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Mystery of the "Shadow People"

Updated on August 7, 2012

What Are They?

“What are they?” Some believe shadow people are compassionate guardians while others think they are evil beings. So far, no one has produced any conclusive evidence of what they are. Speculation abounds, but several theories have been put forth. People have called them “shadow people” since most sightings report them as having a human like form.

Overactive imaginations may account for some reports, but you can’t account for the number of similar details as mere coincidence.

Some believe shadow people are merely one form of ghost who has passed on. Others believe they are evil beings meaning to cause harm. Still others believe they are inter-dimensional beings slipping into our world on occasion. Could they be time travelers? And then, there is the inevitable space alien theory.

Shadow people are often mistaken to be ghosts, but they are totally different. Ghosts are said to be spirits of deceased human beings that take on human manifestations and attributes.

However, they differ from the common ghost description having discernable physical characteristics including clothing. Shadow people are also described as being featureless. Their movements have been generally reported to be quick and disjointed but have been seen to move in slow motion. Accounts sometimes portray a totally black being with red eyes, a cloak, and hat.

Research reveals the movement of shadow people to be quick and jerky, sometimes with stops, starts, not like floating motions associated with ghost sighting. Unlike ghost sightings, encounters with shadow people are almost always frightening.

Witnesses claiming to have had encounters with these mysterious occurrences express feeling an ominous presence or a sense of being watched. When they turn to look it disappears into thin air, or escapes through a wall. Reports say they don’t appear to reflect light and are essentially a silhouette in black.

Their personalities are sometimes said to be curious and childlike, and seem to play cat and mouse games with observers. Other times people sense their presence as being pure evil.

The nature and origin of shadow people at present are unknown. Some believe they are inter-dimensional beings existing in a parallel dimension. Others hypothesize they are demonic entities. It has even been suggested they may be thought forms created by negative psychic energy related to a place where extreme, emotional incidents have taken place.

Some conditions reported are similar to occurrences in episodes of sleep paralysis. Witnesses to shadow people appearances report experiences occur just before falling asleep, or after waking. Reports of being held down in bed are not uncommon.

However, this could be a condition called hypnagogic paralysis. This is a condition where a state of paralysis occurs during REM sleep in order to keep a person from acting out their dreams physically.

A temporary paralysis can occur when suddenly awakened from an REM state. At this point a person can be fully aware, but unable to move. While in this state a person can subconsciously have vivid hallucinations including sensory perceptions such as taste, smell, auditory, physical and visual phenomena.

Observers frequently report glimpsing shadow people through their peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is linked to the area of the brain that distinguishes familiar patterns.

And in a condition known as pareidolia, the brain can also falsely interpret random patterns of light, shadow or texture as familiar patterns such as faces or bodies. It has also been found electro-magnetic fields can sometimes affect functions of the temporal lobe creating altered states of perception.

Fortunately, shadow people don’t seem to be dangerous, although they project an overwhelming sense of fear and dread. Whatever they are there have been countless reports by people around the world.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      It was late one evening. The family had gone to bed and I was turning off the lights. When I passed the front door~i thought I would step out on the porch. our staircase is in front of the door and I kept the light on upstairs for the children. The glow of the light was on the door and I could see my shadow. As soon as I opened the wood door~ the glass door revealed my reflection on the left~but it also revealed the reflection off a hooded figure 3 steps up. I looked at it~ then myself~and back at it. Its arms were folded in front of it. I could see the bend of the elbows under the robe. I could see the ragged edges of the hood. It was only 4 feet behind me so I could see it quite clear. When I turned around~ it wasn't there. Nor was it in the glass door. I had never seen that before nor do I want to again.

    • Haurqermer profile image

      Haurqermer Eggbert Swaurtz 

      6 years ago from One One Two Two Boogie Woogie Avenue

      In the mid to late 80s my wife "a

      t the time" Children & I had moved to Dublin Ca, we rented an unassuming cool looking Lil house at the end of a Cul-de-sac (nice lil neighborhood). Now let me tel you as far as skeptics go the ex & I..? we called Bu!!$h!te all the time! Died in the wool Atheus! UFO's ghost Bigfoot.. ALL BULLOX !! as far as we were concerned. then one night the lady i was married to "old whats'er name"WAKES ME!! taping & pushing . WAKE-UP! WAKE-UP! with her arm out & finger extended as to draw my attention to something in the hallway.. I focus but not seeing anything? I quickly turn to her,not understanding what it is she's awoke for? (I'll never forget the frighten look on her face) when she says "On The Wall Moving Trowed The Baby's Room" & to my absolute astonished horror! I see this humanoid Shadow figure, Like some thing Pablo-Picasso might have painted, It very much knew we had noticed it! the movements were herky-jurky like, popping in a disjointed manner... In a split second I flew strait at it with a warriors yell at the top of my lungs!! in my mind it sounded like rrraaaa! in real life it probably was more like EEEEEEK! I t just disappeared! & she would never talk to me about it?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      the hooded figure... the nature of it is evil. ive done a bit of research on it and i havnt found any story of it actually doing anything to a person.some say it has red im nt sure about that. but to the point, i was sleeping in bed on the side of my body.i opened my eyes and i see a dark hooded figure just standing at the side of my bed. i didnt see it through perepheral vision i was looking straight at it. there were no red eyes, just a pure dark hooded figure standing and watching me. i was completly awake. in a split second so many things were running through my mind while i looked at it. at the time i was living with a room mate . my thoughts were :''is this my room mate standing in front of me ? no it cant be,my room door is locked, how can he get in ? no,its not my room mate. Oh sh#t..." .as soon as i realised what is was, it came towards me with speed, my body went into paralysis,my whole body was in intense pain,i could not move at all,my tongue was stiff as hell so i couldnt speak, and the worst part... since it was as close as it could get, i was going to loose conciousness. i was fading away,meaning it felt like i was going to be knocked out with anesthetic,the kind that makes you sleep. even though i was loosing conciousness in mere seconds,in those seconds i called out a hindu gods name...HANUMAN,and i couldnt even chant the name properly because my tongue couldnt move.after i tried my hardest to pray. it dissapeared. bodily functions were normal,the pain was gone,and i could speak again. the time that i was attacted : 8 pm. i am hindu and i also believe in christianity. but in my view/opinion, god is god, no matter what religion. when i pray, i dont pray to any specific god to be honest. i just say god. but in that situtation i chanted the hindu gods name HANUMAN because his a protector against evil. and his a personal favourite god of mine. but when i pray, i just pray to god. my story is true,believe it or not,its ur choice. conclusion : demon or spirit,whatever entity it may be, if it is evil in nature, just pray to god. it doesnt matter what religion you are. if ur faith is strong in god,nothing can harm you. and in actual fact,from my experience,demons,spirits, these things are all cowards because they attack you from behind and/or when your now i hope its nt a mystery anymore,these hooded figures are evil and will attack but are total cowards. dont be afraid. fight back by any means that is good.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      mystery of the shadow people. now im gona tell you a fact...

    • tamron profile image


      7 years ago

      Great hub with great illustrations of shadow people! Very interesting! I have seen these showdows before people have died.

      Sometimes several weeks before the person dies. It seems tho its watching and waiting. The one's I've seen don't have any particular shape.

      Perhaps it could be the angel of death. Who really knows? Vote Up

    • PaperNotes profile image


      8 years ago

      I also have some personal encounters with these so-called 'shadow people'.


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