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Ghostly encounters with canine spirits may help grieving pet owners

New research spearheaded by Jennifer Golbeck, an affiliate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, reveals the therapeutic potential of perceived paranormal encounters with deceased pets.

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The study, which delved into the realm of social media to gather data, asked individuals who had lost a dog whether they had experienced any form of contact with their pet post-mortem, such as seeing their ghost, receiving a sign, or feeling their presence.

The aim was to explore the nature of these encounters and their emotional impact on the bereaved owners.

The findings were quite astonishing. A significant 37% of participants reported auditory phenomena, claiming to hear their dog’s bark or the familiar sound of their paws treading the floors of their homes.

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Visual sightings, sensing the dog’s presence, dreams, and even the sensation of the dog lying beside them were also common experiences shared by the respondents.

What’s more, a substantial 76% of those who reported such encounters described them as positive experiences that provided reassurance and comfort during their grieving process.

This stands in stark contrast to the traditional psychological view that externalized continuing bonds, such as seeing ghosts, are negative and potentially maladaptive.

Professor Golbeck’s study sheds light on the nuanced ways in which people continue to maintain connections with their pets even after death.

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It suggests that, unlike encounters with human ghosts or other entities, which may often be perceived as unsettling or frightening, interactions with departed pets tend to be comforting and healing.

This research opens up new conversations about the role of pets in our lives and the enduring bonds we share with them. It shows a reevaluation of how we perceive and handle grief, suggesting that there may be more to these paranormal experiences than meets the eye.

They could, in fact, be a natural and helpful part of the mourning process, offering solace to those who have lost a beloved animal companion.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood.

He is not afraid to challenge the official narratives and expose the cover-ups and lies that keep us in the dark. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.

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