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 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.
The pooch who haunts Nashville’s Belmont Hillsboro neighborhood is one of the most famous ghost dogs around. The spirit is said to be that of a good-hearted boxer named Preston who keeps vigil over young trick-or-treaters every Halloween.
Some witnesses have heard barking on Halloween night. Others say if you walk too slowly or stop in the middle of the street, an unseen dog will bump and nudge you along, so you don't get hit by a car. An old woman who lived in the neighborhood used to leave a dog biscuit for Preston on her porch every Halloween night for many years.
The United States Capitol building is said to be haunted by the ghost of a cat. The demonic kitty is said to have glowing red eyes and appears out of nowhere to scare passersby.
Some say Demon Cat appears before important events or natural disasters. It was seen before the stock market crash of 1929 and the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963.
The Washington, DC, female roller skating team, The Demon Cats, is named after the satanic kitty.
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.
This strange encounter occurred after nursery school teacher Debra Tadman's oldest cat, Wiggie, passed. Grief-stricken, Debra called animal communicator Sharon Callaghan to contact the spirit of her lost pet. As Debra recounts: "Wiggie and I had a very close relationship and I felt as if I had lost a child. He had seen me through a marriage, divorce, other relationships, three house moves and other life experiences."
Sharon was able to reach Wiggie in the great beyond, and told Debra Wiggie was concerned about her apartment, because it was a "toxic place." About a year later, Debra decided to paint her apartment and discovered asbestos and highly toxic mold in the walls and ceiling and aluminum wiring in grave danger of causing a fire.
Debra is forever grateful to Wiggie: "To this day I can’t believe how accurate and true that reading was."
There is no way that Sharon, the animal medium, could have known that the asbestos and mold were beneath the walls.