Animals are believed to exhibit psychic faculties similar to
human beings. In her account of a case of haunting in Proceedings
of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 8, R. C. Morton
mentions two dogs who saw a ghost. The medium Mrs. J. H.
Conant believed that her pet dog and cat saw the spirits she described
clairvoyantly. The dog barked and snarled; the cat
arched its back, spat, and ran to hide. Sir William Barrett recorded
the case of the Montgomery sisters who saw a ghost
floating across the road; their horse stopped and shook with
fright. The watchdog of the Rev. Samuel Wesley crouched in
terror during the poltergeist manifestations at Epworth Vicarage
(see Epworth Phenomena). In a poltergeist case on the
Baltic Island of Oesel in 1844 a number of horses were frightened
by thunderous noises coming from a nearby underground
vault. The case is described in Robert Dale Owens Footfalls on
the Boundary of Another World (1860).
Ernesto Bozzano collected many cases (published in the Annals
of Psychic Science in 1905 and in Animaux et manifestations
metapsychiques in 1926) in which animals as agents induce telepathic
hallucinations; in which they act as percipients simultaneously
with, or previously to, human beings; in which they see
human or animal phantoms, collectively with human beings in
which phantom animals are seen in haunted spots or periodically
appear as a premonition of death. Out of a total of 69
cases, in 13 the animals were subject to supernormal psychic
perceptions in precedence to humans, and in 12 they perceived
things that the persons present were unable to see. In more
than one-third of the cases, therefore, the animals perception
had precedence to humans. Bozzano pointed out that animals,
besides sharing with man the intermittent exercise of faculties
of supernormal psychic perception, show themselves furthermore
normally endowed with special psychic faculties unknown
to men, such as the so-called instincts of direction and of migration,
and the faculty of precognition regarding unforeseen atmospheric
disturbances, or the imminence of earthquakes, or
volcanic eruptions. Although man is destitute of such superior
faculties of instinct, nevertheless these same faculties exist in
the unexplored recesses of his subconsciousness. (See also
In the case of avalanches, the presentiments, especially attributed
to horses, are still more mysterious. The deathhowl of
dogs in anticipation of the death of their master or a member
of the household is a well documented phenomenon. Gustave
Geley recorded a personal experience of this in From the Unconscious
to the Conscious (1920).
Supernormal perception may also work in a lower scale of
life. Sir William Barrett suggested that the color changes of insect
life to suit the environment might be due to causes of stigmata,
i.e., suggestion unconsciously derived from the environment.
That there may be latent high faculties in animals which vie
with the powers of genius was demonstrated by the famous case
of the Elberfeld Horses, although many scientists have been
skeptical of the evidence. An Italian horse, Tripoli, showed similar
talent after a course in mathematics. The dog Rolf, of
Mannheim, learned to calculate by attending the lessons given
to a child. (See Proceedings of the ASPR, Vol. 13 ). Rolf
sired Lola who attained considerable fame as narrated in
Henry Kindermanns Lola; or, The Thought and Speech of Animals
(1922). She could calculate, tell the time, and phonetically spell
out answers to questions. When she was asked what was the
name of the Mannheim dog, she replied mein fadr (Mein
Vater) i.e., my father. All present had expected her to answer
Carita Borderieuxs Les Nouveaux Animaux Pensants (Paris,
1927) tells the story of Zou, the authors calculating dog. In Proceedings
of the ASPR Vol. 38, Theodore Besterman described
his personal encounter with Borderieuxs dog and claims to
have discovered that the dog interpreted unconscious movements
of Borderieuxs hand. Unconscious movements were
also put forward to explain the phenomena of the Elberfeld
Horses, but they often gave correct answers to mathematical
problems when the answer was not known by the questioner.
Unconscious signals or secret code falls far short as a theory
of explanation in the case of Black Bear, the Briarcliff pony,
who not only solved mathematical problems and spelled answers
by selecting letters from a rack, but, according to narratives
in the journal Psychic Research (April 1931), exhibited clairvoyant
or telepathic powers by correctly describing playing
cards which were turned face down. Black Bear either answered
correctly or refused to venture an answer at all. He was never
at fault and solved his problems with a supreme indifference.
Mrs. Fletcher, one of his visitors, whose birthday was to occur
shortlya fact which could not normally have been known to
either Black Bear or Mr. Barrett (his trainer)asked these
questions Black Bear,there is an anniversary coming soon.
Can you tell me what it is The pony spelled out Birthday.
Mrs. Fletcher then said That is right, now, can you tell me
when it will be and Black Bear replied Friday. What date
will it be was the next question, and Black Bear at once
spelled out August 3rd.
Regarding the survival of animals, no definite proof is available.
Materialization seances in which animals are seen do not
offer evidence in themselves of survival. It is the continuation
of personality and memory of which proof is demanded. Obviously,
the barking of dogs is not sufficiently expressive for the
purpose. After-death communications, however, do assert that
animals also survive. Nevertheless, as an interesting speculaEncyclopedia
of Occultism & Parapsychology 5th Ed. Animals
tion, the direct voice communication given to H. Dennis Bradley
should be registered. According to Bradley, animals such
as tigers and snakes, etc., go to an animal kingdom, there to be
redrawn upon for physical life on Earth. Animals, such as dogs
and cats, that are capable of love and loyalty live with the spirits
in their plane. Said Andrew Lang, Knowing cases in which
phantasms of dogs have been seen and heard collectively by
several persons simultaneously, I tend to agree with the tribes
of North-West Central Queensland that dogs, like men, have
In various countries of the world, the special sensory abilities
of animals have been used in war and defense situations. Robert
Lubow, professor of psychology at Tel Aviv University, Israel,
revealed various extraordinary developments in the use of
animals in his book The War Animals (1977). The Russians
trained porpoises and dolphins to recognize different kinds of
metal plates in warships in order to lay mines beside enemy
ships, rather like the story in the film Day of the Dolphin. In
Hong Kong, police tested the use of rats to sniff out heroin. In
Britain, the Royal Air Force devised a system of coating aircraft
flight detectors (black boxes) with a special substance odorless
to human beings but detectable by trained dogs, who can
locate the recorders after a crash. During the Vietnam war,
Prof. Lubow successfully trained nearly one hundred dogs to
find mines and booby-traps. Insects were used at military establishments
to detect the presence of intruders. Pigeons were
trained for aerial reconnaissance to identify man-made objects
from natural features of the landscape; a radio direction finder
would be triggered by the pigeons landing, transmitting the
information to a remote patrol. In Israel, dogs have been used
successfully to detect letter-bombs in the mail. The scent of the
explosive is apparently perceptible to a dog even in a sack of
600 letters. (See also Anpsi)
Boone, J. Allen. Kinship with All Life. New York Harper &
Bozzano, Ernesto. Animals and Psychic Perceptions. Annals
of Psychic Science (August 1905).
Burton, Maurice. The Sixth Sense of Animals. New York Taplinger,
1973; London Dent, 1973.
Gaddis, Vincent, and Margaret Gaddis. The Strange World of
Animals and Pets. 1970. Reprint, New York Pocket Books, 1971.
Kindermann, Henny. Lola; or, the Thought and Speech of Animals.
New York E. P. Dutton, 1923.
Lilly, J. Man and Dolphin. Garden City, N.Y. Doubleday,
Lorenz, Konrad. King Solomons Ring. New York Time,
Lubow, Robert. The War Animals. Garden City, N.Y.
Maeterlinck, Maurice. The Unknown Guest. New Hyde Park,
N.Y. University Books, 1975.
Schul, Bill. The Psychic Power of Animals. Greenwich, Conn.
Selous, Edmund. Thought-Transference (or What) in Birds.
London Constable & Co. Ltd., 1931.