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Today I have a question for all you purveyors of the strange and bizarre. Have you ever been watching T.V. or busy with some chore or another when suddenly out of the corner of your eye you catch a glimpse of something strange, a dark shadowy figure or mist. If so, you may have just seen a shadow being. Encountering one or more of these strange figures can be very unnerving, to be sure. In most cases we would question ourselves…did we really just see what we saw? Was it our imagination or was it something real?


Being afraid of the dark and its shadows is very common. This may be because our eyes tend to deceive us in dim light or darkness. A jacket draped over a chair can easily change into a strange figure; clothes piled in the corner could look like a crouching figure ready to pounce. However, there may be more to it than that. They may be real.
But if they are real; what are they? Sightings of these mysterious humanoid figures, who usually appear as dark human-shaped outlines in our peripheral vision, have been reported throughout history and across many cultures, coming down to us through folktales and other writings. One familiar example is that of the djinn.

What do they look like? They in all shapes and sizes; often appearing flat; some report them as a silhouette like figure, pitch black in color. Others are described as being like a dark void. Still others claim they are dark, yet transparent; similar to a ghost. Other stories say they have red eyes. Oddly one of the most frequent descriptions is that of a tall man wearing a fedora or top hat, often referred to as “Hat Man.” In fact, a fedora is a reccuring element in these accounts. They are often described as being extremely tall. It is also not unusual for them to be described as wearing clothes, often of bygone eras. To make it even creepier, thee weird shadows often appear next to a person’s bed.

So if they ARE real; WHAT are they? Unfortunately defining the true nature of shadow people has been difficult. It also depends on who you ask as even among paranormalists, they present a challenge. Paranormal author and researcher, Heidi Hollis, who coined the term “Shadow people,” believes that shadow people have been with us since as long as humans have. Some paranormalists feel they are negative energy fields and their presence may mean someone is under psychic attack. Others believe there may be an otherworldly origin to shadow beings as some encounters have been associated with the alleged alien abduction experience. Some theories to explain them are; aliens, hallucinations, hoaxes, ghosts or spirits, demons, or interdimensional beings.

Can shadow people be explained by science? Possibly. One explanation is that it is a trick of the eyes; as most of the time these shadowy forms are seen in our peripheral vision; which is not good at detecting details. Another explanation is that seeing shadow people is due to having an episode of sleep paralysis. This is a medical occurrence that takes place when a person is in between the sleep/wake state, where they feel fully awake but cannot move or speak and may also feel intense dread, or feel like they are being suffocated, or even hallucinate seeing shadowy figures. Other possible explanations are a heightened emotional state, sleep deprivation, or substance use.

Although there may be disagreements about who or what shadow people are, one thing is certain…these encounters are very disturbing. Many people say they became very distressed overcome with feelings of dread or fear when encountering a shadow being. It’s normal to feel fearful or confused if you see something out of the ordinary, but it is notable that many people say they became very distressed or were overcome with feelings of dread or terror when encountering one. In fact, most of these encounters are seen to be negative. Paranormal experts believe that these entities, whatever they are, thrive on negative energy so one of the best things you can do if you encounter one, is to stay grounded and not let feelings of fear overwhelm you. Saying a prayer or simply tell it to leave you alone is one of the simplest and best ways to get rid of a shadow being….at least for the moment. However, if you continue to see these dark energies, it may be time for some spiritual cleansing of your living space and your energy field; perhaps by putting out some protective crystals or by burning purifying herbs.

My own encounter with shadow figures was from a time when I lived in an upstairs brownstone apartment. At the time I had just begun my astrology training and was analyzing the birth chart of the renowned seer, Nostradamus. I usually worked late into the night and on several occasions, while sitting at my computer; I saw a dark figure in a long cloak out of the corner of my eye. When I turned and looked, it would be gone. One time it swept across the living room and into my daughter’s bedroom. Another time it was in the corner of the room, near the window. Both times I had a feeling of foreboding, and felt quite uneasy. I had lived in the apartment for several years and had not experienced this previously and after I stopped working on the chart, had no further experiences with the shadow figure. At the time I felt as if my intensive interest and focus on the chart had somehow brought Nostradamus’ energy into being. It was all very strange to be sure and the encounter definitely gave me a creeped out feeling when they happened.
To close, I’d like to take an Informal poll of my Paranormal Peeps: Have you ever seen a shadow being? If yes, What do you think they are?
Thank you for watching the Muskegon Channel! See you next time on Paranormal Muskegon.

Have a paranormal story you would like to hear, share or know someone has had a paranormal experience, unusual ability, or other inexplicable involvement with the unknown, contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on facebook: www.facebook.com/paranormalmuskegon.

To read more about some of Muskegon’s haunted history; check out my book: Haunted Muskegon – Arcadia Publishing
Sources:
Kahn, Nina. What Are Shadow People? The Explanation Is Beyond Creepy. Bustle. Originally Published: Oct. 14, 2018. Updated: Feb. 20, 2024. https://www.bustle.com/life/what-are-shadow-people-these-supernatural-entities-are-scarier-than-any-horror-movie-12219528

Byers, Thomas. What Are Shadow People? Descriptions, History & Real Stories. Exemplore. UPDATED: MAR 8, 2024 6:34 PM EST
https://exemplore.com/paranormal/What-Are-Shadow-People.