The number of Americans who say they have interacted with a ghost has doubled in the last 13 years, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life revealed in its “Many Americans Mix Multiple Faiths” report.
Now, approximately 18 percent of respondents say they have seen or been in the presence of a ghost, compared with only 9 percent in 1990 and 1996. Likewise, 29 percent of respondents felt that they had been in touch with someone who has already died, compared with 17 percent in 1990 and 18 percent in 1996.
The results also show that Democrats are far more likely to believe in supernatural phenomena than Republicans.
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“Conservatives and Republicans report fewer experiences than liberals or Democrats communicating with the dead, seeing ghosts and consulting fortune-tellers or psychics,” Pew reported.
According to the study:
- 36 percent of Democrats report being in touch with someone who is dead, compared with only 21 percent of Republicans.
- 21 percent of Democrats say they have seen a ghost, compared with only 11 percent of Republicans.
- 22 percent of Democrats say they have consulted a fortune-teller, compared with 9 percent of Republicans.
- 30 percent of Democrats say they believe in reincarnation, compared with 17 percent of Republicans.
- 31 percent of Democrats say they believe in astrology, compared with 14 percent of Republicans
- 31 percent of Democrats view yoga as a spiritual practice, compared with 15 percent of Republicans.
- 30 percent of Democrats say they believe in spiritual energy, compared with 17 percent of Republicans.
Among all the groups, black Protestant female respondents who were Democrats between the ages of 50 and 64 and had less than a high-school education were most likely to report being in touch with the dead.
White male Evangelical Protestants who were Republicans between the ages of 18 and 29 were least likely to say they have felt in touch with a dead person.
Pew Forum results for study on supernatural experiences
The survey, based on telephone interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a nationwide sample of 4,013 adults, does not focus specifically on partisan differences. It lists groups categorized by gender, race, age, education level, faith and church-attendance rates.
“Having been in touch with a dead person is more common among women than men,” the report said. “Women are also twice as likely to have consulted a fortune-teller or psychic. Blacks report more experience feeling in touch with the dead than whites or Hispanics. But they resemble whites and Hispanics on other items, such as encounters with a ghost or consulting a fortune-teller.”