RALEIGH, N.C. — Does your spooky old home go bump in the night? You’re not the only one who gets the creeps in their own house. A new poll finds one in six Americans really think their home is haunted.
That said, there are plenty of individuals who are probably on the fence. In a survey of over 1,000 participants, commissioned by All Star Home, a staggering 42 percent claim to have felt an unseen presence in their home. Additionally, 37 percent reported hearing mysterious sounds like footsteps or whispers. The eeriness doesn’t stop there. Nearly one in five people (19%) believe they’ve seen apparitions or ghostly figures!
With so many Americans saying there’s something supernatural going on at home, participants of the survey also shared their spine-chilling anecdotes. One particularly disturbing account came from a 65-year-old man. He recounted an event where an unseen force seemed to push his mother in their living room. In a dramatic turn, right after the push, a ceiling fixture crashed down exactly where she had been standing!
While these unsettling experiences occurred throughout homes, bedrooms emerged as the top hotspot for paranormal activity (49%). Over half of those who reported unusual incidents claimed they took place in bedrooms. Other frequent locations included living rooms (26%), kitchens (23%), and hallways or staircases (21%).
However, the aftermath of these encounters varied. One in five people who experienced a strange event turned to prayer, while 11 percent dug deep into their home’s history, trying to find out who might be haunting them. Notably, seven out of the 1,017 respondents were so shaken that they chose to move out of their homes!
A not-so-surprising pattern emerged during the survey: older homes seemed to be at the center of many of these stories. The average age of houses where these inexplicable incidents occurred stood at 88 years. This has made nearly one-third of the respondents admit that older homes give them the creeps.
Exploring this theme further, the survey also investigated which cities have the biggest reputation for being haunted. Salem, Massachusetts, a city notorious for its historical witch trials, has over half of its buildings constructed before 1939. This trend closely followed in cities like New Orleans and Gettysburg, where one in three homes hail from the same era.
Local folklore might also play a role, with over 40 percent of respondents saying that their communities have ghost stories, and more than half of these residents believe these tales.
So, is there a reasonable explanation for all these spooky noises and occurrences?
“Homes, like humans, age over time and can produce a variety of noises. Factors like fluctuating temperatures can cause vinyl siding to pop, and strong winds can amplify the sounds if the siding is loose. A deteriorating roof, especially if leaking, can be another source of peculiar noises,” researchers with All Star Home write in a statement.
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In August 2023, All Star Home surveyed 1,017 Americans about their paranormal experiences. 49% were women, 49% were men, 1% were non-binary, and 1% would rather not say. Respondents ranged in age from 19 to 94 with an average age of 42. To determine the old homes in historically haunted cities, researchers used data from the U.S. Census Bureau.