Survey: 6 in 10 Americans believe they’ve seen a ghost

NEW YORK — Convinced that the glowing figure you saw down the hall that one time or the voice you swear you heard coming from your basement was something other-worldly? You’re actually in the majority. A new study finds that most Americans believe they’ve seen a ghost at some point in their lives.

As Halloween approaches, Groupon sought to find out how many people feel they’ve had paranormal experiences. In a poll of 2,000 adults, researchers found that about six in 10 Americans say they’ve indeed encountered a ghost. Perhaps even more surprisingly, four in 10 respondents believe their pet has seen one too.

As to what people did when they had the spooky encounter? Most admit they screamed and ran away. In fact, men were twice as likely as women to shriek and head for the hills, the survey showed, but women tended to scream much louder. Other respondents admit to crying, hiding, and even fainting when seeing a ghost.

For some, the ghost may have simply been a product of the residence. One in three respondents said they’ve either lived or stayed in a haunted house.

So of course, what better way to relive the fright than to take a trip to a haunted house ahead of Halloween? Respondents were asked how quickly they find themselves mired in fear when visiting haunted houses and found the average person feels frightened in less than five seconds!

“We know from experience that year after year people love to be scared and seek out as many frightful opportunities as possible this time of year,” notes Groupon spokesperson Brian Fields. “If something scary isn’t for you or your children, carving a pumpkin, visiting an apple orchard or going on a hayride can also be great ways to celebrate Halloween with the entire family.”

Finally, the survey asked participants what things scare them the most in life. Researchers came away with this top 10 list for Americans’ greatest fears:

  1. Snakes
  2. Spiders
  3. Sharks
  4. Drowning
  5. Heights
  6. Public speaking
  7. Failure
  8. Bees
  9. Cramped spaces
  10. Rejection

Interestingly, while snakes led the way, twice as many respondents said they’d rather have snakes slither all over them than be surrounded by a swarm of bees.

The survey was conducted on behalf of Groupon by research firm OnePoll from August 28, 2018 to September 3, 2018 and published by SWNS Digital.