Saturday, July 10, 2010

Shadow People

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

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!


dewin said...

I am loving this!! Thank you! I though I knew all there was to know abotu the paranormal, but I had never heard of shadow people. Very interesting... Reminds me of Mothman.

Nicole said...

Yes! I always wondered what those little black swishing things were that you see flash by the corner of your eye. Then one day - a few years ago, I was listening to a radio program and they were talking about "shadow people." I was like - WAIT A MINUTE. Sooo.. I researched - and here you go!

Rene W. said...

I love this type of phenomenon! I have had some strange experiences & Indigo tendencies... very interesting!

Anonymous said...

When I was young, like maybe 7 or 8, I saw an Unsolved Mysteries episode where they talked about shadow people. It scared me half to death! Everyone was talking about how the shadow was trying to choke them and they couldn't move!!

It's never happened to me, but... scary!!

Leanne said...

I have never seen a shadow person . . .but you have to read this story over at "Mom of a Monster (I mean toddler) - here is the link:

She tells a great story of a ghost in her house.

Although, I've had one or two experiences (minus the shadow) in my time. Cool post, lady!!

SmittyMagnificent said...

Atlanta: Shortly after we moved in, the whole family, + cat & dog, were in the livingroom - it was afternoon. I was folding laundry on the ottoman facing the open staircase. The cat was on one side of me & the dog on the other. I & they could see the stairs & the upstairs hallway, but the rest of the family was watching TV on the other side of the room. I heard something like loud, fast stomping upstairs &, as a reflex, looked up. The cat & dog also, as a reflex to the sound, looked up. I could see the cat & dog in my peripheral vision, but I saw the shadow man straight on. He was smokey black & he was squat-running across the upstairs landing & ran into my daughter's room. The cat & the dog moved their heads in time with the movement of what I was seeing. I did not tell anyone in my family, but I did go check it out.Of course nothing was there.

SmittyMagnificent said...

My middle child is developmentally challenged &, at the time of the following event, had a small vocabulary & could not understand anything intangible.He had no idea how to lie, even to get himself out of trouble. We never had cable TV during his whole life at that point. He had no idea what a "ghost" was & in fact did not know that word at the time. He & my daughter were playing in the living room. Son was standing near the stairs and foyer, daughter was on the other side of the room where she could not see into the foyer. If, from where son was standing, you walked to the front door, then turned left & left again, it would lead to the master bedroom & my office. I was in the master bedroom, oldest child was in the office. Son and daughter came running saying son saw a "monster." I thought they were talking about one of those gigantic bugs that lounge around the pool at night so I grabbed the 409 from the bathroom, an excellent bug killer as well as household cleaner, & told them to show me where it was so I could kill it. They looked at me, puzzled, but led me back to the spot. (son was 6, daughter was 5) I was looking under the sofa when son said, "It was a BOY." HUH?? It was 11:30PM so I was now concerned that we had an intruder. I asked, "what did he look like?" Son said, "He had on black & he was all dressed up," doing hand motions that indicated he was wearing a suit. "And he had a taaaaaaaaall hat," he said indicating the length with his hands. "And he went run, run, running fast, back to your room!" I checked all the doors & they were all locked, as well as windows. I drew a cowboy hat, a baseball cap, a witch hat, a wizard hat, a top hat, a fedora, & a bowler. I handed son the paper & asked if any of the hats were like the hat "the boy" was wearing. He immediately pointed to the top hat.

Over the years, son's language has improved & when I bring it up he is able to articulate more details of what he saw. It was the same guy I saw in the hallway years before.

SmittyMagnificent said...

I saw the shadow man a lot in the 5 yrs we lived there, as did overnight guests to our home. He, unlike the one's you describe, seemed to *want* to be seen. As time went on, he began to touch my hair - slap my ponytail (hard enough to make it spin around my head) when I was sitting alone at my desk (no one at home except me). I tried every possible normal explanation for the hair playing, but eventually had to admit (to myself & husband) it was the shadow man. On that day, as I finished writing about it, my daughter came in & sat down on the rug beside my chair. "Mommy? Can I....." she stopped and looked confused &worried. Although I already knew why, I asked her, "What's wrong?" She said, "It felt like someone with cold fingers just tapped me on the head right here," she pointed to her temple.

later at a yard sale, our neighbors from across the street came over to chat. At some point in the conversation neighbor mentioned the shadow lady at the top of his stairs. My husband & I exchanged looks of surprise as we thought we were the only nuts on the street. Neighbor said his sister spent the night & the following morning, nonchalantly asked him, "So who is that lady in black that's always at the top of your stairs?" His roommate confirmed what the sister had seen as he too had seen it many times.

The area where I lived was burned to the ground during the Civil War by Sherman's army. I wonder if there was once a large plantation type of house that spanned the length of my property & my neighbor's that may have been burned, killing the man & woman trapped inside. I have no other explanation why a top hat wearing ghost would be hanging around in my house with a seemingly matching female ghost across the street.

Brian Clark said...

This is something that I have extensively studied, and looked into on various parallels across the world. The black fedora shadow figure is not something that is specific to one country nor is it based on any specific folklore or urban legend. In fact, many people (especially children) have seen these beings while they were young - and even continue to see them later in life. Most people that experience this "phenomenon" and I use that term very loosely, do not come forward with their experiences in fear of personal safety and social standing. Every 1 person that comes forward, accounts for about 1 in 1000 or so unspoken experiences.

There is a very dark and sinister story behind these beings, and the only reason they appear with human characteristics is so we can associate them to a being that belongs amongst the populous. They have been seen in every culture, at every stage of human advancement. They have been recorded ever since writings and records have been kept - therefore it is also safe to say that they predate those records. Their forms have changed, but not their actions or intentions.

The same fedora hat being, and the "men in black (MiB)" are one in the same. There is no difference between the two other than how and when they present themselves. Both seeking suppression of the truth , through fear and oppression to those that they visit. They are searching, for evidence that the time is at hand, and they are searching for a higher knowledge than they themselves possess. This is also why there is no records which can be found of these individuals. The real "boogyman" was first conceived from this same experience - which later was adopted into many various forms and creatures in hollywood.

They have no good intent, and are self seeking. Do not kid yourselves into believing they are good in any way.


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