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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 #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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« Reply #211 on: November 01, 2009, 03:13:24 am »

"The whistler shrill, that whoso hears doth die";

whilst Sir Walter Scott refers to it in a similar sense in his Lady of the Lake.

The yellow-hammer was formerly the object of much persecution, since it was believed that it received three drops of the devil's blood on its feather every May morning, and never appeared without presaging ill luck. Parrots do not appear to be very susceptible to the influence of the Unknown, and indicate little or no dread of superphysical demonstrations.

Doves, wrens, and robins are birds of good omen, and the many superstitions regarding them are all associated with good luck. Doves, I have found in particular, are very safe psychic barometers in haunted houses.

It is almost universally held to be unlucky to kill a robin. A correspondent of Notes and Queries (Fourth Series, vol. viii, p. 505) remarks:

"I took the following down from the mouth of a young miner:

"'My father killed a robin and had terrible bad luck after it. He had at that time a pig which was ready for pipping; she had a litter of seven, and they all died. When the pig was killed the two hams went bad; presently three of the family had a fever, and my father himself died of it. The neighbours said it was all through killing the robin.'"

George Smith, in his Six Pastorals (1770), says:

"I found a robin's nest within our shed,
And in the barn a wren has young ones bred;
I never take away their nest, nor try
To catch the old ones, lest a friend should die.
Dick took a wren's nest from the cottage side,
And ere a twelvemonth pass'd his mother dy'd!"

In Yorkshire it was once firmly believed that if a robin were killed, the cows belonging to the family of the destroyer of the bird would, for some time, only give bloody milk. At one time—and, perhaps, even now—the robin and wren, out of sheer pity, used to cover the bodies of those that died in the woods with leaves.

Webster, in his Tragedy of Vittoria Corombona (1612), refers to this touching habit of these birds thus:

"Call for the robin redbreast and the wren,
Since o'er the shady groves they hover,
And with leaves and flowers do cover
The friendless bodies of unburied men."

Not so harmless is the stormy petrel, whose advent is looked upon by sailors as a sure sign of an impending storm, accompanied by much loss of life.

The vulture and eagle, obviously on account of their ferocious dispositions, often remain earth-bound after death, and usually select as their haunts, spots little frequented by man. From what I have heard they are by far the most malignant of all bird ghosts, and have even been known to inflict physical injury on those who have had the misfortune to pass the night within their allotted precincts.
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« Reply #212 on: November 01, 2009, 03:14:06 am »

CHAPTER VIII
A BRIEF RETROSPECT

If I have failed to convince my readers as to the reality of a future existence for all species of mammalia, I trust I have at least suggested to them the idea of probability in such a theory; for did the belief that all animals possess imperishable spirits similar to mankind only become general, I feel quite sure that a marked improvement in our treatment of all the so-called "brute" creation—and God alone knows how much such an improvement is needed—would speedily result. It is still only the comparative few who are kind to animals—the majority are either wholly indifferent or absolutely cruel. But if children were made to realize that even insects have spirits, they, at least, let us hope, would cease to take delight in pulling off the wings and legs of flies.

Man has hitherto entertained the ridiculously unjustifiable idea that all the animal and insect world has been created solely for his benefit, to be killed or to be kept alive entirely at his discretion. Such an absurd and presumptuous belief ought to be exploded once and for all. The animal world, so all sane people must agree, was undoubtedly created to lead the same, free, untrammelled life as does man himself. Man—save in cunning—is nothing superior either to the dog, horse, or other mammalia; indeed, he is not infrequently so inferior that one cannot help thinking that possibly the higher spiritual planes are not for him at all, but for those who—misnamed the lower creation—have surpassed man in spirituality. Let those who doubt this study the superphysical all around them. Let them carefully watch animals, and observe their propensities, their psychic faculties of scent, sight, and hearing. They can easily test them in any house or locality which has a well-established reputation for being haunted. They will then see how close a relationship there really is between the animal and superphysical worlds. And if they want further proof,—proof of a more material nature,—let them search around for some spot stated to be haunted by a ghostly phenomenon in the form of a dog, horse, cat, or other animal,—and investigate there themselves.

Such investigations have convinced me, and surely, by using these same methods with patience and perseverance, other people might also be convinced. At all events, let them try. For, a conviction like mine—a conviction that an eternity exists for our canine pets and dumb friends—is certainly worth a lot of striving after. At least so I think.
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« Reply #213 on: November 01, 2009, 03:14:48 am »

STRANGER THAN FICTION

Being Tales from the Byways of Ghost and Folk-lore

By MARY L. LEWES

Crown 8vo, cloth gilt, 234 pp., 3s. 6d. net.

"There is much curious matter in the volume well narrated."—The Times.

"Has a thrill on every page."—Pall Mall Gazette.

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"An interesting collection ... quite worth adding to one's library of the marvellous and mysterious."—T.P.S. Book Notes.

"We have not, for a very long time, come across a book that interested us so much as this did."—Sheffield Daily Telegraph.

SHADOWS CAST BEFORE

An Anthology of Prophecies and Presentiments

Collected and Edited by CLAUD FIELD

Author of "A Dictionary of Oriental Quotations," "Tales of the Caliphs."

Crown 8vo, xii + 223 pp., cloth gilt, 2s. 6d. net.

The present collection of anticipations fulfilled seems by its cumulative weight to supply a strong prima facie case for the view that in some men, at any rate, there is a sixth sense to which on occasions the future is revealed.

"Stories which range from Cicero to Mlle Louisette the tight-rope dancer. If you like to read about wonderful and uncanny warnings, 'Shadows Cast Before' is full of them."—The Tatler.

RE-INCARNATION: A Study of Forgotten Truth

By E.D. WALKER

Crown 8vo, cloth gilt, 3s. 6d. net.

Contents.—Introduction—What is Re-incarnation?—Western Evidences of Re-incarnation—Western Poets upon Re-incarnation—Re-incarnation among the Ancients—Re-incarnation in the Bible—Re-incarnation in the East To-day—Eastern Poetry of Re-incarnation—Esoteric Oriental Re-incarnation—Transmigration through Animals—Death, Heaven, and Hell: What then of?—Karma, the Companion Truth of Re-incarnation—Conclusion—Appendix—Bibliography of Re-incarnation.

"Metempsychosis is the only anti-materialistic theory that philosophy can hearken to."—David Hume.

"Scarcely less interesting as an anthology of prose and verse extracts about Re-incarnation from ancient and modern writers, than as a detailed exposition of the theory itself."—Athenæum.

WILLIAM RIDER AND SON, LTD.

8-11 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON, E.C
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« Reply #214 on: November 01, 2009, 03:15:38 am »

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