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The Phantom Dog and Horse

By Donald Ryles PhD, CH

The following is one the milder and true stories from my childhood that is not in my book. To see about my most unusual book of spirits, ghosts, haunting and 9-11 encoded 4 years before see my website at:

Growing up in the South U.S.  30+ years ago I, like most all kids of that time and place, had a swing in the yard. The one I had was not a metal swing set, but was a true old rope swing hung from a tree branch.

I spent a lot of time playing on that old swing and in the field behind our house which had  once been a horse pasture many years before we had moved there.    

When I was about 11 years old I  had just discovered my love for music and since it was Summer and I didn't have to get up for school I was allowed to stay out until well after dark, as long as I stayed close to the house. Many nights I would be on that  swing until well into the night listening to my small transistor radio, as long as I kept it low. It was just me, the music, and a soft light from a distant streetlight.

One night about 10 PM   I  suddenly had the strange  feeling that something was behind me looking at me. Staring at me. I stopped swinging and looked back to see a beautiful large white dog with big dark eyes. He just stood motionless, no barking, no growling, no tail wagging, just  strangely motionless. Not having a dog at that time but always having a love for dogs I wanted to pet him. I turned around for only a second to get up and when I looked back he had vanished . I didn't hear him leave, but I thought he must have ran away. I didn't think much about it and went back to swinging.    

The very next night, at about 10 PM, he appeared again. This time though it sounded like he had ran up behind me quickly. I looked back and once again saw him just as before motionless looking at me with his big dark eyes. This time for some reason I had a slightly different feeling than before. I still wanted to pet him but for some reason at the same time felt slightly uncomfortable. Like  for some unknown reason something wasn't quite right. I  slowly got up to walk to him and he ran behind my fathers car and into the field behind our house. I was only a few feet away from him but when I got behind the car once again it was as if he just vanished.    

The third and last time he appeared was about a day or 2 later. He appeared just as before , but this time with a chilling difference. Once again it sounded like he had ran up behind me and once again I
turned to see him looking at me . This time though I could see smoke coming out of his mouth and nose. The kind you see when it is a  very cold Winters day and you breath outside. It was Summer  though and by far too hot for that. His big dark eyes  locked with mine as he stared directly at me and raggedly breathed the smoke for 10-15 seconds, like he had been running hard.Suddenly he turned and ran into the field. I did not try to follow  him this night into the darkness . It was as if something told me not to. I quickly got up and went into the house for the night.    

I never saw him again after that night and never saw him in the neighborhood, which I knew quite well. Especially which neighbors had dogs. I was a little scared and puzzled, but being a kid quickly forgot about it.    

I didn't think of it again until what happened with my father a few years later.

It was a Summer evening just before Sunset when my father looked out his bedroom window and came running through the house yelling to me to come and help him. I asked what was wrong and he said there was a horse in the field behind our house and he needed me to help him catch it  or make it leave before it destroyed his garden. We both ran outside and into the field to see nothing wrong. No horse and everything was normal. I asked him exactly what he had seen and he said he had seen a huge white horse running through the field as fast as he could, like he was scared. He said the horse had ran through his garden 2-3 times and he was sure it had been  completely trampled.    

We looked at the small garden, which was  in the corner of the field ,beside the old pasture  fence. Tomatoes, cucumbers, Bell peppers, etc. about a 15 by 15 foot area. Nothing was out of place. I asked him once again if he was sure the horse had ran through the garden and he assured me that he had. He had " Ran through it 2 or 3 times in a panic" he repeated to me again  . We both looked even closer  around the pasture and at the dirt in the garden, which was still soft from being watered  only a few hours before,  and couldn't even see a  single hoof print or any sign that anything had been in the pasture at all.

As we stood there, both puzzled, I remembered about the big white dog I had seen a few years before that  had ran into the same field and I told my father the story of what I had seen and felt myself a few Summers before.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Donald Ryles