Pluriel's Halloween survey finds that 40% of Canadians believe in ghosts, 11% of Canadians have seen a ghost, and 25% have sensed that a ghost was nearby.

Pluriel’s Halloween round of the What Canadians Think omnibus survey (Oct. 24 – 26, 2023; sample size = 848) asked Canadians about their belief in ghosts, whether they’ve actually seen a ghost and some Halloween-themed questions about the federal party leaders.

Download the full report here.

Top Takeaways

  • 40% of Canadians believe in ghosts, with 15% saying they think ghosts definitely exist, and 25% saying ghosts probably exist.
    • It’s spooky out in the country: 48% of Canadians living in rural communities believe in ghosts, compared to only 38% in urban communities.
  • 11% of Canadians say they have seen a ghost, while 25% say that while they haven’t seen a ghost, they’ve sensed that a ghost was nearby.
    • Among Canadians who believe in ghosts, 70% have either seen a ghost or sensed that a ghost was nearby.
  • Trick-or-treat: Justin Trudeau is the federal party leader that Canadians say is most likely to hand out a full-size chocolate bar to trick-or-treaters. And when it comes to the bane of every trick-or-treaters Halloween stash—the dreaded box of raisins—Canadians name Pierre Poilievre and Trudeau as the leaders most likely to be the bearers of bad candy.

Do Canadians believe in ghosts?

40% of Canadians say they definitely (15%) or probably (25%) believe in ghosts.

Conversely, 55% say they do not believe in ghosts. And their opinion is stronger than the ghost-believers: 33% say ghosts definitely do not believe (compared to 15% who definitely do believe).

4% of Canadians believe the existence of ghosts is a mystery we cannot know.

The Prairies lead Canada in belief in ghosts (49%) compared to the regions with the lowest belief: Quebec (35%) and Atlantic Canada (34%). Residents of rural communities report belief in ghosts (48%) more often than urban residents (38%).

Among all the parties, past Liberal voters are the least likely to believe in ghosts (34% belief). Past NDP voters express the highest level of belief in ghosts, at 46%. 39% of past Conservative voters say they believe in ghosts.

Ok, but have you actually seen a ghost?

Believing in ghosts in one thing, but have Canadians actually seen a ghost?

11% of Canadians say they have seen a ghost.

For 25% of Canadians, while they haven’t ever seen a ghost, they have sensed that a ghost was nearby.

Among those who believe in ghosts, 24% have seen a ghost, and 46% have sensed that a ghost was nearby. 30% are still waiting for their first encounter.

Are ghosts good spirits or evil spirits?

Among those Canadians who believe in ghosts, two-thirds (66%) believe that some ghosts are good and some are evil.

The smallest group of ghost-believers are those who believe most ghosts are evil (8%), while 13% believe most are good, and 13% believe most ghosts are neither good nor evil.

Spooky season in federal politics

Trick-or-treat highs and trick-or-treat lows. Canadians say Justin Trudeau is the leader most likely (36%) to give out full-size chocolate bars to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, though Jagmeet Singh is a close second (32%)

A box of raisins, on the other hand? 38% say Pierre Poilievre is most likely to hand out the bane of every child’s Halloween haul, and 35% say Justin Trudeau—a statistical tie.

Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative leader, gets the highest spookiness ranking with 43% labelling him the “spookiest.”

Spookiness rankings of the federal leaders fall broadly along party lines—though even some past Liberal, Conservative, and NDP voters label their own leader as the “spookiest.”

Which leader would dress in the most creative Halloween costume?

Ok, maybe this one was a bit unfair. A majority of Canadians (56%) say Justin Trudeau would be the leader who would dress up in the most creative Halloween costume (unclear how respondents interpreted “creative,” though…).

Only among NDP voters does Trudeau get some competition: 45% chose Trudeau while 42% cheered for their own leader, Jagmeet Singh.

Methodological Note: This survey was conducted online from October 24 to 26, 2023, with a sample size of 848 adult (18+) Canadians. Respondents were recruited from a blend of online panel providers to maximize representativeness. Sample imbalances were minimized through the use of quota sampling on age, gender, and region, and post-stratification survey weights were applied to correct for any remaining observable sample imbalance. The margin-of-error for an equivalently sized probability sample is +/- 3.4% (19 times out of 20). Margins-of-error for subgroups are larger commensurate with their share of the population. Reported percentages may not always add to 100 due to rounding. This poll was paid for by Pluriel.