Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shadow People

Shadow people are probably the most mysterious of all ghostly phenomenon, and they are also perhaps the most misunderstood. I decided to write about this topic because I am amazed at the amount of people who have experienced them, and have asked me about them. In most cases they have no idea who or what they are seeing.

Many people have not heard of the term "Shadow People" but it has been a part of paranormal lingo for quite some time. There have been reports of people seeing shadow people as far back as the 1800's and within all types of religions. They can also be known as "Shadow Beings", "Shadow Figures" or "Shadow Men" but "Shadow People" is the most common term for the paranormal phenomena I am about to reveal.

When someone reports seeing a shadow person they describe a dark, shadowy, humanoid-type form which they see in their peripheral vision or out of the corner of the eye. It is often fast and fleeting and cannot be looked at straight on. Shadow people lack mass and features and appear to move into walls or furniture. Unlike a ghostly apparition where clothing or facial features can often be seen, shadow people are dark, distorted and two-dimensional and have no features at all. There have been some reported cases where shadow people have tiny red or yellow eyes, but this is uncommon.

I had never heard of shadow people until I met paranormal investigator Joe Giaquinto who described the phenomenon to me. Since then I have spoken to or interviewed many people who have experienced them, and I have written about some of these accounts in both of my Ghost books. The people who have seen them tend to be skeptical because they can't put a finger on what exactly it was they saw. They usually begin by saying "I've seen a dark figure, like a shadow, out of the corner of my eye. It moved quickly and along the wall. When I turned to take a look at it, it disappeared". Right away I tell them they have seen a shadow person.

In a story I did on DEK's American Restaurant in Rocky Point, NY, one of the owners claimed to constantly see shadow people when he was working behind the bar. He would turn quickly in the hopes of getting a better look at it, but every time he did, it was gone. Shadow people can also appear in mirrors, but will quickly flee if looked at.

Scientists and skeptics alike have come up with all sorts of possible explanations, and some claim they are not ghostly at all. Some say it is a type of extraterrestrial being. Others claim they are "inter-dimensional" beings whose "dimension of origin" overlaps with ours on occasion. Of course there are those who simply believe it is a figment of the imagination, a hallucination or drug induced phenomenon, while some religious groups believe they may be demonic.

The people I have spoken to who have experienced shadow people have been regular, functioning people in the community, so I do not believe for a minute that they were hallucinating. Besides, they all have described exactly the same thing to me yet they knew nothing of the term and even doubted themselves. I always say the skeptic is the best witness.

Who are these shadow people then? Are they disembodied souls who are lost or did not move on so they hide in "the shadows" as not to be seen? Whatever the case may be, it is extremely rare that shadow people are harmful or dangerous. The best thing to do if you find yourself in an area where they continue to appear, is to talk to them and tell them it's okay to move on. It's up to them whether they do of course, but it's worth the try.

If any of my readers have experienced this type of phenomenon I would love for you to comment on my blog, with the hope that all of us will get a better understanding of these dark, mysterious, ghostly beings known as shadow people.