This Is How Likely It Is That You've Seen a Ghost, Research Shows

Paranormal activity isn't just the stuff of fiction, according to many folks.

Ghosts, mythical creatures, and unexplained phenomena aren't just the stuff of horror movies—for some people, they're all too real. A new survey reveals that a shocking number of individuals claim to have had seen a ghost, and that, in many cases, they even do superstitious practices to supposedly ward off these unknown evils are just part of daily life. According to 2,172 responses to PsychTests' Paranormal Beliefs Test, 49 percent of respondents performed superstitious rituals on a regular basis, like throwing salt over their shoulder after spilling some or refusing to travel on Friday the 13th.

"The expansion of scientific exploration diffused and disproved a lot of phenomena that were once considered paranormal, but you can't really kill the concept of the occult and of mysticism…it's human nature to be curious about and drawn to the unknown," explained PsychTests CEO Ilona Jerabek, PhD, in a statement.

In many cases, survey respondents even reported having direct contact with otherworldly beings. Read on to discover which brushes with the paranormal were most common among survey takers. And for more folks who believe in otherworldly encounters, check out these 11 Celebrities Who Claim They've Seen UFOs.


child ghost

Is that creaking noise just your house settling, or something more sinister? If you ask many of the survey's respondents, they'd likely say the latter—a whopping 26 percent of people surveyed said they had personally had an encounter with a ghost. And if you're wondering what keeps other folks up at night, This Is What Terrifies People the Most in Your State.


poltergeist coming through tv screen

Those doors that won't stay closed. The TV that turns on suddenly. The terrifying wailing you hear at night. Sure, they could be the wind or a faulty electrical connection, but 16 percent of PsychTests' respondents said they had experienced poltergeist activity. And if you want to experience true terror right at home, check out The Scariest Movie That Came Out the Year You Graduated.


angel statue outdoors in sunlight

Not all of the spirits respondents had encountered were malevolent ones, however. Twelve percent of study respondents said that they had either seen or spoken to an angel or spiritual guide directly. And for more great stories delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.


ufos flying over city

Celebrities aren't the only ones who think the truth is out there. Extraterrestrial encounters and UFO sightings were allegedly experienced by seven percent of those surveyed. In fact, 11 people surveyed said they had actually been abducted by aliens. And if you want to scare yourself silly, This Is the Scariest Horror Movie of All Time, According to Science.

Mythical Creatures

big foot or yeti footprint
Shutterstock/Igor Shoshin

You can't be too careful when you're walking in the forest these days—you never know who (or what) you might encounter. At least that's what PsychTests' survey takers claim, with five percent of respondents saying they'd seen mythical creatures, like Big Foot.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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