When I lived in Oregon, my mother had a little fox terrier named Quinten. To be honest, he was kind of an asshole. He tormented my German shorthaired pointer, lifted his leg in the house, and once got into an entire tub of whipped butter and puked it out on the living room carpet. But he was also the subject of one of my many suspected paranormal experiences.
It all started one day when Quinten was about two years old. When everyone went to bed, Quinten always spent the night on the living room couch. One day, when I was about to go to bed, I noticed that the dog was playing in the living room. It seemed odd because everyone was in bed and the lights were out, but I just kind of shrugged and went to bed.
This happened several nights in a row, always after the family went to bed and the lights were turned off. At first I thought that Quinten had developed a weird game that he liked to play with himself. I would hear him rolling around on the living room carpet, jumping, running, leaping on and off the couch, and generally causing chaos.
I tried playing with him during the day, hoping to burn off some of the excess energy that was causing him to night play, but it didn’t seem to do any good. He just continued to play at night for reasons unknown. I asked his vet about the behavior, but she didn’t have any answers, other than to say it was probably harmless and to not worry about it. So I generally ignored it after that.
One late night, I left my bedroom to get a glass of water. Quinten was playing in the living room, as usual, only as I passed by I realized that he was not alone. A little black terrier of some sort was playing with him. There was only one problem with this: we didn’t have a little black wire-haired terrier. I watched them for a moment as I drank my water, then shrugged and went back to bed.
The next morning, there was no sign of the strange dog. Quinten was sleeping soundly on the couch after wearing himself out the night before. I told Mom and Dad what I had seen, but they had no feedback to add to the discussion. We all simply passed it off as one of those weird things that seemed to happen in this family.
I occasionally saw the little black terrier when I came out at night, and it was always playing with Quinten. It never made an appearance during the day, only at night when everyone went to bed. Whoever he was, he never left any trace of his existence, not even a dog hair.
But where did this mysterious dog come from? It couldn’t have been sneaking into the house. We had no dog doors, open windows, or other entrances into the house in the first place. The only way it would be able to get in would be if one of us opened a door and let it in on purpose. Even if it did sneak into the house with the rest of the dogs, we would’ve seen it in the morning. Dogs don’t simply vanish, and it would’ve had no way to leave before we woke up.
Could it have been a trick of the light or other optical illusion? This seems doubtful. The lights were out but the home wasn’t completely dark at night. There were streetlights outside and my bedroom light cast plenty of glow into the living room to see clearly. That house was not known for weird shadows, either. Also, if the dog was a shadow, he was a very good one to convince another dog that he was playing with it all night, and it would be difficult for it to move around and maintain its clear shape.
So if he was a ghost, where did this mysterious terrier come from? It’s possible he came over from the vet’s office that was next door to the house. Or maybe a previous homeowner had a little black terrier at one point. I don’t know for sure. The origin of the terrier could’ve been any story.
All I do know is that Quinten continued to play with the little black dog for the rest of the time we lived in that house. Sometimes I saw it at night and sometimes I didn’t, but our dog never stopped playing. When we moved, the little dog didn’t follow us. Quinten stopped playing at night and I never saw the black dog again. The mystery of Quinten’s playmate remains.