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When Shadow People Attack

The first thought that crossed Steven Paynter’s five-year-old mind was that someone had broken into the house in Bury, Greater Manchester, England. “Around 1986, my mother took me around the local estate to her friend’s house,” Paynter said. “I believed that she had been burgled because her kitchen – her entire kitchen – was covered, and I do mean covered, in big black handprints. Almost animal like.”

He didn’t say anything about the obvious black handprints, not until years later. “I mentioned the incident to my mother, what I saw. She looked at me and said, ‘nothing on the wall Steven.’” He didn’t know how that could be. The prints were there, and his mother’s friend said she saw shadows and the image of dark faces on the walls. His mother was immune. “There was nothing on the wall from her point of view.”

From that point, dark images have followed Paynter. The animal-like prints he saw when he was five have turned into entities. “I’ve seen a big black mass with red eyes always at my door,” he said. “The Hat Man always in the background, and typical shadow people just like our shadows on a sunny day.”

These “typical” shadow people have become so commonplace to Paynter; he’s given them a nickname, “Joeys.” He sees these “Joeys” mostly in his dreams, and his dreams are violent.

“Every time after this that I’ve encountered these beings I’ve always been in a sluggish state and able to see my body in bed,” he said. “Always I’ve been chased. They have blocked my doorways and tried to scratch or make physical contact with me.”

Doctors have told Paynter these dreams are caused by a sleep disorder, but he knows they’re not. When these entities appear to Paynter, the room seems to buzz with electricity, and he knows something is there.

“The situations are like an out of body experience,” he said. “I can see myself in bed.” At sixteen, he dreamt he was outside being chased through his garden, into the house, and onto his bed that started to envelope him. “I awoke but I couldn’t move. I felt like I’d just run the London Marathon. I had a cramp in my left leg.”

More recently, he’s discovered physical marks. “I have awoke usually feeling like I’ve been active all night. Muscles tense, aching, even fingers hurt,” he said. “On two occasions I’ve had small scratches on my side, my right side, always after an encounter.” During these encounters, his “Joeys” are the ones to approach him; the Hat Man simply stands in the background, watching.

None of these encounters, however, equal what Paynter calls “the attack.”

“It was around three years ago, I went to bed as normal and got my usual pre-attack buzzing, and I fell asleep,” he said. The next thing he knew he stood at the side of his bed looking at his body lying next to his then-girlfriend, his eyes frozen open. “I know instantly what’s going on and try and wake up. I panicked because I never have seen myself like that and thought I was dying.”

Paynter’s dream self turned and saw three shadow entities in his room, two “Joeys” and the Hat Man. “I’m now confused and scared more then usual.” One of the shadow entities lunged at Paynter, the other reached out to scratch him. As usual during this dream state, Paynter’s movements were slow, like he was moving under water, but Paynter, a jujitsu instructor, fought these entities nonetheless.

“I’ve never done it before or since but I went for them and they put up no resistance,” he said. Paynter wrestled with the shadow people, landing enough punches they retreated behind the Hat Man. “I then turned around and for the first time I saw a line, a silvery line like a tail almost from my back, then I awoke wet through, and heart going very fast.” He could still feel the shadow beings’ presence in the room, but he could no longer see them.

Paynter’s fingers were sore from the attack. When he checked his face in the mirror, the left side bore a slap mark.

Since the attack, the encounters, that occur every two weeks, have changed. “After the fight, all they do now is circle me,” he said. “That’s like you or I would to an object we never seen before.”

Paynter can’t accept the fact that these encounters aren’t real. “I’m told it’s my brain,” he said. “Science tells me it’s a fault with me, but my heart tells me it’s not and I don’t know how or what the hell is going on. I’m 31 now and I know I’m stuck with it, but I’d like an answer.”

He recently received one. When talking with an ex-girlfriend he’s still close to, she told him these encounters aren’t all in his head. “A few years ago I was in hospital with a bacteria infection and was very ill,” he said. “She told me something that she never mentioned before, so this is first time I ever heard of it.”

The night before she took Paynter to the hospital, he lay in bed sweating with a fever. Paynter began breathing heavily and she leaned over to wake him, but when she did, she saw something she didn’t expect. “She caught in the corner of her eye a large man, a shadow that was lit by the streetlight.” She blinked, but the shadow man was still there. She blinked again and it was gone.

Paynter awoke and said, “Did he scare you? Can’t even stop while I’m ill.” Due to the high fever, Paynter doesn’t remember that night, but that incident convinced his girlfriend his stories of shadow man attacks were real. “After that I never believed what the doctor said to you,” she told him. And she always kept the light on.

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  • Manda

    These are not dreams you are having, Steven, you really are having an Out Of Body Experience. These “Shadows” are attacking you because you are letting them. They are lower vibrational ‘beings’ that live on a plane of existence that lays between here and the spiritual world. They can only attack if you allow them. You have a great power over them, and the next time you encounter them, try not to be afraid. Will them away from you. Imagine a white, safe light surrounding you, and they can not harm you. Google Erin Plavinia and read up on what she has to say about OBE’s and these ‘Shadow’ people. Good luck, Hun!!!

  • Rocko

    I have had experiences with the shadow people.. I am no longer bothered by the Shadow People or the Hat people. After encountering them, take lots of baths. They do not like water at all. Check out Robert Bruce’s books on the Shadow People or the Negs as he calls them.

  • hektur

    Ignorance is always the solution.

  • Demonic entities. Did you know that during the ministry of Jesus he always tossed out the demon first and then the body became healed? There was only one instance in the Bible where he healed someone that had a birth defect all the others were caused by demons. Go to God for your problem, He’s the only permanent solution to your nasty visitations by these demonic spirits..

  • Have you read Carlos Castaneda’s books? The Art Of Dreaming, if not read it.

  • Sorry to read that you’re being harassed.
    Unfortunately despite the well intentioned advice of others, you most likely are in a very unique position, and will find a way to stop it.
    God speed.

  • grp61

    GET OUT !

  • HeBre

    I see comments about raising the vibration, meditating BASICALLY avoiding these encounters. However it may be said that YOU ARE IN FACT fighting in a dimension few experience but for the benefit of all. I suspect the Hat dude is representative of all HAT wearer’s Colonialist, Police, Relgious leaders etc.(the System administrators) The Control wizards of a modern day system. Maybe attempt a perspective change of the encounters & do your best for HUMANITY & destroy the Hat guy & share encourage others to do the same. I feel them, but never fight them never see them & never ever fear them. I believe you are doing a good thing & hope it becomes less disturbing for you as you acquire more skills, confidence & feel good about doing what many of us can’t YET..

  • Steve3

    These are ghoul attacks. There are things you can do. Refer to Stuart Wilde website and info. stand your ground and have no fear ( they feed on the fear ), another quick help is lavender, spray it on yourself and the house , they normally dont like this, use it before sleep

  • Awesome post, i have encountered these beings as well and like Manda says they are definitely a part of the ‘lower vibrational’ realms. As we cross from this perception into a slightly wider perception you will encounter them. I believe they are the lower bardo realms the buddhists talk of. They are filled with lost souls of people and entities that haven’t figured out where they are and are often scared and confused. If you find a way of releasing past this lower state you will find other spaces of more interesting beings. Consciousness is a spectrum of awareness an your experience of these beings is but one part of it.

  • Paul Mills

    Stop eating cheese before you go to bed.

  • ste paynter

    Thanks everybody, nice to know im not on my own and i cant thank Jason enough, i keep the man updated best i can and if anyone has info or want to know anything let me know

    cheers everyone


  • Bobby Mckeown

    I saw ‘shadow people’ loads of time as a kid. When I told my dad, he expressed a very ‘omg’ expression. he knew exactly what I was talking about. he called them ‘Creeping Nadgers’.

  • Excellent article. I’m very curious about the Hat Man, however. Some years ago I witnessed three Hat Man shadows fly across my living room wall. They were silhouettes, but they looked very much like they were wearing 40’s style fedoras and trench coats.

    Can you expand on your experience with the Hat Man? This is important to me; my life has been very active paranormally, and I’ve always been curious about the “Hat Men.”

  • candice

    ive had the hatman shadow figure with me every since i can remember……ive been attacked pretty bad lately in the same sleep state…woke up with sore ribs where fingers were dug into it…most the time its been my back..i dont know nothing to do i wish i least im not the only one. ive always had encounters with the paranormal..any suggestions?

  • georgiypotulov

    Are the creature like beings a bright color with ant looking eyes and wings? I had one hover to me a few weeks ago.

  • georgiypotulov

    I have had one that attacked with no mercy during sleep paralysis state, one that hit me when I was in the middle of a field in Princeton while I was awake, and many that have wandered around. I even saw a bluish bug looking creature that floated right up to the couch when I was In the dream/wake state.

  • Meg B

    I’ve had a few run ins with shadow people.
    I think the creepiest one was the one in my basement that I thought was my dad. Luckily, I’ve never had anything attack me, but shadow people are scary and bad news whether they come after you or just stand there and watch.

  • Guess Who

    When I was a kid (8 years old in 3rd grade) I had a near death experience. An eye infection the doctors couldn’t figure out what it was or how I got it but in the end they blamed pets as the cause of it (even though they never figured out what it was…they couldn’t even tell for sure whether it was viral or bacterial and just ended up giving me everything medicine wise they could think of in pill form and via IV. I spent 3 weeks in the children’s ward. I was the only one there at the time.)

    Now, for several years before this infection, I had numerous experiences I couldn’t explain (one of which was so traumatizing and vivid, I still recall it at age 21 and it sends me into a panic even recalling it…heart rate goes crazy, breathing struggles between hyperventiliating and a feeling similar to being unable to breathe like my chest is being pressed on, suffocating, a mix of a cold sweat with chills all over and feeling like I am overheating at the same time, nausea, basically terrible panic attacks even thinking about it.) I believe that near death experience at 8 was a result of an attack I survived from shadow beings.

    The odd thing is that no one else in my family seems to recall that night. It is like it was erased from their memories. I was fully awake when I saw these things with my eyes. I was in bed with my older sister (this happened a short time before I got sick btw) and she was passed out. I had this feeling like I was being watched and it was making me nervous. I opened my eyes after taking a deep breath to look around the room and next thing I know, I see a short (4 feet?) fat bumpy sort of black shadow in the left corner on the wall on the other side of the room straight ahead. I stare at it for probably about 15-20 seconds or less before it moves slowly but sort of blurry as if it is moving super fast to the right corner and vanishes. Seconds (like 5 if that) later I see a new shadow just all of a sudden there. Tall (6-7 feet tall) even darker more solid shadow wearing a sort of trench coat and I vaguely recall a hat. The thing that stuck out most to me was the height and solid blackness of it and how it made me feel. I was dreading before, nervous and getting scared but when this shadow appeared I was terrified and wanted to scream. Have you ever been so horrified that you couldn’t move or breathe or speak let alone scream even though you wanted to run, flee but were too scared to get out of bed? And to think it would only get worse from there.

    All that second shadow did was stare. I don;t know whether it stayed in that corner or whether it left but the thing my attention was brought to next was something that is so hard to explain and believe and impossible to draw (I have tried so I could just show it to people instead of explaining it in words which is difficult enough) and beyond terrifying worse than anything else I had experienced previously or seen (and my childhood home had some pretty messed up stuff happen with the living and paranormally.)

    What I saw next…this is difficult…I am honestly not even sure whether it was one shadow or several…it is like, if it was one, then it can read your fears (all your fears, the worst ones) and attack you with them by showing them to you all at once or within seconds of each other. I was just a little kid and was suddenly seeing this thing change so fast from one thing to another and move so eerily across the wall and ceiling towards me in the bed where I was frozen and had managed to cling to the blanket close to my chin that I had literally held my breath. I could feel my eyes water from wanting to cry but not being able to. I could feel my chest and throat hurting from not breathing. My eyes were just wide and I wanted to look away, close them and not see this but they were glued open focused on this thing coming at me.

    It started out as a sort of wispy black wavy smoke as it moved from the right corner where the other shadow was (hatman) to the slanted ceiling over the bed. It formed this sort of creature. It moved like a spider, had the legs and everything. It slithered like a snake hissing. It sort of haunched shoulders down and teeth bared growled as it moved slowly toward me in a wild animal (werewolf or big black panther cougar) stalking prey about to leap to attack. I can remember things very vividly. These things were appearing on top of each other as if they had merged into one big ultra terrifying creature created specifically out to get me. I also saw a sort of old hag type shadow, rags from her dressings waving around in the air as if there was wind even though there was nothing in the room for wind. Even the fan had stopped as if time was frozen. She, I refused to look at the faces of these things…I felt like if I looked at there faces I would die or it would be even worse (if that was even possible for it to be worse) and I felt like they were draining me. The thing I recall the most vividly about that final shadow, the female one hovering in the air above me in bed after she had peeled herself from the slanted ceiling where that creature disappeared and she replaced it…her hand came at my face. I remember the fingers were longer than normal human fingers almost like they were stretching out slowly and they had these horrendous claws that were also very long and sharp and they were like needle points that slightly curved at the tip. This was going for my face. Eyes, mouth, nose. Idk, but I felt like she was going to kill me or scratch off my face if possible. Something terrible. I couldn’t register my thoughts or feelings but at the same time I was overwhelmed with ramblings and emotions. I swear if kids could have strokes/heart attacks this thing would be the cause. It likes to feed off fears. It likes to draw it out, make the experience last longer. They don’t want a short burst or quick fix. They want to drag out as much fear as they can and build it so they are somewhat satiated for longer. These things are not good. They are evil. They are terrible.

    I finally was able to squeeze my eyes shut and SCREAM bloody murder. I don’t think I have ever screamed so loud or fiercely in my entire life before or since that night. I woke the entire house and part of my brain could understand what was happening around me. The things stuck around for a while but no one else could see them and they didn’t come at me again either around that time. I screamed and just balled my eyes out for hours. I didn’t sleep for days, almost a week after that. I still have trouble sleeping at night, even in the day sometimes to be honest. Many things have happened since that night (not just paranormal but also just things with the living and general everyday life basically.) I remember my sister singing to me, praying to comfort me. I couldn’t speak but she held me and did that until she fell back asleep. When I first screamed and started crying hysterically and a little later muttering (no one could understand what I was trying to say) I recall my mom downstairs starting to panic about what was going on, not knowing, being confused and freaking out about her kids. She is disabled, can’t walk upstairs, so she sent my dad up to check on us, not that he needed to be sent. He asked what happened, my sister told him she had no idea. I heard my siblings in other bedrooms next to the one we were in saying things like, “what the fuck” (they were older, teens) and “what’s going on, is everyone ok?”

    I recently called my mother up and have asked siblings and my dad about their memories of the house. No one recalls that particular night/event. It is as if to them it never happened. I remember it so vividly though. I was wide awake. For a few years when I was in middle school/high school I had actually managed to push that experience out of my mind, but 3 years ago (I was 18) when I had nightmares for 3 nights in a row where I was waking up with scratches, red marks, bruises, and even one night hovering a few inches above my bed face down…and you may think me insane, but the nightmares…it was like I was seeing hell and being attacked by demons and damned souls almost dragged me down. I prayed that last night and something (angel?) showed up and made the attacks stop…and it told me telepathically “don’t turn around” like ti didn’t want me looking at it. I could see light in my peripheral vision…I didn’t feel entirely safe even with the thing that protected me from other things though. It was like it was trying to appear as something good but wasn’t really and may have other plans for me? IDK. A lot of weird things have happened. Those nightmares were pretty scary but the shadow beings somehow scare me even more and they haven’t even done anything to me really or shown themselves since that night in my early childhood. Demons can be fought off easier it seems, there is more protection provided against them. No one knows where shadows come from though and it is like they are in an entirely unique ballpark of terror all their own that is worse and more dark, evil, menacing than demons….which is a horrifying thought and feeling. They don’t even have to reveal/attack to frighten…but when they do, you will always have that mark of terror left within you even if you’re able to move on for a few years before the memories of them come back to you…flooding back…which feels like you’re being assaulted all over again and what makes matters worse, you start to wonder about your sanity and those around you think you’re crazy too.

    Some theories about shadows is that they are pure evil and soul eaters.
    They may be djinn (Rosemary Ellen Guiley)
    Inter-dimensional creatures from a dimension of pure evil (way worse than Hell…and if you see hell in a nightmare or do research about how others imagine/view it, it is pretty terrible itself…I can’t even imagine how bad the shadows dimension would be and I don’t really want to either…it just gives me awful chills I can’t shake.)

    Has anyone else ever experienced anything like what I have? Why do some people encounter things and others don’t? Why do they pick certain people? Why are they drawn to certain people and completely uninterested in others, like they aren’t fascinating or tasty enough to even waste time on scaring? O.o Sometimes I wonder with everything I have experienced…is it possible I am a sensitive of sorts and is this why things are drawn to me everywhere I go? Maybe I am crazy.

  • Kelby

    Dear Guess who,

    I just read the entire post without falling asleep… Okay well I did few times. (not to offend you but you are too wordy.) I have some of the things you had experienced with is a demon and other is an extremely angry human spirit. I know what they are, it’s real. Whatever you had done made them come into your life and ruin everything. I had the exact same stuff like you do. To answer your question, you are gifted.

    Like me. Highly sensitive to spirit world for the good and the evil. You have strong feeling of fear and sadness that attracts any spirit who run into. I am like you, I do have like it. I deal with it, by showing no reaction. They get bored very quickly then move on. If not, try focus on being happy and doing good stuff. Do not dwell on it, they want you to think more of it to come back to attack and play you around as a fun little toy for them.

    Good luck, and be strong for it. They are really, really strong. Stronger than the one I dealt with. Be careful of what you do to them. If you provoke them enough, it result death.


    You aren’t crazy. This is why I respond back your post in out of the blue. I am glad that I found my own kinds. 🙂