Sidney, Riley, and Mary Helen
In our survey, Are Ghosts Real?, we wanted to see if age, gender, home region, and religious practices had an impact on ghost beliefs. We surveyed a total of 35 individuals. Out of the 35 subjects, 23 were female and 12 were male. Also, we compiled answers from 14 adult respondents and 21 young adult respondents. The majority of our subjects were from the Northeastern (13) and Southeastern (12) regions of the United States. However, we managed to interview individuals from the Midwest and West as well. We also asked our subjects how often they attended religious services. Our options varied from weekly, monthly/yearly, only on religious holidays, and never. Not only did we want to evaluate ghosts beliefs, but we wanted to observe each individual’s beliefs on the supernatural such as angels and demons. We hoped to obtain diverse results by surveying a variety of individuals.
Although we interviewed more females than males, and more young adults than adults, which resulted in slightly skewed data, we observed all of the results as a whole before evaluating the subcategories of age and gender. We asked our respondents six questions regarding ghosts and the supernatural: “Do you believe in ghosts?”, “Do you believe you have ever encountered a ghost?”, “Do you know someone who has encountered a ghost?”, “Do you believe all ghosts are inherently evil?”, “Do you believe in angels and/or demons?”, and “Do you believe in the supernatural/are you superstitious?”.
When asked if people believed in ghosts, 57% of people said they were unsure, 20% said yes, and 23% said no. Although disappointed in the number of people who were unsure, we understood their unwillingness to commit to a definite answer. Males were split 25% believing in ghosts, 25% not believing in ghosts, and 50% unsure. 17.39% of females believed in ghosts, 21.74% of females did not believe, and 60.87% of females were unsure. Our results were slightly different than the rest of the class’s in that they found that more females believed in ghosts than males. However, as we discussed in class, women tend to be insecure more often so the fact that more women were unsure than men seemed reasonable.
We found that no one over the age of thirty admitted confident belief in ghosts. Very few stated explicit disbelief, and most adults answered that they were unsure, even though some reported personal ghost encounters.
In terms of the supernatural and superstitious, 63% of people overall said yes, they are superstitious. Males and females were similar in that 66.67% of men and 61% of females were superstitious. When asked if ghosts are inherently evil, most people, 83%, answered with a resounding no. Not a single person answered that they believed ghosts were inherently evil. However, only 17% of people said that they did not believe in ghosts in response to this question. This is interesting because when asked explicitly if they believed in ghosts 20% of people overall said no. This 3% difference should not have occurred. We attribute the difference to a lack of attention when answering the
question, or answering it in hypothetical terms saying that if ghosts actually were real they would not all be evil. Also, no participant in our survey solely believed in demons. When faced with the question “do you believe in angels/ demons?”, the answers fell between yes, both angels and demons, yes, but only angels, and no