Animal ghosts appear to be the most accommodating spirits that transition between the physical and spiritual realms.
Research as far back as the Battle of Gettysburg include reports of brief appearances and limited revisits. At Gettysburg, some soldiers saw fleeting images of a horse carrying the corpse of a soldier. Historical accounts recall a hazy vision that gradually faded until the horse and rider evaporated.
Descriptions of the same dim, shadow-like appearances are common among those who claim to see, hear or feel their deceased household pets or snakes, wolves and alligators.
Unlike their human counterparts, household pet ghosts tend to briefly visit soon after their demise. They are often described as apparitions whose souls hover on the edge of the real world. Their main goal seems to be bringing comfort and reassurance to the grieving owners and animal companions.
Cats and dogs, in most reported cases, appear for seconds or minutes in spaces they favored when alive. Some people report spotting deceased pets in hallways, smelling or sensing their presence on a bed or chair.
A few claim to see paw prints or impressions indicating a presence. No howling, screeching or knocking is cited, these visitors make the same type of sounds they did when living, brief barking or chatty meows. Other grieving owners recount extremely realistic dreams about beloved pets.
There are exceptions to the widely circulated image of the benign ghost animal. Many ghost hunters have designated the White House as the most haunted space in the United States. Along with an unsettled President Abraham Lincoln and the pyro maniacal British soldier, a demonic cat is said to roam the White House’s basement. Testimonials describe a small kitten that gradually expands to monstrous proportions. According to some believers the creature may serve as a warning of horrific national disasters. Allegedly, this cat was encountered by officials and staff members before the 1929 stock market crash. Others recall seeing the feline before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
On a less ominous note, numerous pet owners who decide to replace their cat or dog claim the new pets often exhibit behaviors similar to the deceased.
Usually these anecdotes refer to gestures the animal habitually made, paw tapping or gentle nuzzles. The new animals often eerily and easily transition to human household routines and four footed roommates. Ghost hunting enthusiasts believe these paranormal activities help provide much needed comfort and closure to the owners.