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Paranormal poll: Americans believe in, aren't scared of, ghosts

Sunday - 10/27/2013, 3:43am  ET

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Are you afraid of ghosts - or do you just want to meet a famous one? (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON - Sorry, Ghostbusters. A new paranormal poll finds that most Americans aren't afraid ghosts - even though they believe in them.

However, they do think ghosts want to "resolve unfinished business."

The new Nielsen Entertainment poll found that 57 percent of American adults specifically believe that ghosts exist and 47 percent believe in aliens. Men believe in aliens more often than women, and women believe in ghosts more often than men.

More than half of Americans said they'd seen a ghost or apparition, felt something they couldn't explain or heard a strange noise.

But despite the strong believe in the supernatural in the United States, not many of the respondents were afraid. Just 24 percent said they were somewhat scared and 38 percent said they felt neutral.

Here are some more interesting statistics from the 1,000 respondents:

Who would you want to be haunted by?

  • Abraham Lincoln - 27percent
  • Marilyn Monroe at 23 percent
  • African Americans' top pick was Martin Luther King Jr, 44 percent, followed by Michael Jackson, 25 percent.

Other interesting information

  • Only 21 percent of Americans say they don't believe in the supernatural at all.
  • Among those who affiliate with a major political party, two-thirds each of Republicans, Democrats and Independents say that they strongly or somewhat believe in ghosts.
  • Respondents age 55 or older say they don't believe at all.

WTOP's Kathy Stewart contributed to this report. Follow Kathy and @WTOP on Twitter.

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