25% of adult Brits have seen ghosts

Updated: Mar 04, 2011, 20:04 PM IST

London: A record one out of four adult British people have had a ghostly encounter — up from seven per cent in the 1950s.

A study shows that largest number of ghostly goings-on experienced by up to 30 per cent of the population is being reported in Yorkshire and Humberside, the East Midlands and Wales.

Professor Richard Wiseman, who is a leading psychologist and paranormal investigator, found in his new study that more than 11 million people claim to have had an experience with a ghost.

In the 1950s, the figure was just seven per cent, rising to 14 per cent in the 1990s and 19 per cent in 2003, The Sun reports.

Prof Wiseman thinks the large number of reports of apparitions; bumps in the night, and eerie sounds may be more to do with their popularity on TV than psychic activity.

Prof Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, said: “It’s a surprisingly high figure, and it’s interesting that the proportion of people who say they believe in ghosts has remained the same as it has been for many years, which is about a third.”

He further said that another factor may be the decline of traditional religious beliefs.