Thursday, October 27, 2016

Can Dogs See Ghosts?

The other day I got an email from the Dogster site listing their recent articles. One of them was Can Dogs See Ghosts?....This got my memories flowing!!!

Now what with this being almost Halloween and the fact that I grew up in a very old farm house, I thought I would tell a tale from my childhood. You can let me know what you think.......

My parents named the place Tiptop. A play on our last name (Tipton)
 and the fact the house was set on top of a small hill.

I was raised in a large, old, and somewhat rundown farm house built in the early 1800's. There was no doubt it was old and built to less exacting standards than today. One window would be three inches from the ceiling, another one five inches. The walls were made from plaster held together with horse hair, there was a fireplace in almost every room since the house pre-dated modern heating, and the windows had bluish panes that clearly showed the bubbles of being hand blown. It had gorgeous pine floors that creaked when you walked on them. The house had a decided slant front to back where it had settled poorly. The basement walls were made of large fieldstones and if it rained too much a small stream ran across the basement floor. It was and still is a lot of work to maintain (my sister owns it now and lives there), but I was a kid and didn't care about such things.

My parents bought this place in the mid 1950s. The house was set on ten acres of land that had been used as a nursery for a while. It had a garage, a run down little barn, and a small second house that was once used by the caretaker of the nursery. It is a very unique property and a great place to grow up! Best of all, my parents loved animals! Because the area was rural, I was always surrounded by dogs, cats, horses, and whatever other animal needed a home at the moment.

The small caretaker's house, which we called George's 
after the man who once lived there.

When I was a very young child, my parents bought a German Shepherd puppy that we named Storm. My very first memory in life was this puppy! I actually remember bringing the puppy home from wherever they got him, but then no other memories until he and I were quite a bit older.

The little urchin on the right is me!

Being such an old house, it came with many creaks and groans as more settling occurred or the wind whistled through the eaves. Doors would open on their own or swing on their hinges for no apparent reason. Just many odd sounds that didn't always seem to have a rhyme or reason.

The house was a classic colonial style inside. A wide front hallway with rooms off to the left and right. At the back of the hall, the main staircase lead upstairs, with a landing three quarters of the way up, turning to the left and going up a bit more.

While our dogs spent a lot of time outside thanks to living in the country, they still had the option to be indoors with us. I was playing in the front part of the hallway one day and Storm was hanging out, where else for a dog, but in the kitchen.  Storm walked out into the hall from the kitchen which put him at the base of the stairs. He looked at me, probably hoping I was eating something. He turned back and looked up the steps. He just stood for a couple of minutes, transfixed, staring at the top of the steps where the landing was. My mother was in the kitchen, no one was upstairs.....Storm stood locked in place long enough my mother came out to the hallway. As my mother and I watched, Storm's head bounced like he was watching someone walk down the stairs. When the angle of his head pointed to one of the lower steps, the fur on his hackles rose straight up, he issued a long, deep growl, and then turned and fled from the house!!!! My mother and I were so spooked by his behavior, we ran out right behind him!

Storm was a very protective GSD and normally guarded
his family closely. On this particular day, he abandoned ship!

This was not the only odd occurance to happen in our old house, there were many, but is one that is deeply etched in my memory! So what do you think happened? What was Storm reacting to?


  1. Great story! My dog Tucker used to play with spirits in our old house :-)

  2. Yes, they can see more than we realise. William was a pup when we had family visiting, of course, being a pup he was excited. He greeted everyone the same and at one point he jumped up to greet someone, but there was nobody there, he simply landed into clear space. (think I was the only person to notice, but it was very specific at the time). I'm sure he saw someone, probably from our family who wanted to join in the gathering. Makes me feel comforted that they are around us still.

  3. I have no doubt that dogs can see, or sense ghosts. They are so much more in tune than people are. My mom grew up in a haunted house in England, and to this day she is very sensitive to ghosts that are nearby. It would have been interesting if they had a dog too.

  4. What a great story! Gave me chills just reading it. I have no doubt he saw something you all couldn't. Dogs don't typically react that way over nothing. Would love hear more stories from the house and also more pictures. Old houses have always intrigued me and I enjoy the old stories that go with them.

  5. We saw'd a ghost and mom didn't believe us
    Lily and Edward

  6. We have no doubt that dogs can see into other dimensions

  7. I agree with Rebecca E—I would love to hear more: what a lovely old house, one I would love to live in (if it weren't so hard to maintain:), even with its ghosts!

  8. What a cool, cool place to grow up? And what a scary story...o.O

  9. Oooo. Great Halloween story! The head bobbing is what gets me - I think he was seeing a ghost! I had to laugh thought about his abandoning ship. Gosh, I hope Rita won't abandon me if we get any ghostly visits!

    (Also, love the urchin pic. What an awesome place to grow up!)

  10. So creepy! I believe he saw something. I swear were we live now is haunted. Random sounds (doors shutting and glass breaking when neither happens), random knocks, things being moved around, strange glimpses of things. Both the dogs and the cat will stare at things that aren't there, and the dogs will growl and snarl at nothing. I can't wait to move.

  11. I definitely believe that dogs can see ghosts! I love this story! But then, I'm an old "Dark Shadows" fan from way back. Anyway, shortly after Callie got her angel wings last year, Shadow and I both caught a glimpse of her spirit walking into the bathroom. Shadow must have seen more than just a glimpse though, because she stood at the bathroom door, transfixed by the spot in front of the bathtub where Callie always went when she wanted to cool off.


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