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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

Here followed an extract from a local paper:

"_Sensational Discovery in a Wood near Marytown_

"Whilst exploring in a wood, near Marytown, the other evening, a party of the name of B---- discovered three skeletons--a human being and two dogs--in the trunk of an oak. From the remnant of clothes still adhering to the human remains, the latter were proved to be those of an individual known as Mr. Jeremiah Dance, whose strange disappearance from the Crow's Nest--the house he rented in the neighbourhood--some two years ago, was the occasion of much comment. On closer examination, extraordinary to relate, the remains have been proved to be those of a WOMAN; and from certain abrasions on the skull, there is little doubt she met with a violent end."

A second extract taken from the same paper runs thus:--

"_Suicide at Marytown_

"Late last night Percy Baldwin, the man who is under arrest on suspicion of having caused the death of the unknown woman, whose skeleton was found on Monday in the trunk of a tree, committed suicide by hanging himself with his suspenders to the ceiling of his cell. Pinned on his coat was a slip of paper bearing these words: 'She was my wife--I loved her. She took to drink--I parted from her. She became a dog-worshipper. I killed her--and her dogs.'"

_Phantasms of Living Dogs_

I could quote innumerable cases of people who have either seen or heard the spirits of dead dogs. However, as space does not permit of this, I proceed to the oft-raised question, "Do animals as well as people project themselves?" My reply is--yes; according to my experience they do.

Some friends of mine have a big tabby that has frequently been seen in two places at the same time; for example, it has been observed by several people to be sitting on a chair in the dining-room, and, at the same moment, it has been seen by two or more other persons extended at full length before the kitchen fire--the latter figure proving to be its immaterial, or what some designate its astral body, which vanishes the instant an attempt is made to touch it. The only explanation of this phenomenon seems to me to lie in projection--the cat possessing the faculty of separating--in this instance, unconsciously--its spiritual from its physical body--the former travelling anywhere, regardless of space, time and material obstacles. I have often had experiences similar to this with a friend's dog. I have been seated in a room, either reading or writing, and on looking up have distinctly seen the dog lying on the carpet in front of me. A few minutes later a scraping at the door or window--both of which have been shut all the while--and on my rising to see what was there, I have discovered the dog outside! Had I not been so positive I had seen the dog on the ground in front of me, I might have thought it was an hallucination; but hallucinations are never so vivid nor so lasting--moreover, other people have had similar experiences with the same dog. And why not? Dogs, on the whole, are every whit as reasoning and reflective as the bulk of human beings! And how much nobler! Compare, for a moment, the dogs you know--no matter whether mastiffs, retrievers, dachshunds, poodles, or even Pekinese, with your acquaintances--with the people you see everywhere around you--false, greedy, spiteful, scandal-loving women, money-grubbing attorneys, lying, swindling tradesmen, vulgar parvenus, finicky curates, brutal roughs, spoilt, cruel children, hypocrites of both sexes--compare them carefully--and the comparison is entirely in favour of the dog! And if the creating Power (or Powers) has favoured these wholly selfish and degenerate human beings with spirits, and has conferred on certain of them the faculty of projecting those spirits, can one imagine, for one moment, that similar gifts have been denied to dogs--their superiors in every respect? Pshaw! Out upon it! To think so would mean to think the unthinkable, to attribute to God qualities of partiality, injustice and whimsicality, which would render Him little, if anything, better than a James the Second of England, or a Louis the Fifteenth of France.

Besides, from my own experience, and the experiences of those with whom I have been brought in contact, I can safely affirm that there are phantasms (and therefore spirits) of both living and dead dogs in just the same proportion as there are phantasms (and therefore spirits) of both living and dead human beings.

_Psychic Properties of Dogs_

Some, not all, dogs--like cats--possess the psychic property of scenting the advent of death, and they indicate their fear of it by the most dismal howling. In my opinion there is very little doubt that dogs actually see some kind of phantasm that, knowing when death is about to take place, visits the house of the doomed and stands beside his, or her, couch. I have had this phantasm described to me, by those who declare they have seen it, as a very tall, hooded figure, clad in a dark, loose, flowing costume--its face never discernible. It would, of course, be foolish to say that a dog howling in a house is invariably the sign of death; there are many other and obvious causes which produce something of a similar effect; but I think one may be pretty well assured that, when the howling is accompanied by unmistakable signs of terror, then someone, either in the house at the time, or connected with someone in the house, will shortly die.