Halloween Story: Book About Animal Ghosts Has Afterlife, Says Author

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There is a surprising amount of credible evidence that animals have spirits that survive death, according to Scott S. Smith, author of "The Soul of Your Pet." The book has become a perennial favorite around Halloween.

Since the first edition was published in 1998, The Soul of Your Pet: Evidence for the Survival of Animals After Death by Scott S. Smith has had an afterlife of its own, especially around Halloween, when the subject draws special attention, according to J.D. Holmes of Holmes Publishing Group.

“I have to thank the online pet chat rooms and my publisher for keeping the book alive,” says Smith, a freelance journalist whose usual beat is a little more worldly, profiling CEOs for business publications. He points to public interest in the subject revealed in a poll conducted by ABC News/Beliefnet, which showed that 43 percent of Americans believe that “pets go to heaven” (40 percent do not, 17 percent are unsure).

“Encounters with animal ghosts are apparently commonplace, but no one had ever collected and analyzed them for credibility,” says Smith. “People don’t usually talk about these, out of fear of being ridiculed.”
In the first serious study of the phenomenon, which covers 125 incidents, the most surprising finding was that many of those who encounter these spirits had no personal connection to the animal. “So you can’t simply attribute these experiences to the result of wishful thinking, the hallucination of a grieving pet owner,” notes Smith.

Also, most of those who told him what had happened to them had never had other paranormal experiences, so these people should not be dismissed as having psychological problems or for being unduly eager to believe in the supernatural, he says.
Perhaps the most provocative finding came from those who reporting that their living pets reacted to the ghosts of the dead animals, so these couldn’t simply be the result of people having overly vivid imaginations, Smith says.

Mr. Smith has received numerous letters from people around the world telling him of the comfort his research has given them.
He is available for broadcast and print interviews and can provide a list of standard questions about the book: Scott S. Smith 310/254-4051 (6am-9pm Pacific) scottstanleysmith1950(at)gmail(dot)com.

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