Shadow people are dark figures associated with nighttime visitations and some haunted places. Shadow people appear as solid black figures who are darker than darkness. Most appear to be male; some wear coats and hats. They are usually six-and-a-half feet in height. They have substance and form and can interrupt light and block objects from view. Shadow people rarely communicate, but many seem intensely interested in human beings. Shadow people fall into several categories:

Bedroom watchers.

These figures are discovered standing by a bedside or in a corner of the room when a person awakens in the night. They seem to stare at people in bed, even though they have no visible eyes or facial features. Most do not behave in a threatening manner, though their presence is often terrifying. They can remain for long periods of time and when observed, disappear suddenly or melt through walls and ceilings. Some act aggressively toward people, causing choking sensations similar to the Old Hag.

Shadows on walls.

These figures appear suddenly as dark human outlines on walls, which detach from walls and move about rooms.

Moving shadows.

These figures appear abruptly and move quickly through a room, as though on a mission. They come through walls and melt into walls. They may seem to pay no attention to people present or else watch them intensely. They may be seen out of the corners of the eyes or in full view.

Background visitors.

These figures usually are not seen, but are captured in photographs. They appear in backgrounds, their forms noticeable on walls, doors, and so forth.

Haunting presences.

These figures appear in places known or thought to be haunted. They move about, act with intelligence, and appear and disappear suddenly. They may follow people. In some cases, shadow people are associated with bad luck.

There may be no single explanation for shadow people. They are not likely to be ghosts; dark ghostly figures often found in haunted locations are more “shadow figures” than shadow people. However, as noted above, shadow people are found in haunted locations, too, including wooded areas where they are known in folklore as “watchers.” Shadow people share characteristics with the old hag nightmare terror; some experiencers feel paralyzed, suffocated, or choked.

However, shadow people cannot be equated with the old hag syndrome. An explanation favoured by some researchers is that shadow people are interdimensional beings. They find ways into the physical world and seem to have the purpose — unknown—of observing humans. They may show up as bedroom visitors because the nature of human sleeping or dreaming consciousness enables an entry for them.

Their appearance may be a form they deliberately assume, or it may be the only way they can manifest in the physical realm. Many experiencers feel shadow people are a type of nasty spirit, even a Demon, because they sense evil or trickery radiating from them. Almost all experiencers are deeply frightened of shadow people, even though they are not harmed by them.

Shadow people are sometimes associated with turbulent emotions. For example, many people who have had significant shadow people experiences can link them to states of emotional upheavals, such as anger, sadness, loneliness, and so forth.

Other people may be psychically open in such a way as to perceive shadow people more easily than others. Some haunted places where shadow people are prevalent, such as the Waverly Hills Sanitorium where thousands of people died, may be permeated with thought-forms of negative emotions.


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley  – September 1, 2007


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