Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the idea of them has become deeply ingrained in today’s society, with almost everyone knowing about a location said to be haunted, or a person who has had some sort of encounter with the supernatural. However, what many people don’t realize is that the spirit world may not only apply to humans, here are five cases of alleged animal ghosts.
Texas is a land of many ghost stories, and the legend of Stampede Mesa is one of its most enduring. In the fall of 1889 a man named Sawyer was driving a huge herd of cattle, hundreds strong, across the desolate Texas plains to Kansas. The journey had taken several days, and both man and beast were exhausted.
One night, while resting on a Mesa the animals suddenly began to stampede, and 200 cows and two assistants plunged over the cliff face to their death before Sawyer was able to regain control. No one was able to figure out what caused the herd to go wild, however just two years later it happened again with a different herd at the same spot, the cows simply charged to their death. This incident led to the Mesa gaining a reputation as “cursed”, and other herders were warned to avoid the area.
People who have visited the Mesa at night claim that they have heard the thunder of hooves and the bellowing of cows rushing past them, as though the past was repeating, but they never saw the animals themselves, and others have claimed to have sighted men in cowboy dress among the rocks, believed them to be the ghosts of those who went over the cliff with their herd.
4The Bear In The Tower
The Tower of London has a remarkable past and is said to be haunted by various spirits, but the apparition that one guard claimed he encountered one night in 1860 is truly unique.
While doing his nightly rounds the guard claimed he heard heavy breathing and a shuffling noise behind him, he turned around and was horrified to see a grizzly bear looming in the doorway behind him.
In fear for his life the guard thrust his bayonet at the bear, the weapon passed straight through the animal and the bear itself then vanished into thin air.
As bizarre as the incident sounds, it should be noted that at one time the tower was used as a menagerie that housed various exotic creatures, including lions, hyenas, elephants and yes, bears. Sadly, the knowledge of how to care for these rare creatures was sadly lacking, and many of the animals there died as a result, is it possible that one creature still roams the tower?
3The Gettysburg Dog
Soldiers of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry had one constant source of companionship and hope during their time engaged in the American civil war, Sallie, a pit bull terrier who was given to Capt. William R. Terry as a puppy.
Sallie quickly became a mascot for the regiment, accompanying them into battle and even guarding them while they slept in camp. Sadly, while engaged in a skirmish in 1865, she was struck by a bullet and killed, with several soldiers laying down their weapons to bury her where she lay.
Sallie was commemorated with a life-sized bronze statue which was erected at Gettysburg in 1890, and numerous visitors to her monument have reported hearing barking and growling coming from her statue, as though Sallie is still there in spirit.
One of the most infamous of all British legends is that of Black Shuck, an apparition that throughout history has been spotted in East Anglia. Said to be a malevolent spirit that takes the form of a huge black dog with piercing red eyes, it is widely considered to be a bad omen, and anyone who sees it is likely to run into some misfortune.
One case that is testament to this occurred in 1972 in Norfolk, when coastguard, Graham Grant reported to folklorist Ivan Banner that one day while on duty he was surprised to see a large black dog trotting along the beach without an owner, then, just as quickly as it appeared the dog simply vanished into thin air, but this was not where the encounter ended. Just weeks later both a colleague and Graham’s own father died unexpectedly, and Graham is adamant that the appearance of the dog is related to the deaths.
Another incident that took place in Norfolk in 1996 tells of a family who, while walking home at night through a woodland were confronted by a huge, snarling black dog that blocked their path. Unnerved the family turned around and walked back the way they came, and though they never saw the dog again, they reported a yearlong spate of bad luck, including injuries and auto accidents.
1The Black Cat Of Killakee
The history of the Killakee Estate is a dark one, in 1725 it was the main base of operations for a group called the Hellfire Club, a society comprised of wealthy noblemen who practised the occult. Legend has it that the Hellfire Club conducted their activities in a shack on Montpelier Hill, very close to the estate. The group were reported to have partaken in some truly horrendous activities, including burning cats alive. Despite the fact that the group halted their activities at the site in 1800, strange occurrences continued to plague the Killakee Estate.
Reports began to come in of a black cat; that would appear out of nowhere and then vanish, a cat that would walk through walls and hiss and threaten anyone who came near it.
The most well-known encounter with the cat came in 1968 when painter Tom McAssey paid a visit to the estate. One night while he and a friend were exploring the corridors of the main house they noticed the temperature drop suddenly, and a door the pair had closed earlier was suddenly open. McAssey closed the door again, and as he did he heard a loud growl from behind it, startled, he leapt back and slammed the door shut, but it flew open again, and crouching in the doorway was what McAssey described as “a monstrous black cat, with burning eyes”. McAssey was so scared by the incident that he painted the cat on canvas as a warning to others, and today it hangs in the main house.