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Ghosts & Hauntings

Paranormal encounters may prove beneficial for grieving pet owners

By T.K. Randall
April 16, 2024 · Comment icon 16 comments
Cute dog lying down.
Have you ever had a paranormal encounter with a deceased pet ? Image Credit: Pixabay / PicsbyFran
New research has highlighted how perceived contact with a deceased pet can have therapeutic benefits.
To conduct the study, Jennifer Golbeck - an affiliate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland - ventured onto social media and asked users "If you have lost a dog, have you had an experience like seeing their ghost, receiving a sign, did they communicate with you?"

Her goal was to get an idea of the types of paranormal encounters reported by owners who had lost their dogs as well as what those experiences might mean to them.

By far the most common type of paranormal experience reported with 37% of the vote was audible phenomena such as hearing the dog bark or the sound of its paws walking across the floor.

Quite a few people also reported actual sightings of their dog, sensing their dog's presence, seeing their dog in dreams or even feeling as though their dog was lying next to them in bed.
Some also believed that their dog had visited them in dreams or even moved objects in their home.

Overall, the vast majority (76%) of respondents reported that it had been a positive experience and that the encounter had brought them reassurance and a sense of comfort.

Golbleck found this particularly interesting because "psychology largely characterizes externalized continuing bonds - particularly seeing ghosts - as negative and even maladaptive."

Indeed, it seems that there is a distinct difference between how paranormal encounters with a deceased pet are perceived compared to encounters with other types of ghosts or entities.

Source: University of Maryland | Comments (16)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Antigonos 1 month ago
You’re very welcome. Elliott O’Donnell was an Irish late 19th/early 20th century self styled “ghost hunter” who wrote a number of enjoyable books filled with lots of obscure, localized lore he recorded during his travels throughout the British Isles. I enjoy them mostly for the historical content: tales of families long extinct, old customs and ways of life now disappeared, and places either gone now or completely changed beyond recognition. It’s like traveling back in time and having him as your tour guide as you journey together from place to place. There are a couple of other Engl... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Kittens Are Jerks 1 month ago
I truly do not understand why such experiences would be comforting. There's no reality to them (apart from the psychological) and whilst I understand the difficulty of losing a beloved pet, the last thing I would hope for is that it somehow continues to exist somewhere, someplace. It's just the weirdest, most selfish thing to wish for, and I truly don't get it.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Antigonos 1 month ago
I think ultimately it’s a form of hope which comes from a deep sense of loss and grief,  and needing to believe that the animal’s personality, love for their owner and memories aren’t rendered extinct by death. They live in the hope that one day when the owner passes, its pet or pets will be there waiting for them to be united.   People don’t tend to think about the unpleasant possibilities that might confront their pet’s soul in a hypothetical afterlife. Who for example wants to think that their companion may be stick in limbo, lost, lonely, and confused, or terrified because it d... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by the13bats 1 month ago
I am adamant disbeliever in paranormal because getting past a few believers who make claim and come up empty handed there simple is no evidence to support paranormal I don't see this idea a passed away pet coming back any different a passed human and it's based in the mind of the grieving person That said some people find such encounters very comforting and thas great sadly it doesn't end there we have a zillion dollar industry of charlatans who grift off the greaving and using pain for cash gain is a great definition of pure evil.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Kittens Are Jerks 1 month ago
That would be the first thing I would think of if I believed in an afterlife. But since I don't, it's not a concern. Yes I get that, but how exactly do they think they will be reunited? Definitely not in their original forms. Some kind of invisible, barely detectable form of energy? What kind of a reunion would that be? It's not my intent to upset people here or challenge their beliefs/hopes in any way as I understand that losing a loved one is difficult. It's just that for me personally, not having such beliefs or hopes makes accepting loss much easier.
Comment icon #12 Posted by openozy 1 month ago
The blue one was whippet cross staghound and the white one, whippet cross greyhound. I still have the white one Tilly. I did pest control on rabbits with them in Oz.
Comment icon #13 Posted by the13bats 1 month ago
In 2014 dad 89 went back into hospital for the last time I knew this, the step family never liked or respected me only tolerated me I believe they really thought he would recover, the last day as he going down one of the last things he said was to my step mother that when she got to the pearly gates he would be there waiting for her, I think more to ease her, I wasn't there that day and I'm okay with that and my step brother when he called to invite me to the funeral made it clear that he had my dad sign a new will a day or two before his death. ( Leaving step mom everything )
Comment icon #14 Posted by Kittens Are Jerks 1 month ago
As if losing your father wasn't difficult and painful enough, that insufferable step family of yours made sure you lost everything else too. I'm sorry you had to go through that.
Comment icon #15 Posted by the13bats 1 month ago
It's all good, my wife brings a point of view I never had before, My dad about a month before he passed had me sell his avanti car, for years he wanted me to have it, I even a time or two told him he could give it to whoever he wanted but when that time come he called me from his shop to be alone told me it's not what he wanted but was he guessed what it had to be, keep in mind he's dying last thing I gave a f about was a car, he said he hoped to understood without him explaining, I assured him all was okay. I sold it for him then at the funeral my step mother ran up to me when I came in and s... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Alchopwn 1 month ago
I can see how being probed by aliens would reduce your grief for your lost pet.  New problems tend to distract us from old problems.


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