On one night every year, creatures of all kinds emerge from the shadows, lurking outside of homes for one thing – candy. While we all know the creatures showing up at our doors are simply children trick-or-treating, there are some who believe their Halloween costumes are not modeled after mere fiction, but instead creatures that actually live among us.
How many people find truth in the tales, and which creatures do they believe in most? We surveyed over 1,000 Americans to find out. Keep reading – our findings may spook you.
Creatures Among Us
Our fears of the unknown and unidentified have haunted us for centuries, as far back as Ancient Rome, when one of the first such ghost encounters was recorded.
Though some of these creepy creatures were conjured up to scare children, such as the boogeyman, there is some undeniably terrifying evidence of creatures such as Bigfoot. The giant hairy creature, also known as Sasquatch, is said to be roaming the woods of the Pacific Northwest where he has been spotted by Bigfoot hunters, celebrities, and residents alike.
Even the boogeyman, at one point in the 1800s, became associated with serial killer Albert Fish, who kidnapped and ate children. While this was simply an association and not a real sighting, monsters and other creatures have been making appearances in the real world for centuries. But which creatures instill the most belief?
Where the Wild Things Are
Aliens were, by far, the most accepted creatures, according to our study. The Mountain region of the U.S., which includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, had the highest percentage of extraterrestrial believers, with almost 67 percent of the population turning to the skies for proof of life. We may see an increase in believers, too, as other studies have found the belief in aliens to be on the rise in the U.S.
Where there are believers, there are also skeptics. In the East South Central region, our study found that 30 percent of these Southerners doubted extraterrestrial existence, almost 10 percentage points over the national level of skepticism.
Ghosts in the form of spirits were also highly believable for over 50 percent of Americans. In Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, well over half of the subregion believed in these ghosts. The more violent form of ghosts, poltergeists, was believed to be real by almost 45 percent of New Englanders.
To Believe, or Not to Believe
Bigfoot is widely believed to prefer the woods, but, apparently, ghosts don't favor a certain part of the U.S. However, the living who choose to believe in the paranormal certainly do.
Respondents residing in the South Atlantic region of the U.S. – including Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Virginia all the way up to West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware – were the biggest proponents that mythical creatures existed. Their neighboring states in the East South Central region – Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky – were the most skeptical, however, with only 5 percent believing.
If famous celebrities aren't enough to convince you of the existence of spirits, aliens, and that ghostly mist on the back of your neck, perhaps a Trump voter can do the trick.
Believers in spirits came in the form of President Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Gary Johnson voters alike. Around 58 percent of Trump voters believed in hauntings from spirits the most but were most skeptical of zombies. Of Hillary's supporters, 66 percent said they believed in aliens, while Gary Johnson had the most extraterrestrial believers of the three.
Faith in Fantasy
How does religion handle the possibility of unexplained beings and unidentified objects? We analyzed religious affiliations with paranormal beliefs and found Buddhists were the most receptive to the existence of aliens, ghostly mist, and zombies, with 31 percent of our Buddhist participants stating a belief in the undead. This may not be so surprising when you consider mentions of zombies in Buddhism can be found in ancient Tibetan lore.
Atheists and agnostics were the second biggest believers of aliens, while just under 60 percent of Christians believed in extraterrestrials. In fact, Christians were the biggest believers of demons out of all religions surveyed – almost 70 percent of believers.
I See Dead People
Beyond the belief in the paranormal, our respondents also reported sightings of ghosts, aliens, and demons as well. Both men and women reported seeing spirits of a deceased relative or person more than any other creature, but women were more likely to see dead people by 5 percent. While women also reported seeing ghostly spirits more than men, Bigfoot wasn't spotted by any of our female respondents. Men haven't had much luck catching a glimpse of the giant in the trees either, though – only 1 percent of male respondents report a Bigfoot sighting.
Confirming Our Fears
Even those who were skeptical of the existence of certain paranormal creatures reported sightings of ghosts, poltergeists, and demons. So where are evil spirits revealing themselves to believers and skeptics alike? We grouped all types of ghosts, aliens (and their possible flying vessels), and evil spirits (including demons and the boogeyman) and mapped their sightings.
If you want to increase your chances of seeing ghosts, whether that is a ghostly mist or more active poltergeist, head on down to the West South Central region of the U.S., where 36 percent of locals have reported sightings. If you want to confirm your beliefs in extraterrestrial existence, the East South Central and West North Central regions have actually seen aliens or UFOs, according to 7 percent or more of the population. If you're brave enough, the Pacific and South Atlantic regions may be the place to catch an evil spirit, though we wouldn't recommend it.
Werewolves, vampires, and spirits – oh my! While coming across any of these three creatures, or their colleagues, would be a terrifying experience, most Americans think spirits are the only ones to worry about. Whether you're a believer or a skeptic, creatures are coming. Halloween is around the corner, and picking a costume to get the skeptics believing is what it's all about. Visit us at HalloweenExpress.com to browse thousands of costumes and find the right one for you.
We surveyed over 1,000 Americans on how much they believed certain paranormal spirits or creatures existed. We asked them questions about whether they've seen paranormal activity and their level of belief in several types of paranormal spirits or unidentified and supposedly fabled creatures. We also asked participants basic demographic questions.
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