Part II of the Paranormal Series
Shadow People: (also known as shadow figures, shadow beings, shadow men, or shadow folk) are supernatural shadow-like figures of both modern folklore and paranormal popular culture that believers describe as dark humanoid forms or evasive specters that are seen mostly in peripheral vision.
That's the official definition. But what about the experience? I, for one, have DEFINITELY experienced this. I have always assumed it was my imagination.. BUT there may be more to it.
Most people describe "shadow people" as black humanoid silhouettes with shapeless mouths, noses, or facial expressions. Sometimes they are child-sized humanoids, or shapeless masses that sometimes change to human like form. Their eyes are either glowing or you can't make out their shape. Movement is said to be quick and disjointed, and some stories describe the visible outline of a cloak, or a 1930s style fedora hat.
Various authors and paranormal-themed web sites have drawn beliefs and speculation regarding shadow people from religion, parapsychology, metaphysics, cryptozoology, demonology, and the occult, proposing that shadow people represent a Thoughtform (egregore), ghost or demon that was created by events in which extreme physical/emotional stress/trauma has taken place. Some think they have been purposefully summoned through black magic or other occult practices, or are creatures who exist on a separate plane of existence that occasionally overlaps with ours.
But generally - what does the average person see, and when does it happen? Most claim to see them as shadowy, silhouettes of human forms and they are mostly seen at night. Important to know - Shadow people are the most common form of ghost apparition people see.
They seem to typically flee in the presence of people in physical bodies, especially if they realize they have been seen, and are usually viewed out of the corner of one’s eye. Shadow people are not bound by walls or physical obstacles, as they sometimes choose to move through them. However other shadow people seem to believe they have to go around physical objects.
One of the more creative theories is that shadow beings are manifest thought forms, meaning that they are collections of negative psychic energy from areas where traumatic events have taken place and evil people frequent. The negative psychic energy begins to manifest and takes on form and motive, thriving on fear and negative emotions for sustenance.
It has also been proven recently that areas with erratic or powerful electromagnetic fields can interfere with the electrical impulses or firing synapses of the human mind, thus influencing people subjected to such environments over time to believe that they are hearing or seeing ghosts, aliens, or perhaps shadow beings. Such environments include old buildings with substandard wiring, power plants, and areas with naturally occurring strong magnetic fields.
Heidi Hollis, researcher on Shadow People, has come up with some very generalized information on Shadow People. She has appeared on Coast To Coast AM several times. Taken from coasttocoastam.com:
Shadow people have been around since the beginning of time and are a dark influence upon society, she said. They also relate to negative alien entities such as the Reptilians and Greys (alien species), and may in fact be part of the same overall phenomena, she added.
Typically, shadow beings don't like to be spotted but they are sometimes discovered by a person who wakes up to find them trying to choke or suffocate them, noted Hollis, who presented several methods for decreasing or eliminating incidents with them:
• Learn to let go of your fear.
• Stand your ground and deny them access to your person.
• Focus on positive thoughts.
• Use the name of Jesus to repel them.
• Keep a light on or envision light surrounding you.
• Bless your room with bottled spring water.
A type of shadow being referred to as the "Hat Man" is actually more akin to the devil or a demon, Hollis revealed. He is often seen wearing a fedora hat, trench coat and three-piece suit, and might appear more solid than other shadow entities. She suggested that these very negative beings are seeking to increase their numbers by recruiting an army of people to the dark side.
(okay - I DO NOT believe that. But, every one is welcomed to their theories.)
There happens to be plenty of scientific theories behind what this "phenomenon" happens to actually be:
§ Hypnogogia (waking sleep) is an accepted state of semiconsciousness in which a person can be thinking clearly and yet perceiving images that are being dreamed. This state is often used to explain apparently paranormal experiences.
§ Scientists have theorized that under the right conditions erratic electromagnetic field behavior can interfere with the electrical impulses or firing synapses of the human mind, thus influencing people subjected to such environments over time to believe that they are hearing or seeing ghosts, aliens, or perhaps shadow people. Such environments include old buildings with substandard wiring, power plants, and areas with naturally occurring strong magnetic fields.
§ Drug induced hallucinations, such as those experienced by habitual heroin users, are known to reflect experiences similar to this phenomena. However, many witnesses do not use narcotics so the majority of accounts cannot be linked to this explanation. Individuals who recreationally use or overdose on diphenhydramine products such as Benadryl, or plants such as Datura, often report seeing shadow creatures and people, but more commonly, the amobea-like entities that usually prelude the appearance of shadow people . These celluar entities are said to be often incredibly detailed beings (complete with vacuoles,plasmodium, and mitochondria , etc.)
§ The brain is also wired to perceive faces and other human characteristics in random patterns, called Pareidolia.
The similarities between eyewitness accounts of shadow people remains difficult to explain scientifically. In particular the tall gingerbread-like man with a hat that is reported as often by 4-year-old children as with adults. The similarities may, however, simply reflect common archetypes.
Many people who have experienced nightmares, especially during childhood have seen an entity that fits this description. In many cases, this being is of indisputable power during the dream sequence, and frequently chases the one experiencing the nightmare relentlessly. Whether or not a shadow being is playing games with them in their dreams or merely their own imagination running wild is impossible to assess. Frequently this dream is not a single occurrence, and is sometimes every single night, which can lead to sleep deprivation, somniphobia (clinical fear of sleep), nyctophobia (fear of night time or darkness, with which both sleep and the shadow being would be associated).
What about you? Are you familiar with the Shadow People? Have you seen things flash past the door way?
I have - but I assumed it was an optical illusion. Next post: Superstition! If you want to share some of your more favorite or "serious" superstitions, please "befriend" me on Facebook (link below) and leave me a message there and I will include it in the next post.
I will wrap up the series with an interview with a Psychic and information on different "paranormal" groups. I will end the whole series of stories with my own personal "experiences"!
Hope you are enjoying this!