This is an article by Matt Cook posted by Melissa. It is a throwback to the TCF magazine published in October 2015.

Since you are reading this blog I would expect that you have already heard of the shadow people. Those darker than night entities that appear in people’s lives seemingly at random, often scaring the living daylights out of them. But what are these menacing shades and where do they come from, and what do they want?

Well the theories about the origins of the Shadow people and their purpose are as numerous as their sightings and although Shadow People is a relatively  recent one, shadows or shades have been mentioned throughout our history, Homers epic poem Odyssey  is on of the earliest examples that I have been able to find, but I’m sure there are earlier tales.“The first shade to appear out of the pit was my companion Elpenor, whose corpse had not been buried in the broad-tracked earth.” Although this passage isn’t typical of modern sightings it shows that even around 3000 years ago people had the idea that shadows people could and would haunt us.

Now many different researchers and witnesses have different ideas about what a shadow person might or might not be and as with so many aspects of, forteana, there seems to be no one theory that fits all of the cases. Some people, usually of a Christian background, seem to think they are demons. Whilst others seem to think they are some sort of interdenominational beings, whilst some consider them to be the ghosts of dead humans destined to walk the earth for all eternity or sometimes on a journey to the afterlife or heaven or that other place.

 

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So what is a typical shadow person encounter? A very common example is like this from a woman named Tammy from North Dakota. ‘About four years ago, I was renting the top half of an older house in North Dakota. I was in a deep sleep when I woke up screaming bloody murder. Over me, was a shadow person, hovering, hanging onto my wrist, trying to pull me out of my bed toward the ceiling. My husband had stayed up late and ran into the room scared by the screaming. What he saw was me, hysterical sitting halfway up in bed, with my left arm in the air like someone was pulling me. While he did not see a shadow person, he knew it wasn’t just a bad dream as I’ve never woke up screaming hysterically. I did not see a face, just a dark shape of what appeared to be a man. I felt sick to my stomach and a deep feeling of terror.

The next day, after a sleepless night, I found my gold medallion necklace in the bed, one side had Jesus and the other side was the Virgin Mary. What was odd was the clasp (which was tiny and hard to get on or off) was still closed and the chain was too short to pull over my head in my sleep. I don’t ever take my necklace off.

This confirmed in my mind that this experience was not just a hypnogogia theory, where a person is part way between sleep and waking, where you are conscious and in a dream like state and perceive images from subconscious that experience both visual hallucinations and a feeling of dread. While that theory may sound like a possibility in the scientific aspect, I can’t let go of the feeling that it was real, and how did the necklace get off my neck with the clasp still hooked?

I still continue to see shadow people off and on, as soon as I turn off the light, before I am even asleep but I have not had any other physical experiences with them since.’

It seems they typically come at night and often at the point of falling asleep or they are there standing over the victim as they wake, and although they very seldom cause any physical harm they nearly always cause absolute fear and some have theorised that they might be some sort of psychic vampire, feeding off of the fear of their victims.

 

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But they don’t always follow this set of rules and there are many comparisons with other phenomena. Particularly in my view poltergeist. We all know about the typical Poltergeist outbreak. A slow build up of odd events, things moving of their own accord, sometimes random fires starting or mysterious puddles of water appearing where there are no leaks or even any water sources, there are also reports of random objects falling out of thin air like stones and coins, that are often hot to the touch, and of course there is often (not always) a human who it seems the events centre around.

Obviously, the poltergeist, like the shadow person causes a great deal of fear in those who have witnessed its shenanigans and I wonder if perhaps it too feeds off of the fear of its victims like some suppose the shadow person does. This isn’t the only connection between the two phenomena of course and shadow people have been seen during poltergeist outbreaks. One case that immediately springs to mind is the Black Monk of Pontefract.

In 1974 in the West Yorkshire town of Pontefract in the United Kingdom, the Pritchard family began to experience what would become one of the best-known poltergeist events in the country and one that was immortalized in the movie When The Lights Go Out. The case is a long and complicated one involving a number of separate outbreaks that need more space than I have for this article to relate. But the interesting part for us is the appearance of a black-cowled figure looming over the bed of Mr. and Mrs. Pritchard. This type of black figure is typical of so many poltergeist cases so perhaps we can draw the conclusion that the poltergeist phenomena and shadow people maybe in some way related. Perhaps they are one and the same and for some reason manifest in different ways to frighten the hell out of us.

 

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Pontefract House

 

Another example of shadow beings and poltergeist is from a woman going by the name of “Karen” who says

The night before my experience, I had been the target of poltergeist activity. I don’t mean the mischievous kind of poltergeist, the presence in my room was downright evil. That’s another story, but I do believe the events were related. The night I had my experience, I went out to the bathroom (this was in the middle of the night, around one or two am). As I walked into the kitchen (the bathroom is connected to the kitchen in my house, go figure), I was still jumpy because of the previous night. Therefore, I turned on every light on my way to the bathroom. When I walked into the kitchen and reached for the light, a shadow oozed out of the sink. I told myself it was just my imagination until it turned around and came towards me. There were glowing red eyes glaring at me from the area the face should have been!

The feeling I got was a definite presence of evil (again, like the night before). I screamed and ran out of the room, then spent the rest of the night in my parents’ room on the floor (I’m not ashamed to admit it, even if I was twenty at the time).’

As I previously stated the shadow person appearing to the witness whilst the witness is in bed is fairly common, but there is also an even more sinister aspect to these bedside visitations. I have suffered sleep paralysis on and off for most of my life and I can safely say it’s an extremely unpleasant thing to go through. In my experience I wake up in the middle of the night, unable to move or to breathe and this is always, unsurprisingly, accompanied by a feeling of fear and panic, and  it never lasts long, maybe just a matter of a few seconds before I manage to force a breath, but it feels like an eternity. Now I can only imagine what it must be like to wake up and have a black shadowy figure standing over you whilst you are paralyzed in your own bed, as is the case in many reports and the following although unusual in that it happened in daylight is a good example.

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‘Being the lazy bum that I usually am on the weekends….this one Saturday I was still laying in bed around 10 a.m. I was awake,…just laying there complaining in my mind about all the damn light that came into my room which woke me up earlier than I wanted to. I was laying on my back, looking up at the ceiling when suddenly I felt a strong pressure on my chest….so heavy, this feeling, the atmosphere changed in a matter of seconds. I couldn’t breathe right, the air was too thick to breathe and my room was suddenly freezing cold. I tried to get up to get more air… When I managed to sit up halfway, I became paralyzed at the sight of this dark, outline of a human man leaning against my door. I saw it clearly since there was so much light in my room.

There was no face or eyes, just dark all over. The figure of a male definitely, it stood about 5’8 tall and his arms were crossed right on his chest and his right leg was crossed over his left as he leaned against the door. It was like a shadow but it didn’t need the walls to appear on, it stood on its own…leaning against my door…and although I couldn’t make out a face or eyes….I knew it was staring at me. I felt threatened and tried to scream but no sound came out of my mouth, I tried to move but it felt as though someone was holding me down. Horrified that I couldn’t move or breathe or scream, I shut my eyes hard and started to cry. After about 2 minutes, the room temperature went back to normal; I realized I was able to breathe better so I opened my eyes. The man was gone.

I don’t know who or what it was, but I had the distinct feeling of an evil threat near me. It was real and I hope I NEVER encounter it again.’

Another example of a spooky bedside visitation is as follows: One night about 10 years ago I went to bed?nothing unusual except my youngest daughter, then 10, for whatever reason I don’t recall, wanted to sleep in my bed with me so I said yes.

In the middle of the night, I remember very vividly having a “dream” that a large black human type shadow was crawling in my closed bedroom window, right through the glass and mini blinds. I remember feeling totally terrified and somehow getting the impression that it was the shadow of death coming for me. I began to cry in my “sleep” and my daughter heard me and tried to wake me–this is when it really got weird.

I could see myself from above the bed and I could see my daughter shaking me to try and wake me and saying “mommy please wake up!” she began to cry also. I remember her asking me if I was okay and replied “NO,” but I couldn’t wake up, and I couldn’t stop crying, I was so terrified. It was so strange I felt like I was trapped in a kind of twilight place. Eventually, I awoke or came out of whatever it was, but I was totally paralyzed and couldn’t move for several minutes.

I really feel if my daughter hadn’t been there and saved me, that shadow thing would have taken me that night.

About a year after that night I had a checkup and the doctor said I had had a heart attack at some time–I still wonder if it was that night. I see fleeting shadows around my house now, and once I got a good look at what looked like a long black coat moving quickly around the living room corner–naturally no one was there. I have three daughters, and they’ve all seen them at one time or another.

 

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Although bedside sightings seem to be the most prevalent I have read reports of shadow people being spotted in all sorts of places even driving along in your car you may come across one. I can remember about one witness who said whilst she was driving home one night and she could see hundreds of shadow people just all walking in the same direction along the side of a country road.

And I have this report from “Rob” who had an encounter with some sort of shadow being.

‘I was driving along a stretch of highway, late at night, when in the distance, I watched a shadow person slip over the side onto the highway and sprint across the pavement at an incredible speed; loping over to the opposite side and dipping up and over the other side. It was very tall, very crooked, very angular with a crooked hat, bony elbows, long crooked arms and legs and blacker than pitch black.’

This article is just a brief look at a massive subject, reports of these beings just keep coming in and show no signs of abating yet we are no closer to finding out what they might actually be or what they want than just a quick search online will bring up hundreds if not thousands of reports. Are they all made up or just the figments of people overactive imaginations, who knows but after having my own sighting as a child I know they are out there.

  

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