Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » Paranormal » Cryptozoology » Shadow People

Also known as shadow figures, shadow beings, or black mass, shadow people are perceived as being what the name implies, sometimes appearing as shadows on a wall.

They have been reported as moving along walls like a regular shadow, but without anyone to reflect the shadow. They have also been seen as free-standing, as if covered head to toe in black, and usually described as being an inky black, impenetrable dense shadow that differs from everyday shadows. Eyewitnesses often report that the darkness of the shadow person is so opaque as to appear solid. Like black holes, they absorb light rather than reflect it.

Shadow people are almost always reported as being featureless and without visible eyes, although some have reported yellow, white, or red eyes. Those who have been visited by red-eyed shadow people have reported extreme terror as if they had been visited by pure evil.

The majority of people who report having seen a shadow person say that they appear from the darkest corners of the room, although they have been seen in empty lots and wooded areas. The most common areas in which they are seen are in corners, closets, under the bed, behind furniture, or in lower cabinets.

Commonly, shadow people are seen as having the shape of someone wearing a cloak or trench coat, as well as a hat, and are sometimes known as hat men. While sightings usually report that they are from 5-7 feet tall, there are reports of shadow people as short as 3 feet and as tall as 17 feet. Shadow people are nearly always perceived as being male, although no definitive sexual characteristics are seen.

"The Paranormal Researcher's Guide to Shadow People (Charis Branson) publishes an eyewitness account from Carrie Newton:

"I've seen Shadow People since I was a kid in the 70s. They always seemed intelligent to me. Some of them had red eyes, and some did not. The ones with the red eyes always seemed more negative and malicious. I've seen Shadow Children hide behind the furniture of my house. I've tried chasing them and they run like they are more scared of me than I am of them. Their movements are usually very human, while at other times they appear like they are moving through water. I have learned to stay away from the ones with reddish eyes. The others seem okay, though."

There are several theories as to what they are. These include ghosts, demons, wraiths, extraterrestrial aliens, djinn, the astral projections of people having an out-of-body experience, the shades of living people who are experiencing a near-death experience, or beings who exist in another dimension.

Most paranormal researchers do not agree that shadow people are ghosts, as eyewitness reports of shadow people differ substantially from those who report having seen a ghost. Most ghostly apparitions appear to be reenacting events from their life, repeating these actions over and over, while shadow people are particularly aware and interested in the people who see them.

Most reports of shadow people agree that they appear to be fascinated by human beings, and interested in watching us unobserved, which is why they most often appear to be people who are in bed.

Night terrors, sleep paralysis, and visual hallucinations may explain some of the sightings. As most sightings occur while someone is in bed, either just waking up or falling asleep, they could be the result of hallucination during a state of hypnagogia. Shadow people are sometimes seen by lucid dreamers who have viewed shadow creatures surrounding them as they sleep. However, some people have seen shadow creatures while fully awake.

Shadow people found their way into the modern spotlight in 2001 through an episode of Coast to Coast, a radio show hosted by Art Bell, and there have been several reports since then.

However, Greek mythology includes Erebos, who appeared as deep darkness or as a shadow, and was married to Nyx, the goddess of the night, who is described as a shadowy figure, and the mother of Sleep and Death. Roman mythology included Shades, dark entities associated with the dead.

Mythology from medieval Scotland included Wraiths, which were said to be draped in black, with glowing eyes. Wraith later evolved into the Scottish word for ghost, apparition, or spector.

Cherokee folklore speaks of the Raven Mockers, who were fearsome creatures who could shift from appearing like a massive black bird to a stooped old woman. The Raven Mocker would appear to people who were near death.

Islamic beliefs include the Djinn, who are said to be one of three types of sentient beings on the Earth, the others being Angels and Humans. The djinn may be benevolent, neutral, or malevolent, and are believed to be able to change their form at will, a popular form being one that has many of the characteristics of a shadow person.

Online resources for shadow people are appropriate for this category.



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