Millions feel they are being ‘guided through life’ by a deceased loved one

More than 7.5 million UK adults feel they are being “guided through life” by a deceased loved one.

A poll of 2,000 adults revealed 42% think people who have passed away are still able to contact us from the other side.

And nearly two-thirds (63%) of these reckon they have received signals or signs from someone no longer with us.

The top five “signs” Brits think can indicate a spirit included sensing a presence in the room (27%), household pets behaving strangely (23%), and smelling a particular scent and not knowing the source (22%).

Other indicators are feeling someone touch you when no one is there (21%), and seeing spiritual symbols, such as birds or feathers (21%).

It also emerged a quarter (25%) have felt like a spiritual sign has helped them to make the right choice at some point in life.

Securing a job, marriage proposals, watching over them through illness or injury, and travelling the world are among the ways they have felt guided by a deceased loved one.

The research was commissioned by Sky to mark the launch of its new supernatural crime-thriller, “The Rising”, available on Sky Max and streaming service NOW from 22nd April.

The mini-series focuses on protagonist Neve Kelly, who returns from the afterlife determined to solve her own murder.

To mark the launch, video footage captured the moment the eerie spirit of Neve came to life as a holographic projection emerging from the waters of Derwentwater.

It was created by Kaleida – also the creators of the viral Robert Kardashian hologram for Kanye West.

Clara Rugaard, who plays The Rising’s protagonist Neve Kelly, said: “When we first started working on this show, I could never have imagined that I would be transformed into a holographic “ghost”.

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“Playing a spirit gave me a new perspective on life and death, and it’s been really interesting to see how many people across the UK also believe in the afterlife.”

The study also found 62% who believe in life after death reckon they have experienced the presence of a “spirit”.

And 39% believe in paranormal activity because of the stories they’ve heard from other people’s experiences.

Of those who believe in ghosts, almost half (46%) think they have been personally contacted by a deceased relative.

In fact, one in five of those who have experienced a spiritual presence first-hand said they felt a “bodily sensation”, such as being brushed past.

A further 17% have seen lights flicker without an explanation, and more than one in ten have even heard ghosts talking or crying out in a house.

It also emerged one in four, who believe in life after death, reckon they have a sixth sense, and the ability to see and experience messages “from the beyond”.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found 46% of all adults like the idea of parted loved ones being able to reach them after death – whether they believe it to be true or not.

And regardless of whether they believe in apparitions, over half (52%) continue to talk to loves ones as if they were still with them.

While 55% think the people we love never truly leave us when they pass away, as their presence is always there – regardless of whether we can see or feel it.

Ben Lawrence, producer at Kaleida, said: “We’ve worked on many original ideas over the years.

“This piece for Sky has been a lot of fun, but it also shows that for many people – not just characters in The Rising – their loved ones who have passed continue to have a tangible presence in their lives.”

Serena Thompson, executive producer at Sky Studios, added: “It’s fascinating to see how many people believe in ghosts and have had experiences of the supernatural.

“In The Rising, the differing experiences of Neve’s parents are integral to the show, and love and loss are explored from the unique perspective of the person who has died.”


  1. Sensing a presence in the room (27%)
  2. Household pets/dogs behaving strangely (23%)
  3. Smelling a perfume or a particular scent and not knowing what it's from (22%)
  4. Feeling someone touch you when no-one is (21%)
  5. Seeing symbols of a spirit, e.g. birds/crows, butterflies, feathers etc. (21%)
  6. Things falling by themselves, e.g. a book falling over on a shelf or a framed picture falling off the wall (20%)
  7. Feeling a “shudder” (18%)
  8. Hearing a voice when alone (17%)
  9. Getting goosebumps (17%)
  10. Feeling drawn back to places that were important to someone who has passed (16%)

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