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40% of the world's population believes in witches, study claims

By T.K. Randall
November 24, 2022 · Comment icon 21 comments

A table full of witchcraft paraphernalia. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Malcolm Lidbury
Belief in witches and witchcraft is so widespread that in some countries as many as 9 in 10 people believe in them.
Witches have been a staple of superstitious belief for millennia, but while the idea that there are those who can inflict curses or injuries on others using supernatural powers might seem like something relegated to the distant past, it is still remarkably prevalent - even in modern first-world countries.

This fact has been brought into sharp focus by the results of an extensive Pew Research Center study which polled 140,000 people from 95 countries (excluding China and India) over a nine-year period.

"Do you believe in the evil eye, or that certain people can cast curses or spells that cause bad things to happen to someone?" the survey question asked.

The overall result suggested that as many as 4 in 10 people worldwide do believe in witchcraft, with women, young people and those who live in cities more likely to answer "yes".
More affluent individuals, including those with higher paid jobs and higher levels of education, were more likely to vote "no", while those in poverty were more likely to vote "yes".

Those with strong religious beliefs also shared a higher likelihood of believing in witchcraft.

There were also significant differences between countries, with, for example, 91% of those in Sweden voting "no" and a whopping 90% of those in Tunisia voting "yes".

"Overall, religious and witchcraft beliefs, both centered on the key role of supernatural powers in life, go hand in hand," the researchers wrote.

Source: Live Science | Comments (21)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by papageorge1 10 months ago
Well, not today. Happy Thanksgiving†
Comment icon #13 Posted by papageorge1 10 months ago
OK, now it's the day after Thanksgiving and I'm more argumentative. Here's a short 5 minute video from Dean Radin that presents my opinions and response better than I could do it. †
Comment icon #14 Posted by XenoFish 10 months ago
My XenoMeter maxed out at the level utter b.s. I just wasted time on.†
Comment icon #15 Posted by papageorge1 10 months ago
Hah!! Trade that piece of crap Xenometer in for a decent Papameter!!!
Comment icon #16 Posted by Bed of chaos 10 months ago
I've seen different definitions of the word witch and it still confuses me. "The word witch is defined so differently by different people that a common definition seems impossible. Some regard it as a badge of pride, a word to be reclaimed but others dislike the word. "It has a rather bad press", one Witch told me. Another said "I did not plan to call myself Witch. It found me. Or just happened to be a name-perhaps a bad name-that was attached to the things I was seeking" (Drawing Down The Moon, M. Adler). Supposedly many wiccans don't believe in paranormal stuff or the afterlife. Idk, the one... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Hammerclaw 10 months ago
"Double, double toil and trouble Fire burn and cauldron bubble." A common sight in Elizabethan England, old women brewing thick, dark beer in large caldrons, imagery co-opted by Shakespeare to portray the witches of Macbeth.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Alchopwn 10 months ago
Given that successful treatments by Witchdoctors are generally explained by the placebo effect, I think I'm gonna disagree with you on this one Xeno.
Comment icon #19 Posted by XenoFish 10 months ago
How silly of me. Guess I need to get an appointment with the nearest reiki practitioner for my shoulder.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Davros of Skaro 10 months ago
That's some meter always giving a high probability for the less, and or unprobable.
Comment icon #21 Posted by newbloodmoon 10 months ago
The 6 out of 10 havenít met my exes mom. Glad she never became an inlaw.

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