Shadow People Encounters

Readers tell of their strange, often terrifying encounters with the dark, mysterious entities known as the Shadow People

By Stephen Wagner

Is it just because they are talked about more and more in paranormal circles, or are people really experiencing encounters with shadow people in increasing numbers? Or have these entities always been around? To be objective, we also have to consider that these experiences might be strictly illusions or psychological disturbances. However, you’d have a hard time convincing the people who offer the following stories that what they saw and felt – and what terrified them — wasn’t real.


When I was younger, there was a “man” at the top of my stairs. I used to go to the bathroom every night between about 12 and 3 and he would always be there! He was a shadow on a mirror. I was only about four or five, but other people saw him, too. He even tried to push one of them down the stairs!

Since moving into the house across the road, though, I haven’t seen or heard from him. I can’t go in my old house upstairs, because there’s a very unwelcome and hostile feeling to it. I still can’t work out who he is. I’ve also seen him in my friends’ houses, and he just stands there… looking at me, although there’s no face, just a shadow. — Lauren


As a child of between 8 and 10, I had regular but always terrifying visits from what I always described as a tall shadow of a man in a cloak and a top hat. All black, very tall. Once he was carrying a cane and once a briefcase. He spoke to me one time in a loud, booming voice. He would disappear through the wall at will and return the same way. They were experiences that I would recall to friends throughout my life, and I have always described him as the “shadow man”. He has not returned since I worked up the courage to run past him and out of my room. — Sandy


I was only about 10 or 11 when I went to this house. It was daytime and the building was well lit. I looked into a few rooms and saw nothing out of the ordinary… until I turned into a hallway. It was at the other end of the hall, looking at me. Although it had no eyes, the feeling was undeniable. The shadow person and I watched each other for some time. I didn’t think it was real, but then it started walking toward me slowly.

I turned and ran. I looked over my shoulder and it had traveled about 7 meters in the split second I looked away, but when I had my eyes on it, it moved slowly. I got out of the house and looked at it again. It had stopped at the door, almost like it was unable to leave the house. It turned and walked back into the house. — Courtney


I’m in my teens and from New Zealand. Half a year ago, I would lie on my bed and casually surf the net. From the corner of my eye I would see a dark mass on top of my wardrobe facing towards me. But when I finally turned to it, it shrank to nothing — quite fast. At night the black mass would be by my bedside or at the doorway. I would hide under the covers and curl up in a ball. I just wanted to cry for help. — Amie


I have two sons who talk often about what they call “The Shadow Man”. The latest experience was when I had buckled both of them in the car and had forgotten something in my house. I went back in to get the item. I heard my five year old screaming. I went running back out. My son was in shock, screaming, “Did you see it?! Did you see it?!” I said, “See what?” Then my six year old said calmly, “The Shadow Man.” They both said he was standing right there on the deck. My six year old says that the black and the white shadow follows my five year old. They say they talk to them all the time. — Diane


When my wife was pregnant with our daughter, we saw one in the house we were renting. I had just gotten off the graveyard shift. We were chatting before going to bed and my wife said she saw “something” in the back room. Our cat was on watch, perched on my wife’s belly, occasionally growling. I was a big skeptic: Aw, that’s a bunch of b.s., etc.

That morning I started toward the back room with that attitude… and stopped in my tracks when both of us saw the hunched black shape move and turn to look at us with those horrible red eyes. I honestly wish I could say I didn’t see what I did, but I sure as hell did. Still freaks me out. — Dath


Starting at four or five years old, when we moved into our house, my daughter has been afraid of our basement. She said that she could hear children laughing, weird sounds, and that “the dark man” lived down there. She also said that she had a ghost friend she called Bradley staying upstairs and that Bradley keeps the dark man away from the top floor.

When she was around 15, she was home with a friend, sitting on the couch watching a movie. Both she and her friend saw a dark shadow in the shape of an adult upper torso hovering by the front door. Within seconds of seeing the shape, it “flew” toward them and then straight down the stairs. My daughter said it was scary, but she’s been more accustomed to bizarre happenings. The friend never came over again. — Lisalu68


About four years ago, I was lying in my bed wide awake in the middle of the day. The windows in my house were at least 10 feet off the ground, so it could not have been someone’s shadow from outside. No one else was home at the time. I looked up in my hallway and at first I didn’t see anything… but it saw me, apparently, because I guess I frightened it. I looked directly at it. It was transparent and of gray color and had the shape of a man. When this entity saw me see it, it got scared because it shook like a person would and then it took off down the hallway. — Amy


I know this sounds crazy, but I swear it’s true. Years ago I was visited by what I now know is a shadow person. I was lying on my sofa and fully awake. It was approximately 10 p.m. and I remember thinking, I’ll go bed shortly. Then I saw this tall dark figure come from my front door. It was male, all black, long coat and a hat. I asked, “Who are you? How did you get in?”

He walked over and I felt drowsy and unable to move, yet not afraid. He leaned over me and breathed on me. I watched him disappear into the wall. With that I looked at the clock… and it hadn’t changed! The next morning I woke up and my left arm was sore. I looked and saw a red, tent-shaped mark on the top of my arm. I’ve even shown the mark to a relative just to confirm it. — Donna


This started happening to me about a year and a half ago. One of my friends and I were walking to a friend’s house and we were taking a shortcut. Then out of nowhere there was a shadow figure about as tall as me, which is 6’3″. It had a tail like a wolf and was all black. When I first started seeing it, it had eyes about the size of two pennies. But as time went on they got bigger and bigger. The last time I saw it, its eyes where about the same size as a lime. Not only that, they changed color.

What scares me the most is the fact that the last time I saw it was about two months ago. It used to show up a few times a week, and its eyes where crimson, which is the aura color of hatred. I’ve been attacked by it before: painful ear ringing, nausea, and dizziness. It might have gone away, but I think it might be planning something. Nothing has happened yet… just waiting for it to show up again, then I’m going to banish it as best as I can. — Cameron

Shadow People Revisited

There’s a growing interest in the phenomenon of shadow people. What are they? Ghosts? Interdimensional beings? Time travelers? Something else?

“WHAT WAS THAT?” You were sitting comfortably on your sofa reading the latest issue of FATE in the dim light when movement across the room caught your attention. It seemed dark and shadowy, but there was nothing there. You returned to your reading – and a moment later there it was again. You looked up quickly this time and saw the fleeting but distinctly human shape of the shadow pass quickly over the far wall… and disappear.

What was that? Some natural shadow? Your heightened imagination? A ghost? Or was it something that seems to be a spreading phenomenon – apparitions that are coming to be known as “shadow people” or “shadow beings.” Perhaps this is an old phenomenon with a new name that is now being discussed more openly, in part thanks to the Internet. Or maybe it’s a phenomenon that, for some reason, is manifesting with greater frequency and intensity now.

Those who are experiencing and studying the shadow people phenomenon say that these entities almost always used to be seen out of the corner of the eye and very briefly. But more and more, people are beginning to see them straight on and for longer periods of time. Some experiencers testify that they have even seen eyes, usually red, on these shadow beings.

The mysterious sightings have become a hot topic of conversion in paranormal chat rooms, message boards and websites, and it is given widespread attention on paranormal talk radio.

What are shadow people and where do they come from? Several theories have been offered.


The explanation we get from skeptics and mainstream science – and who are usually people who have never experienced the shadow people phenomenon – is that it is nothing more than the active human imagination. It’s our minds playing tricks on us… our eyes seeing things in a fraction of a second that aren’t really there – illusions… real shadows caused by passing auto headlights, or some similar explanation. And without a doubt, these explanations probably can account for some if not many experiences. The human eye and mind are easily fooled. But can they account for all cases?


To call these entities ghosts demands first a definition of what we mean by ghosts. (See the article: Ghosts: What Are They?) But by almost any definition, shadow people are somewhat different than ghost phenomena. Whereas ghost apparitions are almost always a misty white, vaporish or have a decidedly human form and appearance (very often with discernable “clothing”), shadow beings are much darker and more shadow-like. In general, although the shadow people often do have a human outline or shape, because they are dark, the details of their appearance is lacking. This is in contrast to many ghost sightings in which the witness can describe the ghost’s facial features, style of clothing and other details. The one detail most often noted in some shadow being sightings are their glowing red eyes.


The dark countenance and malevolent feelings that are often reported in association with these creatures has led some researchers to speculate that they may be demonic in nature. If they are demons, we have to wonder what their purpose or intent is in letting themselves be seen in this manner. Is it merely to frighten?


One interesting idea suggests that shadow people are the shadows or essences of people who are having out-of-body experiences. According to Jerry Gross, an author, lecturer and teacher about astral travel, we all travel out of the body when we are asleep. Perhaps, this theory says, we are seeing the ephemeral astral bodies of these twilight travelers.


People from our own future, another idea states, could have found the means to travel to the past – our time. However they are able to accomplish this incredible feat, perhaps in that state they appear to us merely as passing shadows as they observe the events of our timeline.


Even mainstream science is fairly convinced that there are dimensions other than the three we inhabit. And if these other dimensions exist, who or what (if anything) inhabits them? Some theorists say that these dimensions exist parallel and very close to our own, although invisible to us. And if there are inhabitants in these other dimensions, it is possible that they have found a way to intrude on our dimension and become, at least partially, visible? If so, they could very well appear as shadows. It has long been held by psychics and other sensitives that beings on other planes of existence are of different “vibrations.” Science is beginning to look at reality, on a quantum level, in the same way – that particles of the smallest size exist as vibrations. Perhaps, some theorize, the vibrations of our existence are beginning to mesh with those of another dimension, which accounts for the increase in such phenomena as ghosts, shadow people and possibly aliens.


The alien and abduction phenomena are so bizarre that it’s no surprise that extraterrestrials are suspects as the shadow people. Abductees have reported in many cases that the alien grays seem to be able to pass through walls and closed windows, and to appear and disappear abruptly, among other otherworldly talents. Perhaps, too, they can go about their alien agenda disguised in the shadows.

There’s a good deal of overlapping among the above ideas, of course. Aliens and ghosts could be interdimensional beings, or aliens could be time travelers – and some believe demons are responsible for all of these disturbing phenomena.

There is no way to prove or disprove any theories about a phenomenon that is so mysterious, that happens so quickly and without warning. Science finds it virtually impossible to catalog or study such phenomena in any methodical way. All we can do, at present, is to document personal experiences and try to piece together what the shadow people phenomenon might be. Perhaps it’s an old mystery becoming more recognizable… perhaps it represents a doorway to and from different planes of existence… or perhaps it’s just shadows.