With Halloween fast approaching we thought it might be fun to take a light-hearted look at some of the stories and legends surrounding spectral animals. Whether or not you believe in ghosts and things that go bump in the night, there have been countless stories over the years relating to the links between humans and animals that are difficult to break once pets have passed; whether these links are emotional, spiritual or supernatural. Friends of The Ralph Site know all too well that pets possess souls, and where there have been loving bonds through life, who is to say that these are completely cut after death?
Spirit guides and familiars
European folklore since medieval times has spoken of animal guides, or familiars – supernatural entities that helped witches in their practice of magic and the dark arts. Legend has it that a witch’s familiar was a black cat, but there are many recorded tales of rats, toads, ferrets and hares also taking this role.
During the English Civil War, the Royalist general Prince Rupert was always accompanied in battle by his poodle Boye. The dog was greatly feared among the Parliamentarian forces and was credited with possessing supernatural powers, working as a familiar to influence the outcome of combat. So much so that the poor animal was eventually shot by opposition forces, allegedly with a silver bullet.
The Demon Cat of Washington DC
For centuries legend has spoken of a Demon Cat that haunts the Capital Building in Washington D.C. A black, and decidedly feline spirit is said to appear during times of great political strife, natural disasters, or on a central dias in the rotunda following the unexpected death of a president. Roaming throughout the building, its unsettling presence has been seen and felt by many, with several guards having reported the ghostly cat physically attacking them.
Haunting Hollywood hounds
In Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia is the final resting place of author Ellen Glasgow. When she died, she stipulated in her will that her two pet dogs be exhumed from her garden and buried with her. There have been many who claim to have since heard the creatures scampering around the grave late at night!
Los Angeles Pet Cemetery
This eminent spot is the final resting place for many of Hollywood’s famous animal actors – Hopalong Cassidy’s horse Topper and Petey the pitbull who starred in the movie Little Rascals to name but two. Most are peaceful in their eternal rest, but Rudolph Valentino’s Great Dane Kabar is said to roam regularly through the cemetery, licking anyone who stops at his grave.
Happy Halloween everyone!
Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support
Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.