I’ve heard plenty of frightening paranormal stories over the years, but none of them quite as frightening as what you are about to read. On February 7, 2010, I received a fascinating e-mail from a woman named Maria, telling me of a series of encounters she’d had with a sinister and parasitic entity – what she later identified as a “shadow person” – that came between her and her partner at the time. Her e-mail was appropriately titled “A Strange Story for You.”
So intriguing did I find Maria’s story that I replied to her the next day, asking for further information. It quickly became clear to me that Maria, a polite, intelligent and articulate person, was telling the truth. A 43 year-old service station manager currently living in Rosebud, VIC, Australia, Maria is no stranger to the paranormal – though, as she pointed out to me, “I don’t consider myself ‘psychic’ in the most common sense of the word.” She explains:
“I would definitely describe myself as ‘clairsentient’ as I usually feel the presence and emotions of entities much better than I see them. At times I see them in a dark, hazy form, but never as clearly as the ‘shadow person’ I wrote to you about. That was, thankfully, a one-off experience.”
So here it is – an account of Maria’s “shadow person” experience, taken, with permission, from her original e-mail:
“The reason I’m writing is to share with you a situation I found myself in 12 years ago. I’ll try not to bore you with too many trivial details, but please bear with me.
“In 1998 I left my home in Geelong, VIC, to travel around Australia. I got as far as Townsville, Nth QLD, where I met up with a friend named John. He’d been living in Townsville for about 12 months. I had known John through mutual friends in Geelong, and had always found him charming and intelligent. To cut a long story short, we began living together in a relationship.
“For the first couple of weeks everything was fine, as you would expect in such circumstances. Then, suddenly, there was a change in him that was completely unexpected and extremely unsettling. He had what I can only describe as a psychotic episode, and began accusing me of being unfaithful. I should point out that at the time he was smoking quite a bit of marijuana and drinking fairly heavily. That first night he was completely irrational, and scared the wits out of me. He wasn’t physically violent towards me, but was very cruel emotionally and mentally.
“I left the bedroom (where we had been arguing) and went into the dark lounge room to gather my thoughts. While I was sitting on the couch I heard a distinct laugh not far from me. I knew it wasn’t John as he was still ranting and raving in the bedroom. I then saw a tall (perhaps 7 ft) very dark shadow moving down the hall to the bedroom. Thinking that what I had heard and seen was perhaps caused by stress, I didn’t give it much thought. The situation had settled down somewhat by the time I went back to the bedroom, and I managed to go to sleep after a while.
“During the night I woke up needing to go to the toilet and got out of bed. When I opened the bedroom door I was confronted by a man standing in the doorway of the spare bedroom. I knew immediately that he wasn’t “real” (I’ve had a few “visits” from my brother, who died almost 20 years ago, and it always amazes me how there is no fear involved when I’ve seen him), but I was quite confused as to who he was and why he was standing outside our bedroom door. He was quite distinct, which was something new for me as I usually just see shadows.
“He was perhaps 6 ft tall with dark hair and bad teeth. The sneer on his face is something I’ll never forget. He asked me where I thought I was going. I told him I needed to go to the toilet, and he said I had better make it quick. It seems quite ridiculous to me now that I should have had to explain myself to some unknown entity, but it didn’t faze me in the slightest at the time. If anything, I was annoyed by the fact that I had to pass some weird sort of roadblock just to go to the toilet. Anyway, this began to happen regularly. Sometimes he would appear quite distinct, at other times he would just be a dark shadow. Always, though, he would demand to know where I was going.
“While this was going on at night, things were getting strange during the day. John was working close to home, and I was looking for a job. The “thing” would go to work with John, and I would feel the atmosphere in the house lighten, but then just as suddenly I would feel the presence back in the house and I’d know that I was either going to get an unexpected visit or phone call from John. He would burst through the front door and start looking in all the rooms, in the wardrobes, under the beds. It was so bizarre at times that I would wonder what the hell I was doing, but at the time I was completely isolated from my family and friends. In hindsight, I can’t believe I lived like that, but I felt trapped and very confused at the time.
“I didn’t know what the “thing” was. At first I thought it was something that had attached itself to me, and was trying to get rid of John, but eventually I realized that it was the other way around. It was keeping him under its control with drugs and alcohol. I started to think of it as the monkey on his back. I would often see it in shadow form standing behind him just before we had a huge argument. When I got a full-time job it would visit me at work, and I knew that when John came to pick me up after work we were going to have a fight. I was turning into a nervous wreck.
“In 2000, we moved back to Geelong. Things didn’t improve, and one day I came home from work to find the house empty. Apart from the kitchen utensils and crockery, everything else was gone, including the “thing.” I was upset of course, but also relieved, and started to pick up the pieces. Eventually John got back in touch and told me that he had gotten off the drugs and stopped drinking. We met up a few times to talk, and I was impressed by how well he looked and how I didn’t see or feel the “thing” around him anymore. After a few months he moved back in and things were going really well.
“Then one day John came home with drugs and the “thing” was back. We had a huge argument about the drugs. I was upset and crying, and I went to the bathroom to splash some cold water on my face. When I had my face down in the hand basin I suddenly had a feeling that John was behind me with a knife in his hand. I quickly lifted my face up, and in the mirror above the basin I saw the dark shadow behind me in the doorway (it was in broad daylight) and I ran into the lounge room where John was lying on the floor watching TV. He quickly looked around as I came into the room, and before I could say anything he asked me where my knife was. When I asked him what he meant, he told me that he had just gotten a feeling that I was standing behind him with a knife in my hand. When I thought about it later, I realized that if the lounge room wall wasn’t there, the “thing” had been standing directly behind both of us at that very moment. I was now very worried that someone might end up getting hurt.
“My brother’s wife had a friend in Hoppers Crossing who was a very successful psychic, so I went to see her for some advice. I had visited her a few times socially, and my impression of her was that she wasn’t easily intimidated, but the day I went to see her she got very spooked. She described the “thing” to me as the most evil thing she’d ever seen. It had her rattled, to the point where she cut our session short and almost pushed me out the front door. She told me that I needed someone more powerful than her to get rid of it. I have no doubt she smudged her house to within an inch of its life after I left!
“Not long after that I was at work and I got a phone call from John, accusing me for the hundredth time of seeing someone behind his back. I felt the “thing” in the room with me, and after John had abused me and hung up in my ear, I told it to take him and never come back. Sure enough, I got home to find the house empty again. It was so peaceful. After 5 traumatic years I couldn’t believe how nice it was to be rid of both of them. John got in touch after a few months to tell me that he was back on the straight and narrow, but I didn’t even bother to meet up with him. The best part is that I’ve never felt the presence again.
“Well, if you’ve got this far without hitting delete I’d just like to say thanks for reading this. I’ve often wondered whether it really was an evil spirit, or maybe I was seeing John’s addictions in another form. I just know that I never want to go through anything like it again.”