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Is Heaven Real? Do Aliens Exist? Should We Worry About Zombies, Vampires and Bigfoot?

Study finds adults are more likely than children to believe in the supernatural

  • Corbis

    Fact vs. Fiction

    En español | According to a 2012 psychology study from the University of Texas at Austin, adults are more likely than children to pick a supernatural explanation for major life events, such as death and illness. Here’s how younger and older adults line up on several age-old mysteries.

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  • Corbis


    Are we alone? Yup, insist most people 50-plus. Only 14 percent of them believe in aliens. But 27 percent of the 18-to-34 group believe extraterrestrials are out there.

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    A third of people 18 to 34 believe in ghosts; from age 50 on, the percentage drops to 18 percent.

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    Is it in the stars? According to 19 percent of people 18 to 34, astrology is the real deal. But only 10 percent of the 50-or-older crowd agrees.

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    About 57 percent of people 50-plus think angels are real, though younger people are less convinced: Just 46 percent of 35- to 49-year-olds believe.

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    Most Americans believe in heaven, but those who are 50 or older lead the pack, with 68 percent agreeing that heaven exists. Among 35- to 49-year-olds, belief dips to 56 percent.

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    About 22 percent of young adults who are 18 to 29 think there’s a huge, hairy hominid living in the Pacific Northwest. Only 12 percent of people older than 65 agree.

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    The Apocalypse

    Not ready for doomsday? You're not alone. Only 12 percent of people over 50 think the apocalypse is coming. However, 17 percent of those 35 to 49 might be prepping a bunker.

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    Millennials may be watching too much Walking Dead. Six percent of them believe in zombies, compared to 1 percent of boomers who do.

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    People over 50 don't think Dracula was a true story. About 1 percent believe, compared to 5 percent of those 35 to 49.

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    About 16 percent of adults under 35 think it's possible they had another life, while only 14 percent of boomers agree.

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