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Animal Ghosts Or, Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter

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Spirits of the Dead
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« Reply #150 on: November 01, 2009, 02:44:39 am »

"A few yards further, I espied a negro looking intently in a store window. Just as the strange policeman came up to him, he gave a violent start, turned round and stared at him, gasped, his cheeks ashy pale, his eyes bulging, made some exclamation I could not catch, and, dashing past me, fled. Then, and not till then, did I begin to feel funny. Further on still we came to a crossing. A carriage and pair with a coronet on the panels of the door was standing waiting. Directly the policeman approached, both the horses reared so violently, they all but threw the coachman off the box. One of the men cried out, 'Heavens, Bill, what's that?' But the other and older of the two, who was clinging to the reins with all his might, merely swore.

"Convinced now that I was on the trail of something not human—something in all probability superphysical, and, impelled by a fascination I could not resist, I followed.

"At the top of Wolf Street the policeman paused, then crossing slowly over, turned into Dane Street, down which he continued to ride with the same mechanical and automatic tread. At length, when within a few feet of a certain shop, over which is a flat that has long borne a reputation for being haunted, the horse came to a dead halt, and horse and rider, veering slowly round, looked at me. What I saw I shall never forget. I saw the faces of the DEAD—the LONG SINCE dead. For some moments they confronted me, and then—vanished, vanished where they stood. I saw them again, under precisely the same conditions, two days later, and I have seen them once since. I am not an imaginative or highly-strung person, but am, on the contrary, exceedingly practical and matter-of-fact, no better proof of which I can give than this fact—I am engaged to be married to a Quebec solicitor!"
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« Reply #151 on: November 01, 2009, 02:45:09 am »

An Irish Haunting

Mr. Reginald B. Span, in a most interesting article called "Some Glimpses of the Unseen," that appeared in the Occult Review for February, 1906, writes as follows:—

"Another strange incident, which also occurred in Ireland, was told me by a coachman in my cousin's employ at Kilpeacon, near Limerick. This man had previously been a park-keeper to Lord Doneraile in Co. Cork. One bright moonlight night, he was coming across Lord Doneraile's park, having been round to see that the gates were shut, when his attention was drawn to the distant baying of hounds, and he stopped to listen, as the sounds seemed to proceed from within the park walls, and he knew there were no hounds kept on the estate. His young son was with him, and also heard the noise, which was getting louder and clearer, and was evidently moving rapidly in their direction. His first idea was that a pack of hounds which were kept in the hunting kennels a few miles away, had escaped and had somehow got into the park, although he had seen that the gates were closed, and there was really no way by which they could have entered. The baying of hounds, as if in 'full cry,' sounded closer and closer, and suddenly, out of the shadow of some trees, a number of foxhounds, running at full speed, appeared in the clear light of the moon. They raced past the amazed spectators (a whole pack of them), followed closely by an elderly man on a large horse. Although they came very near, no sound could be heard but the baying of one or two of the hounds. The galloping of the horse was not heard at all. They swung across the grass at a tremendous pace, and were lost to view round the end of a plantation. The park-keeper knew that all the gates were shut, and that it would be impossible for a pack of hounds to pass out, and he thought the mystery might be solved the next day. However, it never was explained—by any natural cause. No hounds or horseman had been in the park. The mansion was closed, Lord Doneraile being away, and no one had the right of entering the grounds within the park walls. He heard later that there was a story in the neighbourhood about 'the ghost' of a former Lord Doneraile 'haunting' the park—and possibly the spectral horseman was he. I questioned the man and his son closely about it, and am convinced they were not deceived by hallucination, and that their account is perfectly true."

To this account Mr. Span adds this note:—

"The apparition of hounds and huntsman was witnessed on an estate belonging to Lord Doneraile, in the South of Ireland (Doneraile Park); the man who told me the incident was coachman in the service of my cousin, near Limerick. His young son confirmed his father's account, as he also saw it.

"Yours faithfully,

"Reginald B. Span."
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« Reply #152 on: November 01, 2009, 02:45:34 am »

To throw additional light on the matter Mr. Ralph Shirley, editor of the Occult Review, published the following letter, written to him by Lord Doneraile:—

"Dear Shirley,

"It is rather a curious thing that neither Lady Castletown nor Lady Doneraile has ever heard of the story of the moonlight vision of Lord Doneraile and the pack of hounds. However, there is a man at Doneraile called Jones, a chemist, who is a most enthusiastic antiquarian and a dabbler in the occult sciences, and he takes the greatest interest in all that concerns the St. Legers. Lady Castletown wrote to him, and the reply comes from his brother (I suppose he is away), and that I send you.

"Lady Doneraile says it must refer to the third Lord Doneraile of the first creation, who was killed in a duel afterwards; and there appear to be a lot of stories which Jones has ferreted out or been told. Of course, I don't know how far you could say Jones was authentic. All I can say is that he believes the things himself.

"Yours sincerely,

"Doneraile."
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« Reply #153 on: November 01, 2009, 02:45:53 am »

"Dec. 27, 1905."

"I should explain," adds Mr. Shirley, "that Lady Castletown is daughter to the late Lord Doneraile, and present owner of Doneraile House. Here follows the enclosure, i.e. the extract made by Walter A. Jones, Doneraile, from his MS. notes on the Legends of Peasantry in connection with Doneraile branch of the St. Leger family. Dated December 21, 1905.

"I have heard," so it runs, "the following story respecting the Lord Doneraile, who pursues the chase from Ballydineen through Gloun-na-goth Wilkinson's Lawn, through Byblox, across the ford of Shanagh aha Keel-ahboobleen into Waskin's Glen into the old Deer Park at Old Court, thence into the Horse Close, and from thence into the park. He appears to take particular delight in Wilkinson's Lawn according to tradition, for it was there that the noble stag was lost sight of, and of course it was there he was most searched for. It was only last autumn that two gentlemen were going to a fair, as I heard, and leading a very fine horse behind the trap. The night being fine and moonlight, they stopped at the iron gate there to light their pipes, when a gentleman dressed in old style, with buckskin leggings, walked through the iron gate, though closed, and patted the led horse on the neck. They both agreed that he was most like to gentlemen of the St. Leger family whom they had known. The Radiant Boy also appears here, and for years in the early part of last century no one would pass there after nightfall. The Lord Doneraile, who is believed by the peasantry to stand under Lord Doneraile's Oak, it has been told me positively, was third Viscount.

"There is an old man called Reardon here now who saw a gentleman riding a powerful black horse along Lord Doneraile's route in the middle of the day, and his sister who was with him failed to see the horseman, though her brother had to pull her out of his way.

"I went up to Saffron Hill last winter to see the ostrich-like ghost which is there, and I heard a great sweep as of hounds and horses going past me. Paddy Shea, late herd to Lord Doneraile, also would swear he saw the phantom Lord Doneraile pursuing the chase often. I have heard that James Mullaine also saw him in Wilkinson's Lawn, but have not any further proof.

"It is very few people will admit having seen these things. George Buckley, present keeper of the Doneraile Park, got a great fright one night which might have been from the same cause."

In this case it seems more than likely the huntsman, horse and hounds were all bona fide phantasms of the dead.
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« Reply #154 on: November 01, 2009, 02:46:13 am »

Wild Darrell

Littlecote, as everyone knows, is haunted by the spirits of the notorious "Wild Will Darrell" and the horse he invariably rode, and which eventually broke his neck.

But there are many Wild Darrells; all Europe is overrun by them. They nightly tear, on their phantom horses, over the German and Norwegian forests and moor-lands that echo and re-echo with their hoarse shouts and the mournful baying of their grisly hounds.

Many travellers in Russia and Germany journeying through the forests at night have caught the sound of wails,—of moans that, starting from the far distance, have gradually come nearer and nearer. Then they have heard the winding of a horn, the shouting and cursing of the huntsman, and in a biting cold wind have seen the whole cavalcade sweep by.

According to various authorities on the subject this spectral chase goes by different names. In Thuringia and elsewhere, it is "Hakelnberg" or "Hackelnbarend,"—the story being that Hakelnberg, a German knight, who had devoted his whole life to the chase, on his death-bed had told the officiating priest that he cared not a jot for heaven, but only for hunting; the priest losing patience and exclaiming, "Then hunt till Doomsday."

So, in all weathers, in snow and ice, Hakelnberg, his horse and hounds, are seen careering after imaginary game.

There are similar stories current in the Netherlands, Denmark, Russia, and practically all over Europe, and not only Europe, but in many of the states and departments of the New World. This being so, I think there must be a substantial substratum of truth underlying the beliefs, phantastic as they may appear, and yet, are no more phantastic than many of the stories we are asked to give absolute credence to in the Bible.
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« Reply #155 on: November 01, 2009, 02:46:41 am »

In Old Castile the spirit of a Moorish leader who won many victories over the Spaniards, and was drowned by reason of his heavy armour in a swamp of the River Duero, still haunts his burial-place, a piece of marshy ground, near Burgos. There, weird noises, such as the winding of a huntsman's horn and the neighing of a horse, are heard, and the phantasm of the dead Moor is seen mounted on a white horse followed by twelve huge, black hounds.

In Sweden many of the peasants say, when a noise like that of a coach and horses is heard rumbling past in the dead of night, "It is the White Rider," whilst in Norway they say of the same sounds, "It is the hunt of the Devil and his four horses." In Saxony the rider is believed to be Barbarossa, the celebrated hero of olden days. Near Fontainebleau, Hugh Capet is stated to ride a gigantic sable horse to the palace, where he hunted before the assassination of Henry IV; and in the Landes the rider is thought to be Judas Iscariot. In other parts of France the wild huntsman is known as Harlequin or Henequin, and in some parts of Brittany he is "Herod in pursuit of the Holy Innocents." (Alas, that no such Herod visits London! How welcome would he be, were he only to flout a few of the brawling brats who, allowed to go anywhere they please, make an inferno of every road they choose to play in.)

Here my notes on horses end; and although the evidence I have offered may have failed to convince many, I myself am fully satisfied that these noble and indispensable animals do not terminate their existence in this world, but pass on to another, and, let us all sincerely hope, far happier, plane.
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« Reply #156 on: November 01, 2009, 02:47:02 am »

CHAPTER IV
BULLS, COWS, PIGS, ETC.

From the Hebrides there comes to me a case of the phantasm of a black bull, that, on certain nights in the year, is heard bellowing inside the shed where it was killed.

There are many accounts of ghostly cows heard "mooing" in the moors and bog-lands of Scotland and Ireland respectively, and not a few cases of whole herds of phantom cattle seen, gliding along, one behind the other, with silent, noiseless tread. Though I have never had the opportunity of experimenting with cows to see if they are sensitive to the superphysical, I see no reason why they should not be, and I feel quite certain they will participate in "the future life."

Apropos of pigs, Mr. Dyer, in his Ghost World, says, "Another form of spectre animal is the kirk-grim, which is believed to haunt many churches. Sometimes it is a pig, sometimes a horse, the haunting spectre being the spirit of an animal buried alive in the churchyard for the purpose of scaring away the sacrilegious."

Mr. Dyer goes on to say that it was the custom of the old Christian churches to bury a lamb under the altar; and that if anyone entered a church out of service time and happened to see a little lamb spring across the choir and vanish, it was a sure prognostication of the death of some child; and if this apparition was seen by the grave-digger the death would take place immediately. Mr. Dyer also tells us that the Danish kirk-grim was thought to hide itself in the tower of a church in preference to any other place, and that it was thought to protect the sacred buildings. According to the same writer, in the streets of Kroskjoberg, a grave sow, or, as it was called, a "gray-sow," was frequently seen, and it was said to be the apparition of a sow formerly buried alive; its appearance foretelling death or calamity.
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« Reply #157 on: November 01, 2009, 02:47:18 am »

Phantasm of a Goat
Mrs. Crowe, in her Night Side of Nature, relates one case of a house near Philadelphia, U.S.A., that was haunted by a variety of phenomena, among others that of a spectre resembling a goat.

"Other extraordinary things happened in the house," she writes, "which had the reputation of being haunted, although the son had not believed it, and had thereupon not mentioned the report to the father.

"One day the children said they had been running after 'such a queer thing in the cellar; it was like a goat, and not like a goat, but it seemed to be like a shadow.'"

This explanation does not appear to be very satisfactory, but as I have heard of one or two other cases of premises being haunted by what, undoubtedly, were the phantasms of goats, I think it highly probable it was the ghost of a goat in this instance, too.
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« Reply #158 on: November 01, 2009, 02:47:33 am »

The Phantom Pigs of the Chiltern Hills
A good many years ago there was a story current of an extraordinary haunting by a herd of pigs. The chief authority on the subject was a farmer, who was an eye-witness of the phenomena. I will call him Mr. B.

Mr. B., as a boy, lived in a small house called the Moat Grange, which was situated in a very lonely spot near four cross-roads, connecting four towns.

The house, deriving its name from the fact that a moat surrounded it, stood near the meeting point of the four roads, which was the site of a gibbet, the bodies of the criminals being buried in the moat.

Well, the B——s had not been living long on the farm, before they were awakened one night by hearing the most dreadful noises, partly human and partly animal, seemingly proceeding from a neighbouring spinney, and on going to a long front window overlooking the cross-roads, they saw a number of spotted creatures like pigs, screaming, fighting and tearing up the soil on the site of the criminals' cemetery.

The sight was so unexpected and alarming that the B——s were appalled, and Mr. B. was about to strike a light on the tinder-box, when the most diabolical white face was pressed against the outside of the window-pane and stared in at them.

This was the climax, the children shrieked with terror, and Mrs. B., falling on her knees, began to pray, whereupon the face at the window vanished, and the herd of pigs, ceasing their disturbance, tore frantically down one of the high roads, and disappeared from view.
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« Reply #159 on: November 01, 2009, 02:47:44 am »

Similar phenomena were seen and heard so frequently afterwards, that the B——s eventually had to leave the farm, and subsequent enquiries led to their learning that the place had long borne the reputation of being haunted, the ghosts being supposed to be the earth-bound spirits of the executed criminals. Whether this was so or not must, of course, be a matter of conjecture—the herd of hogs may well have been the phantasms of actual earth-bound pigs—attracted to the spot by a sort of fellow-feeling for the criminals, whose gross and carnal natures would no doubt appeal to them.

A lane in Hertfordshire was—and, perhaps, still is—haunted by the phantasm of a big white sow which had accidentally been run over and killed. It was occasionally heard grunting, and had the unpleasant knack of approaching one noiselessly from the rear, and of making the most unearthly noise just behind one's back.
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« Reply #160 on: November 01, 2009, 02:48:15 am »

Sheep

Lambs and sheep, possessing finer natures than goats and pigs, would appear to be less earth-bound, and, in all probability, only temporarily haunt the spots that witnessed their usually barbarous ends.

Most slaughter-houses are haunted by them—as, indeed, by many other animals. A Scottish moor long bore the reputation for being haunted by a phantom flock of sheep, which were always heard "baaing" plaintively before a big storm.

It was supposed they were the ghosts of a flock that had perished in the memorable severe weather of Christmas, 1880. Here is a case that may be regarded as typical of hauntings by sheep, presumably the earth-bound spirits of sheep, overwhelmed in some great storm or unexpected catastrophe.
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« Reply #161 on: November 01, 2009, 02:48:44 am »

"The Spectre Flock of Sheep in Germany"

"During the seven years' war in Germany," writes Mrs. Crowe, in her Night Side of Nature, "a drover lost his life in a drunken squabble on the high road.

"For some time there was a sort of rude tombstone, with a cross on it, to mark the spot where his body was interred, but this has long fallen, and a milestone now fills its place. Nevertheless, it continues to be commonly asserted by the country people, and also by various travellers, that they have been deluded on that spot by seeing, as they imagine, herds of beasts, which on investigation prove to be merely visionary. Of course, many people look upon this as a superstition; but a very regular confirmation of the story occurred in the year 1826, when two gentlemen and two ladies were passing the spot in a post-carriage. One of these was a clergyman, and none of them had ever heard of the phenomenon said to be attached to the place. They had been discussing the prospects of the minister, who was on his way to a vicarage, to which he had just been appointed, when they saw a large flock of sheep, which stretched quite across the road, and was accompanied by a shepherd and a long-haired black dog. As to meet cattle on that road was nothing uncommon, and indeed they had met several droves in the course of one day, no remark was made at the moment, till suddenly each looked at the other, and said, 'What's become of the sheep?' Quite perplexed at their sudden disappearance, they called to the postilion to stop, and all got out, in order to mount the little elevation and look around, but still unable to discover them, they now bethought themselves of asking the postilion where they were; when, to their infinite surprise, they learned that he had not seen them. Upon this, they bade him quicken his pace, that they might overtake a carriage that had passed them shortly before, and enquire if that party had seen the sheep; but they had not.
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« Reply #162 on: November 01, 2009, 02:49:04 am »

"Four years later a postmaster, named J., was on the same road, driving a carriage, in which were a clergyman and his wife, when he saw a large flock of sheep near the same spot. Seeing they were very fine wethers, and supposing them to have been bought at a sheep-fair that was then taking place a few miles off, J. drew up his reins and stopped his horses, turning at the same time to the clergyman to say that he wanted to enquire the price of the sheep, as he intended going next day to the fair himself. Whilst the minister was asking him what sheep he meant, J. got down and found himself in the midst of the animals, the size and beauty of which astonished him. They passed him at an unusual rate, whilst he made his way through them to find the shepherd; when, on getting to the end of the flock, they suddenly disappeared. He then first learnt that his fellow-travellers had not seen them at all."

So writes Mrs. Crowe, and I quote the case in support of my argument that sheep, like horses, cats, dogs and all other kinds of animals, possess spirits, and consequently have a future state of existence.

I have not yet experimented with sheep, goats, or pigs, but I do not doubt but that they are more or less sensitive to superphysical influences, and possess the psychic faculty of scenting the Unknown—though not, perhaps, in so great a degree as any of the other animals I have enumerated.
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« Reply #163 on: November 01, 2009, 02:49:37 am »

PART II
WILD ANIMALS AND THE UNKNOWN
CHAPTER V
WILD ANIMALS AND THE UNKNOWN

Apes
The following case of animal hauntings was recorded in automatic writing:—

"I sank wearily into my easy chair before the fire, which burned with a fitful and sullen glow in the tiny grate of my one room—bare and desolate as only the room of an unsuccessful author can be.

"My condition was pitiable. For the past twelve months I had not earned a cent, and of my small capital there now remained but two pounds to ward the hound of starvation from my door. In the moonlight I could perceive all the bareness of the apartment. Would to God Fancy would ride to me on this moonbeam and give me inspiration! 'Twas indeed weird—this silver ethereal path connecting the moon with the earth, and the more I gazed along it, the more I wished to leave my body and escape to the star-lighted vaults. Certainly, from a conversation I had once had with a member of the New Occult Society, I believed it possible by concentrating all the mental activities in one channel, so to overcome the barriers which prevent the soul visiting scenes of the ethereal world, as to pass materialized to the spot upon which the ideas are fixed. But although I had essayed—how many times I do not like to confess—to gain that amount of concentration necessary for the separation of the soul from the body, up to the present all my attempts had been fruitless. Doubtless there had been a something—too minute even for definition—that had interrupted my self-abstraction—a something that had wrecked my venture, just when I felt it to be on the verge of completion. And was it likely that now, when my ideas were misty and vague, I should be more successful? I wanted to quit the cruel bonds of nature and be free—free to roam and ramble. But where?

"At length, as I gazed into the moonlight, I lost all cognizance of the objects around me, and my eyes became fixed on the mountains of the moon, which I discovered, with a start, were no longer specks. I found, to my amazement, I had left my body and was careering swiftly through space—infinite space. The range opened up in front of me, spreading out far and wide, winding, black and awful—their solemn grandeur lost in that terrible desolation which makes the moon appear like a hideous nightmare. I could see with amazing clearness the sides of the mountains; there were enormous black fissures, some of them hundreds of feet in width—and the more I gazed the more impressed I grew with the silence. There was no life. There were no seas, no lakes, no trees, no grass, no sighing nor moaning of the wind, nothing to remind me of the earth I now found to my terror I had actually quitted. Everything around me was black—the sky, the mountains, the vast pits, the dried-up mouths of which gaped dismally.
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« Reply #164 on: November 01, 2009, 02:49:59 am »

"With the movements of a man in a fit, I essayed to hinder the finis of my mad plunge. I waved my limbs violently, kicking out and shrieking in the agonies of fear. I cursed and prayed, wept and laughed alternately, did everything, yet nothing, that could save me from contact with the lone desert so horribly close. Nearer and nearer I approached, until at last my feet rested on the hard caked soil. For the first few minutes after my arrival I was too overwhelmed with fear to do other than remain stationary. The ground beneath my feet swarmed with myriads of foul and long-legged insects, things with unwieldy pincers and protruding eyes; things covered with scaly armour; hybrids of beetles and scorpions. I have a distinct recollection of one huge-jointed centipede making a vicious grab at my leg; he failed to make his teeth meet in anything tangible, and emitting a venomous hiss disappeared in a circular pit.

"Whilst I was the victim of this insect's ferocity the horizon had become darkened by the shadowy outline of an enormous apish form. I wanted to run away, but could not, and was compelled, sorely against my will, to witness its approach. Never shall I forget the agonies of doubt I endured during its advance. No man in a tiger's den, nor deer tied to a tree awaiting its destroyer, could have suffered more than I did then, and my terror increased tenfold when I recognized in the monster—Neppon—a young gorilla that had been under my charge and had given me no end of trouble when I was head keeper in the Zoological Gardens at Berne.
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