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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

In _The Unseen World_ a story is also told of the phantasm of a big black dog appearing on the bed of a Cornish child, doomed to die shortly afterwards, the same dog invariably manifesting itself before the death of any member of the child's family.

There are so many cases of a similar kind--one hears of them nearly everywhere one goes--that one is led to believe some of them, at least, must be true. There is no more reason to believe all ghost-story tellers are liars, than there is to believe all parsons are liars--and this being so, additional proof is afforded of the continuation of the dog's life after death; for these family canine ghosts are more than probably the phantasms of dogs that once belonged to families--maybe centuries ago--and met their fate in some cruel and unnatural manner.

_A Dog scared by a Canine Ghost_

A friend of mine, Edward Morgan, had a terrier that was found one morning, poisoned in a big stone kennel. Soon afterwards this friend came to me and said, "I have got a new dog--a spaniel--but nothing will induce it to enter the kennel in which poor Zack was poisoned. Come and see!"

I did so, and what he said was true. Mack (Morgan gave all his dogs names that rhymed--Zack, Mack, Jack, Tack, and even Whack and Smack), when carried to the entrance of the kennel, resolutely refused to cross the threshold, barking, whining, and exhibiting unmistakable symptoms of fear. I knelt down, and peering into the kennel saw two luminous eyes and the distinct outlines of a dog's head.

"Morgan!" I exclaimed, "the mystery is easily solved; there's a dog in here."

"Nonsense!" Morgan cried, speaking very excitedly.

"But there is," I retorted, "see for yourself."

Morgan immediately bent down and poked his head into the kennel.

"What rot," he said. "You're having me on, there's nothing here."

"What!" I cried, "do you mean to say you can see no dog?"

"No!" he replied, "there is none!"

"Let me look again!" I said, and kneeling down, I peeped in.

"Do you mean to say you can't see a dog's face and eyes looking straight at us?" I asked.

"No," he answered, "I can see nothing." And to prove to me the truth of what he said, he fetched a pole and raked about the kennel vigorously with it. We both, then, tried to make Mack enter, and Morgan at last caught hold of him and placed him forcibly inside. Mack's terror knew no limit. He gave one loud howl, and flying out of the kennel with his ears hanging back, tore past into the front garden, where we left him in peace. Morgan was still sceptical as to there being anything wrong with the kennel, but two days later wrote to me as follows:--

"I must apologize for doubting you the other day. I have just had, what you declared you saw, corroborated. A friend of my wife's was calling here this afternoon, and, on hearing of Mack's refusal to sleep in the kennel, at once said, 'I know what's the matter. It's the smell. Mack scents the poison which was used to destroy Zack. Have the kennel thoroughly fumigated, and you'll have no more trouble.' At my wife's request she went into the yard to have a look at it, and the moment she bent down, she cried out like you did, 'Why, there's a dog inside--a terrier!' My wife and I both looked and could see nothing. The lady, however, persisted, and, on my handing her a stick, struck at the figure she saw. To her amazement the stick went right through it. Then, and not till then, did we tell her of your experience. 'Well!' she exclaimed, 'I have never believed in ghosts, but I do so now. I am quite certain that what I see is the phantom of Zack! How glad I am, because I am at last assured animals have spirits and can come back to us.'"

In concluding the accounts of phantasms of dead dogs, let me quote two cases taken from my work entitled _The Haunted Houses of London_, published by Mr. Eveleigh Nash, of Fawside House, King Street, Covent Garden, London, W.C., in 1909. The cases are these:--

_The Phantom Dachshund of W---- St., London, W._

In letter No. 1 my correspondent writes:--

"Though I am by no means over-indulgent to dogs, the latter generally greet me very effusively, and it would seem that there is something in my individuality that is peculiarly attractive to them. This being so, I was not greatly surprised one day, when in the immediate neighbourhood of X---- Street, to find myself persistently followed by a rough-haired dachshund wearing a gaudy yellow collar. I tried to scare it away by shaking my sunshade at it, but all to no purpose--it came resolutely on; and I was beginning to despair of getting rid of it, when I came to X---- Street, where my husband once practised as an oculist. There it suddenly altered its tactics, and instead of keeping at my heels, became my conductor, forging slowly ahead with a gliding motion that both puzzled and fascinated me. I furthermore observed that notwithstanding the temperature--it was not a whit less than ninety degrees in the shade--the legs and stomach of the dachshund were covered with mud and dripping with water. When it came to No. 90 it halted, and veering swiftly round, eyed me in the strangest manner, just as if it had some secret it was bursting to disclose. It remained in this attitude until I was within two or three feet of it--certainly not more--when, to my unlimited amazement, it absolutely vanished--melted away into thin air.