Animal apparitions: A few pointers on contacting your pet's ghost

December 4, 2006

Ready to raise Fido from the grave?

In his book "Pet Ghosts: Animal Encounters From Beyond the Grave," Joshua P. Warren discusses electricity, energy, reality, frequency, history, time travel and quantum physics in great detail.

He also covers phantimals, entities, imprints, elementals and specters.

But Warren and local paranormal researchers Dan Jungles and Ursula Bielski say contacting your pet ghost is really quite simple.

First, Warren says, be mindful and rule out the conventional. "A simple explanation is usually the correct one," Warren said.

In other words, don't assume you saw Fido's ghost when it could have been a shadow of another object or a hallucination. A pet ghost could be luminous or even appear as it did in life.

"You don't necessarily know when you see an animal if it's a ghost or not," Warren said. "It's much easier to identify a loved one who's passed and come back."

Second, help Fido want to come home.

"Don't forget them because they're gone," said Jungles, who owns three cats. "Keep their toys and blankets around. They (ghosts) will go where they're happiest."

Warren agrees.

"Recreate an environment conducive to the pet's life," he said. "Use your imagination and treat it like it's alive."

Third, create conditions ideal for ghost hunting.

"Lower the humidity, turn the TV off and stay away from appliances," Warren said.

And, as with any good ghost story, turn off the lights.

"An illuminous form is easier to see with the naked eye," he said.

Compass helpful

Also, grab a compass.

When there is a significant disturbance in the magnetic field, the compass will spin or go a bit haywire, he said.

A florescent lightbulb also can detect a charge. If all else fails, try a strobe light.

"A strobe light operates similar to a camera shutter," he said. "It freezes that motion moving too fast for your own brain to perceive."

"Once you have a good manifestation," Warren said, "people can fully interact with their pets as long as the environmental condition allows them to be there."

And while those environmental conditions play a role in attracting Fido's ghost, an open, willing mindset may help keep him around.

"If a person desires the spirit to stay, vocalizes that wish, and reinforces it on a daily basis, the phantom can remain indefinitely," Warren writes in "Pet Ghosts."

"But if the pet is told to move on, or is gradually ignored, the activity fades away."

Equipment can help. The Will County Ghost Hunters Society, which offers free home and business investigations, sells equipment such as an electronic field detector ($35) and an infrared thermometer ($80) on its Web site,

Bielski recommends contacting pet ghosts through photography, videography and electronic voice phenomenon.

Using the wrong kind of equipment, she said, can have serious consequences.

Seances and ouija boards are a no-no.

"This kind of information sometimes seems to be coming from dangerous places, possibly negative spirits or even the confused minds of those trying to make contact," Bielski said. "We don't understand enough about these sources at this point, and these situations can become physically or emotionally harmful."