Halloween – the time for adults to revert back to their childhood and compete with each other to have the best fancy dress and throw the spookiest party.
Also the time to tell haunting stories and scare each other senseless. Whether you describe a gruesome murder in the woods, a group of misguided teens who discover a Ouija board, or a ghostly child who haunts you in the middle of the night – Halloween isn’t the same without it.
But what happens when the stories become all too real and you actually experience something paranormal? Because the majority of people believe they have seen a ghost in their lifetime, according to new research.
The study found that out of 2,000 people, three in five claimed to have seen a ghost before, with 40 per cent saying they think their pet has seen one too.
Now, I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I’m a complete wimp when it comes to the supernatural. I can’t even watch horror films without holding a cushion in front of my face the entire time.
So I’m not sure what I would do if I was confronted with an actual ghost. And it turns out neither would the majority of us, as the survey found that people’s top response was to get the hell out of there and run away.
Interestingly, men are twice as likely than women to scream and run away when confronted with a ghost – with other initial responses including crying, hiding and fainting.
However, although men were more likely to shout in terror, the volume of their shrieks tended to be a lot quieter than their female counterparts. When asked to rate the decibel level of their screams on a sound scale, men rated theirs to be the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner whereas women admitted theirs sounded like a noisy restaurant.
The research was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Groupon, and also found that one in three people have either lived or stayed in a house they felt was haunted.
I’m not sure why you would purposely do that to yourself, but apparently visiting haunted attractions is one of the top things for people to do at Halloween (can’t relate). And the survey found that, when visiting one of these attractions, people become frightened in less than five seconds overall.
Brian Fields, head of things to do at Groupon, said:
We know from experience that year after year people love to be scared and seek out as many frightful opportunities as possible this time of year.
If something scary isn’t for you or your children, carving a pumpkin, visiting an apple orchard or going on a hayride can also be great ways to celebrate Halloween with the entire family.
Despite so many of us believing we have seen a paranormal being in their lifetime, ghosts did not rank in the top ten fears for people.
Instead, snakes ranked at the top for people’s biggest fears, closely followed by spiders, sharks, drowning and heights. Which, let’s be honest, are probably much more reasonable things to be fearful of than bumping into one of our supernatural friends.
But of the people who do believe they have seen a ghost, some of the creepy encounters included: being pulled out of bed by someone’s ‘presence’; seeing a child with black eyes run across the floor; and seeing a woman jump off a balcony.
Oh. My. God. I’m getting the chills just reading it – I would be an absolute wreck if I actually witnessed something like that. So it’s fair to say that I won’t be seeking out any of these frights this Halloween. In fact, I’ll be actively avoiding them.
If scary experiences are your thing though, Groupon has you covered this autumn with a number of amazing things to do for Halloween – including haunted houses, escape rooms and pumpkin patches.
Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have a spooktacular night!
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).