by Andrew Arnett

It was Saturday morning, our first morning in Mount Misery. We had a busy day ahead of us but first, breakfast. We passed a classic old-school diner not far from the motel. We take the dog for a walk then head to the diner.

We find a booth there and sit down. There is a TV up in the corner. Sophie is fussing with the dog. She is covering the dog’s carry bag with a scarf. The waitress comes by. We order coffee, eggs, turkey sausage, hash browns. I’m watching the TV up in the corner. CNN is talking about the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases during the Thanksgiving travel season. Then, there is some rancor over the disputed election results. The world is on edge.

Sophie continues to fuss over the dog. “I think the waitress knows we have a dog,” she tells me.

“I don’t think so,” I say.

Then, the manager walks by. He pauses at our table, looks around then comments, “I see you like to put a lot of ketchup on.”

“Hot sauce,” I say.

“”Yes, I can smell it,” he says, then walks off.

“You see?” Sophie says to me while adjusting the carry bag, “He knows. The waitress must have said something to him about the dog.”

“Yes, maybe,” I said. “But you need to stop fussing over the dog.”

I decide to change the subject to the business at hand – ghost hunting at Mount Misery.

“There are numerous legends associated with Mount Misery Road,” I say. “One I find particularly macabre, regards the phantom cop. According to the story, there is a cop that pulls over cars driving on Mount Misery Road late at night. Everything seems normal at first. The policeman asks the driver for license and registration. But when he walks back to his car, the driver is shocked to see the back of the cop’s head has been blown off. And his uniform is stained with dried blood.”

“Gross,” Sophie said.

“Yes,” I said. “Apparently, this is the ghost of an officer who died while patrolling the area. At some point, I’d like to check the records to see if we can verify that a cop did in fact meet his fate on Mount Misery Road.”

“I don’t see why that should be too difficult,” Sophie added.

“Another, more recent story, took place on Sweet Hollow Road,” I said. “Apparently, several teenagers hung themselves from the Northern State Parkway overpass back in the 1970’s. According to legend, if you honk your car horn three times while approaching the overpass, you will see these dead kids.”

“That’s pretty scary,” Sophie said.

“Another version states that in fact, two boys were hit by a car because the driver didn’t honk the horn to warn them of its approach. Now, if you approach the overpass without honking, these two ghosts will jump out at your car.”

The waitress approached our table. “Would you like anything else?” she asked.

“No thank you,” Sophie said.

She dropped the check on our table and went on her way.

Fur Shizzle at Mount Misery, L.I. (2020). Photo by Andrew Arnett

“She was totally suspicious,” Sophie whispered. “She kept looking down at the bag.”

“I think you’re being a little paranoid,” I said. “Well, they want us to leave anyway. With this limited seating, they don’t want us to sit around all day. There are people waiting for our table.”

We paid the check and got out of there without any embarrassing confrontation over the dog. One may wonder why we would bring a dog along with us to a ghost hunt. It would seem that the dog would only get in the way. Not at all. In fact, the opposite is true. Our dog facilitates the ghost hunting process.

In our line of work, any and all instruments for investigation (within reason) should be utilized for the purpose of detecting ghosts. The fact that we’re dealing with a subject that is intangible in the material sense, behooves us to seek new methods of investigation.

Dogs of course, are nothing new. They have been used to solve real life crimes, and to help in times of war, crisis, etc. But in the arena of the paranormal, they may have found their forte.

The concept of the ghost hunting dog is well established (Scooby Doo not withstanding). Not every dog though, can make the cut as a good ghost hunting dog. Just as there are dogs that specialize in hunting pheasant, so the same holds true for ghosts.

To begin, Shizzle is trained as a therapy dog. Also, being a Miniature Schnauzer, she is predestined by breed to be a good hunter of rodents. In fact, Shizzle can’t go for a simple walk through the park without going blind with rage at the sight of squirrels.

However, it is the canine’s heightened psychic sensitivity to its surroundings that concerns us most. It is well known that animals may exhibit an uncanny extrasensory perception. They can hear things that are in a spectrum above or below the range of human hearing. Some animals can do the same with the sense of smell, and vision.

Many ghost hunters carry with them ghost hunting equipment like EVPs, special night vision goggles, or instruments to measure faint noises, etc. A dog in fact comes endowed with many of these features, by nature.

Airbnb in Lexington, KY (2015)

We believe that Shizzle encountered a ghost in Lexington, Kentucky, back in 2015. Sophie had enrolled in a dog grooming school there for a two month stint. When we first arrived, the three of us checked into an Airbnb. Shizzle took an immediate dislike to the place. She was on edge most of the week we were there. There was something spooky about the place, no doubt about it. And in fact, down at the end of our street, just a couple of blocks away, was the entrance to a cemetery.

We encountered paranormal disturbances inside the apartment. A red digital clock would flicker eerily at around 4:40 in the morning. Also, I got quite sick during my stay. I remember coughing up yellow and green phlegm. The general weirdness of the atmosphere led me to do some research on the area while I was there. This was when I first became aware of the strange and often times dark history of Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley as a whole.

As weird as that apartment was, the real high strangeness began when Sophie moved into the dorm house where she and Shizzle would stay for the duration of her two month schooling.