Majority of Americans Believe in Ghosts (57%) and UFOs (52%)

Americans Divided on Scariest Political Candidate Costume - 36% Barack Obama, 28% John McCain

Washington, DC - A new Ipsos/McClatchy poll of Americans indicates significant belief in things that go bump in the night, but are divided on the scariest political candidate costume for Halloween.

The Truth Is Out There?...

Overall, a majority Americans indicate they believe in the stuff of science fiction movies and scary stories. Nearly six in ten (57%) believe in spirits and ghosts, and a majority (52%) believe in the existence of unidentified flying objects (UFOs).

A significant percentage of Americans (35%) report they have personally experienced the presence of a ghost or spirit. One quarter of Americans (26%) believe in spells or witchcraft. A smaller percentage (13%) believes there is currently a ghost or spirit living in their home or residence.

Scariest Political Costume?

When it comes to dressing up for Halloween, Americans are divided on which of the current Presidential/Vice-Presidential candidates would make the scariest costume. Roughly one third (36%) report Barack Obama would be scariest, with one in three (28%) picking John McCain. The vice-presidential candidates come in slightly lower, with Sarah Palin selected as the scariest costume by 21%, followed by Joe Biden at 15%.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos online poll conducted October 27-29, 2008. For this survey, a national sample of 1,111 adults from Ipsos' U.S. online panel was interviewed online. Weighting then was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls because they are based on samples drawn from opt-in online panels, not on random samples that mirror the population within a statistical probability ratio. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact: Clifford Young, PhD Senior Vice President Ipsos Public Affairs (312) 375-3328 [email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe.

They help clients create long-term relationships with their customers, stakeholders or other constituencies. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2007, Ipsos generated global revenues of e927.2 million ($1.27 billion U.S.).

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