A majority of Americans believe in the devil, especially blacks and women, according to a new national poll about exorcism.

The YouGov survey found that 57 percent believe the devil lurks; 72 percent for African Americans and 61 percent for women. Republicans said the devil exists more than Democrats, 65 percent to 55 percent.

The poll coincides with terrible headlines again filled with disasters, killings and reports that the new Pope Francis is obsessed with the devil and exorcisms.

At least 42 percent believe people are occasionally possessed by the devil and a full majority, 51 percent, said people can be possessed by the devil “or some other evil spirit.”

Naturally that leads people to consider exorcism. YouGov found in its survey of 1,000 that 46 percent believe in the power of exorcism, while just 19 percent don’t.

But it is mostly a Christian fear. While eight in 10 Christians believe in the devil, just 25 percent of Muslims and 17 percent of Jews do.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.