A recent Pew Research Center survey delves into Americans’ reported interactions with deceased loved ones, shedding light on the prevalence of these experiences and their association with factors like gender and religious affiliation. Conducted among 5,079 adults, the survey spanned various religious backgrounds and revealed that 53% of U.S. adults have encountered deceased family members through dreams or other means. Within the past year, 34% have sensed a deceased relative’s presence, 28% have conversed with them about their life, and 15% have received communication.
Gender emerges as a differentiating factor, with women (53%) more likely than men (35%) to report such interactions. The survey also highlights the interplay between religious affiliation and the frequency of encounters. While moderately religious individuals are more prone to report these experiences, variations among religious groups are evident. Catholics (58%) and members of the historically Black Protestant tradition (56%) are more likely to experience these interactions, while evangelical Protestants (35%) are less likely.
Despite the rich insights into the prevalence of interactions, the survey refrains from delving into respondents’ interpretations of these experiences. The survey underscores the intriguing dynamics of these connections and how they intersect with personal beliefs and religious commitment, painting a nuanced picture of the post-death relationship experiences reported by Americans.