Paranormal nation: Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe in ghosts or aliens

NEW YORK — Half of Americans swear they’ve encountered a ghost from the great beyond, leading many to believe their homes are haunted too. According to a recent survey of 2,000 people 21 and over, 63 percent believe in the paranormal in some form.

Respondents say the most common unexplained beings they believe exist include ghosts (57%), visitors from other planets (39%), and Bigfoot (27%). A third (35%) even say they’ve felt an unexplained presence in their homes, prompting them to worry that they’re being haunted by the paranormal.

Paranormal ActivitiesSome recalled specific encounters in their homes — including seeing previous residents appearing and suddenly disappearing, hearing doors randomly open and close, and seeing flickering lights and shadows with no discernible source.

Ghosts, cryptids, and aliens, oh my!

Commissioned by Phantom Wines and conducted by OnePoll, the study revealed that although 23 percent don’t believe in the paranormal, they also don’t want to provoke anything that could prove them wrong.

Overall, 44 percent claim they’ve had a personal experience with the paranormal. Nearly two in three (63%) also believe life exists on other planets somewhere in the universe and 55 percent believe full moons can make people behave strangely. The poll also finds people’s belief in the paranormal goes beyond just ghosts and aliens. Fifty-six percent believe some people can see and predict the future, while 51 percent think some people can read minds.

More than a quarter (29%) have sought the guidance of a psychic reading. Some of these respondents say they learned how loved ones would die, where long-lost family members are now, and details about their future children.

“We were quite surprised to see so many people believe in the paranormal and that they have been in the presence of a ghost,” says Jody Bogle, Phantom Wines’ vice president of consumer relations, in a statement.

Drinking away those evil spirits?

Paranormal ActivitiesAlthough many Americans have experienced unexplained, paranormal events, others prefer watching just them on their TV screens. More than half the poll (56%) love watching scary movies on Halloween and 45 percent like to incorporate alcoholic beverages into their spooky celebrations.

While respondents believe mixed drinks (40%), wines (36%), and spirits (35%) are popular beverages for Halloween get-togethers, the results find wine is the best choice for candy-alcohol pairings. Respondents think wine goes best with chocolate-based candies (32%), fruit-based candies (31%), nougat-based candies (25%), sweet/savory candies (25%), and sour candies (22%).

“Who hasn’t snuck a piece or two from their child’s trick-or-treat stash during Halloween? Lucky enough, it seems that whatever candy you grab, it will go well with your glass of red wine, too,” Bogle adds.