Sleepy Hollow, near New York City. Police constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is sent to investigate the mysterious and brutal goings-on of the Headless Horseman.
- Massachusetts for The Witch (2015) – Set in New England in the 1600s, The Witch follows a family who encounters black magic, witchcraft, and possession in the woods just beyond their farm.
- Rhode Island for The Conjuring (2013) – Based on a true story, The Conjuring follows the story of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, as they try to help exorcise the demons that are possessing the Perron family. And the scariest bit? While the film may seem far fetched, Lorraine herself was actually involved in the making of the film and maintains that she didn’t allow for any over-dramatization of the events.
- Colorado for The Shining (1980) – Although this film is based on Stephen King’s novel, King did experience the haunting effects of the real-life hotel in which the book and film are set. With numerous tales of hauntings, King and his wife stayed the night at the Stanley Hotel in room 217. It was there that King had a nightmare that his son was being chased through the hotel by a possessed fire hose. At the time, King was also battling alcoholism, thus forming the central character of his novel.
What’s clear, then, is that horror films based on true stories add to the popularity and fright factor for those living in the state in which they’re set.
Using the top 90 films on IMDB’s list of horror movies that are most popular among IMDb users at present, we searched each film individually on Google Trends to find which state scored the highest. This was then the designated film for that state. If any state came up twice, we used the film that ranked higher on Google Trends. If a state didn’t appear top for any of the movies, we searched through all of the 90 films to see which was most popular in the state according to Google Trends.
Movies where no data was available on Google Trends or have only been released recently in cinemas were omitted (new titles released on streaming channels, i.e. Netflix, were not omitted).