Terrifying Yet Harmless Shadow People

Kitty has had paranormal experiences her entire life. These experiences have fueled her passion to write about all things supernatural.

Shadow men... harmful or harmless?
Shadow men… harmful or harmless? | Source

What Is a Shadow Person?

A shadow person is a dark, shadowy, indistinct yet humanoid shape that’s usually seen at night, out of the corner of one’s eye. These harmless apparitions often flee once they have been detected.

Do You See Shadow People?

You are lying in bed, comfortable and exhausted from a long day. You reach over and turn off the lamp on your nightstand…click. The nightlight in the bathroom is shining dimly through the doorway of your bedroom, you begin to drift off to sleep, and then you see it. A dark, pitch black figure has flown into your room from the hallway, seemingly floating above the foot of your bed, staring down at you. You want to move and scream, but you can’t. This frightening image has left you speechless, waiting for death to overcome your physical being, waiting for the life to be sucked from your body….

But nothing happens. The shadow person made a looming and frightening appearance for less than a minute and then disappeared into thin air! Did you see red eyes glaring at you from within the mass of this dark creature?

Michelle Belanger, author of Haunting Experiences: Encounters with the Otherworldly, describes these occurrences as hauntings. The odd thing about it is that they seem so evil when they appear, but all they seem to do is observe and examine us.

The odd thing about it is that they seem so evil when they appear, but all they seem to do is observe and examine us.

Stories About and Experiences of Meeting Shadow People

Shadow people (also known as shadow men or folk) are said to usually appear in a person’s peripheral vision, darting away upon being seen; however, there are rare circumstances when people have come face-to-face with one. According to historical records, their main motive thus far seems to have been to simply watch us… watch how we act or how we function. No accounts speak with much authority, but there are several stories and theories.

  • Michelle Belanger’s book tells of several of her psychic friends’ experiences in which they were visited by shadow people. These shadows did not hide in the corners of those witnesses’ peripheral vision, but rather watched out in the open!
  • One thing I find particularly interesting about these accounts is that many have reported seeing ones with red or yellow eyes and always in the wee hours of the morning. 3 a.m. seems to be the common hour at which sightings occur.
  • These beings have been known to haunt a particular person, as opposed to a specific house or building, and even more intriguing is the fact that many of these “hauntings” last for a short period of time and then cease to recur.
  • Usually they appear as a silhouette of a person; however, on other occasions they have appeared as dark blobs or mists that ominously fill an otherwise dimly-lit room or space.
  • Some of these silhouettes have been seen wearing a fedora hat or even a hooded cloak of sorts.
  • The belief in and recorded accounts of shadow people are not limited to one region or country; they seem to make their presence known worldwide. There are forums online where many people from all over the world share their supernatural experiences with others who have gone through the same terror.

Are Shadow People Bad or Evil?

Because people fear darkness, many think these apparitions have bad intentions. Though these beings have been described by many paranormal investigators and witnesses as “evil,” there has really been no direct contact between a shadow person and a human being that involved any proof of malice or anger. In fact, most of the time these beings do not physically touch their “victims” at all (if you could even call them victims. I prefer to use the term “witnesses” since no harm or crime comes of the encounter).

I found an account of a young man who claims to have spoken to a shady figure at the top of his stairs. He asked what it wanted, and it replied that it wouldn’t hurt him and that it just wanted to “watch.”

Michelle Belanger’s account seems to back up this man’s experience with the fact that these beings seem to be merely observing us in our daily lives, usually when we are not paying attention, like during sleep or when we’re occupied with the TV or computer.

But what are shadow people, and why do they want to observe us?

What Do You Call Shadow People?

shadow figures or beings
dark shadows
shadow men or folk
black masses

So What Are Shadow People, Then?

Many theories circulate the Internet and paranormal world as to what these apparitions really are. Of course no one knows for sure, but here are some theories:

  • Possibly the most logical and believable explanation is simply that they are a figment of our overactive and hypersensitive imaginations. Psychologists often find logical explanations for paranormal experiences, after all. Pareidolia is a term that could be referenced when speaking of the sightings of shadow people—it describes the experience of seeing something that is not actually there. A typical example is seeing a face in the clouds or a shadowy figure in the corner of one’s vision.
  • Hypnogajah is another commonly-referenced theory of explanation. This is the waking-dreaming state in which one is suspended between wake and sleep. Being that I am a frequent hypnogajah dreamer, I know how real these dreams can feel. It’s sort of like when you are just falling asleep and you have a quick little dream that you are walking in a parking lot and then your leg falls into a pothole. In reality, your leg jerks and you wake up, realizing that that very real experience was merely a dream. In my article, Personal Hauntings: The Stalker Spirit and Territorial Ghost in Florida, I describe being “stalked” by a spirit and feeling psychically attacked for a period of about a month. Before that, I had never heard of shadow people, nor had I heard that these beings seem to appear to people in a state of hypnogajah. My feelings of being “stalked” or “watched” and paralyzed upon waking seem to correspond to the experiences that many others have had. (Do I believe that shadow people are dreams? I don’t know.)
  • Because sightings often happen to those who are experiencing insomnia or sleep deprivation (for example methamphetamine addicts, who often report seeing these dark figures after prolonged periods without sleep), these visions may be hallucinations triggered by sleeplessness. Those who suffer from sleep disorders like sleep paralysis often report seeing these dark figures.
  • There are many psychological and physiological conditions that could account for this experience. A person suffering from psychological trauma or experiencing heightened emotions might misinterpret normal objects.
  • Other blasé and predictable theories are that they are ghosts or demons. My problem with that theory is that these beings seem to be totally different in nature when compared to other accounts of ghosts or demons. Though many people who have seen shadow people claim that they are “evil,” I think that this ignorance can be chalked up to the fact that people often mistrust things that they don’t understand. As far as I’ve read and seen, these beings are not innately malicious.
  • What if shadow people are actually shadows of the undead? Are they sneaking into our homes at night and allowing only their shadows to be seen? Some might find this theory far-fetched because even if you do believe in the undead, they are thought to not have a shadow (or a reflection).
  • A more intriguing theory is that they are actually travelers from another dimension or a parallel universe that are here to gain knowledge and information about us and our dimension. This is an interesting theory to be further explored by paranormal investigators and quantum physicists.
Are shadow men what cause sleep paralysis?
Are shadow men what cause sleep paralysis? | Source

So we’ve talked of different theories regarding the origins of these eerie dark figures, but that doesn’t fully answer our questions or provide us with either resolution or peace of mind. Perhaps we’ll never find out what the shadow people are or if they exist in reality.

Perhaps we will never make contact with these shadowy beings…or maybe one of us will this very night!

Does your shadow man look like this?
Does your shadow man look like this? | Source

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