Terror Thursday: Dogs and Ghouls

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We’ve all had it… that creepy sensation you’re not alone. A strange chill on your neck. A TV turning itself on. Or those strange footsteps, but you’re the only one there.

For some pet owners, the reactions of their pets seem to affirm the presence of something otherworldly. Many people say dogs and cats have a sixth sense – what Buddhists call the ‘third eye’ that can see or sense a non-three-dimensional presence sharing the same space with them. The truth is, animals have much more fine-tuned senses that can detect sounds, vibrations and scents much more keenly than any human.

Manic barking at home

You’ve probably heard of dog owners telling stories of their dogs barking for no apparent reason right in their own home. Many would tell you that their dogs would simply stare at a door and bark furiously – even when there was nothing or no one at the door. Some would tell you that their dogs would only do so during specific times of the night (ie. midnight) and they would calm down after a few minutes of intense barking.

It’s not uncommon to hear about dogs standing faithfully by their owners while still fending off an unseen stranger. In some houses, TVs or aircons would turn on for no apparent reason (quite common during the 7th month) – dogs would sense this, and bark madly (or growl) until it turns off again.

Perhaps the creepiest behaviors reported involve dogs looking up at an empty space in the room, as if staring at someone’s face, before barking.

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Dogs Behaving Wild

It’s not surprising to get the chills when you walk past a creepy area, or an area that’s rumored to be haunted.

Plenty of army guys can attest to hauntings at various camps throughout Singapore. In one camp, Thursday nights were particularly eerie when dogs would howl incessantly, and at times dogs would invade the bunks, staring at empty spaces as if possessed.

Some recruits were lucky – or not – to have dogs with them on night patrols. In one case, 2 recruits, accompanied by an army dog, were signing in at a sentry post that was rumored to have received “visitations” when the dog suddenly cried out like a human and began digging frantically at the ground, oblivious to its handlers’ commands.

Even in a cheery parks, pets have been known to behave weirdly. Bishan Park’s dog run may have plenty of pooches having fun, but many dog owners who’ve walked past the western end near Old Thomson Road (especially near a big banyan tree) would have seen their dogs behaving unusually. Even at Bedok Reservoir, dogs are sometimes known to have barked at nothing – perhaps it has something to do with the string of suicides where 5 bodies were found within 5 months.

Animals of deceased

Perhaps not all strange animal behaviour is linked with malevolent beings – pets are known to be very attached to their owners even after they die.

You may have heard of stories like Del Johnsen’s – when she died and left seven dogs and six cats behind, her pets have been seen gathering at one spot and interacting with something in the air (dogs flopping for a belly rub, cats purring) at her house.

Recently in the news, the funeral of a woman named Margarita was attended by packs of stray dogs which mysteriously wandered into the funeral parlour – it seemed that before she died, she used to feed these stray dogs, and that these dogs came back to pay their last respects by resting next to her coffin. They only left her side when she was cremated.

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