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A Room That Bothers The Dogs


If you have read my earlier story, you know that our house used to be a general store. After the store closed in the 1950s, it was remodeled into a house. In 2007 my mother-in-law died in the house.

When my mother-in-law was dying, she kept pointing toward the closet in her bedroom & saying something. She was pretty drugged up and no one could make sense of what she was saying. She became quite agitated and kept pointing toward the closet and saying something. Her daughters tried to figure out what she was saying. The nurse tried to understand her. No matter what they guessed at, she could not be calmed. She got upset if anyone got between her and the closet. We never determined what upset her.

After she died, we were working on the other first floor rooms first. The bedroom became temporary storage for things from the other rooms. Our dog, who used to love coming down to visit "grandma" refused to go in the room. Despite the fact that he used to come visit her, he now refused to enter the room. A few months after she died, we adopted another dog. She wandered into the room one day and immediately started trying to dig up the carpet in the closet. This was in exactly the same place my mother-in-law was pointing when she was dying. No matter how many times I pulled her out of that room she always went back & tried to dig up the carpet. I finally pulled it up myself to find nothing out of the ordinary. Despite that, the dog kept going after that corner. Only after the room was completely redone did she stop.

A few years ago our second dog died. She had been elderly when we adopted her and she enjoyed her last few years with us. Our first dog moved out with our oldest son. When he comes to stay with us, he still refuses to enter that room. About 3 years ago we again adopted an elderly dog. She came to live with us over a year after our other dog died and after my son and his dog moved out. The day she arrived, she spent the entire day hiding under my desk. She spent the first night hiding in the bathroom. She eventually adapted and joined the family with one exception. She will not enter the room where my mother-in-law died. She was never exposed to the strange reactions of the other dogs. She decided on her own to avoid that room.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, TheCrone, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

TheCrone (4 stories) (24 posts)
10 years ago (2014-09-05)
Well, I've been crazy busy so I hadn't seen the other comments.

To sum up - I know the history of the building from the time it was built. The first people to die in the home were my inlaws. The corner where they all alert is located in what used to be the center of the butcher shop store room.

The basement runs under the entire house. The dogs have been in the basement many times. There is no space between the floor of the room and the "ceiling" of the basement. The "ceiling" in the basement is simply the unfinished underside of the floor above. The dogs do not alert on any part of the basement.

While I might otherwise think it was a residual butcher smell, any such smell would be all over the house. In fact, there is an old meat locker in the basement. The dogs aren't interested in it.
VermontVampyre (2 stories) (64 posts)
10 years ago (2014-08-19)
I just watched an episode of The Haunted about a murder in a hotel that caused the room in which it happened to be haunted. The owners, staff, and patrons all reported a strong rancid odor in the room. They even remodled the room to no avail. Once they got a ghost hunter team involved they had a psychic hit on a corner where the woman died. They then brought in 2 trained cadaver dogs who came in and 'hit' on that same corner. So even after the room had been remodled at least once the dogs were able to scent the death that remained in the floorboards. So your dogs could be scenting a past death in that closet... Or at least where a body was stored for a bit.
frangelica1 (40 posts)
10 years ago (2014-08-17)
I also wonder if something was buried under the closet floor or if a basement exists could there be something buried in the basement under the location of that bedroom's closet? It is quite unusual to have all 3 dogs reacting to that same bedroom and closet as well as your mother-in-law reacting to the closet in that bedroom and not wonder if there is something there?
sushantkar (16 stories) (533 posts)
10 years ago (2014-08-15)
Hi TheCrone! First of thanks for sharing your experience. I think that the dogs would have seen something. They must have felt something wrong. Have you ever tried to know the history of your house. I think there must be something which is hiding from your family. It is my suggestion that you should blessed your house with some holy mantras.
Be safe and healthy.

Wishing you good-luck with ❤
northlight (8 posts)
10 years ago (2014-08-14)
Could there possibly have been a cellar under that area of the building, when the house was previously a store? I'm wondering whether the area of the closet that the dogs was interested in may have been where there was a stairwell down into a cellar. I'm wondering whether they can sense it is a cavity or partially filled cavity beneath the room.
TheCrone (4 stories) (24 posts)
10 years ago (2014-08-13)
I doubt it's a residual smell. The entire room was redone after my MIL died. New carpet, new subfloor, new walls. It should smell like new paint.

I don't think it's my "grieving" she picked up on. I know I will sound heartless but both my inlaws died within a 20 month period. We were responsible for 100% of my FIL's care and 85% of my MIL's care. Both died after long battles with cancer. By the time she died (after my FIL died) we had been dealing with serious illness for 3.5 years. I was mostly exhausted.
elnoraemily (guest)
10 years ago (2014-08-13)
The dog might be able to tell that something happened in that room, based of chemical signals that you may be giving off. It's definitely not unheard of and animals play off how we are feeling.

The digging up the carpet is a bit strange. I wonder, maybe, if something had passed in that room or there was an old scent there from before you had residence.

I am quite sorry for your loss, that is a difficult and painful situation.

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