Accounts of animal ghosts have existed for a very long time. Sometimes during travel, ghosts of animals have been reported by passers by, such as the account of a ghostly canine that snarls at travelers on certain roads in the State of Maryland. However, most animal ghosts seem to be witnessed after recently passing, still visiting their beloved human companions. There are ghost stories about various types of pet animals, especially cats, dogs, and horses being seen after their death. Animal ghosts seem to visit where they formerly lived, and may stay for a minimal period of time or longer. Many owners have reported not only seeing their ghost animal, but also smelling, hearing and even feeling them through touch. These ghost animals seem to continue their routine developed while pets, such as sleeping on a bed, heading to a food dish, or interacting with other animals still alive and remaining in the household.
Often after the death of an animal’s physical body, they may choose to remain around their human, as well as other animal friends for a time; but often move on after saying goodbye in their own unique way. Upon a pet’s passing, one should be alert to signs of the animal being with them in spirit, such as familiar sounds associated with the pet, a visible presence, or even an imprint or indentation upon a bed where the animal formerly slept. Pay particular attention to the times and places where you daily interacted with the animal, such as during feeding times. Perhaps your pet is still undergoing his or her routine with you. This is also a good time to take photographs, as anomalies such as whisps of spirit, orbs, shadows, and even apparitions of the animal might be captured in photo. Photographs should also be taken around other animals and house members, as often they will be visited by the recently deceased pet.
Due to traditional religious teachings that wrongly instruct that only humans have souls, many are unaware that animals have spirits (souls) just like human beings and can interact and even be seen as animal ghosts. Pet ghosts seem to be the most common animal ghosts seen, and this could be because of the strong bonds and emotional ties that were created. However, detection of animal ghosts may be more noticable to one who is grieving and looking for signs of a ghostly visit from their furry friend. Perhaps our attachment to the animal holds it here for a short time due to its concern for our emotional trauma; but perhaps this also creates the perfect opportunity, for one who knows what to specifically listen and look for, to detect an animal ghost.
Some good questions have been posed by others, such as could we somehow possibly create the animal ghost as a phantom through our emotional ties to it while alive, or our desires to see it once again after it has passed? Another gentleman wonders why we only typically hear of animal ghost accounts of domesticated animals and pets, but rarely ever of wild animals or even insects? Good questions to ponder. I do know that psychics claim to be able to see the ghosts of animals on the other side of the veil, and can even make contact with them. Native Americans and other tribal cultures teach of shape-shifting animal spirits that protect humans, known as totems. These typically are wild animals and not domesticated species.
Animal ghosts have been witnessed on former fields of battle. In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a horse carrying its rider appeared in misty form before some shocked observers. They thought the horse and rider were real, but the human as well as animal ghost disappeared right before their eyes.
The Pony Express hasn’t carried mail across the United States since the mid-1800’s, but the Hollenberg Station in Kansas is known for ghostly horse hooves still galloping by. This is not the only report of animal ghosts being heard. A cliff in Texas was a sight where cattle stampeded over it unto their death in the latter 1880’s. Today, this same sight in Texas is known as Stampede Mesa, where the hooves of unseen animals can still be heard stampeding.
Dogs have been known to keep pretty good watch over people, and some have even been heard as ghosts, still growling threats to those who come too near. One such account is of a Bull Terrier named Sallie who was a Union Army mascot at Gettysburg. Many believe they still hear her growl, as she keeps watch over fallen soldiers. In another story about animal ghosts, the famous Tower of London formerly housed exotic, wild animals. A guard in 1815 reported seeing a bear walk through a doorway. Spooked, the man attempted to use his bayonet on the creature, but the blade passed right through the bear ghost!
Even the United States Capitol building today is said to be haunted by the ghost of a cat. It has been described as having glowing eyes, and emerges out of the shadows to unsuspecting people. Legend has it that the ghost cat appears before major national disasters. The cat’s name is D.C., and was seen before the stock market crash of 1929, and the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963.
Though animal ghosts have been witnessed, what is interesting is how they often continue some form of routine. For example, ghosts of horses have been seen throwing their riders; some animal ghosts have been seen re-living tragedies most likely tied to their deaths; shadowy images of animals crossing roads have been seen at night; and ghost cats have been heard purring and sleeping on beds, leaving their impression on the bed covers.