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BRITISH BELIEF IN GHOSTS

A Yorkshire Terror, 1621. Illustration: Courtesy of Wellcome Images

A Yorkshire Terror, 1621. Illustration: Wellcome Images

Ghosts vs. Aliens vs. God: Ghosts Win!

Elsewhere on this site we have ascertained that Britain is the most haunted nation on earth, hosting approximately one ghost per square mile, according to British experts on such matters. And according to a new survey conducted by Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the Brits themselves are every bit as haunted as their castles and their countryside: More British adults believe in ghosts than believe in God.

Ripley’s survey of 1,500 Britons, published on October 28, 2014, revealed that 55 percent believe in ghosts, as opposed to only 25 percent who believe in God. Other supernatural beings included in the survey were aliens (51 percent), UFOs (42 percent), and angels (27 percent).

The same questions asked of 500 British children produced slightly different results. Of the kids, 64 percent believed in both ghosts and aliens, 33 percent said they believed in God, 50 percent thought UFOs were credible, and on the question of angels, the children matched adult belief at 27 percent.

As for people in the U.S., a substantial portion of the American public also believes in ghosts—although belief is not nearly as high as it is across the Atlantic. According to the results of a 2005 Gallup poll, 32 percent of Americans said they agreed that under certain circumstances spirits could come back from the dead. Ghost belief among Americans has grown, however: the percentage answering yes was nearly three times higher than it was when Gallup asked the same question 30 years earlier.

Also, Americans are much more likely than Brits to say they believe in God, with 92 percent answering that question in the affirmative in a 2011 Gallup poll.

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