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The Lurking Shadow People

“This scares me and I don’t know what it is. I have been seeing them since I was a little girl. Always outta the corner of my eye a tall black shadow. I always feel like something or someone is by me. Last night I went down to my bedroom. There it was. Standing next to my dresser. I ran upstairs crying to my mom. She went down and looked saying it was only ’cause I was overtired. But I KNOW what I saw. It was so scary. I don’t know what it is. I need all the help I can get!” – Jessica’s cry for help, 10, January 2010.

Tales of walking Shadows come from across the world. Some of these Shadow People wander through the periphery of our lives; others stay for years. People can rarely make out features of these darker-than-night, human shaped entities other than an occasional set of blazing red eyes. Shadow People often appear dressed as a Medieval monk, wearing a fedora, or bald and sexless. These entities may simply trek through our bedroom at night never to be seen again, while others may lurk in doorways, just watching, day after day. Still others attack with energy-draining fear.

What are they?

I’ve studied the Shadow People phenomena for the past decade, and have come to the conclusion the term “Shadow People” is a catchall for entities that exhibit certain characteristics – but their origins can be wildly different. Through research and personal experience, I’ve categorized these creatures by behavior.

Benign Shadows: Shadow People that seem to travel briefly through a person’s life. I saw these entities as a child. They appeared to walk with purpose through my room, never acknowledging me, and never straying from their path. I never felt an unholy fear, just the fear of watching a dark human-shaped trespasser walk past my bed.

Negative Shadows: Although these Shadow People tend to simply lurk, they are associated with a feeling of unnatural terror.

Red-Eyed Shadows: These entities are always negative, but stare at experiencers with blazing red eyes. Victims often say they feel this creature feed from their fear.

Hooded Shadows: Dressed as an ancient monk, people who encounter these Shadow People feel a deep rage bubbling behind the black cowl.

The Hat Man: This entity is the most curious. Dressed in a fedora, and sometimes appearing to wear an old-time business suit, the Hat Man appears to people in cultures across the planet.

Shadow People may be demonic entities, ghosts, inter-dimensional travelers, or other denizens of the dark realm we call the Unknown. Regardless of their label, Shadow People could very well be more than just one type of being. Brad Steiger, author of “Shadow World,” has studied the paranormal for more than 50 years and agrees – there are many possible explanations for Shadow People. “I would say that experiencers are seeing all of the above and giving them/it the name of Shadow People.”

Whatever these entities are, they’re shocking to those who see them.

A gray sheet of clouds stretched across the sky as 12-year-old Doug ran to the corner store. “It was overcast but not raining, and in the middle of the afternoon,” Doug said. The day was shadowless, and decades later he still doesn’t know what he saw on his way home from the store, arms laden with food. At first, he thought it was a friend. “As I approached the corner to turn onto my street, I saw something black sticking beyond the bushes in the front of my house,” Doug said. “I yelled, ‘Andre,’ and started running toward my driveway where the bushes are.”

The dark figure wasn’t his friend Andre. A black, man-shaped Shadow grew from behind the bushes in this quiet afternoon and began running toward Doug’s house. “After a few steps I saw the Shadow running down my driveway toward the back yard,” he said. “I ran up the driveway to the gate that leads to my back yard. I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

Doug stood at the gate as the black Shadow in the shape of a man ran across his yard and disappeared through a fence. “I was shocked,” he said. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it. This thing; what could it be? Why was it black when most stereotypical stories said that ghosts were white? Could this be demonic? Could it be like me, just a person?”

What did Doug see? A ghost? A demon? A dimensional traveler? Or was it all in his mind?


“I’ve been visited by what I presume to be the same Shadow three times in my life, and the memories have haunted me ever since. When I was six, I saw it at my dad’s new house, towering over my bed. I couldn’t move, and I don’t remember what happened next. All I remember is trying to scream, but there was this horrible weight on my chest.” – Luke Purdy

Most of the Shadow People encounters I’ve collected over the years are readily explainable. The experiencer wakes to find a black, human figure standing in the doorway of their bedroom, or leaning over their bed, just watching. A tightness grips their chest like the weight of a person is upon them. They can’t breathe. Suddenly the choking eases, and the Shadow being is gone. This type of encounter is common, and psychology has a name for it – sleep paralysis.

April Haberyan, a psychology professor at Northwest Missouri State University, said most Shadow People encounters are probably the product of dreams. When people sleep and enter the REM phase, “it’s very common for them to see things,” Haberyan said. The fear, the paralysis, and the entities are normal. “There are hormones in REM sleep that paralyze the major muscle groups and it’s called paradoxical sleep,” she said. “(Although) this happens during REM, these people don’t stay asleep and the hormones are still in their bodies. It can last up to eight minutes and they feel pressure on their chest and can see people.” When the experiencer becomes fully awake, the Shadow Person encounter is over – all that’s left is the fear.

Other Shadow People encounters – as well as those of ghosts/UFOs/Bigfoot for that matter – can be attributed to the same trick of light and shadow that allows us to see faces in clouds and carpets. These sightings can also be from electrical stimulation to certain parts of the brain, or drugs. Chemist Rick Toomey said anything that throws off the chemical balance of the brain causes all sorts of problems. “All sensation is in the nervous system and it’s all chemistry,” he said. “If every neurotransmitter is chemistry, you can wreak havoc with that.”

However, many encounter Shadow People in full consciousness and full daylight, removing the logical, scientific answers, and leaving something terrible.

The Religious World

“My best friend, when he was a boy he was laying on his bed with the lights on. A shadowy figure emerged from his closet and moved towards his bedside. The Shadow being reached out a finger and touched my buddy’s leg. He screamed and the figure vanished, and his folks were there in moments. My friend’s father noticed that the closet door was open, and his parents knew he NEVER slept without it closed. The black spot on his leg remained visible for several years, but the Shadow being never returned. To this day my friend has no idea what happened, but he does know one thing – it was real.” – Paul Sycros

Although most reported Shadow People encounters involve an entity simply appearing and disappearing, many aren’t that innocent. Negative Shadows, Red-Eyed Shadows, and Hooded Shadows, all bring a feeling of horror when they step into someone’s life. These creatures are known by different names, demons, jinn, dark shadows, sgili, but their nature is the same.

Bishop James Long, pastor of St. Christopher Old Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky, has studied demonology for years and knows Shadow People well – to him they are something evil. “Shadow People must be taken seriously and they can be quite dangerous,” he said. “When a human spirit tries to manifest itself, its form is black, or otherwise known as Shadow. It is energy trying to manifest itself so that it can appear to have the physical characteristics it had when living on earth.” These entities can move, communicate, and attack, drawing energy from their human victim. “Certainly Shadows that attack are demonic in nature and should be avoided at all times,” Long said. “I would strongly encourage anyone who witnesses a dark Shadow to be careful.”

Cody Lilly’s family has encountered this type of Shadow for years, a black, human-shaped figure, featureless except for a wide-brimmed hat. “We called him the Cowboy because he kind of looked like the Marlboro man,” Lilly said. The Cowboy stepped into Lilly’s life his sophomore year of high school in Clarinda, Iowa, and visited almost nightly for two years, pacing about his room, waiting for something. The entity, with fiery red eyes, never spoke, and never approached him, but Lilly knew why it was there – it hungered. “It was feeding,” Lilly said, convinced the Cowboy was absorbing energy from his terror. “The first time I saw it I was completely incapacitated by how scared I was of it.”

Lilly soon went to college thirty miles south and the visits stopped until after graduation in 2011 when he moved to Nebraska. “My girlfriend that is now my fiancée is in Kansas City and I’m in Omaha. I was crashing with friends here,” he said. “My car started acting up, I’m in the process of looking for a job, finding an apartment, buying an engagement ring. I had a lot of stuff on my plate, which might have brought on what happened.” What happened was the Cowboy. “I’m sitting in my car on the phone with my mom. I don’t know much about cars, but my mom does.”

As Lilly described the car’s behavior to his mother, he noticed a movement in the corner of his right eye. Lilly turned toward the passenger side window and saw it – the Shadow Man that once tormented him in the night. The Cowboy. “It was full on. A Shadow Person in an old fedora,” Lilly said. “It was standing there. It leaned over like it’s bending to look at me.”

As Lilly stared in horror at this red-eyed Shadow Man in full daylight, the Cowboy reached out it’s arm and knocked on the car window. “It knocked two times,” Lilly said. “After it knocked it dissolved in my vision. It just showed up, knocked on my window and was gone.” Lilly wonders if the Cowboy wanted to let him know it was still around. “It’s been quite some time that I saw him,” he said. “I’m just kind of thinking he just showed up. I was feeling stressed out and I think he showed up just to feed on that.”

In Islam, the supernatural Jinn can be a companion, or a dark, Shadowy predator. “Jinns are invisible entities believed in by most all Muslims and Middle Eastern folklore,” said religion expert, Dashti Namaste. “Jinns get in and out of human spheres regularly, and it is believed that any human is able to make contact with a Jinn.” Although Jinn can be benevolent, some Jinn are wicked, appearing as dark figures that lurk in ruins and cemeteries, waiting for an unsuspecting human soul to stumble by. The wicked Jinn, much like the demons of Christianity, are deceivers and may present themselves as the ghost of a loved one to insert themselves into a human’s life.

Wahde, a Cherokee, said the nature of Shadow beings in the American Indian tradition are just as dark. “They’re humanoid shaped, but not proportionate to a normal person,” Wahde said. “Their appearance is more monstrous in nature.” These Shadow beings are the product of medicine men that have strayed from the path of healing. “There seem to be a classification of spiritual beings that are Shadow for the most part. These things can be manipulated by bad medicine or bad magic,” Wahde said. “They either take that form to attack other people, or they use some other spiritual being as a spiritual attack.” In the Cherokee language, these dark medicine people are sgili, or witch. “They’re still alive to some degree, but they’re not necessarily considered human.”


“I have a young boy shadow/spirit in my home. He appears as a solid black cutout-like figure. He is a prankster, too, but he’s NOT mean, or evil. He let’s us know he’s here at times by playing with the animals. Kittens, dogs, puppies, etc. PLAY, not mean. The dogs and puppies are wagging their tails. He moves my Barbies if he really wants my attention. And the other day he didn’t want the door to his room closed, so he opened it. He’s a good kid.” – Kim Tamsor

A family sees a black figure come down the stairs at the same time at night, turn into the kitchen and disappear. A dark man in an out-of-date suit walks through a child’s bedroom and down the hallway. Some Shadow People encounters – benign ones like these – could very well be disembodied spirits wandering the earth. D.H. Parsons, president of The Bliss-Parsons Institute of Metaphysics in Columbia, Missouri, has encountered many Shadow People while investigating a haunting. Although many fellow investigators consider Shadow People demonic, Parsons doesn’t necessarily agree. “My feeling is that a Shadow Person is another representation of a residual memory of a person who had such a strong personality in life, that a bit of their energy remained here in this dimension after their spirit crossed over,” Parsons said. “Most of the time the spirit beings are either friendly to us, or confused by us, or curious as to why we are there. But they have never done us any harm, not even the Shadows.”

Not so for eighteen-year-old Dave Stanfield. Stanfield didn’t expect something to be waiting for him in his room when he woke. Something was – something dark. A strange feeling pulled Stanfield from a deep sleep. As he lay in the gray room, staring at his bedroom wall, he saw it. “I woke for no reason, had no weird dreams, and I wasn’t groggy or half asleep,” he said. “My room was dark other than some stray beams coming through the blinds, and I could see a man, darker than the night like a void.”

The figure stood at the end of the bed. “I could only make out the silhouette of his head and shoulders. The rest of him just went straight to the floor,” Stanfield said. “There were no legs or feet. No red eyes, no facial features whatsoever.” Terrified, Stanfield slid low in bed, pulling the covers slowly over his face, watching the black, man-shaped figure standing over him until his blankets hid the horror from his view and Stanfield fell back to sleep.

Stanfield is now 29, and although he doesn’t know what this Shadow Being was, he knows he saw it – and it haunts him still. “Only in the past couple of years have I been able to find anything on the subject matter,” Stanfield said. “It’s almost like re-victimization when reading stories from other people that describe experiences like mine. I never knew it could be so widespread and am still dealing with the shock.”

But, as with Parsons’ encounters, this being didn’t harm Stanfield. At least not physically.

Interdimensional travelers

“Harmless. Just a watcher is all.” – Don Hall

Most Shadow People encounters are benign, a dark figure lingering in the corners of your life, watching. Could these entities simply be watching us from a realm barely removed from our own? Marie Jones, author of books exploring science and the paranormal, thinks other dimensions could be homes of Shadow People. “In my research into quantum and theoretical physics, I came across … concepts that really opened up the possibilities to me that entities from somewhere else could be coming here” Jones said.

One of these concepts is wrapped around different dimensions. “Theoretically, if these infinite other universes exist, we really should not physically be able to access them,” Jones said. “Yet even theoretical physicists entertain the thought that perhaps the laws of physics on the other side allow for some crossover.”

Clark Kent’s* grandfather died in 1977 and his grandmother moved to a small apartment leaving her old house empty. Shortly after, ten-year-old Kent’s family moved in. “My first friend in the new neighborhood was my next-door neighbor, Jim,” Kent said. “We are good friends to this day.” On a day in 1979, Kent invited Jim to his house to play Ping Pong – and it’s haunted him since.

That day after school, Kent and Jim had about two hours before Kent’s parents came home from work, which meant Ping Pong in the basement between peeks at the forbidden stash of Playboys in a dusty alcove. It was there Kent saw something he didn’t expect. “During our game, I was facing the alcove,” Kent said. “At a certain point, something caught my attention.” Standing in the alcove was the shadow of a man wearing a fedora.
“It was creepy, and I had to pause,” Kent said. “I could not figure out how any combination of the boxes could cast such a shadow. Then it moved.”

Kent stood at the Ping Pong table, staring at dark figure watching him from the alcove. He then quickly looked at Jim who was looking at him. “He realized I had seem something,” Kent said. “I was struck by the realization that no man was casting a shadow on the wall, the Shadow was solid and was not attached to any object. I turned and scrambled up the stairs with Jim right behind me.” At the top of the stairs, their breath coming fast and heavy, Kent slammed and latched the basement door, then “looked at Jim with wide eyes.”

Jim denied seeing the Shadow man that day and for nearly thirty years after. As the two met for a long needed reunion, Kent mentioned the Shadow Man in his basement. “Jim sunk into his chair and spoke in a whisper, ‘I’ll never forget that hat.’ I was stunned,” Kent said. Then he asked the same question he’d asked three decades ago, did you see it? “Yes, I did,” Jim told him. “I was scared.”

But did this entity, this watcher, step into Kent’s life from a parallel universe?

Although some physicists entertain the idea of these multiple universes, physicist David Richardson isn’t eager to join them. “I hate to bring this up in this context, but if there were extra dimensions … (Shadow People) might actually be people,” he said. “I’m skeptical of that, but it’s possible. We’re just starting to figure out that sort of stuff.”

Ghost? Demon? Jinn? Sgili? Traveler? Regardless of the nature of these entities, regardless of their intentions, the advice for each encounter is the same – proceed with caution.

*Yes, this person’s name is actually Clark Kent. Although bearing the name of Superman’s alter ego may be a burden to some, Kent said his name has netted him many free bottles of beer from strangers at taverns. Who doesn’t want to buy a drink for the Last Son of Krypton?

Follow Jason on Twitter @TheJasonOffutt

The images used in this post are for illustration purposes only.

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  • BH664148

    Great article.

  • Coolmaker

    i see to dark person twice, they dont have red eyes, but i was very scary.

  • hi.

    I’ve seen these shadows a few times that i can remember .. Once me and my friend saw a black figure, wearing a top hat, he was walking past us about 20 meters from us, and just dissappeared. Needless to say we were shocked! also, we were at a party, and of course everyone though we were lying.

    One night, I couldn’t sleep. My bed was towards the door and i was just looking at it. The door was to the hall and i saw a black figure, i think wearing a cloak, walk past and into my sisters room. This happened rather fast. But I didn’t see it again. 

    I have so many times woken up in the middle of the night, where my upper body just rises up, and my eyes are open, but I can’t move, and I feel this incredibly heaviness on my chest, and I try to scream for a family member to help me but nothing comes out. Then It stops, I totally fall on bed and fall asleep. But I remember it, and it happens sometimes. Don’t know what it is 🙂 

  • Conor Murphy

    I used to see what you term benign shadows walking through my bedroom as a child. I could see them silhouetted against the darkness of my room—the room was dark, but they were darker. I don’t recall being afraid of them, perhaps I was, but I remember simply being intrigued and they never seemed to pay me much attention. Of course, it could all be chalked up to dreaming and a child’s overactive imagination.
    Great article.

  • Good article!

  • Mrlittleroots

    These beings are the watchers. They hold special information, get over your fear and talk to them. Western civilization has falsely labelled many things evil. Evil lurks in us! If you are of good intention, and are grounded in yourself, how can these entities hurt you or any others?  There is so much disinformation as to who and what we are it is frightening. There is a cosmic law, and all beings know this. Negativity comes to feed off your fear, just like some governments. Face yourself for real, and these entities evolve and shift. Fear them not, the fear comes from you. All things are of the gods we believe in, so why we be afraid of a another divine creation??? It is ourselves we need to fear. Just look around at what we have done too our host planet.. Blessings to all!

  • HKM

    I used to have nightmares, and sleep walk as a child. One time I had a dream that a black figure came out of the closet in the hallway between my room and the bathroom, and held out his hand and asked if I would like to go with him. I said no, and ran back into my bedroom. I woke up, and was in bed.
    Now, I have lived on my own for 6 years (I will be 24 in August), and I will wake up in the middle of the night sometimes (fully awake, not still dreaming), and see a black figure in the corner of my room, in or next to my closet (always those spots). It never moves, or speaks, or makes any noise. I am not paralized, but always have a sense of fear.
    I sleep with a night light because my closets have always been across the room from me in all my apartments, And I am always able to reach over and turn the lights on. Once I do, it hesitates and steps back into the shadows of the closet.
    It’s never more than once a night, and not as often anymore. I was always afraid I was going crazy, and never talked about it much. I have recently told a few close friends about it, and they have similar stories of seeing shadow people as well.
    I am getting a weird anxiety, and chills even writing this..but it’s almost calming to read other stories.

  • jac

    I had Shadow Person experiences when I was a kid. Roughly during 1985-87. It never walked around. It only shifted around a little bit. It kinda resembled the bald variety mentioned in the article.

    The fedora hat version seems to resemble the Men In Black.

  • Yodalanda

    I saw hat man as a child – – always out of the corner of my eye. I would think it was my father, who wore that type of hat routinely, but when I looked directly at the spot, nobody was there.

    As an adult I thought those experiences were based on fear of my father, with whom I had a difficult and painful relationship even as a child. But hearing that seeing hat man is not an uncommon childhood experience, I feel mildly spooked and perplexed.

  • Meleewyo

    I’ve had my share of paranormal experiences, but only ever encountered a shadow man in one location.  I used to work in a business that used to be an old west brothel, built in 1870s; I also lived upstairs.  This place is undoubtedly the most haunted building I’ve ever spent time in and could write a book about my experiences and the history of the place.  There was a very grumpy and angry male ghost that paced about the main floor.  I saw him in shadow form a couple times, mostly standing in the hallway as I was locking up and leaving.  One night I was sitting in a dining room booth and his black shadow head wrapped around from behind the hallway wall and stared straight at me.  He had eyes, but they were glowing white, or blank, not red.  It took me  awhile to really take in what I had seen as it defied any logic or explanation (something I got used to in that building).  I went to the spot to try to poke my head out in the same manner, trying to tell myself it was a coworker, impossible!  It was truely strange.

  • BrothaJeff

    I saw many shadow people when I was a child. They would entire my room and circle my bed every night. But one would stay at the door way with a battle axe. I would get out of bed and run through the door. The man with the axe would try to swing at me but It would go through me. Later when I moved and stopped seeing the figures. My sister and I some how brought up ghost stories with my brother. My sister then told us a story she never told anyone about before. She remembers when she was a kid shadow men would walk in her room, circle her bed and one at the door would have an axe. I got chills when she told me this and I said, “The exact same thing would happen to me.”

  • Ccarton

    Has hat man ever been correlated with papa legba or elegba?

  • Jen Frias

    I always see these shadows, but I don’t trust myself to tell other people because they think I’m crazy enough as it is. But I’ve never been scared of them. I leave them alone and they do the same. But the ‘shadow people’ I see are always upside down.

  • you really need to read this, trouble half, please respond as soon as you see this- i had the exact same experience. i was about to leave the page then looked back at your comment. you explain to exact same scenario from my dream i had when i was a kid, the only one i remember. I’m at the bottom of my staircase, just got home from my grade three class and my mother was at the top of the steps holding a laundry basket. she walks downstairs as if on cue. i try to talk to her but she doesn’t hear me. i star in shock, then a tall dark shadowed hooded figure walks down the stair and tells me he’s going to kill me. the rest of the dream isn’t really relevant here, but ever since that dream I’ve seen him out of the corner out of my eye, just recently I’ve been seeing others besides him.

  • Andy

    Andy 1 second ago

    The story I am about to tell happened when I was very young probably one of my first memories. I have never told anyone and kept it to myself until I researched it on google and found a lot of people have seen something similar to mine. I do not know if what I saw were shadow people. Maybe someone can help me. I was at a family reunion at a church in crystal city Missouri. My cousins and I always walked around and explored the church. Well I went off by myself and went to the main room where services are held. It was very dark and I was playing on the podium where the preacher preaches. I remember turning and seeing two shadow like human beings moving very quickly ducking and appearing in pews until they were both standing on both sides of me. They pushed me around between them and told me I should not be In here. I could not see there faces and they told me to leave because it was dangerous in here. I left and went back to the reunion and when I turned around they were gone. I was very young and this has always bothered me idk what they were or what. Any info would be great.

  • BlauPanda

    i’ve seen a shadow ‘person’ twice in the past few months… in both instances it was just before morning, and i had woken up having to use the bathroom… just outside my doorway was the ‘shadow’… at first i didn’t know what i was seeing… then i realized it was the figure of a tall man with broad shoulders… i could see the outline in the hazy pre-dawn twilight, but distinguished no other features, except to notice that i could see through it as well… it just stood there, as though looking straight into my bedroom; watching… i felt no fear at all, which i guess is strange in and of itself…… i stared at it for a good minute, then i turned the light on and it was gone… that was the first time… the second time was a couple days ago… same thing, except this time it was like a step or two to the right of the doorway… this time i didn’t stare, i just flipped the light on and off and it was gone…
    was all this just random? why would any kinda ‘shadows’ be interessted in me…? granted, there has been a lot of loss and misery in my life the last ten years… could that be why? but no one who passed was any kinda tall broad man like the shadow seemed to be… it is a true enigma…

  • Richard

    i never told anyone til now and this happened when i was around 18 years old and iam now 35. I was with my girlfriend in my attic watching tv cause at the time i will sleep up there from time to time when the lights went out and i told my girlfriend to go downstairs to check on the connection cause i had an extension cord running so we could have light and while i was waiting i seen the shape of a person in the dark looking over me and it had no face no legs just darkness and this shadow shaped person was like inches away from me. I was scared and closed my eyes and when i opened them the lights came back on and the shadow was gone but i never seen it again

  • Lily

    I remember when I was 8 or 9 I woke up late at night and there was this shadow of a man hanging on the wall just above my door. It sacred me but at the same time i felt it wanted me help. I got really scared so I ran into my brothers room across the hall…..the weird thing was that it followed me. From all the stuff I hear about them they go away, but this one followed me to my brothers room, but vanished when my brother caught a glimse of him.

  • Marcos Miranda

    I’m going to start a blog about this topic as well as sleep paralysis. It’s all interconnected. These entities are demons. All of them. There’s it only 1 solution to cast them out and that’s the name of Jesus. Verbally if you can or simply in thought if you can’t speak. More on this later. Twitter @MrMarcosMiranda

  • Emma Errgang

    I actually just saw a black, blurry figure running out of the corner of my eye, I’m not sure what it was though,

  • Rupinska25

    For the past 10-15 years I wake up frozen and can’t move like something is holding me down and I can’t shout. Sometimes it feels like I am getting dragged to hell but then a light pulls me back up. Last night it happened again but this time my fiancé woke up just after 3am and saw 4 dark shadows with red eyes standing all around me watching me sleep. He shouted at them which woke me up and I felt absolute fear. They disappeared before I could see them, my fiancé must have scared them away. I am now scared wondering if these shadow demons have terrorised me all these years. How do I get rid of them? Please help

  • darren ward

    If like me your a shift worker you may have experienced what’s called
    sleep paralysis. The first time this happened to me a felt a presence in the room and couldn’t move to see what it was. The second time it was voices. All due to lack of sleep or awakening too fast from a deeper sleep state. I accepted this for what it was. However I still have nightmares about the hooded figure I saw when I was 6 years old when I lived in towns oldest pub dating back to 1300’s. Decades later after a conversation with my wife I did some research and found records of monks being in the area. The new owner of the Pub also claims it to be haunted but has never seen a hooded figure like I did. The sleep thing is one thing seeing a hooded figure whilst awake thats been on my mind for decades is another.

  • Salmon74

    I saw one when I was six. I was in a sled race on a frozen stream in the back of my house. This was in Highland Mills N.Y. The stream passed under Ridge Road. The under pass it self was a square shaped short tunnel. The kid I was racing against had ditched around a small bend in the stream. At the entrance to the over pass I saw what seemed to be lit up by a campfire light, and what I saw was squatting besides it. It was sitting like you would if you sat on a log with your elbows on your knees kinda hunched over with your hands hanging down. Only this thing had very long fingers. It had a top hat on like slash from G’N’R, as well as a long walking stick with a “Brooklyn Lantern” type of lantern hanging from it. I ditched my sled and screamed like crazy. About what I had just seen to my Dad, and the others I was with. Well my Dad went down there to see what was up, and found nothing. I saw little shadows about the size of cats peripherally for about a year after that. They were always darting around corners. Now I get a feeling, and this is my analogy like I’m blind folded and in a library where everyone’s quiet. But I can feel them there. Might be just me and one other person or persons. Almost like a change in air density is accompanied with this sensation, and here’s another analogy. Listening to your stereo have a friend move one of the speakers around the room. A tingling/vibrational/goosebumps without the bumps type of feeling as well. Please leave me a reply.

  • Salmon74

    I saw one when I was six. I was in a sled race on a frozen stream in the back of my house. This was in Highland Mills N.Y. The stream passed under Ridge Road. The under pass it self was a square shaped short tunnel. The kid I was racing against had ditched around a small bend in the stream. At the entrance to the over pass I saw what seemed to be lit up by a campfire light, and what I saw was squatting besides it. It was sitting like you would if you sat on a log with your elbows on your knees kinda hunched over with your hands hanging down. Only this thing had very long fingers. It had a top hat on like slash from G’N’R, as well as a long walking stick with a “Brooklyn Lantern” type of lantern hanging from it. I ditched my sled and screamed like crazy. About what I had just seen to my Dad, and the others I was with. Well my Dad went down there to see what was up, and found nothing. I saw little shadows about the size of cats peripherally for about a year after that. They were always darting around corners. Now I get a feeling, and this is my analogy like I’m blind folded and in a library where everyone’s quiet. But I can feel them there. Might be just me and one other person or persons. Almost like a change in air density is accompanied with this sensation, and here’s another analogy. Listening to your stereo have a friend move one of the speakers around the room. A tingling/vibrational/goosebumps without the bumps type of feeling as well. Please leave me a reply.

  • Cloertras

    Sounds like you are having experiences with entities sometimes known as “Dweller(s) on the Threshold”. It would seem from the description you left, and from the fact that your fiance saw them as well, that both of you may have loose ties to your energy body (this is a good thing, mostly) and have been projecting your energy body into the nonphysical realms unconsciously for years while you both sleep and recharge. This may all sound like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but energy bodies, and “traveling” with them during sleep are actually a completely natural & normal part of the human condition-most of us have no recollection of doing so on quite a regular basis.
    These Dwellers detect and feed off fear, and can also feed even if you aren’t aware or notice them, just by “observing” you in your unconscious energy body state while asleep or in sleep paralysis type states (where you become aware of the presence and are frightened and unable to move for a short period, just as you described)
    There are a few ways to overcome them and none of them are quick and easy, but it basically comes down to either mastering your fear over them, which is of course much easier said than done (I tried this route, not very successful). The other way to overcome them is by studying astral projection, learning about the energy body, practicing dream interpretation, and doing daily relaxation and trace-type meditations to heighten and strengthen your non-physical conscious perceptions. It sounds like a lot to do but by doing so you gain much much more than simply ridding yourself of these startling energy vampires.

    Hope this helps a bit, Good luck to you and your fiance, I hope you can both overcome the dwellers. I know how unnerving they can be, I delt with them for 5-6 yrs on and off.

  • Jessinseatown

    When I was 6 I woke up in the night surrounded by black shadow and glowing red eyes. I ran, ending up in my front yard and screamed myself hoarse until my neighbor woke up. I remember my dad asked me why I didn’t turn on the light or wake my sister, and I said that I wasn’t in my room. After that I sleep walked for years and drew spirits toward me by foolishly playing with ouja boards as I had becomes obsessed with the paranormal. I have always seen shadow cats out of the corner of my eye, and one time I was very ill with a high fever and was half asleep when I heard loud whispering and static, like a radio station out of tune. After I became a mom, I left my spiritual side behind- I’ve never been religious and I didn’t have time to focus on that stuff. Recently things have happened that brought me to this site. Last week I woke my self from a bad dream. In the dream I screamed loudly because I saw a ghost that startled me and I awoke in bed wondering if I had screamed out loud in my sleep. My boyfriend was still asleep beside me, so I went to the bathroom and when I reentered our bedroom, I saw a shadow in the corner or the room hovering above my boyfriend. It blended in with the shadow from our bookshelf so well, but I was struck by its presence, so Iit couldn’t hide. It was a male like shadow from the torso up. As I approached the bed it faded away. Then last week I’ve had a few nightmares, including last night. When I woke I was cold and the shadow man was in the same place as before, and this time I had slept on the side of the bed I had seen it on. I tried to ignore it and meditate, picturing a bubble of white light encircling me and my boyfriend, but I felt so drained that the image of light would recede from my mind as soon as I would think it. Today i started researching because I thought I had an entity that causes bad dreams and soaks up my fear like in the movie “Ink.” but now I’m not sure what to do. Is there a charm or the like to repell or at least protect me from them?

  • Anahrah

    I used to see these figures quite a lot as a kid. I see them now as an adult in my home. Only there, they seem to walk between the kitchen and the bathroom, never disturbing anyone… but when I’ve noticed that the cats in the house also look to see who’s there.

    As a kid, the fedora guy would hang out by my closet. He scared me at first, but then I decided to talk to him. He was just there watching. It’s kind of creepy that he’d watch me sleep, and I usually had bad dreams. Eventually, I learned to control my dreams. The fedora guy showed up more frequently then, but I was no longer afraid of him. One night, I woke up to him in the room as well as a bunch of other smaller shadows. They were being really loud. I shouted at them to be quiet. Everything stopped for a second, and then books went flying off my bookshelf all the way to the other side of the room where they hit the wall and fell. Then there was no one there. I guess I ruined their party.

    I’ve also had the experience of floating above my body while watching myself sleep. There was a figure at the bottom of my bed that leaned over to touch my stomach. As soon as he did, it was like a rubber band snapped me back into my body. I bolted up and the figure was still there for several seconds until it faded away. I thought he was only a figment of my imagination until, years later, I went to the H.R. Geiger museum and saw a metal sculpture of him in the museum’s attic.

    Currently, there’s a 6-year-old shadow boy who likes to run in and out of my sons’ room. He doesn’t bother anyone. We also have a shadow cat that we occasionally trip over when walking up the stairs, hear running around in teh attic, and see on occasion in the attic. Recently, I’ve seen more of these shadows in public and work places.

    I’m not sure who/what they are, or if it’s just my brain filling in missing information where there’s really nothing there. (Not that that explains the flying books and the looks from the corporeal cats.)

  • oblivion

    I also saw this same figure when i was a kid he was once sitting then he gets up and gets closer and closer and his face starts to turn into a skeleton. It scare the crop out of me. For years I have been trying to find out what it was and and what it wanted

  • When I was in grade school, I can’t remember my age i used to watch many beings pass by through my hallway. They were all dressed differently some were people some skeletons. Sometimes they would enter my room and dissolve underneath my bed. At first i was scared but then I got used to it. However one night i awoke and a large shadow figure whose head touched the ceiling was at the foot of my bed. I was beside myself, and terrified but couldn’t move. He reached out and grabbed my toe and I screamed. My mom came into my room immediately as I scared her out of her sleep.

    Time went by, we moved from that house and I never saw it again. However, one night in Bolivia, in Lake Titicaca to be exact, I was falling asleep with my wife. I had this intense dream, that requires another story for the amount of detail in the dream, but the shadow fedora man or hat man kept slashing through my dream and changing the scene. He then slashed one more time and i woke up. I was in a state of full sleep paralysis as I was seeing this man in my hostel window. I grabbed my wife and asked her if she could see it over and over again. She did not see him, I watched him walk away and I could move again. I went to turn on the light and have not seen him since.
    My son woke up about a year ago, sat up in his bed and was petrified, he was moving but was literally shaking as he looked at what to me appeared to be a blank wall. When I asked him what he saw, he had given it a name and said it didn’t have a face it was just a shadow.
    I am not a fan of good or evil, god or devil. So to me the whole priest thing in this article is rubbish. He is just trying to cope with something he doesn’t understand. These to me are human concepts rooted in morality and are nothing more then myths. However, the concept of multiple dimensions and universes has always intrigued me. I suggest reading flat lands and trying to understand that our perspective through our senses is limited. When we are in a place which has a higher magnetic field, take drugs, dream or are young, we have the ability to see things others cannot. Sure science has to explain it from an observable stand point. Thats what science does and it’s amazing for that. However, some things cannot be observed as science would intend to and are intangible experiences reserved for perhaps other dimensions and the ability to see into those dimensions.

  • Rippin187

    Your suggestion of mastering the fear of them is the whole objective. If you see these beings you are VERY privileged. It is a system, just like everything else in physical reality. You must realize that everything that occurs in our physical realm happens for a direct reason, whether the action is positive or negative in our perception, language of branches.

    Calm yourself as a conscious man only leaving doubt as the dying breath within your thought. These beings are contacting you for reasons of spiritual growth. The easiest way to explain it is that if you see these beings, your spirit for whatever reason, is ready to progress in your physical body. It’s as if a red flag is raised that is attached to your body and can only be seen in the semi-living realm. There are only two rules within this game and one is NEVER have sexual relations with these entities regardless of the rewards and two, never back down. Even if these “things” manifest themselves as death. It doesn’t matter your religion, as humans we ARE the supreme creation of the Demiurge and in turn the one and true creator.

    The ones that will listen will take heed, along with the ones that will scoff. Either way it doesn’t matter, reality will continue forward with OR without YOUR conscious thought.

  • Jon
  • Joel

    When I was very young, maybe 5 or 6, some nights as I was falling asleep I’d see the outline of a man with a hat(fedora) at the foot of my bed but what’s different about this sighting was that the ‘man’ would tilt left to right like a V-U meter on a radio station control board. And he would do this briskly which I thought was weird, yet it didn’t
    frighten me. I have not seen this happen since childhood and I am now in my 60’s.

  • Denise Fourroux

    2 years ago I was taking my dog out for a potty walk, it was about 3:30 a.m . I was checking my FB while we were walking when tootsie all of a sudden stopped and it seemed to me like she was trying to run backwards, when I looked up I saw a man come out of the sidewalk, he was wearing a Fedora and a trenchcoat. I just reacted and got back to my apt. asap. I’m not even sure what I felt when I saw this happen, I know I was awake because I was walking the dog. Sometimes I get worried when I’m out at night, but I really want to know who or what that was. So glad i’m not the only one who has seen him.

  • Nikke

    I have seen the top hat man myself when I was 12, I woke up out of my sleep one night and for some reason right to this scary figure. My room was dark he was darker then my room. All I saw was blackness. He had on a black hat I called it a fedora and this black long coat. I thought I was dreaming so I put my pillow back over my head, then I took it back off, the thing was still standing across the room. I was scared out of my mind, everyone was sleep. I got no I mean I ran out my room to my parents room, til this day 15 years I’m still scared to death of it.

  • Raven

    I’ve had a few experiences with these shadow entities. Whether or not they were shadow people I am not entirely sure.
    My first encounter was when I was fourteen, I was sleeping on my stomach one night during the winter and awoke in the middle of the night unable to move. I knew I was wide awake, I just couldn’t bring my body to move no matter how hard I tried. All of a sudden it was like I was above myself, looking down. I will never forget what I saw. There was a tall, slender shadow crouched over me – get this! It had a KNIFE in its hand, but the knife appeared to be made of the same thing as this figure that was over me. It sunk the knife into the base of my spine and I let out a little scream, but when I opened my eyes again it was late morning.
    After this I can still feel a slight burning where the shadow stabbed me, and I would occasionally see a tall and slender shadow from a short distance, always ALWAYS watching me. The funny thing is that I never felt any fear from these encounters, instead it was always a sense of protection – as if this shadow was PROTECTING me from anything else that may be out there.
    I still see it from time to time, always about five to ten feet away, and always watching me.
    The really strange thing is that since my first encounter I no longer have dreams. My fiance once joking told me that it was him – I met him a few days after my first experience, I am now 20. He is actually tall and slender, just like the shadow that watches me.

  • jerell

    my first encounter with a shadow person was when I was young about 11 yrs old I was in bed it probably was 1am in the morning I awake to see a dark hooded smokey black shadowy figure over my bed I couldn’t scream,move, or nothing i fainted back to sleep. Again when I was 16 yrs old I was sleeping on the couch just me & my mom was home that night all the lights was off except the kitchen lights. I look out of the corner of my eye & completely turn my head to the left there on the wall the same dark hooded smokey black shadowy figure but this time it was walking towards me slowly I started crying still couldn’t move, or scream then it stood right over me with such fright I fainted back to sleep.The weirdest part of all I haven’t seen it since and now am 24 yrs old. Just early last year I had the most terrifying part happen. I was sleeping over my sis house round about 3am I woke up to complete darkness & couldn’t moved at all I tried turning my head but nothing, then all of a sudden I felt something tugging trying to get my mouth to open I started chanting a prayer in my mind the tugging stop but still couldn’t move soon after I had I heard voices asking who do I worship I said God the voices scream out LUCIFER is the one over in over again. After that it was morning & I told my mom about it she told me God is trying to get my attention but something trying to get me first.

  • research

    I was given a candle by a friend I had when I was 12. She was wiccan. She also brought me a book and like any curious little girl… I had to try it. I found a spell and did all the book said. But when I called the name of this ancient “lesser God”, the candle flames around my room, all shot 2 feet into the air. Shocked I looked around waiting for it to stop but it did not. And then I realized the flames of these candles were reaching the curtains. In a panic I jumped up turned on my lights to blow the candles out, but when I turned the lights on… the candles all died down and 2, the ones in front of me… totally went out. I stayed quiet in my room… looking around, but nothing seemed wrong, so I let it slip from my mind and never messed with the occult again.
    But, then years later, when I was 17. I got an Ouija board. The spirit in the board would not let in another, and it would spell garbage jumbles when I used it with others.
    But about a month after getting the board, and using it one night with a friend, this happend to me.
    I was just laying in bed, and pulled my covers up. It was still a bit light in my room cause of outside lights. When above me formed this shadow man. Large and blacker then night shadow. I could not see through him. It was shapped like maybe it was hooded. It watched me from above the bottom of my bed and then flew down at me as if to try and attack me. I kicked and screamed but I was hitting air.
    Family in the room woke and asked what happend, and they would not believe it… telling me I was probably half asleep, but I had not even closed my eyes yet.
    Then strange things began to happen. I would wake in the morning to find my Bible in the floor by the bottom of my bed, and my cross necklace in the floor. I always wear it. These things started to scare me, so I began studying more about demons and the Bible.
    I then decided maybe , I should check the ouija again but alone. I got a spirit as soon as I touched the piece and when I asked what his name was, he said it… Amon. In shock and horror, I asked if he was the same who jumped into me and he said yes.
    He claimed the same name of the spirit I called at age 12. He claimed to have been resurrected 8 times, and will be 2 more. He claimed to be the Ammon the bible speaks of., the king. And said his son had him murdered.
    According to the bible, his son was one of the best rulers Judah had.
    I asked him to not bother me when I used the board last. And I havent used it since.
    One thing I noticed is the problem for me is not being able to move, cause I can, but I was extreamly drained of energy every time I came in contact with this spirit.
    These are demons everyone. The ancients that God found wrong in their ways. Please, pray and ask God and Jesus to keep you safe. The spiritual angel and demon battles are going on as we speak.

  • Big Boi

    When I was around 5 and my brother was 7 we both saw a big shadow in our windowsill. We were living on a third floor apt at the time. We were sleeping in the same bed and my sisters were in the same room but to a bed closer to the window. I whispered to them to wake up but they didn’t. My brother and I were too scared to get out of the bed to go turn on the light. Instead we covered ourselves and kept praying all night.

  • JP

    3 shadow figures appeared in my room one night about 25 years ago. I was 16 at the time. I was sitting with a lamp on. the 3 shadows seemed to rise up my wall from the baseboard. they were as tall as the wall to ceiling . they moved slowly at first and then circled the room a few times as if taunting me. there was no sound or noise but I had the strong feeling that they were there to take me elsewhere. as if they spoke to me without actually saying anything. I felt as if I was pulled from my chair to the floor but not forcefully. for the first time in my life I began to pray to God to help me as I started to cry. within a minute of praying I began to fill warm inside with a calmness that rushed over me like a wave of water. the shadows had left as quickly as they came and I felt renewed inside. I thought to myself that the holy ghost of christ had come over me and saved me from the shadows. I was a satanist at the time and carried my satanic bible with me everywhere. I must have read it 100 times and was drawn into it. I now have a very close relationship with God and Christ but I’m not a bible thumper or preacher..

  • Smc

    When i was 6 years old i seen a hooded figure with no face as well…till this day it has haunted me. I seen it again when i was 10 my sister was with me and refuses to talk about it and then again when i was 14 with my cousin and she also seen and wont talk about it. I am 31 yrs old now and still afraid

  • Three years ago I came home from work it was during the day.I opened my front door came in house and walked to couch to throw my purse down.Before I made another move Id seen something on the wall in the hallway that adjoins the frontroom that got my attention,knowing someone was there I was to scared to move.In shock I was staring at a very dark black figure,perfectly shaped like a man.No clothes,no hat,just a solid black figure and he had his head turned toward me as if he was staring at me as well.No, I never saw any facial features,just blank!arms,legs,full figure.So now my heart sinking and full of fear cause I didnt know what I was looking at. I screamed at it and said”who is there”!then it turned its head the other way as if to look down the hallway,maybe looking for a quick escape,and it shot off down the wall and I heard it making a swoshing noise,as if someone were taking off and you could hear their step,it was fast as lightning and disappeared.Now this scared me so bad I grabbed my purse from the couch,dont know how I got the courage to even do that and ran back outside.Yep,I was bent over,trying to regain my composure.This figure was very tall,almost to the ceiling,and slim,but very black,almost like I was looking at something 3-d,it was flat to the wall.And when it ran off,it ran down the wall!Talked to some poeple about it and they want me to record it if I ever see this again.I dont know that I would have the courage to do that though.Shocking it was.Scared the grap out of me.

  • agree,scared me to death.I will try to talk to it next time,but I fear they will run,like the one I saw.

  • Around 1999 I had a particularly scary dream..The dream was about a huge alligator walking around in my back yard (we live in a forrest). I remember I was terrified because it was chasing my 8 yr old daughter and was snapping it’s mouth and trying to eat anything that came near it…it doesn’t sound scary but I can tell you it was scary in my dream.. .when i woke up I was laying in bed catching my breath because it had seemed so real… that’s when I heard my daughter crying from her bedroom…I went to the room and she said she had a bad dream…about an alligator chasing her….. Later that morning, we fell into our normal routine and I kinda laughed at the fact we had the same dream..then the phone rang… it was my father…he told me to be careful and watch the kids extra close because he dreamed about an alligator who was after my daughter and trying to get her. I was shocked…I couldn’t believe what he had just said…I told him about me and my daughter dreaming the same thing.. it didn’t really faze him he said then be sure to watch out for an alligator because someone was trying to tell us something…My daughter is 21 yrs old today…and my Dad died in 2010. We are still cautious at areas an alligator could be, but she’s never seen an alligator in real life except at the zoo…I still don’t know what that dream meant…

  • My sister and her friend saw a figure just like the one you are describing back around 1988. They were at a beach here locally and went out one evening to walk on the beach…it wasn’t night time yet so they could see pretty good against the white sandy shore..then they saw a very tall hooded figure all in black walking across the sand…she and her friend stared at it because it had an unnatural walk…they watched it until it vanished into a tree. They were stunned, confused, and scared. They couldn’t believe what they just saw…they left, drove home, and told us all about it..but what can anyone do? Nothing…all we can do is tell our story. Something other than humans…. are roaming the earth.

  • You can’t stick a label on these “figures” and then act like the expert in saying they won’t hurt you, try talking to them. 20 yrs ago I went to Cosmetology school with a woman who was out of class for a whole week… when she came back she had told me something bad happened that questioned her mental health…she said a dark figure surrounded by smoke appeared in her car. She said it was evil and told her it was going to take one of her kids..she started praying and she asked it to leave but she said it just sat there beside her in the car taunting her. She said she had recently started going to a new church and was feeling closer to God. I’ve always heard that many times when someone become closer to God, then evil entities start a spiritual warfare against you trying to loosen your commitment to God. I didn’t say anything to her, because at the time I didn’t know what to tell her…We graduated and I never saw her again…then 3 years ago, I ran into a girl that was also a student from that same class…we were sitting there catching up…and I asked her had she seen this person or that person…then I asked her about the woman and had she seen her lately…my friend said Yes, but she had some bad things happen since graduation…when i asked what….I felt a sickness in my stomach when she told me that the woman’s son was killed in a car wreck about 4 years after we graduated…

  • maria

    few days ago i was walking in the moonlight than suddenly my eyes fall on the was mine nd the other 1 was some1 else but how can that be possible i was all alone there..nd the figure doesnt matches any of the shadow shown above..nd the most creepiest thing is the moon was RED in color but i asked my friends they said there wasn’t any lunar eclipse that night…i m still confused nd since that day a lot of weird things are happening with me..

  • I would talk to a priest…even if you’re not Catholic. They seem to accept that these things are here with us a little easier than other religious groups…at least the one I’ve seen. We had a priest come and bless a house we had moved in to when we saw some strange things going on…. it did help.

  • Victoria

    I saw a black shadow it was a girl shadow with red glowing eyes what is going on!!!!

  • J.Griffin

    Thank you for pointing out that not only
    “Christians” of questionable intelligence suspect demons as being behind much
    of the evil in the world.

    It is as at least as dangerous to assume that there are no demons
    as it is to blame them for everything bad.

    Just because you cannot see something does not make it
    it’s like gamma radiation.

    Scoffing&mocking are NOT scientific attitudes-
    they are merely forms of mentally&emotionally coping with the unknown and that which cannot be controlled by mortal effort or ability.

  • kazahied

    Would it in theory be possible to harm or kill one of these entities? The reason for asking is that about 6 years ago in Iraq I was on guard duty late at night. I saw a hooded figure lurking in the shadows. Being a military base I went to investigate, as I approached it turned and stared me straight in the eyes with brilliant red glowing eyes. Just on instinct I charged it it took off and after about 10 yards ran out into the open back of the base, as it did so i dropped to a crouch and opened fire with my M16 emptying a full magazine. This alerted the others on watch and we went to investigate, We found blood and 3 flattened 5.56 ball rounds. The corpsman took a sample and it tested as non human and as no known specie of animal