- 49% of homeowners believe their house is haunted.
- 91% of those living in a haunted house attempted to remove the ghosts; 48% believe they were successful.
- 32% of people living in a haunted house said they witnessed a disembodied face on their security camera footage.
Wandering spirits or groaning floors?
Creaking doors, hissing radiators, knocking pipes—houses can make a lot of noises that spook us in the dark. Some, however, have sounds and shadows that defy explanation. Are these bumps in the night caused by construction quirks, or are they the symptoms of a haunting? We surveyed 1,000 homeowners about their paranormal experiences to find out how many believe their home is haunted and what they’ve done about it.
Spooky sounds and drifting shadows can leave you with an eerie feeling of unwanted company in your home. How many homeowners believe they’ve seen proof that their house is haunted?
Living with paranormal experiences appeared to be fairly common, as 49% of homeowners claimed to live in a haunted house. Urban living seemed to invite the most ghosts; 57% of those who claimed their house is haunted were urban homeowners, compared to just 38% who lived in the suburbs. Spirits also may be drawn to the young: 65% who believed their house is haunted were Gen Zers, compared to only 35% who were baby boomers.
Hauntings are often experienced by people who have gone through stress or trauma—but could the same be true for the place where it happened? History seemed to play a large part in our respondents’ hauntings. For 40% of haunted homeowners, a crime, death, or tragedy occurred in their residence at some point in the past. If the deceased have unfinished business, they’re known to stick around.
The sights and sounds of a haunting
Whether due to trauma, tragedy, or even something mild, homeowners experienced a wide range of odd happenings. How did they respond?
While just 28% of homeowners saw an actual ghost, most haunting experiences involved strange noises or the unexplained movement of items. Most respondents heard disembodied voices (30%), many heard stereos and TVs turn themselves on or off (27-28%), and around one-quarter heard appliances turn on or off on their own (23%). As for unexplained movements, 30% saw objects move on their own, 28% saw lights turn themselves on or off, 26% had things break without explanation, and 23% saw objects levitate.
These unexplained happenings compelled many homeowners to try removing their ghostly guests. While nearly half of those who experienced hauntings succeeded in this (48%), the rest either failed (43%) or hadn’t tried (9%). Others just wanted a closer look: 28% bought a security camera, 21% learned more about the history of their building, and 19% learned more about the history of their property overall. A few homeowners took drastic measures and sold their home (18%) or even tore it down (18%).
Paranormal, or just plain normal activity?
Though ghosts can be elusive, many paranormal occurrences can be recorded on video. That makes a home security system a great way to get to the bottom of things and prove whether or not a haunting is real. Was it a ghost or just the cat knocking something over again?
Almost all homeowners who believed their home was haunted had security cameras (97%). That’s how they caught a wide range of spooky happenings on film, including disembodied faces (32%), ghosts (31%), spirits (29%), objects moving without explanation (29%), aliens or other weird creatures (25%), and UFOs (21%). After seeing such creepy recordings from around their home, most homeowners began checking their security systems two to five times per day (70%).
Not all of their strange experiences remained unexplained: 68% of people who thought they had a paranormal experience ultimately found out it was something else. Pets were the cause of nearly a quarter of mistaken hauntings, but most instances were caused by people. Friends, children, neighbors, delivery people, family members, random strangers, and maintenance or landscape workers were all commonly reported causes behind false paranormal activity.
While ghosts may be fun at Halloween, they’re not usually fun to live with. Almost half of the homeowners we surveyed have lived in a house they believed was haunted, and many of them eased their minds by investing in home security measures like video surveillance. Security cameras let you watch what happens in and around your home, while an alarm system can call for backup should an actual (living) threat occur. And as for those strange noises and shifting shadows, your security footage can tell you if they’re from a late-night neighbor or a ghostly guest.