Neighborhoods will be haunted by costumed ghosts and goblins this weekend, but many Americans say they have seen the real thing. Nearly one-in-five adults (18%) say they have seen or been in the presence of ghosts. Among Christians, the proportion is essentially identical (17%), a Pew Forum survey finds. Even more among the U.S. public (29%), including an identical proportion of Christians, say they have felt in touch with someone who has already died. The number of Americans who see dead people has doubled over the past decade. Just 9% said they had interacted with a ghost in 1996, compared with 18% today. The number saying they have felt in touch with someone who has died has also grown considerably, from 18% in 1996 to 29% today. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.