|The next question, though, explored what proportion of these
hallucinations could be classed as "crisis apparitions," i.e.,
as more or less coinciding, within 12 hours, with the death of the
person who was "seen.” It turned out that 80 - nearly 0.5% of the
total sample - fit this criterion. Comparing these two figures, and
taking into account the known death rate at that time in England, they
found that death-related apparitions occurred nearly 500 times more
frequently than would be expected by chance. Their survey suggested that
we cannot dismiss death-related apparitions as just "coincidences."
let's turn to some more recent surveys. In the mid-70s. Dr. John Palmer
mailed out a 46 item questionnaire to 300 university students and 700
adult residents of Charlottesville, Virginia, and asked respondents
about the frequency and characteristics of their psychic experiences.
Responses were obtained from about half the resident population, and 90%
of the students. In general, it was clear that there were two distinct
groups: people either tended to report no psi experiences (or very few
of them) or else many of them. Overall, more than half the respondents
claimed to have had at least one ESP experience, either in the waking
state or through dreams. Psi experiences were more frequently reported
from people who recorded and analyzed their own dreams. Insofar as
Charlottesville is fairly representative of the American population (as
asserted by marketing survey groups), it seems safe to say that
spontaneous psi experiences would be claimed by about half the adult
In Europe, a similar survey was undertaken about the same time by Dr.
Erlendur Haraldsson and his associates. This was a national survey based
on a questionnaire quite similar to Palmer's, and involving over 1100
randomly selected people in Iceland. Around 80% of the people responded
to the questionnaire, and psychic experiences were reported by 64% of
the respondents suggesting that 2 out of 3 people in Iceland believe to
have had at least one such experience. As in Palmer's study, higher
percentages were reported by people who studied their own dream life.
Additionally, it was found that experiences were reported somewhat more
frequently by women than men (70% vs. 50%).