GALLUP: 42 percent of Americans believe in ghosts

Are ghosts real? Many Americans say they do, according to a new Gallup poll that found 42 percent say they believe they see or hear ghosts, up from 39 percent a year ago. “Among…

Are ghosts real? Many Americans say they do, according to a new Gallup poll that found 42 percent say they believe they see or hear ghosts, up from 39 percent a year ago.

“Among those who say they see or hear a ghost, the leading reasons are ‘for the sake of entertainment’ (71 percent), ‘to try and get some peace and quiet’ (62 percent), ‘to scare someone’ (54 percent), and ‘just to get a feeling’ (53 percent),” wrote Gallup’s Lydia Saad.

Of course, death is not the only way people turn to ghosts — those interviewed included faculty members of a New York University graduate school, housewives and bankers, a couple and their children, two nuns, a counselor and a laborer.

In fact, the number of Americans who say they believe in ghosts doubled over the course of the past 15 years, going from 20 percent in 2000 to 42 percent in 2015.

Since 2014, Gallup has asked Americans how often they’ve seen or heard paranormal activity: 29 percent say they’ve seen, heard or smelled something that was not there; 46 percent of them admit they saw or heard something that was “not what they expected.”

“These findings suggest that in spite of the evolution of paranormal research and much research into mind-body phenomena, people are still experiencing paranormal encounters — as much as people who have never encountered any paranormal phenomena in their lives,” Saad wrote.

Read the full story at Gallup.

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