Do you believe in ghosts?
A pre-Halloween poll by The Associated Press and Ipsos shows that 34% of
people say they do.
That's the same proportion who believe in unidentified flying objects. The
poll also shows that 19% of people accept the existence of spells or
And forty-eight percent believe in extrasensory perception, or ESP.
A smaller but still substantial 23 percent say they have actually seen a
ghost, with the most likely candidates for such visits including single people,
Catholics and those who never attend religious services.
Three in 10 have awakened sensing a strange presence in the room.
Fourteen percent – mostly men and lower-income people – say they have seen
One in five say they are at least somewhat superstitious, with young men,
minorities, and the less educated more likely to go out of their way to seek
luck. Twenty-six percent of urban residents said they are superstitious, while
single men were more superstitious than unmarried women, 31 percent to 17
The most admitted-to superstition, by 17 percent, was finding a four-leaf
clover. Thirteen percent dread walking under a ladder or the groom seeing his
bride before their wedding, while slightly smaller numbers named black cats,
breaking mirrors, opening umbrellas indoors, Friday the 13th or the number
Generally, women were more superstitious than men about four-leaf clovers,
breaking mirrors or grooms prematurely seeing brides. Democrats were more
superstitious than Republicans over opening umbrellas indoors, while liberals
were more superstitious than conservatives over four-leaf clovers, grooms seeing
brides and umbrellas.
The poll, conducted October 16-18, involved telephone interviews with 1,013