Survey: 18 percent of Americans say they have seen a ghost

A ghost decorates a front yard on Admiral Rd. in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, Oct. 31, 201 QUOTE OF THE DAY … Continued

A ghost decorates a front yard on Admiral Rd. in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, Oct. 31, 201

QUOTE OF THE DAY |

Roughly three-in-ten Americans (29 percent) say they have felt in touch with someone who has died. Nearly one-in-five say they have been in the presence of a ghost (18 percent), while 15 percent say they have consulted a fortuneteller or a psychic. [...] Evangelical Protestants are the group least likely to say they have felt in touch with a dead person (20 percent). Members of other religious traditions are much more familiar with this type of phenomenon, with 37 percent of black Protestants, 35 percent of white Catholics, 31 percent of the unaffiliated and 29 percent of white mainline Protestants saying they have felt in touch with someone who has died.

-Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life Survey on the Correlation Between Religious Affiliation and Supernatural Experiences

Read more on religion, culture and politics at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs at Georgetown University.

  • WmarkW

    From the links (seen or contacted by a ghost):
    11% of Republicans
    21% of Independents
    21% of Democrats

    Keep this in mind next time someone calls Republicans the anti-science party.

  • WmarkW

    From the links (seen or contacted by a ghost):
    11% of Republicans
    21% of Independents
    21% of Democrats

    Keep this in mind next time someone calls Republicans the anti-science party.

  • tombukowski

    Sure, they’re regular scholars. That’s your argument that they’re scientifically literate. Convincing

  • tombukowski

    Sure, they’re regular scholars. That’s your argument that they’re scientifically literate. Convincing

  • monkfish

    Why are the republicans so scientifically illiterate? Is it because of global warming or religion? cause the odds of their being low entropy at the beginning of the big bang was 10^128^10 which is the same as a monkey flawlessly typing out the entire works of Shakespeare with a typewriter by hitting random keys, ie. not likely. The multiverse is suppose to remedy this but low entropy is required for this theory as well and the same number applies so… God is the best explanation as of yet. As for global warming according to the World Natural Health Organization it is a hoax, similar to y2k. This had nothing to do with the article, i just wanted to explain conservative reasoning to tombukowski

  • monkfish

    Why are the republicans so scientifically illiterate? Is it because of global warming or religion? cause the odds of their being low entropy at the beginning of the big bang was 10^128^10 which is the same as a monkey flawlessly typing out the entire works of Shakespeare with a typewriter by hitting random keys, ie. not likely. The multiverse is suppose to remedy this but low entropy is required for this theory as well and the same number applies so… God is the best explanation as of yet. As for global warming according to the World Natural Health Organization it is a hoax, similar to y2k. This had nothing to do with the article, i just wanted to explain conservative reasoning to tombukowski

  • Rongoklunk

    It would be more interesting to see how many atheists have ‘felt in touch with a dead person’ as compared to Christians and other religious folk. My guess is that they’re all religious because believing in the absurd and the impossible is what religion is all about. Anybody who believes in a skygod will probably believe in fairies, ghosts and all manner of imagined characters. And my guess is NO atheist ever felt in touch with any dead person, or anything supernatural. That’s why they’re atheists.

  • Rongoklunk

    It would be more interesting to see how many atheists have ‘felt in touch with a dead person’ as compared to Christians and other religious folk. My guess is that they’re all religious because believing in the absurd and the impossible is what religion is all about. Anybody who believes in a skygod will probably believe in fairies, ghosts and all manner of imagined characters. And my guess is NO atheist ever felt in touch with any dead person, or anything supernatural. That’s why they’re atheists.

  • Rongoklunk

    You are living proof that religion screws up the brain. Of all possible conclusions about the origin of the cosmos and existence itself – the most unlikely one involves a magical invisible skyfella. It is a child’s solution to a scientific problem. Not only is there no evidence for this magic man – his existence would defy everything we know about reality and how the world works. There is more evidence that your god was man-made – than there is for his actual existence. The evidence is the more than 3500 gods our ancestors invented, from Apollo to Zeus, and from Baal to Thor and Huitzilopochtli. Gods are human constructs, and only the indoctrinated believe in one, usually depending on where they were born.

  • Rongoklunk

    You are living proof that religion screws up the brain. Of all possible conclusions about the origin of the cosmos and existence itself – the most unlikely one involves a magical invisible skyfella. It is a child’s solution to a scientific problem. Not only is there no evidence for this magic man – his existence would defy everything we know about reality and how the world works. There is more evidence that your god was man-made – than there is for his actual existence. The evidence is the more than 3500 gods our ancestors invented, from Apollo to Zeus, and from Baal to Thor and Huitzilopochtli. Gods are human constructs, and only the indoctrinated believe in one, usually depending on where they were born.

  • monkfish

    wow calm down theist. You didn’t speak to my point at all by the way, but I guess you don’t know enough to…

  • monkfish

    wow calm down theist. You didn’t speak to my point at all by the way, but I guess you don’t know enough to…

  • Vote Yes Scotland 2014

    Who you gonna call ?

  • Vote Yes Scotland 2014

    Who you gonna call ?

  • 3vandrum

    18% of Americans are convinced that they have seen a ghost. 29 percent) say they have felt in touch with someone who has died.
    How does this compare with other western countries like Canada, Australia, UK, France or Scandinavian countries. I will be surprised if the number is this high. There is some thing wrong with science education in this country if 25% of Americans can believe in all these super natural phenomena.
    When are we going to wake up and move on into 21st century?.

  • 3vandrum

    18% of Americans are convinced that they have seen a ghost. 29 percent) say they have felt in touch with someone who has died.
    How does this compare with other western countries like Canada, Australia, UK, France or Scandinavian countries. I will be surprised if the number is this high. There is some thing wrong with science education in this country if 25% of Americans can believe in all these super natural phenomena.
    When are we going to wake up and move on into 21st century?.

  • SimonTemplar

    Thanks Rongo. Now I can claim to have seen a ghost. The ghosts of old, dead, worn-out memes, devoid of all substance, that once thrived on the pages of the books of “new atheism.”

  • SimonTemplar

    Thanks Rongo. Now I can claim to have seen a ghost. The ghosts of old, dead, worn-out memes, devoid of all substance, that once thrived on the pages of the books of “new atheism.”

  • CCNL

    Alcohol, pot are hallucinogens when used in great quantities?

  • CCNL

    Alcohol, pot are hallucinogens when used in great quantities?

  • nkri401

    Never or until you take the rifle from my cold, dead hands!!

  • nkri401

    Never or until you take the rifle from my cold, dead hands!!

  • nkri401

    Ron,

    I have little different take in that even Atheist does feel something that is not easily explainable or can be considered transcendental. Or hallucination. The difference is that Atheist do not attributes these experiences to be from a deity or a ghost of a dead person.

  • nkri401

    Ron,

    I have little different take in that even Atheist does feel something that is not easily explainable or can be considered transcendental. Or hallucination. The difference is that Atheist do not attributes these experiences to be from a deity or a ghost of a dead person.

  • rbean555

    The striking irony here is that ‘Christians’ supposedly are the ones who claim to be in direct contact with a guy they believe came back from the dead.

  • rbean555

    The striking irony here is that ‘Christians’ supposedly are the ones who claim to be in direct contact with a guy they believe came back from the dead.

  • nkri401

    Same number of poeple who’ve seen the Elvis…

    Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!!

    King is dead!! Long live the King!!

  • nkri401

    Same number of poeple who’ve seen the Elvis…

    Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!!

    King is dead!! Long live the King!!

  • VanZandt9

    Haha seeing is believing my friend no matter your “science education”

  • VanZandt9

    Haha seeing is believing my friend no matter your “science education”

  • VanZandt9

    Haha except not true Rongo, you will find a cursory read of the literature on paranormal will show your error because many atheists have been convinced of supernatural by experience.

    Do some research, use your own brain…

  • VanZandt9

    Haha except not true Rongo, you will find a cursory read of the literature on paranormal will show your error because many atheists have been convinced of supernatural by experience.

    Do some research, use your own brain…

  • nkri401

    I suppose you’ve never seen an optical illusion.
    I guess you will choose a mirage oasis rather than the satellite map showing there is nothing there.
    Also, people believed earth is flat because they saw the flat land.
    etc, etc.

    Yea, forget “science education” – I can see the flat earth as far as my eyes can see.

  • nkri401

    I suppose you’ve never seen an optical illusion.
    I guess you will choose a mirage oasis rather than the satellite map showing there is nothing there.
    Also, people believed earth is flat because they saw the flat land.
    etc, etc.

    Yea, forget “science education” – I can see the flat earth as far as my eyes can see.

  • itsthedax

    A few years ago, a poll measuring scientific knowledge in adult americans revealed that 20 percent of us believe that the sun orbits the earth. This doesn’t mean that the sun orbits 20 percent of the earth or that it orbits the earth 20 percent of the time, or that we have to “respect their belief”. Those people were just uneducated and wrong.

    The same principle applies here. 18 percent of us interpreted some natural phenomenon as supernatural, instead of using their brains.

  • itsthedax

    A few years ago, a poll measuring scientific knowledge in adult americans revealed that 20 percent of us believe that the sun orbits the earth. This doesn’t mean that the sun orbits 20 percent of the earth or that it orbits the earth 20 percent of the time, or that we have to “respect their belief”. Those people were just uneducated and wrong.

    The same principle applies here. 18 percent of us interpreted some natural phenomenon as supernatural, instead of using their brains.

  • SimonTemplar

    There is nothing ironic about it if you understand some of the subtleties of Christian theology. The biblical scriptures discourage us from trying to contact the dead, and even suggest that it is not possible for the spirits of the departed to linger in our realm.

  • SimonTemplar

    There is nothing ironic about it if you understand some of the subtleties of Christian theology. The biblical scriptures discourage us from trying to contact the dead, and even suggest that it is not possible for the spirits of the departed to linger in our realm.

  • Secular1

    ST, so what is your position?

    a) Eventhough it is possible to contact you refrain from doing so, because that tome tells you not to.

    or

    b) Because the tome suggests that it is not possible, so you take it at its face value and do not try to contact

    or

    c) You actually believe it is not possible, so you do not waste your time trying to.

    or

    d) You are too much of a chicken to go against the tome.

    which is it?

  • Secular1

    ST, so what is your position?

    a) Eventhough it is possible to contact you refrain from doing so, because that tome tells you not to.

    or

    b) Because the tome suggests that it is not possible, so you take it at its face value and do not try to contact

    or

    c) You actually believe it is not possible, so you do not waste your time trying to.

    or

    d) You are too much of a chicken to go against the tome.

    which is it?

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