The Most Popular Classic Horror Movie Villains by State

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

If our societal obsession with serial killers, ghost hunting, and all things Stephen King is any indication, we seriously love to be scared. And, while innovative new films like 2019’s Midsommar and 2017’s Get Out give us plenty of fresh opportunities to shudder and shriek, we can’t help but return to certain longstanding horror icons year after year.

To see which ones are still haunting our nightmares and frequenting our search bars, chose 12 of the most popular villains from horror movies released before 2000 and analyzed Google Trends data from the last year to see who’s on top in each state.

map of popular horror villains

Unsurprisingly, Stephen King characters dominated the competition with a total of 20 states. Ten of those belonged to The Shining’s Jack Torrance, It’s Pennywise took eight states, and Carrie’s titular character was the most searched in two: Vermont and Wyoming.

Trailing Pennywise were Chucky from the Child’s Play franchise and Frankenstein’s monster (Frankenstein, of course, was the name of the doctor), who each won six states. The Silence of the Lambs’s Hannibal Lecter and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series’s recurring killer Leatherface weren’t far behind with five and four states, respectively. Rounding out the list were Alien, Ghostface, Norman Bates, Count Dracula, and Freddy Krueger. list of states and most popular horror villains

Geographically, there weren’t any obvious trends, suggesting that nothing brings the country together quite like the fear of murderous fictional monsters and men.

Though the study only included characters from horror films that predate this millennium, many of these bone-chilling antagonists have enjoyed a return to the big or small screen fairly recently. Bill Skarsgård brought Pennywise back to life in 2017’s It and this fall’s It: Chapter II, Mark Hamill voiced Chucky in this year’s Child’s Play reboot, and Jack Torrance will surely feature in Doctor Sleep, the upcoming sequel to The Shining. Though Frankenstein’s monster didn’t really get his own remake this year, he definitely helped inspire the absurdist Netflix mockumentary Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein, starring Stranger Things’s David Harbour.

scary horror film villains

Got a hankering for a good horror movie after reading this article? Here are the 20 best ones of all time.


The Most Popular Tourist Attractions in Each State

Hot air balloons drifting over the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Hot air balloons drifting over the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Greg Meland/iStock via Getty Images

In 2018, Americans took about 1.8 billion trips for leisure purposes alone, the U.S. Travel Association reports. But what types of attractions do they visit during those trips? Thanks to new data from Groupon and Viator, a TripAdvisor company, we now have the answer.

Map of the Northeast of the United States, showing a few of the most popular tourist attractions in that region

Groupon mapped out each state’s most popular travel experience and classified them according to price, type, and region. Tourists in the northeast United States tend to gravitate toward what Groupon describes as “exploration and discovery” activities, like the Founding Fathers Tour of Philadelphia, Maine's Portland City and Lighthouse Tour, and the day trip from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard.

Map of the Midwest region of the United States, listing a few of the most popular tourist attractions in those states

The Midwest is by far the cheapest place to vacation, with the cost of attractions in the region averaging about $48. Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and North Dakota are great states to visit if you’re looking for a top-ranked food tour, while South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois offer plenty of educational tours and experiences (including a movie site tour for Field of Dreams fans).

Map of the Southern region of the United States, listing some of the most popular tourist attractions in that area

Experiences in the South are fairly varied. Visitors have plenty of options, whether they’re looking for a historic tour of Asheville, North Carolina's Biltmore Estate (the largest privately owned house in the United States) or a day of thrills at Virginia’s Busch Gardens amusement park. Tourists in the South do seem to prefer watery activities, though—the region is popular for dinner cruises and dolphin watching.

Map of the Western region of the United States, listing some of the most popular tourist destinations in the area

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the West is easily the most expensive region for visitors, averaging about $176 per attraction. Tourists in this region tend to gravitate toward experiences like helicopter tours and hot air balloon rides, all of which push the region toward the pricey end of the scale. Still, if you’re looking for astounding natural beauty, there are few places with more variety than the American West.

The Most Famous Mythical Creature in Each State


The widespread popularity of fantasy franchises like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones suggests that, on some level, we all wish that dragons, giants, and other magical creatures actually existed.

While Nifflers, Thestrals, and Blast-Ended Skrewts may only be found within the pages of a Harry Potter novel, plenty of other mythical beasts have allegedly been spotted a lot closer to home than you might think. CashNetUSA's SavingSpot blog created a map highlighting the most famous magical monster in each state—an American edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, if you will.

Some slither, others skulk, and pretty much all of them have the potential to take your nightmares to the next level. You’ll probably recognize some of the better-known ones: New Jersey is home to the Jersey Devil, Texas claims the fanged Chupacabra, and Washington boasts Bigfoot, who seems downright charming compared to others on the list.

new jersey's jersey devil illustration

However, the majority of these creatures are rather obscure, and therefore all the more terrifying. The emaciated Wendigo from Minnesota kills with a glance, smells like a dead body, and will not hesitate to gobble you up. And good luck trying to outrun Illinois’s hissing, three-legged Enfield Horror, which can cover 25 feet in a single leap.

minnesota's wendigo illustration

Pennsylvania’s Squonk, on the other hand, is almost too pathetic to be scary. Apparently, it’s so ashamed of its saggy skin and wart-covered face that it can cry itself into a pool of water and simply slip out of any cage. If you see it, maybe just compliment its twinkling eyes and send it on its merry way.

pennsylvania's squonk illustration

The Loch Ness Monster lives all the way out in Scotland, of course, but she’s definitely inspired a few Nessie-wannabes right here in the States. Nevada has Tahoe Tessie, an 80-foot-long possible plesiosaur, and Maryland’s Chessie calls the Chesapeake Bay home.

nevada's tahoe tessie illustration

If you pay close attention to the details of SavingSpot’s accompanying online bestiary, you’ll see some clues about how these tall tales arose from fairly normal occurrences. Eyewitnesses first described Idaho’s aquatic dino Sharlie as a huge log, North Carolina’s Beast of Bladenboro resembles a bear, and Rhode Island’s vampire Mercy Brown was once a real woman—locals declared her a vampire after digging up her grave and realizing she hadn’t decayed at all. (For the record, she had only been dead for two months, and the winter temperatures likely preserved her body.)

mercy brown illustration

Find out which mythical beast hails from your home state here.

[h/t CashNetUSA]