If you believe in ghosts, you're not alone: A 2005 Gallup poll found that 37 percent of Americans believe in haunted houses, and about one-third believe in ghosts. Tens of thousands of people around the world actively search for ghosts as a hobby. Researcher Sharon Hill of the Doubtful Newsblog counted about 2,000 active amateur ghost-hunting groups in America.
been a popular subject for millennia, appearing in countless stories,
from "Macbeth" to the Bible, and even spawning their own folklore genre:
ghost stories. Ghosts are perhaps the most common paranormal belief in
the world. Part of the reason is that belief in ghosts
is part of a larger web of related paranormal beliefs, including
near-death experience, life after death, and spirit communication.
The idea that the dead remain with us in spirit is an ancient one, and
one that offers many people comfort; who doesn't want to believe that
our beloved but deceased family members aren't looking out for us, or
with us in our times of need? Most people believe in ghosts because of
personal experience; they have seen or sensed some unexplained presence.
The science and logic of ghosts
Personal experience is one thing, but scientific evidence is another
matter. Part of the difficulty in investigating ghosts is that there is
not one universally agreed-upon definition of what a ghost is. Some
believe that they are spirits of the dead who for whatever reason get
"lost" on their way to The Other Side; others claim that ghosts are
instead telepathic entities projected into the world from our minds.
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