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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 475 times)
Spirits of the Dead
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2009, 01:40:14 am »

"After gazing at it long enough to assure myself it was only sunshine, I quitted the spot, and proceeded on my way down the vaulted corridor. Just as I was passing one of the doors, it opened. I stopped—terrified. What could it be? Bit by bit, inch by inch, I watched the gap slowly widen. At last, just as I felt I must either go mad or die, something appeared—and, to my utter astonishment, it was a big, black cat! Limping painfully, it came towards me with a curious, gliding motion, and I perceived with a thrill of horror that it had been very cruelly maltreated. One of its eyes looked as if it had been gouged out—its ears were lacerated, whilst the paw of one of its hind-legs had either been torn or hacked off. As I drew back from it, it made a feeble and pathetic effort to reach me and rub itself against my legs, as is the way with cats, but in so doing it fell down, and uttering a half purr, half gurgle, vanished—seeming to sink through the hard oak boards.

"That evening my youngest brother met with an accident in the barn at the back of the house, and died. Though I did not then associate his death with the apparition of the cat, the latter shocked me much, for I was extremely fond of animals. I did not dare venture in the wing again for nearly two years.
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2009, 01:40:29 am »

"When next I did so, it was early one June morning—between five and six, and none of the family, saving my father, who was out in the fields looking after his men, were as yet up. I explored the dreaded corridor and staircase, and was crossing the floor of one of the rooms I had hitherto regarded as immune from ghostly influences, when there was an icy rush of wind, the door behind me slammed to violently, and a heavy object struck me with great force in the hollow of my back. With a cry of surprise and agony I turned sharply round, and there, lying on the floor, stretched out in the last convulsions of death, was the big black cat, maimed and bleeding as it had been on the previous occasion. How I got out of the room I don't recollect. I was too horror-stricken to know exactly what I was doing, but I distinctly remember that, as I tugged the door open, there was a low, gleeful chuckle, and something slipped by me and disappeared in the direction of the corridor. At noon that day my mother had a seizure of apoplexy, and died at midnight.

"Again there was a lapse of years—this time nearly four—when, sent on an errand for my father, I turned the key of one of the doors leading into the empty wing, and once again found myself within the haunted precincts. All was just as it had been on the occasion of my last visit—gloom, stillness and cobwebs reigned everywhere, whilst permeating the atmosphere was a feeling of intense sadness and depression.

"I did what was required of me as quickly as possible, and was crossing one of the rooms to make my exit, when a dark shadow fell athwart the threshold of the door, and I saw the cat.
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« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2009, 01:40:45 am »

"That evening my father dropped dead as he was hastening home through the fields. He had long suffered from heart disease.

"After his death we—that is to say, my brother, sisters and self—were obliged to leave the house and go out into the world to earn our living. We never went there again, and never heard if any of the subsequent tenants experienced similar manifestations."

This is as nearly as I can recollect Mrs. Hartnoll's story. But as it is a good many years since I heard it, there is just a possibility of some of the details—the smaller ones at all events—having escaped my memory.

When I was grown up, I stayed for a few weeks near Oxenby, and met, at a garden party, a Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler, the then occupants of the Manor House.
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« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2009, 01:40:59 am »

I asked if they believed in ghosts, and told them I had always heard their house was haunted.

"Well," they said, "we never believed in ghosts till we came to Oxenby, but we have seen and heard such strange things since we have been in the Manor House that we are now prepared to believe anything."

They then went on to tell me that they—and many of their visitors and servants—had seen the phantasms of a very hideous and malignant old man, clad in tight-fitting hosiery of mediæval days, and a maimed and bleeding big, black cat, that seemed sometimes to drop from the ceiling, and sometimes to be thrown at them. In one of the passages all sorts of queer sounds, such as whinings, meanings, screeches, clangings of pails and rattlings of chains, were heard, whilst something, no one could ever see distinctly, but which they all felt to be indescribably nasty, rushed up the cellar steps and flew past, as if engaged in a desperate chase. Indeed, the disturbances were of so constant and harrowing a nature, that the wing had to be vacated and was eventually locked up.
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« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2009, 01:42:11 am »

The Wheelers excavated in different parts of the haunted wing and found, in the cellar, at a depth of some eight or nine feet, the skeletons of three men and two women; whilst in the wainscoting of the passage they discovered the bones of a boy, all of which remains they had properly interred in the churchyard. According to local tradition, handed down through many centuries by word of mouth, the house originally belonged to a knight, who, with his wife, was killed out hunting. He had only one child, a boy of about ten, who became a ward in chancery. The man appointed by the Crown as guardian to this child proved an inhuman monster, and after ill-treating the lad in every conceivable manner, eventually murdered him and tried to substitute a bastard boy of his own in his place. For a time the fraud succeeded, but on its being eventually found out, the murderer and his offspring were both brought to trial and hanged.

During his occupation of the house, many people were seen to enter the premises, but never leave them, and the place got the most sinister reputation. Among other deeds credited to the murderer and his offspring was the mutilation and boiling of a cat—the particular pet of the young heir, who was compelled to witness the whole revolting process. Years later, a subsequent owner of the property had a monument erected in the churchyard to the memory of this poor, abused child, and on the front of the house constructed the device of the cat.
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« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2009, 01:42:41 am »

Though it is impossible to determine what amount of truth there may be in this tradition, it certainly seems to accord with the hauntings, and to supply some sort of explanation to them. The ghostly head on the banisters might well be that of the low and brutal guardian, whose spirit would be the exact counterpart of his mind. The figure seen, and noises heard in the passage, point to the re-enaction of some tragedy, possibly the murder of the heir, or the slaughter of his cat, in either of which a bucket might easily have played a grimly significant part. And if human murderers and their victims have phantasms, why should not animals have phantasms too? Why should not the phenomenon of the cat seen by Mrs. Hartnoll and the Wheelers have been the actual phantasm of an earthbound cat?

No amount of reasoning—religious or otherwise—has as yet annihilated the possibility of all forms of earthly life possessing spirits.

Letter from my Wife

I heard the foregoing account from my husband when first I met him years ago, and I know it to be true. I have seen the rooms, etc. in the Old Manor House, Oxenby, where the incidents Mrs. Hartnoll mentions took place.

Ada B. O'Donnell.
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« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2009, 01:42:55 am »

July 2, 1913.

To further substantiate my views with regard to a future existence for animals, I reproduce (by permission of the Editor) the following letters and articles that have appeared from time to time in the Occult Review:—

Letter 1

That other Cat

One evening about four years ago I was in my drawing-room with two friends; we were all standing up on the point of going to bed, and only waiting till the old cook had succeeded in inducing the grey Persian cat to come in for the night. This was sometimes difficult, and then cook came up as on this occasion and called him from the balcony, and the French window was wide open, when a cat rushed in at the window and through the door.

"What was that?" we said, looking at one another. It was not Kitty, the grey Persian, but darker, and was it really a cat, or what? My friend "Rügen" has written the account of what she saw before seeing what I have said. "Iona" confirms our description. What I saw seemed dark and shadowy and yet unmistakably a cat. It seemed to me like the predecessor of Kitty, which was a black Persian; he had the same habit of coming in at night by this window, and he constantly rushed through the room, and downstairs, being in a hurry for his supper. A moment or two afterwards the grey cat walked slowly in, and though we searched the house, we could find no other.

"Thanet."
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« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2009, 01:43:07 am »

Letter 2

Fräulein Mullet's Story

Three or four years ago, Iona and I were sitting in the drawing-room on a Sunday evening, when cook came in to ask for Kitty (a silver-grey Persian cat) to settle him in the kitchen for the night. Kitty was still in the garden, and cook went to the balcony calling him.

Suddenly I saw a black cat flying in and disappearing behind or under a seat. First, I did not take much notice of this. But when a minute after Kitty slowly and solemnly stepped in, followed by cook, it struck me that the dark something could not have been Kitty, and Thanet and Iona made the remark simultaneously. Now we began to look for the dark one all over the place without any result. Cook had not seen any cat passing her on the balcony, but Kitty the grey one. Thanet had had a black Persian cat, which died before Kitty came.

"Rügen."
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« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2009, 01:43:21 am »

Letter 3

I can entirely corroborate the accounts written by "Thanet" and "Rügen."

I remember that I saw something like a dark shadow move very quickly and disappear in front of a cottage piano. I exclaimed simultaneously with my friends "What was that?" and shared their surprise when no black cat was found, and the grey Persian walked in unconcernedly through the open window.

"Iona."
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« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2009, 01:43:48 am »

Letter 4

What Kitty saw

Cook said, "I wish you would come downstairs and see how strangely Kitty behaves as soon as I open the cupboard. There is nothing in it but the wood; I turned it all out to see what might be the reason—not even a mousehole can I find." Some days previously cook had told me that nothing could induce Kitty to sleep in his basket, and one day he would not eat any food in the kitchen, and his meals had to be given him outside. So I went down to please cook. Kitty was picked up, and while cook petted and stroked him, she knelt down and opened the cupboard. Kitty, stretching his neck and looking with big, frightened eyes into the cupboard's corner, suddenly turned round; struggling out of cook's hold and rushing over her shoulder, he flew out of the kitchen. Getting up, Cook said: "That's always what he does, just as if he was seeing something horrible!"

Next day I encouraged cook to talk of Ruff, the former black cat, which had been a great favourite of hers, and which she had been nursing when he was dying. "Oh, poor thing, when he was ill, he would creep into dark corners, so I put him in his basket into the cupboard, making it very comfortable for him, and there he died"—pointing to the very corner which caused such horror to Kitty.

"Rügen."
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« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2009, 01:44:59 am »

Letter 5

Captain Humphries's Story—A Materialized Cat

My son had the following experience at the age of four years in our Worcestershire home.

He was an only child and spent much of his time in the company of a cat who shared his tastes and pursuits even to the extent of fishing in the River Weir with him, the cat being far more proficient at the sport than the boy. When the cat died we none of us dared to break the news to the child, and were much surprised when he asked us to say why his cat only came to play with him at nights nowadays. When we questioned him about it, he stoutly maintained that his cat was there in bodily form every night after he went to bed, looking much the same but a little thinner.

At about the same age, one evening after being in bed one hour, I heard him cry out, and going upstairs (his maid also heard and ran up) and asking him what was the matter, he said that an old gentleman with a long grey beard like his grandfather came into his room, and stood at the front of his bed. At the very moment, the former had a seizure in his carriage while driving through the streets of Birmingham, from which he died without regaining consciousness; later on he recognized a photograph of his grandfather as being the person he saw at the foot of his bed. My wife, the maid, and myself can vouch for the accuracy of these statements, also friends to whom we have related these facts.

"Munster."
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« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2009, 01:45:20 am »

Letter 6

Mrs. E.J. Ellis's Story—"The Old Woman's Cat"

My wife, writes Mr. Ellis, who was brought up in Germany, and who is not sufficiently confident about her English to attempt to put down anything for publication in that language, tells me the following story for the Occult Review:—

"When I was a little girl living with my family near Michelstadt in the Odenwald, I remember an old woman like an old witch, whose name was Louise, and who was called 'Pfeiffe Louise,' because she exhibited pipes for sale in her cottage window, along with the cheap dress-stuffs, needles and threads, and simple toys for children which were her stock-in-trade. She had a favourite cat which was devoted to her, but its attachment doesn't seem to have been enough to make her happy, for she married a young sergeant named Lautenschlager, who might have been her son—or indeed her grandson—and who, as everyone said, courted her for her money. She died as long ago as 1869, and during her last illness the devoted cat was always with her. It kept watch beside the body when she was dead, and refused to be driven away. In a fit of exasperation Lautenschlager seized it, carried it off, and drowned it in the little River Mumling, at a place where the road from Michelstadt to the neighbouring village Steinbach runs near the water's edge. It was bordered with poplars then, but chestnut trees shade it now.

"Soon after his first wife was buried Lautenschlager married again, and opened an eating-house in Steinbach, where he established his second wife. He had a sister whom he placed in the cottage of poor 'Pfeiffe Louise.' She carried on the business, and every day Lautenschlager used to walk over from Steinbach to see how she was getting on, returning in the evening to his wife, who used to relate to my mother that he frequently came home terrified and bathed in perspiration, for as he passed the place where he had drowned the cat, its ghost used to come out of the river and run beside him along the dark road, sometimes terrifying him still more by jumping in front of him.
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« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2009, 01:45:39 am »

"After a few years of married life the second wife died, and Lautenschlager married a third. The little cottage business had prospered, and in its place he now had a considerable draper's shop in Michelstadt. He continued to walk over from Steinbach, where now the third wife lived in the eating-house, and the ghost of the cat continued to frighten him by appearing at nightfall as he walked beside the river.

"I can remember hearing his third wife describe his dread of it, and my mother has told me how both the sister and the second wife used to say the same thing, though I was too young then for them to tell me about it. Lautenschlager used also to complain to the country people who came to dine at his eating-house. He considered himself an ill-used man, and felt that the supernatural powers were treating him very hardly, and subjecting him to a real persecution. I have only the conversation of his wife and the gossip of the village to vouch for his sincerity, and the genuineness of the apparition is supported only by Lautenschlager's word, but his evident anger and agitation were accepted as genuine, and no one dreamed of doubting his word. He was not at all a dreamy or imaginative man, and did not drink. His passion was merely momentary. He was not only a draper and caterer but a usurer, and realized something of a fortune by lending money on good security to peasants and farmers who, it was said, did not consider how they bound themselves when they signed the papers he put before them.

"Lautenschlager continued to be haunted by the cat-ghost at irregular intervals for more than twenty years, and it made a marked change in his character. He became serious, and during the latter part of his life would only talk about religion and read sacred literature. He died about ten years ago."

"Feline."
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« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2009, 01:45:56 am »

Letter 7

A Spectral Fox-terrier

Two or three years ago I visited a medium (Mrs. Davies of 44 Laburnum Grove, Portsmouth). I had been seated only a few minutes when a little pug-dog of hers looked up in the direction of my knees and down towards my feet, growling and howling in a most strange manner.

"What on earth is he looking at?" I exclaimed.

"Oh," said the medium, "there is a little fox-terrier lying across your feet; one half of his face is quite dark and the other half white, but he has such a peculiar black patch over the eye that one would almost think it was a black bruise." Now, sir, I had such a little dog in India, but this lady did not know of him, and would never have known had he not, as I afterwards found, died out there. This is not only a case of the appearance of an animal after death, but also a case in which it was seen by another animal, as also by the medium. I am also told that the pug-dog who had this vision of my dog was once seen to pounce upon what seemed to the medium to be several cats, near the copper in the scullery of the same house. The medium asked a neighbour if the previous occupants had had any cats. "Oh, yes," replied the neighbour, "and badly the poor things were served, for they were cruelly thrown into the copper, which was full of boiling water."

"Simla" (M. Conder).
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« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2009, 01:47:06 am »

Letter 8

Killed by a Street Car, but walks in at the Front Door

Some five years ago we had a little puppy about six months old. I used to train him to always go round the back way to come into the house. One day he got hurt and run over, being instantly killed by a street car. A day or two after the accident I was going in my front door and I saw the dog go up the steps in front of me, as plain as I ever saw him in my life. It seemed he knew that I had taught him he must not go in the front way, because he would go a few steps and then turn round and look at me, as though he wanted to see how I was taking it, and I positively saw him go to the full length of the hall into the house, a distance of about twenty feet, before he disappeared. I saw him do this at least three times in two months that we stayed in that flat. I told at least a half-dozen people of the incident at the time it happened, and I can vouch for its authenticity.

I remain, yours truly,

"Majilton"

(Chas. A. Thompson, Chicago, Ill., U.S.A.).
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