Scary poll shows that nearly six in ten voters believe in demonic possession

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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The “Exorcist” may have moved public opinion more than previously thought. Nearly six in ten registered voters believe it’s possible for people to become possessed by demons, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling.

Fifty-seven percent of voters believe possession is possible. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe in demonic possession by a 68 percent to 49 percent margin. Furthermore, women are more likely than men to believe possession is possible by a 59 percent to 56 percent margin.

More interestingly, even though most registered voters believe possession is possible, only a minority — 37 percent — believe in ghosts, while 57 percent of voters don’t believe in ghosts.

Democrats are more likely to believe in ghosts than Republicans by a 39 percent to 35 percent margin. And women are more likely than men are to believe in ghosts by a 39 percent to 35 percent margin.

Democrats are also more likely than Republicans to say that they have seen a ghost by a 31 percent to 22 percent margin. However, only 26 percent of voters at large say they have seen a ghost.

Haunted houses seem to also be a major concern for voters this time of year as 52 percent of voters say its possible for houses to be haunted, and only 47 percent of voters would be brave enough to stay the night in a haunted house.

Despite, widespread fear of ghosts and demons, they don’t actually rank as the scariest monster. That dubious honor goes to zombies with 29 percent of voters saying they are the scariest, and coming in a distant second were vampires with 15 percent saying they are the scariest monsters. However, the category “something else” did actually beat out vampires suggesting voters have something much spookier in mind than lame Twilight vampires.

The reason so many fear zombies may be because voters are very pessimistic about how long they could survive during a zombie apocalypse, with 27 percent saying they’d survive less than a week and only 32 percent saying they’d survive more than a year.

Vampires are also the monster that many voters — 27 percent — would choose to become if they had a choice. Witches — which is technically still a person, not a monster — earns 22 percent and werewolf got 12 percent. Once again, the category of “something else” got the second most votes — 25 percent.

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