Ghoulish Gals - New study indicates that women are more likely to believe in the paranormal

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A recent study by reveals that women are much more open to paranormal phenomena, especially supernatural beings, superstitions, and urban legends.

There are major gender differences when it comes to belief in the paranormal.

Women are not afraid to pull open the paranormal veil.

Women tend to be more introspective, better at picking up on vibes, and are more in tune with both their feelings and their proverbial six sense, hence the term ‘woman’s intuition’.

The paranormal has been both revered and feared, respected and mocked. However, its impact on history and humanity is undeniable - the witch trials are a testament to this. The number of people tried and executed for witchcraft in 14th to 18th century Europe ranges in the tens of thousands, although some historians feel this amount is vastly underestimated. However, even though fear of the paranormal has diminished, its allure has not, and this fascination with all things supernatural is particularly pronounced in women, according to a study conducted by

Analyzing data from 2,172 people who took the Paranormal Beliefs Test, researchers at PsychTests looked at gender differences in the perception of the paranormal. With the exception of a few beliefs, women were shown to be much more open-minded about the occult, mysticism, and magic. Here’s where men and women differed (the percentages shown indicate strong believers in the particular phenomenon):


  • 16% of women believe that the number 13 is bad luck, compared to 11% of men.
  • 14% of women vs. 8% of men believe that breaking a mirror is bad luck.
  • 17% of women vs. 8% of men throw salt over their shoulder if the knock over the salt shaker.
  • 16% of women vs. 7% of men refuse to open an umbrella indoors.
  • 13% of women vs. 7% of men would hate to cross paths with a black cat.
  • 35% of women vs. 24% of men are fearful of curses or of “jinxing” themselves.
  • 29% of women vs. 21% of men believe that thinking negative thoughts can cause bad things to happen.


  • 74% of women vs. 54% of men believe in ghosts.
  • 54% of women believe that spirits cannot rest if they have unfinished business (vs. 36% of men).
  • 53% of women vs. 34% of men think that witches are real.


  • 50% of women vs. 45% of men feel that the Bermuda Triangle poses a real danger.
  • Slightly more women (33%) than men (32%) think that the lost city of Atlantis is real.
  • 21% of women vs. 18% of men think the Loch Ness Monster exists.
  • However, a higher percentage of men believe in Big Foot (28% vs. 24% of women).


  • 71% of women in the sample and 60% of men believe in God or other divine entity; 58% of women believe in the Devil, vs. 43% of men.
  • 57% of women believe in the existence of heaven; 56% believe that hell is real (vs. 48% and 40% of men, respectively).
  • 64% of women believe in the existence of angels vs. 49% of men.
  • 68% of women believe that miracles can happen; 41% consider it possible to heal physical ailments through faith alone (vs. 53% and 36% of men, respectively).
  • 66% of women believe that there is life after death; 47% believe in reincarnation, and that all people have past lives (vs. 59% and 30% of men, respectively).
  • 42% of women vs. 33% of men feel that an apocalypse could still be in the cards.

“It’s not surprising to see that woman are much more open to the paranormal than men. Women tend to be more introspective, better at picking up on vibes, and are more in tune with both their feelings and their proverbial six sense, hence the term ‘woman’s intuition,’” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “Historically, women have always been inextricably connected with the paranormal, for better - as healers, guides - and for worse - as frequent targets of witch hunts.”

“Men tend to lean more toward phenomena that can be measured or observed scientifically,” continues Dr. Jerabek. “Even if images of Yetis or UFOs are suggestively blurry, many still believe that it’s only a matter of time before proof is found. In contrast, women are more willing to stretch their mind beyond the seemingly impossible, to want to peek behind the veil of mystery, and to challenge the standard understanding of reality.”

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About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see

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Ilona Jerabek
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