Pet Ghosts Haunt Where They Lived

The pumpkins, tombstones, skeletons and witches that adorn houses and front lawns this time of year mean that it’s almost Halloween. For many, it’s also a time to recap stories about ghosts and visit famous haunted places. Some of the country’s most legendary haunted locations are said to be visited by ghosts of dogs and cats — even horses — and draw a regular stream of ghost seekers this time of year.

“Haunted places that feature pets rank amongst the most popular spots,” says Sue Darroch director and co-founder of PSICAN, Paranormal Studies and Investigations Canada and The Toronto Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society. “Ghost seekers seem to derive comfort from knowing that pets seemingly live on after death. There isn't the same fear factor often attributed to human ghost encounters.”

Like their human counterparts, ghostly pets appear to haunt where they lived and played. Sightings from around the world include everything from royal palaces and stately mansions to ordinary homes. In this country, many popular tourist places claim to have ghost pets.

Author Dusty Rainbolt of Lewisville, Texas never believed in apparitions and considered those who did as having had “one too many mind-altering experiences in the 1960’s” until she had her own ghostly experience with one of her own cats named Maynard.

About a month after Maynard passed away, Rainbolt was in bed when she felt something jump up on to the covers, pad across the bed and eventually settle down at her feet.

“I could feel the pressure,” recalls Rainbolt. “It was truly haunting but not in a bad sense. I was away from home when he died and I think he came back to say goodbye.”

The experience prompted her to start researching pet ghosts and more specifically feline ghosts and her book "Ghost Cats: Human Encounters with Feline Spirits" published by Lyons Press, tells some fascinating tales.

Rainbolt says that all the feline ghosts that appear in hotels and public places across the country are very friendly except for the Demon Cat that haunts the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

“It is said to hang around the catafalque, the raised ceremonial platform on which a dead president’s casket rests when the body lies in state in the Rotunda. During my research, I came across numerous stories of the cat attacking guards who have patrolled the basement of the building over the years.”

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