Ghost stories are hardly rare, but stories of true hauntings always seem to involve humans. What about our dearly departed animal friends? Is it possible for pets to return as ghosts to help or haunt owners? And would you be more or less freaked out if you saw the ghost of a cat rather than that of a human? Or a pet snake? Yes, ghost pets are a bizarre proposition. Though perhaps not as bizarre as keeping a ghost as a pet.
Anyway, while some may scoff at the notion of animal spirits visiting us, stories of pet hauntings are widespread and, in some cases, the stuff of legend. Perhaps it's the unique bond animals have with humans that makes this type of supernatural encounter possible. Whatever the reason, these intriguing stories of pet haunting range from the heartwarming to the truly terrifying.
All the stories on this list will leave you wondering if the bump you heard in the middle of the night was a furry friend paying you a visit from beyond.
Christopher Knight tells this strange tale while filming a ghost episode of The Brady Bunch. The cast was staying at a creepy bed and breakfast and stayed up late telling ghost stories before finally hitting the sack.
According to Knight, who played Peter Brady, he woke up in the middle of the night to find two hunting dogs sitting at the foot of his bed, staring at him. Then, he saw a little girl gazing at him from the doorway. Neither the dogs nor the girl made a sound.
The next day, when Knight related his strange encounter, the B&B owner took him to a fireplace, where two hunting dogs were depicted on the metal fireguard of the old house's fireplace; they were the same dogs Peter saw. No one knows if the decorations were inspired by two real dogs who once lived in the house, but the mysterious experience left the young actor shaken.
Cats and dogs are by far the most common animals reported in non-human haunting, but large domesticated animals are also reported to return from the grave. In the Chicago suburbs, there are stables and riding trails in the woods near the busy intersection of 95th Street and Kean. One of the trails crosses this dangerous junction. Until recently, there was no traffic control device to allow those on horseback to cross safely, and at least seven people and some horses were slain.
There have been numerous reports of ghosts horse sightings, especially at night or near dusk. Dozens of motorists have seen what appears to be a horse and rider in silhouette attempting to cross from one side of 95th street to the other. When drivers slow down to look at the pair, they suddenly dissolve from view. These figures don't simply disappear near one side of the street or the other, but often right in the middle of the road.
The Black Dog hangs around Castle Craig in Connecticut, where it has terrorized hikers and castle visitors for decades. Described as small, short-haired, and spaniel-like, the Black Dog makes no sound, even when it seems to be howling or barking. The spectral pooch comes with its own folklore: "If a man shall meet the Black Dog once, it shall be for joy; and if twice, it shall be for sorrow; and the third time, he shall die."
Numerous people blame the animal for the passings of those who saw the dog three times, and tales of such ends date back to the 1800s.
The blue ghost dog legend is one of the oldest ghost stories in the United States, dating to the 1700s. As the story goes, Charles Thomas Sims was attacked by a pack of thieves after a night of drinking and bragging about the amount of gold he had. Sims fought to his last breath, with his faithful dog, a blue tick hound, battling at his side.
In the end, the robbers were too strong for them, and the two fell on a rock along the road and perished. The thieves buried the gold, and when they returned for it, were beset by a large blue tick hound. The head thief escaped, but soon fell ill and perished. To this day, people say the hound watches over his master’s gold. A restaurant and bar takes its name from the Blue Dog.