Dogs Refusing to Enter "Haunted" rooms?

It has been alleged that certain old houses are “haunted”. By that is meant that these hauses retain some “imprint” of now-deceased residents, whose presence is manifested by odd noises, cold spots, visual manifestations, etc. It is also claimed that domestic animals (dogs, cats) seem unwilling to enter rooms which are 'haunted"
Is there any non-andecdotal evidence of this? And, if one accepts the whole idea of “haunting”-why would a dog or cat find anything scarey about a long-dead occupant?
My dog doesn’t like certain people (like the mailman)-does it follw that she would be scared to enter a haunted house?

Don’t know, but our dogs consistently stare at one tree when walking late at night. We don’t know why, but often they stop cold and stare at that tree – they don’t whine or raise their hackles, but they don’t seem to want to approach it either.

Naturally I tell my wife “That’s where that crazy old Indian chief buried all those little Puritan girls he murdered. They hanged him from that same tree when they caught him!”

Of course I made it up, but if people start repeating it, maybe the tree will get a reputation as haunted.


Dogs have different senses and different minds than us, so they are going to be put off by stuff we don’t notice, like smells too faint for human noses. I took my dog to work once, and he refused to go into the restroom with me. I think it’s pretty likely a chemical cleaner or a particularly spicy dump that was below my nasal threshold put him off. No reason to theorize about the supernatural.

Au contraire! I have a very good reason to theorize about the supernatural! Not a scientific one, mind you. But it’s fun! :wink:

One of my old dirty hippie friends had a “haunted” room - his big ol’ rottie refused to enter it, reacted with anxiety around the threshhold to the room, or even if his master or other dogs went in there.

The room was “haunted” by a wall socket that the dog had lifted his leg over at some point in the past, resulting in considerable trauma for the dog. To an observer without any insight into the dog’s association with the room, he would appear to be in palpable fear of an invisible force. (Which was, I guess, exactly the case.)

I wouldn’t go in there either if my owner were that nervous about it. It’s the Clever Hans effect.

An excellent point!

They don’t pee on the tree or at least sniff it?

Your dog doesn’t like the mailman because he doesn’t make his presence known to the alpha member of the family. (Which would be you)

That being said, a long ago GF had a cat who used to always sleep with us in the bedroom.

One day My GF and I were sitting on the living room couch watching TV. All the sudden the cat comes ripping out of the bedroom like she was on fire. The whole time it was hissing and growling.

Ever since that day the cat would NOT go in that bedroom. And iof ya tried to pick it up and carry it there; lord help ya!

My gf thought it was a gohst. I thought it was a retarded cat.

It all depends on your POV I guess.

Dog did this in one house we lived in. She’d stare, cower and shake violently and refuse to enter the room and/or she’d run away from the room to the other end of the house and hide under the bed. In the end, we took her to the vet…who seriously suggested a ghost as a possibility. It was weird. Out of interest, I rang a “psychic” who was convincing in that she accurately described the inside of the house and the area the dog was scared of…and creeped me out a bit by suggesting we put a crucifix up over the door. In the end, the vet put Dog on valium which helped a bit, I can’t remember the effect of the crucifix (hey, I was desperate and scabbed a palm leaf one off my religious freak mother) and we moved house which put a stop to the behaviour.

I suppose I should add that a couple of years earlier, I had thought I had seen, out of the corner of my eye, my husband walk out of that room, stand behind me while I was typing at the computer then walk away into the kitchen. Something struck me as not right - I dunno what - and I jumped up and checked on my husband’s whereabouts. He hadn’t moved from his position in another room.

We had no other weirdness in the house and I don’t know why Dog should suddenly have started this behaviour after 2/12 years there. Certainly odd, but I don’t think I win the million.