It’s spooky season – and over half of Americans believe in the paranormal

Oct 14, 2022
Happy Halloween!
It’s finally that time of year when pumpkins begin to appear on porches, leaves start to fall and horror movies and candy corn reign once again. While the Halloween season may only last a spell, we’ve found that the majority of Americans carry their obsession with the supernatural year-round.

According to Ethos’ research based on 1,000+ Americans’ attitudes about life, death, and other spooky topics, 56% believe in the paranormal – including spirits, ghosts, vampires, and zombies. A surprising amount (35%) believe in ghosts while only 7% believe in vampires and another 6% believe in zombies. Interestingly, women tend to believe in each of these things more than men do.

56% of Americans believe in the paranormal.
*Survey of 1,000 participants commissioned by Ethos, April 2022

A total of three in five (60%) Americans believe in Heaven and/or Hell, including 67% of women and 54% of men. Over half (53%) instead believe in living on through the memories of people we loved. Separately, over a quarter (27%) believe in reincarnation. 

A surprising number of people are interested in non-traditional ways of handling their remains after death – 54%! By generation, Boomers are least interested in non-traditional ways to handle their remains. 61% would only go with a traditional option, compared to 34% of Gen Z, 36% of Millennials, and 45% of Gen X who say they’d only go with a traditional option. 

Of the “out there” options, the most popular is being composted to give back to the earth, which 20% of Americans would consider. Additionally, 18% of women  would be interested in being compressed into a diamond, and 12% of men would be interested in burial at sea or a “Viking funeral.” 

Whatever your beliefs are, make sure you’re prepared for the unthinkable. Enjoy the Halloween season, folks!