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Shadow People Series: General

Updated on September 19, 2011

Depiction of a Shadow Person

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Shadow People, Shadowmen: Basic Information

You might hear the terms shadow figures, shadowman or shadowmen, shadow folk or shadow beings when people are discussing the topic of shadow people. Although discussion threads in paranormal, ghost and "unexplained" forums have greatly increased in the past few years, Shadow People are not a new phenomenon. They've existed in folklore for ages and ages.

The topic of shadow people might arise in contemporary legends (urban legends), old folktales, old and new ghost stories, and anywhere people discuss "the paranormal.'

With the recent strain of movies like "Paranormal Activity," "Paranormal Entity," and television shows like "Ghosthunters" "Paranormal State," and too many others to mention, a lot of people believe that "Shadow People" are a more recent phenomena or that now, due to advanced technologies, EVP devices, electromagnetic measuring devices, heat sensor equipment, et al., that we're suddenly picking up a new phenomena with the new tech tools.

Not necessarily true.

As already stated, Shadow People exist in folklore from way back, sometimes under slightly different descriptions but the different descriptors are about our language changing, not about new phenomena, and the content of old description in older terminology directly describes the same phenomena that we now commonly call 'Shadow People.'

Also, it appears that general global population growth and internet availability/use has made the topic of "Shadow People" a more available discourse to more and more people. More people are ABLE TO speak about this topic to more and more other people in a rising number of technologies - the internet, cell phones, text messaging by cell phone, messenger programs online, computer voice-chat, computer video-chat, etc.

The topic of "Shadow People" has typically been considered a matter of hyperactive imaginations and ghost-story fodder in the past, but as our new technologies become better at capturing images, sound, magnetic fields, heat and other vibrations and energies, a certain school of examining the topic and physical evidence of Shadow People has started to emerge.

Hard-science schools of thought still push the Shadow People topic and evidence into a groupings and labels called "fringe," "pseudo" and "paranormal" sciences, but there are ever growing numbers of people delving into the fringes, paranormal and pseudo areas all the time.

As far as "being real," Shadow People certainly appear to be real to those who have seen them. This alone warrants more investigation, in my opinion and in the opinions of those both inside and outside the fields of "hard-sciences," paranormal communities, fringe and pseudo sciences. More than this, many people who believe they've experiences a sighting or contact with a shadow person are, in fact, negatively affected. They experience TERROR and heightened fear from the experience and from their perceptions.

This terror and fear definitely puts the topic of shadow people into the realm that pseudo-science need study. Psychological factors may play a huge role in peoples' experiences involving shadow people. Until the hard-sciences actually take an interest in these matters of shadow people and related phenomena, people will turn to self-styled ghost hunters, paranormal 'experts,' mediums, empaths, and also - often - those experienced in what contemporary dominant society calles "the occult."

Because of so many negative associations surrounding the occult, fringe science and similar matters, paranormal groups and related fields, it truly is difficult to take someone who speaks on the topic of "Shadow People" (or anything related) very seriously.

I ask that you put aside your doubts just for a little while in order to examine more information about Shadow People. Unfortunately, there are no "experts" in the field of "Shadow People" and related phenomena, according to the "Hard Sciences," but as human beings, it would be wrong to discount ideas on a phenomena reported so often by people from all walks of life, eras from the past, and from people who truly experienced SOMETHING UNEXPLAINABLE by hard science.

If we stop BLOCKING the ideas surrounding "paranormal" things, we may be able to learn more about what is going on that is currently unexplainable in our world. Hard Science deals with amost exclusively 'known' data and with Shadow People and related things, we are observing and examining things not classified yet by hard sciences. It would be a shame to consistently and forever DENY all that which we simply don't have a name for just so we can align our thoughts and explanations ONLY with known data of the hard sciences.

Possible Difference Between Shadow Person and Shadow People

What Are Shadow People?

Most accounts of experiences with Shadow People tell of dark humanoid shadows that appear with very little transparency to them. Often mentioned are descriptions that the shadow was "just like a cardboard cutout" or that the/a black form "blocked out whatever it was in front of," just like a real human being would block from view, say, a chair he/she was standing in front of. In this respect, experiences involving shadow people are not like most accounts of ghost sightings, whereby the ghost is described as sort of 'see-through' and transparent.

With alleged ghost sightings, people often remark about how strange it was to see a human form but also to see right through it and be able to see the objects behind it as well as seeing the distinct human shape of a person. This type of transparency of form is almost never reported with someone who speaks of shadow people or of a shadow entity.

Some will report the sighting as if it is a ghost and might call it a ghost, but to those who are experienced with examining stories about ghosts and shadow people, a shadow-type account starts to differ in more ways than just this transparency factor. Most paranormal enthusiasts or persons experienced with shadow entities may determine that a 'ghost story' is a shadow entity account when the witness starts to describe the feelings surrounding the event, in general.

A lot of people who believe they have seen ghosts, report they were afraid when they experienced the phenomenon. Most people who experience shadow people are more than afraid - they're terrified and also, they often use the words, "overwhelming dread," "doom," "evil" (describing the nature of the entity), "demonic," and "not human."

Most witnesses of ghosts believe they are seeing the spirit of a deceased person and speak of the ghost as a person during some parts of their re-telling of their experience. For most who have experienced a "Shadow Person," the closest thing to 'human' they describe is the "man" at the end of "Shadowman," and a high number of people call it a 'thing' and use the words already mentioned above - evil, not human, demonic.

A shadow person MAY, in fact, be a ghost - but most paranormal enthusiasts don't really buy that description. Many think that Shadow People are, in fact, not of the earthly realm and have never walked normally and humanly on the earth. Many theories exist that are decidedly non-scientific but are actually quite compelling nonetheless...

* Non-human entities of no particular name/label - from another dimension - these have never been human and never walked the earth in solid form - who are not able to materialize into physical substance beyond messing with light waves

* Non-human entities with no proper label (yet) - from another dimension - who are existing in the fourth dimension and who may actually be able to produce a form with physical substance under the right conditions, since they can manipulate physical light waves to form their shadow form

* Fallen angels/demons who, because of a certain punishment by God, are not able to take a physical form with significant substance to it but can take form, affecting light vibrations

* Because they are not of substantial physical substance, they may be manifestations of psychic dark energy from the actual people who are able to see them - or from dark energies around the people they become visible to (shadow people rarely stick around long and some seem to notice when people become aware of them and will walk immediately away when that happens)

A couple of cool, rational and scientific explanations:

* Some incidents of shadow people sightings are explained as being instances of an effect of the eyes and brain called PAREIDOLIA (the tendency for the brain to perceive of patterns it deems as faces in what are actually random patterns)

* Some incidents are explained as being effects of HYPNAGOGIA - the state between sleep and wakefulness that we all experience but that some people may have hallucinations that are memorable after they become fully awake

A Far-Out explanation:

* they may be an extraterrestrial life form (this isn't a favourite explanation of mine. It's on a lot of paranormal forums but with very little explanation besides mention of 'extraterrestrial' descriptor)

Again, the question: "What are shadow people?"

Answer: Heck, we don't know yet! We're trying to find out.

Hub Challenge Hub #10


This lens is part of a March 2010 Hub Challenge I'm doing. I started March 1 and have a personal goal to publish at least 60 hubs over the month of March.

To check out how I'm doing, see my challenge hub, link below: 

Mythbuster Hub Challenges 

This Hub is part of a Shadow People Series set of articles. The matching Shadow People article links are below:

Shadow People Series: General , Shadow People Series: Hat ManShadow People Series: Old Hag , Shadow People Series: Hoodies , Shadow People Series: Shadow Things 


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      As a kid i seen 4 to 5 men like shadows around my bed every night

      I wake up to see my closet door open then one at a time stood around my bed.

      every time it happened i ran to my folks bed

      One day i put a knife in the molding of the closet door i was sound asleep then i got woken up from a clank clank clank the knife hit the floor and the door opened so i covered my eyes with my blankets then i felt something pulling the blankets down and i gave it my all to hold the blankets over my eyes they was standing around my bed

      I told my mom about it over and over again o you watch to many scary shows and you had a night mirror.

      I told my mom i don't know how when i am awake and see them night after night there was no way for that knife to come out unless it was pulled out.

      When this happened they never made any noise no ghost sounds they was just there.

      later on i never seen them anymore but other things i seen wake up for no reason see one glowing looking eye slowly floats up outside my bedroom window only seen that once. i was a little kid at the time and i still think about it till this day I seen what i seen wish it was a dream but it was not a dream it was real and i didn't want any part of it.

      One other time it was in the winter i seen a light a star to the south

      it was real bright i got up to look it was in the sky i was wondering what it was it looked like a star i gone back to bed shut my eyes opened them again the room was brighter got up again looked again the thing that looked like a star was real close and big real big.

      it looked like the north star to me but due south and it looked like it was just over the field could see it threw the trees a comet just don't sit there and slowly get closer and it looked it was just out my bed room window 100 to 200 yards low to the ground threw cotton wood trees what it was till this day i have no idea

    • mythbuster profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Hi Pricey. Did the shadow person do anything - or did it just wander through the area you were in and wander away from you? I hope everything's okay with you.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      That picture! Is an exact representation of a shadow person I saw around two weeks ago!

    • mythbuster profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      There are tons of theories about shadow people, CMHypno. I intend to add some more content soon, after I receive a few more comments and know what people find either interesting or confusing about the content I've already put up.

    • CMHypno profile image


      8 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Fascinating Hub on Shadowmen with great info. I think that a lot of things that people call paranormal are just things that haven't been explained yet. Maybe soon Shadowmen phenomena will be explained.


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