Lorraine and I enjoyed our lunch in the gazebo on the edge of her property on this hot, July afternoon. I had always noticed the many curious stone markers in the back yard, and had wanted to ask Lorraine who was buried there. She pointed to a large pine tree and told me that it was planted in honor of their German Shepherd, Major, over thirty years ago. “He’s the reason we bought this property,” she explained. “He was too large for our apartment in Bridgeport. When he died, the tree was planted along side his marked grave to honor his memory.”
Do animals survive the grave? “Yes”, says Lorraine, “through our love and our yearning to be with them.” She knows this is true because Major appeared to them in spirit form on top of his old dog house on two different occasions. The ground beneath Major’s tree became the burial ground for many of the Warrens’ beloved pets: Clancey the parakeet (adopted from Lorraine’s mother when she went into Saint Joseph’s convalescent home), cats, dogs, a mouse, and even a tarantula! There are two smaller pine trees next to one another planted in the memory of Tuffy and Sleepy. Lorraine has felt the presence of these two dogs, plus many other pets over the years. “Animals have a high degree of psychic ability,” says Lorraine. Her German Shepherd, Gretchen, felt the coming of a recent tornado and howled a loud warning to Lorraine. They can also be strongly affected by negative spirits, as was seen in a recent case in which students were witnesses. In a demonically infested house, a cat yowled, tore across the room and up the walls. It then crashed into the onlookers in terror at some unseen entity.
Are animal spirits common in hauntings? “Usually animals appear as a guise for some other spirit.” Lorraine tells of a case in Waterbury, in which a man kept seeing the apparition of his own cat, then finding the flesh and blood feline asleep in some other part of the house. The spirit did this as a ploy to gain recognition. If it had been a warm, loving experience where a deceased animal is concerned, the animal would have been attracted through that love, not in a frightening way, as in this case.
Are animals reincarnated? Lorraine says, “Yes, but only into other animals”. She does not believe they can ever return as a human. She also believes that living animals can take on the personality of a deceased one. For example, she told of Miss Lucy, her son-in-law Tony’s dog. The family grieved for the loss of this much loved pet, and one day when Tony went to work he came across a dog that looked just like the one that had died. He called out to the dog and it answered to the deceased dog’s name. He brought him home, and the dog automatically began acting as if it was Miss Lucy. It went to her food dish, slept in her bed, and even took up her old spot in Tony’s bed.
As a clairvoyant, can Lorraine read animals’ auras? “Yes,” says Lorraine, “I believe that when I communicate with the animal, it has the ability to let you feel its emotions. I feel that animals can convey love and receive it. You can feel their pain and discomfort and they can feel your healing. The only creature that was able to relay events and places was Bigfoot” (Ghost Hunters, 1989). She also says that abused animals never forget their abuse, that it stays in their subconscious, but we can heal them through our love.
Are there demonic animals? Lorraine says there are no demonic domestic animals, but as in the case of Bill Ramsey (Werewolf, 1991), he was possessed by a wolf spirit.
As we sat and talked, we could see several families of Canadian geese by the river below the gazebo. “Animals will always survive the grave if they are loved by humans,” she said. “If you ever see a dead animal in the road, or anywhere, call on Saint Francis and pray for that animal.” This act of love will help that animal into its afterlife. “I believe we should always go out of our way for God’s creatures. God created them just like he created us and brought them here for our pleasure. We should try to make their lives better.”
I think all of us who have had pets will agree with Lorraine’s sentiments, and find some comfort in knowing we will be with our departed loved pets again.
Story by Lorraine Warren and Carrie Reiss