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Online Trends

Published May 7th 2020

Interest in ‘The Occult’ Booms During Lockdown

Was social’s turn to astrology and the occult written in the stars? We aren’t astrologists so we can’t say for sure, but our data suggest there’s been a massive increase in interest.

It can’t just be us who’ve seen a skyrocket in occult, astrology, and black magic products on the market.

From Instagram to Reddit, it seems like interest in products like tarot cards and astrology coffee tables are at an all time high. It had us thinking, has the pandemic affected this too?

We used our Consumer Research platform to investigate English-language mentions in March and April, to understand how the pandemic affected the non-traditional hobby and it’s rise to fame.

Very superstitious

Since March, more and more people have been talking about astrology and the occult online. The former has seen an average 2% increase week-on-week, while it’s been 4% for the latter. In the three weeks prior, both topics had seen their volume’s fall.

We can see the weekly rhythm of astrology and occult conversations in the above chart. Mentions swell and then relent over celebrations, full moons, and high tides. For example, 178k mentions of the supermoon drove mentions up for the week of March 30.

Before February, astrology was discussed quite negatively. When examining sentiment-categorized mentions, we saw that close to 70% of mentions were categorized as negative. But in February we saw that astrology conversations were turning positive, with weekly conversations accruing more positive mentions than negative.

Increases in conversation in both March and April indicate that people have used some of their free time in lockdown to learn about the mystic arts. Notably, 140k people talked about learning how to read horoscopes, while learning about love spells was top of the list for 55k.

Ghoulish data

Looking at supernatural conversation, we also noticed that mentions of ghosts increased by 83% in March and April compared to January and February, totalling 108.8k mentions all together.

Consumer Research found belief around ghosts seems to be getting stronger. There were 32k people stating they believed in ghosts on social media in March and April, up 39% compared to January and February.

Paranormal mentions are on the rise during lockdown

Data shows English-language mentions of ghosts, or paranormal activity on social media. Excluding news, shares and RTs.

Mentions peaked on the week of April 6, when there were 15.4k mentions of ghosts. This was around two weeks into lockdowns in the English-speaking world, so perhaps we’re all just spending a little too much time cooped up.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen unique subjects rise to fame during lockdown. We imagine we’ll see even more as time ticks away.

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