I was re-reading “Good Tidings- A Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery (Book Two) last week because it’s set during this time of year, and I just love that story. In this book, if you remember, Mary picks up a new ghost friend in front of Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society building, a ghost dog. And it turns out that the ghost dog ends up being quite beneficial in the story.
So, do you believe in ghost dogs?
According to Amy’s Crypt website, one of the most famous ghost stories to come out of Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland, is that of a small dog, a Skye Terrier, called Greyfriars Bobby.
“This dog sadly lost its owner to tuberculosis. After his owner was buried inside Greyfriars Cemetery, the ever-loyal dog remained at his gravesite for the next 14 years until his own death. During this time, Greyfriars Bobby became so well known and cared for within the local community that when he died, he was also interred at the cemetery. Today, visitors can see a statue of Bobby outside the graveyard, a pub named after him, and a tombstone proudly standing at the entrance to the cemetery in honor of his loyalty. Though these physical tributes remain, many also believe that Greyfriars Bobby has also remained in ghost form. There have been countless reports of visitors sighting a small ghostly dog within the cemetery and even hearing unexplainable, disembodied barks.”
The Victorian Web shares the photo seen above and more information about the fountain.
Maybe ghost dogs and terriers are a thing. At the Holly Hotel in Holly, Michigan, Leona, a rat terrier, and the dog of the first owner of the hotel, Mr. Hirst, can be heard running down the halls of the hotel. It’s also reported that people feel him brush up against their legs, and when they look down, nothing is there. Phantom barking was also observed quite frequently, especially by the early-morning chefs.
On the website “Damned Connecticut”, you can read about another ghost dog, although this one is a cute, cuddly terrier.
“Over the years, people have told of encounters with a small, vaguely spaniel-like, short-haired black dog. Often, it is described as having come out of nowhere and, despite its sad eyes, being quite happy to have human companionship. Like any good phantom, it leaves no footprints and makes no sound when it barks or howls, yet it leaves quite an impression. For it is said of the Black Dog: “If a man shall meet the Black Dog once, it shall be for joy; and if twice, it shall be for sorrow; and the third time, he shall die.”
As you might expect, there are numerous tales of those who have met their end after seeing the Black Dog a third time — it wouldn’t be a proper legend if there weren’t, right? Stories of the Black Dog’s victims go back as far as the 1800s; as many as a half dozen people are believed to have been cursed to death by the creature, including as recently as the 1970s.”
CT Insider shares one of the tales of woe.
“Unlike so many local tales whose origins are unknown or which evolved piecemeal over time, the legend of the Black Dog has a clear beginning: the winter of 1898. That’s when a curious story called “The Black Dog” appeared in The Connecticut Quarterly.
“It is a short-haired black dog of moderate size, with nothing particularly noticeable in its actual appearance,” wrote the narrator of the tale of the dog’s appearance. “Yet there are two signs by which it is ever known: men have seen it bark but have heard no sound, and it leaves no footprint behind it on the dust of summer or the snow of winter.”
In February during the late 1890s, the narrator, who is identified only by the initials F.S. and is a Harvard-trained geologist, decides to explore the lava-formed Hanging Hill’s West Peak. He is joined by Herbert Marshall, who worked for the U.S. Geological Survey. Before departing, F.S. tells Marshall he saw a strange black dog on a visit to the region three years earlier. Marshall responds that he has also seen the dog twice before and recounts a local legend that seeing the dog three times meant death. Ignoring this superstition, the men set out the next morning to hike and climb to the summit of West Peak.
“Though it is not very high by measurement, yet, by its wild and savage aspect, it makes a stronger impression on the traveler than many mountains of much greater altitude,” F.S. writes. “When the winter winds roar through the stunted cedars and whirl the snows from the summit, when the rocks stand out black through the drifts that pile up under the lee of the cliffs, then the West Peak has a look of menace hard to describe.”
As the young scientist and Marshall set out, they found themselves at the mercy of those winter winds. The ascent to the peak went smoothly, but on the way down, it was bitterly cold, and a familiar canine made an appearance. “Here, high on the rocks above us, stood a black dog like the one I had seen three years before,” F.S. writes. “We saw his breath rise, steaming from his jaws, but no sound came through the biting air. Once, and only once, he gazed down on us with gleaming eyes, and then he bounded back out of sight.”
At that instant, the rock outcropping Marshall stood on gave way, and he fell to his death. The narrator made it off the peak and later wrote down his story of woe. In a postscript to the story, it is revealed that F.S. was found six years later near where Marshall fell, presumably after a third and final encounter with the black dog.”
Nothing good ever comes from ignoring a legend.
The final story comes from Reddit
“I just saw a ghost dog. I can’t explain what I just saw in any other way.
I pop home from work every day for lunch, so I just saw this in clear daylight as I was in my kitchen.
Some background. I live in a rented house which shares a huge but pretty empty garden with the landlords next door. They did have three dogs but now have two. There was one girl, and there were two boy dogs, who were twins called Teddy and Gizmo.
Sadly, Gizmo was killed last Christmastime when he was run over, leaving just Teddy and the other dog.
So, anyway. Today, I’m standing in my kitchen, and I’ve just turned away from the fridge when I see what I assume in the moment is Teddy running back from the gate in the garden, past my kitchen windows, and around to the right of my house. He is running left and presumably back to the house to the left of mine, where he lives.
I thought he looked a bit odd, as he was running very smoothly, and Teddy ALWAYS runs with this adorable little skippy gallop as if he isn’t quite sure where all his feet are at any one time. I didn’t think much of it, though. I glanced at the gate he was running away from, as the dogs only ever go around the side of my house to there when they are greeting someone at the gate. There was no one there.
I started to walk to my back door and open it, expecting him to come round the corner from the side of my house with the windows at any second. I wanted to give him a little bit of chicken. After a few seconds, he doesn’t come around the corner, so I stick my head out of the door and look into the bit of garden where I know he must be, and it is totally empty. It’s just a square of grass surrounded by walls on three sides with a gate at the top.
There is concretely nowhere that Teddy could have gone to either hide from me, or to pass me as I went to the door and opened it after seeing him running down the side of the house.
Then I realized that the little dog I had just seen ran exactly the same way that Gizmo did. I have never seen Teddy move in a way that wasn’t really lolloping and awkward.
I then immediately looked around the rest of the very large garden, expecting to see Teddy there somewhere, as he definitely hadn’t had enough time to get back to the house he lives in and out of sight, even if he had somehow slipped by me. Nothing there.
I am a huge skeptic about things like this, and knowing the layout of my garden as I do, I know there is no explanation where that dog could have gone past my window and somehow passed my glass doors at the back without me seeing it, it had to have been down the side of my house still. Add to that fact the way that it moved like Gizmo did rather than how Teddy does, and I have to admit, I think I just saw a tiny little ghost dog.”
I don’t know; this last one has a part that’s hard to believe: what dog – living or dead – would pass up a bit of chicken? Right?!?!?