5 Groups Who Claim to Talk to the Dead

Wait a second, ghost! We have some folks who'd like to have a word. iStock/Thinkstock

We live in an old New England house. The house is a museum, except dustier. We have many artifacts, including rocks and bullets from the Gettysburg and Antietam battlefields; a wheelchair from the early 20th century; a pocket watch bob made out of human hair; antebellum dresses (my girlfriend's, thank you very much); and a frock coat from the 1700s.

It's no wonder that if I take a picture in the house, especially in the library, an orb occasionally appears. If you believe in ghosts, you believe in orbs, which supposedly are manifestations of a spirit's energy that only a camera can see. Of course, orbs could just be cat dander, dog hair or lint particles from the dryer illuminated by the camera's flash. If all these orbs in my house are indeed high-flying ghosts, they should pay rent.

Do I believe in ghosts? Sure, why not. I'm apparently not the only person.

  • According to a 2012 poll that interviewed 1,000 adults, 45 percent of Americans believe in ghosts, while 64 percent said they believe in life after death [source: Speigel].
  • Another study suggests that 63 percent of people who have lost a spouse say they have felt the presence of their better half.
  • In addition, 47 percent say their husband or wife watches out for them.
  • Thirty-four percent say they talk to their deceased loved ones regularly [source: Wortman].

Do I see dead people? No, but some people claim to talk to them, and we're going to meet a few.