In popular culture there is a general consensus, or at least a reported general consensus that ghosts and the paranormal are one of those things that scientists scoff at. But representative groups of people in the past, such as those surveyed by the Gallup organization have indicated for decades that people are a bit more divided on the existence of paranormal things than is generally recognized. To look at a series of surveys taken over several years among individuals from various backgrounds it appears that there is one thing in particular the majority actually do believe in. Which one is it? The answer may surprise you.
In 2001 the now famous Gallup Poll was taken asking whether the participant believed in a certain paranormal phenomenon or not. The surveys were divided up in such a way that the majority of the questions were about a mundane event, and only the select minority was about these unusual subjects. Participants were asked about Ghosts, Reincarnation, Channeling, Demonic Possession, and a number of other items – which they responded appropriately to. If the rest of the survey results qualified as legitimate then it was compiled with the whole. But then when statisticians in the Gallup organization actually studied the results, they were stunned by more than a few of them.
It turned out the paranormal phenomena people were most skeptical of was channeling, whereby a medium connects with a paranormal entity and allows it to communicate through them. And it was still met with 15% saying it was absolutely legitimate with another 21% accepting it as a possibility. Overall, the most skeptical phenomenon to be put out there still had over a third of participants either accepting it as fact or as a possibility. But what was the one paranormal force of nature that people believed in the most?
The most powerful and believed in paranormal force was the existence of a spiritual means of healing. 54% believed in the possibility while another 19% considered it favorable, but not necessarily proved to their ability.
Coming in second was ESP, or the ability to see the world beyond our five senses was the second most believed in paranormal force. 50% of people surveyed said it was something they absolutely believed in while another 20% accepted it as a possibility, but did not consider it something that had been proven to them. Altogether 70% of those polled overwhelmingly showed some level of favorability to psychic ability. So if that were the case, why is it still so often dealt with by the media as such a distant and remote possibility? And why do we not hear more of spiritual healing in popular culture?
Interestingly a Roper poll from 2006 also stated that 70% of people believed that the government was not sharing everything it knew about extraterrestrials. But then again Gallup Polls are always strange. In 1973 an interesting anomaly occurred when 95% of people responded that they had heard of UFOs while only 92% reported that they had ever heard of then President Gerald Ford. Truly strange statistics indeed.