Research in 2012 examined people who had reported haunting experience in contrast to previous research that paranormal belief is associated with deficits in thinking and mental illness. Known as the cognitive deficits hypothesis and psychodynamic functions hypothesis of paranormal belief, a wide body of previous research has shown weaknesses in thinking, analysis, and connections to mental illness and belief in the paranormal.
The current work demonstrated that despite previous research, those who had reported haunting experiences did not differ in thinking styles or mental illness measures compared to those who did not report a haunting experience. However, those who had experienced a haunting did have higher degrees of paranormal belief.
These researchers concluded from their own work that those who have experienced haunting phenomena, and the beliefs that result from the experience, are not adequately measured in paranormal belief measures. It was also concluded that the types of paranormal experiences that people report are important when examining paranormal beliefs in general.
Laythe, B., & Owen, K. (2012) The strange case of haunt experiences: Evidence of a neglected population. Journal of Parapsychology, 77, 79-108.