If you’re one of the 2,541 people who took part in the survey, thank you so much. And special thank you to those who took the trouble to describe your paranormal experiences in detail. Over the coming weeks I’ll be writing a series of short reports looking more closely at different issues. For now, though, as promised, here’s a summary of the main results.

Of the 2,541 people who took part in the survey, 83 per cent had personally experienced some kind of paranormal phenomenon and 55 per cent took the opportunity to detail one such experience in writing – making a total of 1,422 experiences!

Precognition (seeing into the future) and telepathy (thought transfer) were the most commonly reported, by 41 and 44 per cent respectively. But a sizeable number of people also reported hauntings (29 per cent), seeing apparitions (28 per cent) or had personal experience of spiritual healing (31 per cent). Least common of the list of 16 different paranormal phenomena were spirit possession (3 per cent) and telekinesis (5 per cent).

Approximately one third of the people who took part said they believed in a god, one third were agnostic, and one third atheist. A sizeable majority (69 per cent) believed in the existence of a soul, however, and 31 per cent thought that reincarnation was quite or extremely likely. Indeed, 13 per cent claimed to have had personal experience of reincarnation. Some excerpts from their accounts are below.

Assuming those who took part are broadly similar to the 2,000 who normally take part in Mslexia’s quarterly surveys, they are mainly women, mainly aged 30-50, and highly educated – 84% have a first degree or higher. Creative and intelligent definitely, but not especially gullible.

Possible reincarnation experiences:

‘My two-year-old told me about Christine, her mummy before she came to live with me.’

‘Before I started school, I’d made up my own alphabet, which my parents thought was quite cute – until they saw some of it in a museum. Turns out ‘my’ alphabet was Ogham, ancient Irish. And I used to really baffle my French teacher, because I kept spelling things the wrong way. What baffled her was that I wasn’t exactly wrong; I was in fact consistently using spellings from Old French, before the language was standardised a couple of hundred years ago.’

‘When my son was three, I was holding his hand crossing a road in Chester when he suddenly became excited and pulled his hand away saying, “Mummy I built that building, I built that building”.’

‘At the age of three I informed my mother that I was once another little girl and my mother didn’t know where I was. I clearly recall lying under rubble with something pressing on my chest so that I was unable to breathe. It was daytime and all around me was brick rubble and dust.’

‘I am told that I often spoke about far away places with a great amount of detail when I was two. This was before the days of TV or the internet and my parents had never spoken of or heard about these places.’

‘As a very young child I once woke screaming and babbling in German fluently, having a holocaust nightmare. I was far too young to know much of the holocaust and certainly had never been around German speakers or studied the language.’

‘My daughter between the ages of 2 and 4 remembered being alive before and told us that she was a boy in her past life.’