Pew Research survey: the nitty-gritty of ghosts in America

Have you ever heard a disembodied voice? Wondered about what it might be saying? Americans have long believed in ghosts, but a new Pew Research Center survey finds they’re fairly well informed on the…

Have you ever heard a disembodied voice? Wondered about what it might be saying?

Americans have long believed in ghosts, but a new Pew Research Center survey finds they’re fairly well informed on the topic.

But just how well?

Among the highlights from the survey:

—Most people, 71 percent, say they have experienced or been around something that has felt ‘impostor syndrome.’ That is a reference to thoughts people have about other people.

—Around half of Americans who have experienced or been around something like this say the feeling was worse than average or a little worse.

—Another 40 percent say the feeling was just right.

—People are far more likely to say that they believe in a supernatural entity than they are to say they have experienced one themselves. Still, 41 percent believe ghosts exist and 27 percent report personally having encountered them.

—Americans are more likely to say they believe in ghosts who are still human than those who have become a spirit. Thirty-one percent of people who say they believe in ghosts who are still human say they have encountered a ghost, compared with 13 percent of those who believe in spirits who have become human.

—Only 18 percent of people who have encountered a ghost report they would want it to happen again. That number drops to just 9 percent among those who have been around a ghost at least once and who have spoken to or seen the person.

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