The Phenomenon of Seeing Scary, Shadowy Figures
Do you ever see elusive shadow people in the corner of your eye? Have you ever woken up and were startled by what appeared to be a figure of a person looking at you, only for it to quickly disappear? Welcome to the club!
So, what are these mysterious shadow people? Some of us encounter them as children and others see them lurking around in the dark. This is my own personal experience from when I was a kid …
The Shadow Lurking in the Hall
It’s said that children have the ability to experience paranormal activity, such as seeing ghosts or talking to people who aren’t there. However, as they get older, they’re far less likely to experience these things and may even forget all together.
When I was about 7 years old, my family lived in a small house with a long hallway leading to the bedrooms. My room happened to at the very end of the hall, with a clear view straight to the living room. This set the stage for something I would see almost every night – the thought of which haunts me to this day.
Every once in a while, like kids do, I would wake up in the middle of the night. Sometimes it’d be to use the restroom, and other times it would be to sneak a midnight snack. However, there were certain nights when I wouldn’t dare leave my bedroom … because of the shadow man in the hallway.
I distinctly remember there always being a ‘man’ standing at the opposite end of the hallway, peering from around the corner where the living room would be. I could never make out any features, just that it was human-shaped, and looking in my direction.
Now, most people would think this is the result of a child’s wild imagination. I’d believe that was the case if it weren’t for the fact that on some nights I’d wake my older brother, who would’ve been around 9-years-old at the time and we’d both stand in our doorway … staring back at the shadow man.
Here’s the thing — I wasn’t necessarily scared of the mysterious figure. I was uncomfortable, but I never cried or freaked out. On those nights, I’d simply go back to bed, rather than attempt to walk down the hall to use the restroom.
It never felt like it meant me any harm.
These experiences went on for what seemed like years. However, I do remember the very last time I saw the shadowy figure.
I woke up one particular night with a full bladder, knowing I had to make my way to the restroom in the dark. I hopped out of bed and slowly peeked out my bedroom door to see if the scary shadow was there. Sure enough, he was looking right back at me.
Note: Below is a photoshopped image of what I’d see when I looked down the dark hallway:
I wanted to go back to bed but knew that I’d probably have an accident if I did. I remember trying to find a way to walk to the bathroom without having to look toward the shadow.
So I stuck my arms straight out in front of me, closed my eyes, and made my way down the hall. When I felt the bathroom door in front of me, I could’ve just turned the light on and closed the door behind me, but I didn’t.
Instead, I opened my eyes and turned my head to where the shadow man would be … and there he was.
Feeling brave, I closed my eyes again and walked with my arms outstretched toward him, and to my surprise, I went right through!
When I opened my eyes, I was relieved to see the blinking light on our VCR in the living room (90s kids will know). It also meant there was nothing physical blocking my path, nor was there anything behind me, where it would’ve been standing.
I never saw the scary shadow again.
This experience stayed locked in my memory, only ever coming back when reminiscing with my family about that old house. I can still picture exactly what it looked like, and it gives me chills to this day.
What are Shadow People?
There are many theories regarding what shadow people really are. Some say it’s a trick of the mind, and others say they are hallucinations one experiences just before falling asleep.
If you’ve ever experienced sleep paralysis, you may be familiar with these types of hallucinations. If you haven’t … well, consider yourself lucky!
When a person gets sleep paralysis, their entire body becomes numb. Although your mind is awake and you are fully aware of your surroundings, your body is asleep, leaving you with no control over it.
Some describe the hallucinations experienced during sleep paralysis as ‘dreaming while you’re awake.’
The strange part is that those who experience this often have the exact same hallucinations, including seeing shadow people. The terrifying thing about it is you are incapable of moving as these shadows move around you, talk to you or even laugh at you.
Some have posed the idea that shadow figures are extraterrestrial in nature, or even interdimensional beings. Could sleep paralysis hallucinations just be our minds trying to make sense of an alien abduction experience?
However, my favorite theory is one that suggests shadow people might be the result of a ‘time slip.’
For example, perhaps the shadow man I saw as a kid was me, but in a different time, looking down the hall toward my bedroom, perhaps seeing a small shadow person.
This TikTok describing a real event may just explain this type of experience perfectly …
We may never learn what the real cause is behind these paranormal occurrences, but at least we can speculate.
Have you had your own experience with shadow people? Let us know!