Animal Ghosts

by Dale Kaczmarek

I am often asked the question, "Do animals sometimes come back as ghosts just like some people do?" The evidence points to the answer: yes! Many people have had experiences with family pets coming back whether that be as simple as a ball of twine rolling across the floor by itself with no outside source, the feeling of something rubbing up against your leg and there's nothing there and sometimes the actual visual apparition of the beloved pet.

It seems that the ones that are reported the most in the animal world are dogs, cats and horses in that order respectively. However, there seems to be some confusion. Can ALL animals appear or come back as spirits? Are there certain limitations to which ones are allowed? Why aren't more animal ghosts seen and reported?

There aren't, to my knowledge, any reports of phantom mosquitoes or flies, etc. Perhaps only the intelligent species have souls? Those and other questions remain unanswered. Man is the only species that some day realizes that he or she will terminate and leave this world. All other species simply exist from day to day and die without being able to communicate to us that possibility that they in fact are dying.

I have been investigating many reports of phantom animals and have come up with some interesting case scenarios to present here. Remember, as with humans, not all animals will be perceived as ghosts someday only because of the way that animal has died. The scenario for "human" ghosts is usually one of a violent or tragic death and the "not realizing" that he or she has died because of the suddenness of some deaths. However, great love of an animal or the constant grieving of the loss of your pet will sometimes have the same effect as a sudden, violent or tragic death; it will will your animal to return for a short time.

In the Chicago suburbs at the border of civilization and the Cook County Forest Preserves is a fairly busy intersection, 95th Street and Kean. There are stables nearby and horse-riding trails wind their way through the lush flora. One of the trails must cross the busy and dangerous 95th Street to continue on the other side.

Until recently there was no traffic control device there to allow those on horseback to cross safely and quite a number of people were injured and at least seven were killed including some horses as well. The reason the intersection is so dangerous is twofold. One, the speed limit is 45 mph there but many do 50 mph or better coming out of the forest preserve and going into the city, and, two, there is a rise that obscures the drivers view of the individuals attempting to cross the street. At that speed, sometimes by the time the driver sees the people, it's already too late.

There have been numerous incidents especially at night or near dusk of motorists complaining of seeing what appears to be a horse and his rider in silhouette attempting to cross from one side to another. But as the driver begins to slow down and watch them more carefully, suddenly there's nothing there. These figures don't simply disappear near one side of the street or the other, but often right in the middle of the road!

They are best described as smoke grey silhouettes without any recognizable features but are often only seen from afar.

There have even been ghostly reenactments of some actual events at that intersection as well. On one occasion, a motorist saw what appeared to be a horse throwing his rider from the saddle right in the middle of the road before disappearing. Some have seen a horse apparently being dragged down the roadway a bit as though a car had impacted with it and would have dragged it a little ways before coming to a complete stop.

In Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia stands the large grave marker of author Ellen Glasgow who was well known in Richmond and lived there for a good portion of her life. When she died, she stipulated in her will that her two pet dogs who had died prior to her death, be exhumed from her backyard and buried with her at Hollywood. Many claim that they have heard these dogs on occasions, scampering around quite near to that grave late at night.

At Hinsdale Animal Cemetery in a suburb just southwest of Chicago another mystery takes place. Passerby's have often seen the black forms of dogs and other creatures flicker by in their headlights many times causing them to slam on the brakes, only when they do, often, there's nothing there. Perhaps some real animals are attracted to the massive remains of so many other animals? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

So, you decide for yourself in you believe in ghostly animals. A good book to pick up and read, if you can find it because it's no longer in print is, "Ghostly Animals Of America" by Patricia Edwards Clyne. (Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1977, $5.95)

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