What’s the Halloween season without a good ghost story? These campfire-ready tales feature four-legged companions whose spirits seem to live on. Meet the dogs who remained man’s best friend ’til the end—and after.
Poogan Won’t Leave His Porch
Poogan’s Porch in Charleston, South Carolina, is known as one of the most haunted restaurants in the United States. In addition to ghostly visits from one of the original owners, Zoe St. Amand (the “Lady in Black”), patrons suspect the spirit of the dog the restaurant is named after is still hanging around. Poogan, a small white dog, was left behind at the Victorian home when his owners sold the property to the first restaurant’s owners. Poogan became the restaurant’s mascot, hanging out on the porch, greeting guests, and accepting table scraps. He died of natural causes in 1979, and the restaurant installed a monument in his honor. But diners still report feeling a small dog brush against their legs under the table while eating.
A Celebrity Sighting
The Los Angeles Pet Cemetery is the final resting place for tens of thousands of pets, including many companions of the rich and famous. One is Kabar, the Great Dane owned by Rudolph Valentino. Kabar was reportedly extremely attached to his master and howled at the moment Valentino died in 1926, even though Valentino was in New York and Kabar was in L.A. at the time. Visitors to the cemetery have reported hearing barking and panting at Kabar’s gravesite, where he was laid to rest in 1929. Others have felt their hand being licked. Kabar’s spirit has also shown up at Valentino’s home almost 20 years after the dog’s death.
The Devoted Companion
The Big Book of Maryland Ghost Stories by Ed Okonowicz describes a blue dog ghost in Port Tobacco, which the former director of the State Department of Economic Development refers to as “probably the oldest ghost in America.” Although stories of the dog’s life and death differ, one story describes the owner as a peddler who bragged about the amount of money he was carrying at a bar and was later killed by a greedy stranger—and his dog died fighting by his side. The dog supposedly still appears around midnight every February 8—destined to an afterlife of protecting his master.
Interested in exploring the spooks with your dog by your side? The famous Gettysburg Ghost Tours in Pennsylvania allows well-mannered dogs to tag along, as does the Charleston Ghost Tour. And spirit-seeking visitors to Savannah, Georgia, may meet Bailey, a Golden Retriever who “sniffs out” ghosts while his owner gives haunted tours of the city.
What happens if a dog howls near you? Learn about this and other canine superstitions.