Everyone knows some spooky stories to tell around the campfire at night, but do you know any ghost stories starring dogs? There are more floating around than you think, so curl up with your pup and check out our round up of the top five stories of ghost dogs that are just creepy enough to give you the heebie-jeebies!
1. Poogan the Pooch Still Perches On His Porch - Charleston, South Carolina
Poogan was a small white dog that lived in a Victorian-era home. He was left behind by his owners when they originally sold it to become a restaurant. He loved sitting on the porch, greeting restaurant visitors and eating table scraps. Everyone who visited loved him, so naturally he became the restaurant’s mascot, which was named Poogan’s Porch in his honor. In 1979 he died of natural causes and they buried him next to the porch he loved so much, and erected a monument in his honor.
Ever since then, visitors have reported seeing the dog napping in his favorite spot on the porch, or can feel him brush against their legs as they eat, looking for bits of fallen food. To this day this house remains one of the most haunted restaurants in The United States, as it also is said to receive visits from the ghost of the original owner, Zoe St. Armand, who is known as The Lady In Black.
2. Celebrity Ghost Dog - Los Angeles, California
Rudolph Valentino with Kabar on the deck of the Leviathan
Rudolph Valentino was an Italian born actor who was a famous sex-symbol and starred in many famous silent films back in the 1920s. He and his dog, Kabar the Alsatian doberman, were so close that as his master died across the country from his LA estate in a New York hospital on August 23, 1926, that he let out a howl so mournful and unearthly that Beatrice Lillie, who was driving past the house, heard the howl and was so startled she nearly drove off the road.
A newspaper clipping of Kabar
Kabar outlived his master, but was almost constantly sick after his master died. The dog finally passed away in January 1929. He was buried in a lavish ceremony at the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery, an over 10-acre cemetery dedicated to the famous pets of celebrities such as the MGM lion, Tawny; Stephen Spielberg’s Jack Russell, Rudolph; Hopalog Cassidy’s horse, Topper; and many more.
Photo by Jim Craig
Valentino’s beloved dog is said to haunt the grounds, with reports of people hearing him barking or panting, and even a few tales of visitors feeling their hands being licked by the ghost dog. Sightings of him were also reported in Valentino’s mansion in May 1948, when a group of spiritualists gathered there to celebrate the actor’s birthday. During the course of the night, several mediums said they saw the dog, and that he supposedly leaped through a closed window in the house.
3. The Ghost Hound of Goshen - Newberry, South Carolina
The Hound of Goshen is reportedly a large white dog that haunts the Ebenezer Church Cemetery and accompanying five mile stretch of road that runs from Dewberry to Goshen Hill, S.C.
People have reported sightings of the dog for over 150 years, and it is said that the dog will suddenly appear alongside your car as you drive, and if you stop driving that the hound will step in front of your car to lean back and howl.
The origin story of the hound is much debated and there are two versions floating around. The first, and tamer version of the story, is that the hound’s master was buried in the cemetery and the dog refused to leave the grave of his master, eventually dying from starvation.
The other, more bloody tale, is that the dog belonged to a traveling salesman, who was falsely accused of murdering a local. The salesman then underwent an unfair trial, was wrongly found guilty, and hung for a crime he did not commit. It is said that the white dog stood guard over his master’s corpse, and either died of starvation or by being stoned by townspeople. A few weeks later both dog and corpse disappeared.
Then, the people involved in the lynching of the salesman were attacked, and many killed, by a large white dog. Those who survived the dog attack later reported seeing the dog as they passed by the tree from which the salesman was hung.
Since then, there have been many accounts of people being chased by the large white dog when they dare to venture down the stretch of road considered to be its territory.
4. Preston the Protector - Nashville, Tennessee
Image by @itslolathepug
This ghostly dog is actually a friendly and helpful one, who keeps watch over the safety of the children of the Belmont Hillsboro neighborhood in Nashville. It is said that over 50 years ago he was going trick-or-treating on Halloween with a group of kids. One 7-year-old-boy accidentally dropped some candy into the road and was trying to pick it up as his 13-year-old-sister watched in horror as she saw a speeding car coming toward him. She was too far away to help but luckily Preston the boxer got there first, knocking the boy from the path of the car and taking the brunt of the hit. The little girl rushed to her brother’s side, and since he was unharmed so they looked for the dog but could never find his body.
Ever since then local children report being gently jostled back onto the sidewalk when they step on the road in that area, almost as if Preston’s ghost is nudging them back to safety. It is said that the girl is now grown up and still living in the area, and every year she places a dog biscuit on her porch in tribute to the pooch who gave his life to save her little brother.
Gettysburg is considered one of the most haunted places in America, as it was the site of one of the biggest campaigns in the American Civil War. It has such a bloody past that it’s no surprise that Gettysburg is also home to a ghost dog.
The appropriately named Confederate Brigadier General William Barksdale was reportedly wounded in battle and brought to the Hummelbaugh House, where he died. Some say his voice can still be heard in the house to this day.
Once she was informed of her husband’s untimely death, Barksdale’s wife traveled to retrieve her husband’s body for burial, bringing his prized hunting dog with her. Once the dog was brought to the grave site of his master it is said that he started to howl mournfully, and even once his master’s body was exhumed and taken home for re-burial, that the dog refused to leave the spot, refused to eat, eventually dying there himself.
To this day, people say that Barksdale's dog treads the grounds of the Hummelbaugh House, howling in mourning every year on the anniversary of his master’s death.