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New Hampshire may be scary, but it’s got nothing on Maine and Vermont


New Hampshire is ranked 13th as the scariest state in the U.S. in an index using ghost and UFO sightings, reported hauntings, and more. But it’s got nothing on its neighbors Vermont and Maine, ranked 1 and 2, respectively. Photo/Maureen Milliken photo

New Hampshire may be among the scariest, spookiest and downright creepiest states in the U.S., but it’s got nothing on its neighbors Maine and Vermont.

At least that’s according to an America’s Scariest States index compiled by Cycling Frog, a Seattle-based THC and CBD company. The index used the number of reported ghost and UFO sightings, horror movies set in each state, haunted places and known serial killers to determine the top scariest states in America.

New Hampshire was 13th in the U.S., with nothing but the Connecticut River between it and the No. 1 scariest state n the U.S., Vermont. Maine, to New Hampshire’s east, was No. 2.

America’s Scariest States index by Seattle-based Cycling Frog puts New Hampshire at No. 14. For the full index, methodology and more, visit cyclingfrog.com/blogs/news/americas-scariest-states-revealed.

“As we’re approaching the spookiest time of the year, we wanted to find out which state in America is well and truly the spookiest, creepiest, and all-around most chilling,” Jason Peterson, head of brand at Cycling Frog, said. “From Maine to Alaska, each state has its own horror stories. ‘Scary’ also means different things to different people,” he said, explaining the five categories as an attempt “to cover all the bases.” 

UFO sightings are based on the National UFO Reporting Center Index, ghost sightings are based on information compiled by ghostsofamerica.com, horror films set in states are from the Internet Movie Database Top 100 Horror Films of All Time list, haunted places from information compiled from frightfind.com, and serial killers from Murdpedia’s serial killer indexes.

Betty and Barney Hill put NH on the UFO map. Image/UNH Betty and Barney Hill Collection

UFO sightings are what gives New Hampshire its scary position. The Granite State boasts, – if that’s the right word – 81 UFO sightings per 100,000 people, fifth in the nation behind Vermont (90), Washington, D.C. (89), Montana (87) and Maine (82). The most well-known New Hampshire UFO encounter was by Betty and Barney Hill on Route 3 in Lancaster in 1961, which is commemorated with a plaque along the highway. To refresh your memory, the Hills, under hypnosis, said they were abducted by bald-headed aliens in a cigar-shaped craft and medically examined, then freed.

Image depicting an alien spaceship, at 200 feet and 100 feet above the Earth’s surface, drawn by alleged alien abductee Betty Hill and regarded as one of the first examples of the Flying Saucer alien spaceship archetype, September 20, 1961. Image/UNH Betty and Barney Hill Collection

New Hampshire, with a population of 1.355 million, also has 20 ghost sightings per 100,000 people, three haunted places and two serial killers.

Compare that to Vermont, positively spunky in its spookiness. With a population of less than 625,000, it has 90 UFO sightings per 100,000 people, 37 ghost sightings, four haunted places and two serial killers.

But Maine has Stephen King

While neither New Hampshire or Vermont has been the setting for any horror movies used to tabulate the rankings, Maine is listed by Cycling Frog as having one. It’s not clear which movie that is, because three of the IMDb Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time are set in Maine – “Pet Sematary,” “Salem’s Lot,” and “It,” all thanks to Maine favorite son, Stephen King, whose novels the movies are based on. [Manchester InkLink has notified Cycling Frog of the movie discrepancy, and if this launches Maine past Vermont into the No. 1 spot, InkLink readers will be the first to know].

Those who wonder why King’s “The Shining” doesn’t count, are reminded that while the movie based on his book is  No. 2 on IMDb’s list, it takes place in Colorado, not Maine.

Maine, population 1.341 million, also has the most ghost sightings per 100,000 residents of all the states, tied with North Dakota. At 58 sightings per 100,000 residents, the two states have twice the number as the national average of 26.

California tops the nation in haunted places and movies, while Delaware is the top per-capital for serial killers (Texas has more reported than any other state, but its large population keeps the per-capita number lower).

Vermont tops the nation in per-capital UFO sightings, though Washington D.C., which is second with 89 sightings per 100,000 people, has the highest overall number, 1,311.

“We hope that the residents of the scariest states wear their new titles with pride,” Peterson said.



About this Contributor

Maureen Milliken

Maureen Milliken is a contract reporter and content producer for consumer financial agencies. She has worked for northern New England publications, including the New Hampshire Union Leader, for 25 years, and most recently at Mainebiz in Portland, Maine. She can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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