Top 10 most popular paranormal beliefs - including ghosts, aliens, and witches

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Ghosts are the top most commonly held paranormal belief for Brits (Image: SWNS)
Ghosts are the top most commonly held paranormal belief for Brits (Image: SWNS)

Ghosts, reincarnation, and aliens and UFOs are the most commonly held paranormal beliefs among Brits, research has found.

More than two in five Brits (43%) claim they believe in the spiritual side of life – with 14% even having dabbled with a Ouija board, in an effort to contact souls from beyond the grave.

Those in London consider themselves to be the most spiritual in the country, believing most in witches.

Meanwhile residents of the Humber are most open-minded to mindreading and psychic powers, whilst Northern Ireland residents are the most likely to expect a Bigfoot sighting.

The poll of 2,000 adults also revealed an even split when it comes to those who believe in an afterlife, and those that don't.

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But 33% are more sceptical, with those in the West Midlands the most dubious about supernatural phenomena.

Jamie Morris, director of programmes at Sky, which commissioned the research to launch its new mystical drama series, Souls, said: “I find it intriguing to see how spiritual, or indeed how sceptical, British people really are.”

The study also found Londoners marked themselves as the most susceptible to the supernatural, being the most likely to believe in many legendary beings and conspiracies – including demons, zombies, and that Elvis still lives.

Top 10 most popular paranormal beliefs - including ghosts, aliens, and witchesThose in the East of England are most likely to believe in aliens and UFOs (Aaron Foster/Getty Images)

It also emerged almost half (49%) followed an organised religion, while 24% opted for an atheistic viewpoint, and 13% chose agnostic.

However, 70% feel there are some things in life that science and rational thought cannot explain.

Of those who believe in the supernatural or paranormal, more than half (52%) were spurred on by evidence they discovered themselves, or a first-hand experience which proved to them their belief was real.

And 35% just have a “gut feeling” that, whether their belief is ghosts, little green men, or werewolves, the truth is out there.

However, a quarter of those surveyed (24%) are embarrassed about one or more of their feelings.

And 26% have received mocking comments at some point for sharing their unconventional views.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found 23% have seen or spoken to a deceased relative in a dream, and 22% have felt a “presence” in their home.

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An open-minded 21% have visited a psychic to have their palm read or future told to them, and 16% have scoured the night sky in search of alien life.

Souls, which is on Sky Atlantic and NOW, centres on three women whose lives are turned upside down when, after a car accident, 14-year-old Jacob believes he remembers his former life as the pilot of a lost passenger plane.

Jamie Morris added: “Souls dives into what can only be described as the unknown, exploring the afterlife, premonitions, and the spiritual world.

“The show will certainly give viewers food for thought – whether they’re disbelievers, doubters, or more spiritually minded.”

TOP 10 UNCONVENTIONAL BELIEFS HELD BY BRITS:

  1. Ghosts
  2. Aliens/UFOs
  3. Reincarnation
  4. That the JFK assassination was an inside job
  5. Witches
  6. Mindreading/psychics
  7. Demons
  8. The Illuminati
  9. Bigfoot
  10. Werewolves

Andrew Young

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation