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Animal Ghosts Or, Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter

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Author Topic: Animal Ghosts Or, Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter  (Read 576 times)
Spirits of the Dead
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Posts: 258

« Reply #210 on: November 01, 2009, 03:13:04 am »

"One for anger, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for rich, six for poor,
Seven for a witch, I dare tell you no more."

From further north comes this couplet:

"Magpie, magpie, chatter and flee,
Turn up thy tail, and good luck fall me."

Rooks, again, are very psychic birds; they always leave their haunts near an old house shortly before a death takes place in it, because their highly developed psychic faculty of scent enables them to detect the advent of the phantom of death, of which they have the greatest horror. A rook is of great service, when investigating haunted houses, as it nearly always gives warning of the appearance of the Unknown by violent flappings of the wings, loud croaking, and other unmistakable symptoms of terror.

Owls, though no less sensitive to superphysical influence, are not scared by it; they and bats, alone among the many kinds of animals I have tested, take up their abode in haunted localities, and with the utmost sang-froid appear to enjoy the presence of the Unknown, even in its most terrifying form.

The owl has been associated with the darker side of the Unknown longer than any other bird.

"Solaque, culminibus ferali carmine bubo. Saepe queri et longas in fletum ducere voces," writes Virgil.

Pliny, in describing this bird, says, "bubo funebris et maxime abominatus"; whilst Chaucer writes: "The owl eke that of death the bode ybringeth."

In the Arundel family a white owl is said to be a sure indication of death.

That Shakespeare attached no little importance to the fatal crying of the bird may be gathered from the scene in Macbeth, when the murderer asks:

"Didst thou not hear a noise?" and Lady Macbeth answers:

"I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry"; and the scene in Richard III, where Richard interrupts a messenger of evil news with the words:

"Out on ye, owls! Nothing but songs of death?"

Gray speaks of "moping" owls; Chatterton exclaims, "Harke! the dethe owle loude dothe synge"; whilst Hogarth introduces the same bird in the murder scene of his Four Stages of Cruelty.

Nor is the belief in the sinister prophetic properties of the owl confined to the white races; we find it everywhere—among the Red Indians. West Africans, Siamese, and Aborigines of Australia.

In Cornwall, and in other corners of the country, the crowing of a **** at midnight was formerly regarded as indicating the passage of death over the house; also if a **** crew at a certain hour for two or three nights in succession, it was thought to be a sure sign of early death to some member of the household. In Notes and Queries a correspondent remarks that crowing hens are not uncommon, that their crow is very similar to the crow of a very young ****, and must be taken as a certain presagement of some dire calamity.

It was generally held that in all haunted localities the ghosts would at once vanish—not to appear again till the following night—at the first crowing of the **** after midnight. I believe there is a certain amount of truth in this—at all events cocks, as I myself have proved, are invariably sensitive to the presence of the superphysical.

The whistler is also a very psychic bird. Spenser, in his Faerie Queene (Book II, canto xii, st. 31), alludes to it thus:—
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