This article is from 2021 and may be outdated. We're working on restoring a newer version.
If ghosts are real, there are ghostly animals.
Personally, I’ve seen ghostly cats and at least one ghost fish.
The ghostly fish was very odd. It’s not as if the family was especially attached to the fish. It was just a fish. It didn’t even have a name, until it started haunting them.
I’ve heard fewer reports of ghostly dogs, but – of course – England’s “Black Shuck” is famous. That dog-like figure was the basis of the Sherlock Holmes story, “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”
In the coastal Norfolk town of Overstrand, Shuck Lane still reports sightings of the large, black wolfhound.
More reliably, you may see him at Coltishall Bridge, north of Norwich.
Is it the same dog in all these stories, or a different one? It’s difficult to be certain.
The Lizzie Borden house in Fall River (MA) reports a ghostly cat. I’ve seen what I thought was a solid, living cat at that house. It never crossed my mind until the owner explained that no living cat was in the house that night.
One of the owners of the Spalding Inn in Whitefield (NH) also reported a ghost cat. That cat was seen regularly by staff and guests.
One of my own cats “haunted” us for over a year after his death. I might have chalked it up to “wishful thinking,” except other people — who didn’t even know about the cat — saw him as well.
In a way, it was comforting, but I was just as happy when he finally decided to cross over. (We stopped seeing him after his brother died. I think they wanted to remain together, always.)
Many pet owners have happily described being visited by the spirit of a beloved cat or dog, too.
In addition to ghost animals, some paranormal creatures resemble animals. They’re described in cryptozoology. They include Bigfoot, flying snakes, and thunderbirds. (England’s Black Shuck may belong in that category.)
In fact, they’ve been described in folklore for centuries.
Most people who encountered them are certain they’re real, not imaginary.
Some early American settlers seemed to bring fantastical, cryptozoological creatures with them.
One might be Maryland’s “Snallygaster,” from the area where the Blair Witch Project was filmed. The “Snallygaster” came from Germany, where it’s known as the Schneller Geist, or “quick spirit.”
Cryptozoology can be fascinating, but it’s not ghost hunting.
However, if you’re wondering if Fluffy or Fido might be visiting you from the other side, it’s entirely possible.