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People Share Paranormal Experiences Claiming Their Dogs Can See Ghosts. Here's What Science Says

even though there is no scientific explanation behind a canine's ability to detect ghosts, many dog owners claim that they had experienced paranormal events with their dogs around.
PUBLISHED MAY 22, 2024
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Lisett Kruusimäe
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Lisett Kruusimäe

Even before they became furry companions, dogs have been trusted by human beings to protect them since ancient times because of their sharp reflexes which allow them to sense threats. But is it possible that dogs are able to see paranormal beings when they are barking towards empty spaces?

Even though there is no scientific documentation of dogs reacting to ghosts, owners shared numerous inexplicable experiences they had with Readers Digest for a case study. The ancient civilizations of Aztects and Mayans used to believe that dogs could not only see ghosts but also guide spirits of the dead to the afterlife.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Alexey Demidov
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Alexey Demidov

Even in recent times, some people reportedly witnessed paranormal occurring involving their dogs. “When we first moved into our home that was built in 1940, I could not get two of my Briards to leave the mud room—and they’re normally stuck to me,” Merry Jeanne Key Millner shared. “We eventually learned we had a grieving mother whose infant son died in the old kitchen (now our mud room), who a year later died herself. Our Briards didn’t want to leave her alone. Minnie (the ghost) has now embraced our crazy family and helps us find lost things!”

Another woman named Joanna King recalled how her German pinscher would lie down on the floor in the same position as an Egyptian sphinx after her father passed away from cancer. That is when King would also get a whiff of her father's aftershave. "I knew then that the conversation between Parker and my dad was starting. Parker would lift his head up and his eyes would never look anywhere else just at the room’s doorway. These visits always brought me peace," she revealed. However, scientists are still skeptical about the existence of paranormal entities and if dogs can interact with them.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | juliane sanchez
Representative Image Source: Pexels | juliane sanchez

“What I suspect is happening here is people are looking at dog behavior and wanting an explanation, and being reluctant to look at the more obvious ones,”  said Alexandra Horowitz, a PhD and senior research fellow and adjunct associate professor at Barnard College. “The human part of the equation is that even when dogs are doing dog-normal behaviors, some people have a tendency to assume there’s something psychic or supernatural about their capacities,” Stanley Coren, PhD, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, added. “So instead of just hearing a noise outside that prompts a dog to alert bark, one might get the sense they are barking at ghosts.”

Charles Peden, a respected psychic medium and animal communicator claims that all dogs can see ghosts but not all humans are capable of spotting them. “If we could constantly see all the spirits in our lives, we’d be overwhelmed. Dogs don’t go out of their way to pick up on ghosts and they learn to ignore those that are around them, just as they would learn to ignore their reflection in a mirror. The spirits are always there, but they don’t really affect them, so dogs pay no attention even though they clearly can see them.”

Representative Image Source: PExels | Ivan Babydov
Representative Image Source: PExels | Ivan Babydov

In simple terms, humans and canines visualize their surrounding world differently. Dogs can see spectrums of colors and hear higher frequencies that humans are not able to detect. From a scientific point of view, dogs are capable of sensing nervousness in a person and can also determine if they are lying by sniffing the sweat on their clothes. But a paranormal explanation is that they can sense various forms of good and bad energy to differentiate between good and bad vibes. Hence the answer to dogs seeing ghosts remains subjective.

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