83. A Christmas Ghost Story: The Spectral Dog of Soho
Paranormal author Elliot O' Donnell was a master at collating macabre and mysterious tales. In his fascinating book Casebook Of Ghosts (1969) he mentions several phantom dog apparitions said to have haunted the capital. One of the most intriguing of these ghosts involved a friend of the author who encountered an apparition at the old Motley Club, once located in Dean Street, Soho.
Just before the club was shut down, the witness, a man named Dickson, was at the premises when he observed a yellow dog of some size which confronted him on a staircase. Dickson, hoping to provoke no ferocity from the strange dog, threw it a biscuit, but the dog did not bat an eyelid at the scrumptious gift. It then slowly padded past Dickson and out of sight.
The next day Dickson once again frequented the stairwell, and was shocked once again to meet the yellow hound. Again, the man threw it a biscuit. Again, the cookie was ignored, and again the dog passed him. This time however Dickson kept his eyes trained on the animal, and was startled to see it vanish into thin air halfway down the stairs.
On the third visit, Dickson once again observed the creature, but this time he threw it a piece of meat, and once again the animal took no notice. Baffled by the dog, Dickson decided to prod the animal with his stick, but was amazed to see the cane pass through the animal which then faded from view.
Dickson was clearly fed up with the surreal deja-vu and visited the club no more but was told of other witnesses who'd seen the spectral dog.
Was the animal a mere ghost of a pet that once roamed the stairs as a happy pooch, or like many phantom hounds, did it loiter in some unbidden realm, forever to be misunderstood by those who saw it, until the Motley Club finally closed down, meaning that no human eye would ever again observe the yellow hound?
Photo by cursedthing on flickr