Surveying the Supernatural – 6 surprising statistics ripped from Ghosts and the Paranormal

Ever wondered how many people believe in ghosts? Whether more people believe in God than the paranormal? How witchcraft affects the economy?

One thing for sure, these statistics are the opposite of vital.



How many drive under Paranormal Influence?

According to the Automobile Association, drivers in Cork, Ireland are listening closely to the other side. In a survey, 15.5% say that they have seen a ghost. Cynical Dubliners came bottom of the list with only 12.7%. Men seemed more sceptical (barely) than women, with 13.0% having seen a ghost compared to 14% for women.

The spooky sightings included the classic chiller – the passenger spotted in the back seat who disappears a moment later.

Hope these communications were on Bluetooth…



Are Americans more familiar with Ghosts than Transgender people?

More Americans claim to have seen a ghost than know a Transgender person.

While 18 percent of Americans claim to have seen a ghost, only 16% say they know someone who identifies as trans according to a 2015 GLAAD study.

18% of Canadian say they’ve been in the Presence of Ghosts. 9% have been room-mates!



Is witchcraft bad for the economy?

A 2010 Gallup poll found that belief in magic is widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa, with over half of respondents saying they personally believe in witchcraft.

African witch doctors are routinely consulted not only for healing diseases but also for placing blessings on businesses and curses on rivals.

In the first economic study based on witchcraft, Professor Boris Gershman found a link between a belief in witchcraft and lack of trust in 19 sub-Saharan countries.

Thinking your neighbour could hex or curse you is not going to lead to cooperation.

So, it’s confirmed, witchcraft is bad for the economy.



Do people still believe in fairies?

Dr Simon Young and the Fairy Investigation Society launched a project in 2014 to chart fairy beliefs and fairy sightings in Britain and Ireland.

They hope, using social media, to bring in several thousand responses.

In its first days online, the census already brought in interesting results – for example, the man who saw some squirrels on a tree at dusk, only to realise that he was looking at little men scrabbling over the branches.

The project coordinator, historian Dr Simon Young, says that: “…We are also interested in how fairy sightings change. So, fairies seem to have, generally speaking, gotten smaller through the centuries. Will this trend continue? With the census, we will have the means of measuring changing beliefs.”

The last fairy census was held 60 years ago and brought in several hundred responses from around the world.

Better clap your hands to put the wind up these fairies – it also took 60 years to publish the results of the first survey, in Marjorie Johnson’s Seeing Fairies (Anomalist Books).



Do the British believe in ghosts more than God?

In the UK, twice as many people believe in the existence of ghosts than in God. A survey by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! found 55 percent of adults think ghosts are real, compared with 25 percent who place their faith in the Almighty.

Coming in at a close second, 51 percent of participants believe aliens exist, with both the existence of UFOs and angels scoring ahead of God.

Perhaps not surprisingly, 64 percent of children believe in the existence of both aliens and ghosts, and a further 33 percent believed in God. Children were also more likely to believe in fantastical explanations for supernatural beings, with one in 20 claiming they personally knew an alien.

Some 26 percent of children also believed that aliens were roaming the earth disguised as humans!



Do the non-religious Swedes believe in ghosts?

Sweden has a reputation for being one of the least religious nations in the western world.

But the number of Swedes polled who believe in ghosts is on the increase – from 12 to 16% since 2008. The research was carried out by the Demoskop polling firm for (ironically) The Swedish Sceptics’ Association.

Meanwhile, 37% said that they believed in “paranormal phenomena” that could not be explained by science, up from 33 percent seven years ago.

Only 21 percent of people quizzed said that they were believers, down from 35 percent. If the trend continues, more Swedes could soon believe in ghosts than in a god.

Siobhan O’Shea is a freelance writer. She writes about pretty much everything but especially likes to bring readers’ attention to new tech, marketing, human behavior, and other oddities.