By Aaron Earls
The only ghosts most Americans believe in are the ones they see trick-or-treating on Halloween, but almost 1 in 5 say they believe in the haunting apparitions the rest of the year as well.
A Pew Research survey found that 18 percent believed in ghosts and 29 percent said they have felt in touch with someone who died.
Evangelicals were the religious group least likely to believe in either ghosts (15 percent) and contact with the dead (20 percent).
Those who attend church services weekly or more were the least likely to believe in ghosts (11 percent tied). They also were among the least likely to believe in being in touch with someone who died (20 percent).
Some may have claimed to actually seen a ghost, but others, like Steve Gonsalves of the SyFy show Ghost Hunters, say they believe even without seeing.
“What you would think of as the floating apparition, I’ve never seen that … I’ve never seen an actual ghost,” Gonsalves, who has spent 20 years chasing the “paranormal” told Fox News’ Lauren Green.
Along with religious affiliation and church attendance, education and political ideology were the other factors that affected your likelihood to believe in those things. More education made it less likely for someone to believe, while fewer conservatives and Republicans believed.
More education made it less likely for someone to believe, while fewer conservatives and Republicans believed than their ideological counterparts.
Perhaps surprisingly age did not seem to affect belief. Americans over 65 were the demographic least open to the existence of ghosts or being in contact with the dead, but those 50-64 were the most likely in both categories.
Tok Thompson, anthropology professor at the University of Southern California, told NPR, that the belief in ghosts is “fascinating because most Americans tend to believe in science. And even those who might not believe in certain aspects of science — say, evolution or whatnot — tend to be influenced by their religious teachings,” Thompson said.
For the professor, it’s striking that with ghosts so many believe “something that both their science and their religious leaders tell them not to believe.”
Evangelism professor, George Robinson argues celebrating Halloween may be the most Christian thing to do on October 31. While a previous article gives five ways to be missional on Halloween.
When it comes to Halloween, most Americans don’t have a problem celebrating the spooky holiday. Yet, one-third say they avoid Halloween or its pagan elements.