All dogs go to heaven—except the ones that stay behind on earth to haunt humans forever more. Is that not how the full saying goes? Maybe it should, because reports of animal hauntings aren't as uncommon as you would think (which might be "very uncommon," if you're not the supernatural type).
Add a "meow" and a "ruff" to your Ouija board and prepare to make contact with animals from beyond the grave, because here's a quick guide to some of the world's most famous alleged animal hauntings.
1. The Knickerbocker Hotel — Linesville, PA
The Knickerbocker Hotel was built more than 130 years ago and has been the subject of several paranormal studies, including research by groups from Keystone Paranormal, Oil Region Paranormal and the Penn State Paranormal Research Society. The hotel is said to be haunted by several ghosts, including that of the hotel's original owner, Clara Arnold.
The most interesting post-living inhabitant, however, has to be the spirit of the cat haunting the second floor room appropriately known as "The Cat Room." Some visitors have even captured what they claim is audio and visual evidence of the haunting:
The hotel is so proud of its haunting reputation that it invites paranormal enthusiasts to check out its ghosts on an Action Cam on the hotel's website.
2. The Shanley Hotel — Napanoch, NY
The Shanley Hotel, located in Napanoch, New York, about two hours outside of New York City, has completely leaned into its haunted reputation (it even rebranded its website recently as "The Haunted Shanley Hotel"). In 2013, footage of a ghost cat in room #13 on the hotel's third floor went viral:
3. The Candle Shoppe of the Poconos — Swiftwater, PA
The Candle Shoppe of the Poconos basically looks like the Sanderson Sister gift shop from Hocus Pocus, so it's not shocking that it's rumored to be haunted.
The Shoppe isn't haunted by a snarky black cat though. Nope, it's allegedly haunted by the monkeys of William Redwood Fisher, a doctor who was the building's original owner in 1897 and who performed experiments on monkeys there. The building was featured on an episode of Animal Planet's The Haunted.
4. The Stewards House — Montpelier Hill, Ireland
The Stewards House at Montpelier Hill is said to be haunted by a demonic black cat that allegedly roams the property, terrifying ghost-seeking tourists. There are different theories about how the cat died and why it haunts the property, but TBH, does it really matter? DEMONIC. BLACK. CAT.
5. Cape May, NJ
Cape May is an idyllic little East Coast town. It couldn't look LESS haunted in a lot of ways. But the town is allegedly one of the most haunted in America. Among its ghostly residents is reportedly a hell hound (or possibly just a black dog) said to have been cursed long ago.
6. The Hanging Hills — Meriden, CT
The Hanging Hills of Hubbard Park in Meriden, Connecticut are said to be haunted by The Black Dog. Ominous, no?
A geologist named W.H.C Pynchon published one of the earliest accounts of the Black Dog, writing, "If you meet the Black Dog once, it shall be for joy; If twice, it shall be for sorrow; and the third time shall bring death." Today, people say the dog is silent and doesn't leave footprints (which, you know, seems standard for a ghost). Joking aside though, the dog isn't to be messed with—several deaths have been blamed on the ghostly pup.
7. The Devil's Backbone — Texas Hill Country
The Devil's Backbone in Texas is beautiful, but it's also the subject of some scary stories. The area, described as the "most haunted stretch of Texas highway" is supposedly haunted by a whole range of spirits, including the ghosts of Spanish monks, Native Americans, and soldiers. The ghost roster includes some animals too, including the horses of the aforementioned soldiers and a wolf's spirit.
8. Jacob Hummelbaugh Farm House — Gettysburg, PA
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is a must-visit destination for paranormal lovers. The town is home to lots of haunted locations, but only one is home to the spirit of a ghost dog. The Jacob Hummelbaugh Farm House, which is now owned by the National Park Service, was used as a Union Field Hospital during the Civil War and one of the men who died there was Confederate Brigadier General William Barksdale. Barksdale is said to haunt the property, along with his dog, who is said to have been so heartbroken by his person's death that he stayed by his grave, day and night, for the rest of his days and now can still be heard crying out for Barksdale today.
9. Airth Castle — Stirlingshire, Scotland
10. Farnam Mansion — Oneida, New York
The Farnam Mansion was built in the 19th century and now serves as an inn, but it's probably more known among paranormal investigators than B&B lovers. Guests at the inn have reported a range of ghostly sightings, including a phantom cat that allegedly haunts the attic.
11. Arundel Castle — England
This castle has a very Disney-esque name, so it's kind of appropriate that it's alleged ghostly inhabitants are group of birds. Guests have reported seeing spirits that look like flying white birds, believed to be the ghosts of a colony of White American Owls that took up residence in the castle before it was restored.