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  • Pauline Hoffmann

Ghosts and Spirits

Do you believe? According to data, you may.....

October is SPOOKtober here at Data Doyenne. It's one of my favorite months because my favorite holiday pulls up the rear (Halloween - more on that in a few weeks).

This week's podcast is not as data heavy as some but it is certainly entertaining so please listen and enjoy. It is also one of the last podcasts with my producer, Mr. Bryce Murphy. He is moving on to work on his own projects (damn that podcast I did about finding his future - just kidding).

Do you believe in ghosts? If the media is any indication, ghosts are everywhere. So many television shows and movies deal with ghosts and other unexplained phenomenon. A Pew Research study shows the number of people who believe in ghosts as well as a demographic breakdown. A Gallup Poll notes that three in four Americans believes in at least one paranormal phenomenon. Who celebrates Halloween? Many according to an Ipsos poll.

So we know who and how many believe in ghosts and other paranormal phenomenon but what is a ghost? There is a clever and fun website titled Ghosts and Gravestones that details the different types of ghosts, among other things. In addition to offering makeup and fashion advice, Allure Magazine has information on how to tell if your home is haunted or not.

[Tune in to the podcast to hear stories of alleged hauntings from both Data Doyenne and Bryce Murphy.]

We did have an interesting conversation about some of the things that bother me as a science-based thinker. I am bothered that all the ghost hunting shows seem to choose midnight or at least after dark to start ghost hunting. The Skeptical Inquirer has an interesting piece that helps to explain why that is (it harkens back to our Spiritualist past and the need for the dark to cover our treachery). I do like that many "hunters" try to find a scientific explanation for "ghostly" behavior. Scientific American, specifically, details what may really be at play when you think something is haunted. Of course, that doesn't satisfy everyone because many, as we've seen, believe in ghosts. I would also say that I do as well - heck, science can't explain everything - yet. To be fair, I hope science never does explain paranormal phenomenon because then it will have lost its mystique. I would be sad.

There are many places that claim to be haunted. Travel and Leisure Magazine compiled a list of the most haunted places in the world. Add them to your travel bucket list. I have.

This week's Arbitrary Random Stat (ARS) deals with spirits of a different kind. What are the most popular spirit brands in the world in terms of sales? The Spirit Business complied a list.


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