The Pooch And The Poltergeist: Can Dogs Really See Ghosts?

There’s a question asked to people that may seem crazy, but makes sense. And although there are two varying answers, the question still remains: Do dogs see ghosts? While it may seem like an absurd question, it’s something scientists have been pondering for some time. Why? Because like many animals, dogs have heightened senses: They’re sense of smell is off the charts, as well as the ability to hear at a higher frequency. Let’s not forget that a dog’s vision allows them to detect the even the slightest movement. It’s been equated to the fact that dogs – canines – are merely cousins or offshoots of wolves, which are natural predators.


Dog; again, like many other animals, can also sense a change in the weather. In 2004 before the tsunami hit, many dogs were acting oddly, according to their owners. Some ran away, or refused to come outside. This is not uncommon for dogs. And ironically enough, for people either. Before Hurricane Katrina even made it up the Gulf Coast, many residents talked about how they felt the pressure had dropped, and felt an “ominous” sensation, like something big was about to happen and not in a good way.

There’s no surprise there. Psychologists have long theorized that humans and animals share the same sixth sense when it comes to weather or the supernatural. The only difference is that dogs have no judgement when it comes to such phenomena while humans tend to deny what they see or feel. Take for instance; Mark, a 26 year old computer tech who’s dog Lucy, a small toy dog, sometimes spends entire hours at the closet door of his two bedroom apartment, merely staring. Mark admits that he sometimes gets a chill as he passes by, but explains it away with logic, that it’s merely a draft because it’s an old apartment. When asked if his dog was seeing a ghost, he rebutted that it was impossible. Ghosts, he said, weren’t real.

The only real theory he could believe in that his Lucy was infatuated by the remaining electromagnetic energies that came from previous inhabitants. Since matter can neither be created or destroyed, he said, it was safe to assume that a dead person’s electromagnetic energy was still present all around the apartment. When Lucy would suddenly zip across the room as if seeing something moving from the closet, Mark insisted she saw a bird or something of the like. When asked if he ever saw something from the corner of his eye, he admitted he did, but attributed the movement to shadows, or that he was tired.

But when asked if he was a religious man, Mark replied that he was a Christian. Asked if he believed in Jesus Christ and God? He did. When asked what was the difference between ghosts and believing in God, he merely justified it as God, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, but his dog couldn’t see ghosts, “logic” was the answer given. Again, Lucy doesn’t apply logic or even justify what she senses. She merely reacts to it and follows suit.

Dogs don’t take time to. Ever notice a dog will growl at one person but be affectionate to another the same way as children do? Because children go with their first instinct. They are instantly affectionate with some strangers as well as dubious around others. Since they’ve yet to develop the need for justifying everything they see, they merely go with what it is.

Another case would be of a married couple in New England – call them John and Nancy. They’ve been married 8 years, and only 2 years ago brought a German Shepherd puppy they affectionately named Naldo. At first, Naldo was a sweet puppy, but things began to change. Usually calm and playful, there became moments when he would run into another room, barking loudly. At other times, he would sit in the kitchen motionless for over two or three hours. Perplexed, the couple Nando to the vet, consulted with animal psychologists to find out what exactly was going on with their beloved “baby boy”. Each hypothesis was as useless as the next. “Nando is experiencing depression” or “it may be doggie Alzheimer’s”…each answer was different and the couple found themselves depressed.

Until Nancy was coming down one night for a midnight snack – a guilty pleasure – and once again saw Nando sitting in the middle of the kitchen. Nancy said she felt sad at first: Nando had long slept in the bed with her and John. As she walked up to pooch, she saw something that shocked her to her core: a ghost. A little boy; she said, with a baseball mitt, waving at Nando. As the boy disappeared, Nando began barking and running after the apparition. While Nancy believes that she saw a ghost, John is skeptical. While also upset, he believes Nando is merely incensed by a scent the he and his wife can’t smell.

But most people can’t seem to understand a basic fact: animals are capable of thought. Maybe not quite like people, but thought nonetheless. So it’s been theorized that the sight of the paranormal may be as unnerving to them as it is to any human being. And having heightened senses doesn’t make it easier. It makes it harder. But no matter what the theory is, there has been as many cases that prove as disprove the paranormal. And while people are skeptical – or oblivious – to the phenomena, it’s quite clear that no matter what: be it weather or ghost, the dog always knows.

Kevin Bentley

Hi, I’m Kevin Bentley, a dog lover and enthusiast. Though I started out as a cat person, my wife quickly set me on the true path of dog love. Now I’m full-on obsessed with dogs and everything related to dogs. I’ve purchased every dog accessory you can think of, so I decided to collect my thoughts about them on this site.

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