The Most Common Paranormal Beliefs in the United States

A study by Chapman University, published earlier this year (October 2017) explores, via survey, American Fears. Specifically, they also dug into the paranormal beliefs in America. The study itself was taken by 1,207 random Americans across the United States about their fears.

Link Link

The results were:

  • 55% - Ancient advanced civilization, such as Atlantis, once existed 
  • 52% - Places can be haunted by spirits
  • 35% - Aliens have visited Earth in our ancient past
  • 25% - Some people can move objects with their minds
  • 19% - Fortune tellers and psychics can foresee the future
  • 16% - Bigfoot is a real creature

These stats can also be seen in lovely graphic form by hitting the first "Link" button above! Additionally, it should be mentioned that these results were gathered from those percent reporting "agree or strongly agree".

I was surprised about two things:

1. That haunting/ghosts weren't #1


2. Bigfoot was so low

First, I was shocked that ancient advanced civilization rose above ghosts/hauntings. Part of me wonders if it is in the advent of TV shows like ancient aliens and other docs of a similar tone. Or, perhaps in a more optimistic vein, it is because of new scientific findings. But, if you would have asked me, I would have said ghosts/hauntings would have been #1.

Secondly, Bigfoot being so low - behind telekinesis AND fortune tellers - surprised me. Bigfoot, in my findings, has some of the most fervent and dedicated fans. Heck - it has multiple TV shows and docs, not to mention the Patterson-Gimlin film.

But, those aren't the only stats we get! In fact, they examined how many paranormal beliefs a person held. Surprisingly, only a fourth of Americans do not hold any of the seven beliefs mentioned above...meaning three fourths of Americans DO believe in at least one paranormal phenomena.

  • 25% - No paranormal beliefs
  • 20.8% - 1 paranormal belief
  • 13.8% - 2 paranormal beliefs
  • 12.3% - 3 paranormal beliefs
  • 9.6% - 4 paranormal beliefs
  • 8.4% - 5 paranormal beliefs
  • 4.7% - 6 paranormal beliefs
  • 5% - All 7 paranormal beliefs 

One thing I find interesting about this study is that despite debunking efforts, people still seem to "believe" or, at the very least, want to believe in the paranormal. Although the numbers above look a bit scant because they are split 8 ways, 53.8% of the population surveyed has 2 or more paranormal beliefs. Which, to me, is a knock-your-socks-off stat. In other words, that's a hell of a whole lot of people who don't just believe in a singular thing but that there could potentially be a variety of paranormal entities and occurrences in our world.

What did you find surprising about this survey?


The above image is not related to this story and is by _TCPhotography_. It is liscensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).