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Animal Ghosts or Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter by Elliott O'Donnell


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Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter


Letter 10


The following notes of psychological experiences with animals may be of interest:--

I had a collie who lived to a good old age. She was deaf and infirm, and one hind-leg was paralysed, so that it dragged as she walked. I was taken ill, not seriously, nor so as in any way to affect my brain, but as my poor old dog would insist on coming and lying in my room the doctor insisted on her being destroyed. I felt that her life was no pleasure to her, and she was killed with chloroform. Three days afterwards in the afternoon I heard her come upstairs with her dragging hind-leg. I heard her steps come along the long passage which had my room at the end, and lost them about half-way up. On the third day I called her and spoke to her, putting out my hand as if she would come and put her head under it, and told her all was right. I never heard her any more.

I believe that on one occasion she told me by thought transference that she had no water in her pan. The pan was always filled, and I knew that she wanted something, but thought of all other wants but water. She made her eyes protrude, and looked at me intently, and "water" flashed into my mind. I looked and found the pan empty. It is, of course, possible that the suggestion came from my own subconscious mind. I never saw the aura of a human being, but I once had a kind of vision of this dog, which experts have told me was her aura. I was sitting by the fire, somewhat somnolent, and he was lying on the hearthrug. All at once his golden brown coat disappeared, and I saw a mass of reddish brown or perhaps I should say brownish red, and on one side of it was an irregular patch of fleecy white, bordered with sapphire blue. I was told that the brownish red represented the dog's animal instincts, the pearly white his animal innocence, and the sapphire blue his devotional instinct, in his case directed to me as his deity. Whether any of your readers have had similar experiences and explain them similarly, I do not know.

I had to go abroad one summer and my dog was ill with eczema, and as I did not very much trust the maid I was leaving in charge, I sent him to the vet's to be treated. As soon as I reached my destination I wrote to a friend to go and inquire how he was. She replied that the dog was perfectly miserable, and that he had an enormous wound on his back, that he had eaten nothing for a week, that he was too weak to stand, and that if he were hers, she would have him put out of his misery at once. I wrote at once to the vet, telling him to telegraph "Curable" or "Hopeless," and to act accordingly. Meanwhile, I sat that afternoon in the Bürgerpark by myself and imagined the dog upon my lap, and myself stroking and healing him. After this I found myself fully believing that he would get better. The telegram I received was "Curable," and my friend wrote a second letter and said it was a miracle, for the dog was quite convalescent. He recovered perfectly. Here, again, however, it may have been that he was breaking his heart for a friend, and that my friend's visit cheered him. Or may not both causes have had their effect?


Here is another case in the veracity of which I have every confidence. I will call it

_The Headless Cat of No. ---- Lower Seedley Road, Seedley, Manchester_

It was related to me by Mr. Robert Dane, who was at one time a tenant of No. ---- Lower Seedley Road, Seedley. I quote it as nearly as possible in his words, thus:--

"When we--my wife and I--took No. ---- Lower Seedley Road, no possibility of the place being haunted crossed our minds. Indeed ghosts were the very last things we reckoned on, as neither of us had the slightest belief in them. Like the generality of solicitors, I am stodgy and unimaginative, whilst my wife is the most practical and matter-of-fact little woman you would meet in a day's march. Nor was there anything about the house that in any way suggested the superphysical. It was airy and light--no dark corners nor sinister staircases--and equipped throughout with all modern conveniences. We began our lease in June--the hottest June I remember--and nothing occurred to disturb us till October.