Those things that go bump in the night? About one-third of people believe they could be ghosts.

And nearly one out of four, 23 percent, say they've actually seen a ghost or felt its presence, finds a pre-Halloween poll by The Associated Press and Ipsos.

One is Misty Conrad, who says she fled her rented home in Syracuse, Ind., after her daughter began talking to an unseen girl named Nicole and neighbors said children had been murdered in the house. That was after the TV and lights began flicking on at night.

"It kind of creeped you out," Conrad, 40, of Hampton, Va., recalled this week. "I needed to get us out."

About one out of five people, 19 percent, say they accept the existence of spells or witchcraft. Nearly half, 48 percent, believe in extrasensory perception, or ESP.

The most likely candidates for ghostly visits include single people, Catholics and those who never attend religious services. By 31 percent to 18 percent, more liberals than conservatives report seeing a specter.

Those who dismissed the existence of ghosts include Morris Swadener, 66, a Navy retiree from Kingston, Wash.

He says he shot one with his rifle when he was a child.

"I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a white ghost in my closet," he said. "I discovered I'd put a hole in my brand new white shirt. My mother and father were not amused."

Three in 10 have awakened sensing a strange presence in the room. For whatever it says about matrimony, singles are more likely than married people to say so.

Fourteen percent - mostly men and lower-income people - say they have seen a UFO. Among them is Danny Eskanos, 44, an attorney in Palm Harbor, Fla., who says as a Colorado teenager he watched a bright light dart across the sky, making abrupt stops and turns.

"I knew a little about airplanes and helicopters, and it was not that," he said. "It's one of those things that sticks in your mind."

Spells and witchcraft are more readily believed by urban dwellers, minorities and lower-earning people.

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