While shadow people may often be thought of as a modern phenomenon, thanks in part to the rise of the internet, these mysterious dark entities can be traced back to ancient times. Found in our legends and folklore, these shadow beings have taken the form of shades of the underworld in ancient Greek mythology and mythic creatures in Native American legends. It seems shadow people have always been with us. Generally described as a dark figure or black mass, they often appear as living shadows, flickering in and out of in our peripheral vision. The following stories of real shadow people have been shared by people from around the world, but be warned, these stories are not for the easily spooked.
If you’ve ever experienced the sensation of being watched when you thought you were all alone, heed these warnings and don’t look into the shadows. You never know what you may find staring back at you.
1. The Screams
“When my daughter was between the ages of 3-8 she spoke of people with no face or figures of shadows. She would often wake me up telling me there is a man or a figure standing in her closet. The most frightening of stories, she woke me up to ask me if I heard the screams. She said there was a shadow who stood at her doorway and screamed at her and then flew into my room and screamed at my wife and I. At this point she was in uncontrollable sobs, unable to understand why I did not wake up. She is now 11 and the encounters have stopped. She refuses to speak of whatever was going on with her and makes light of my questions.” – BlackwaterProject
2. Dancing Shadows
“My grandpa used to see shadow figures out of the corners of his eyes as a kid, while awake, and so did his little brother. He was a very no-nonsense Englishman so one day he simply told them he wouldn’t be seeing them anymore, thank you very much, and he never did after that. He said they didn’t scare him, but they distracted him; he would see them sort of doing cartwheels, dancing jerky dances like puppets dance, or just walking around. When he got into grammar school he decided he was too grown up for them, and told them to go away. His brother carried on seeing them and as far as he knew, never stopped.
He 100% did not believe in the paranormal. He was all about science. Never heard him tell a ghost story in my life. And he told me about this when I was in my 20s, so he certainly wasn’t just trying to scare the grand-daughter.” – marya-morevna
“When I was younger I had some teeth pulled, and spent the next couple days stuck in bed.
I fell asleep in the middle of the day, and I remember slowly waking up to indistinct whispering. Like some people were talking to each other in the next room, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying.
When I opened my eyes, there were dozens of these tall, thin shadowy figures in the room. Definitely humanoid, but I couldn’t see any detail. They were just dark, like your eye couldn’t quite focus on them if you looked right at them.
They moved around the room a bit, generally paying me no mind. I was confused and curious, but not scared. Like, I knew they couldn’t really do anything to me, or didn’t want to.” – Pinion_Gear
4. Ancient Spirits
“When I was a bit younger, I went up the forests in the mountains where I live, this one forest, in particular, used to be a location of an ancient Celtic village and I often saw shadow figures roaming around the area there. At first, I was really spooked but after a few months of visiting this forest I noticed that the figures didn’t pay much attention to me and some even waved at me.” – planetbomb
5. Night-time Terrors
“I rarely am one to make a big deal of things let alone tell anyone weird unbelievable stuff, but these are some experiences that I recently had in a house we lived in for a little under a year.
We moved into this house in October of 2001. The first two or three months all was fine. Then on or around the first of the year (2002) my 4 year old (then 3) would wake up in the middle of the night absolutely terrified saying the was a “monster” in her room. Now, of course, I brushed this off as childhood nightmare but then in late February, I started waking up in the middle of the night with a feeling of someone staring at me (note my daughter stopped getting up). Upon looking in the general vicinity of where this feeling was coming from I would briefly see a shadowy black and gray apparition that would be gone as soon as my eyes focused. This would give me the chills then I would go to sleep. This occurred 2-3 times a week for months. The same nightly scenario, I’d wake up focus and gone, or I’d wake up see “it” and turn the TV and “it” was gone. Only once did my Fiancé actually see the apparition too, I think it was in June. She woke me up in the middle of the night and said she saw a faceless child standing next to her about three feet from her side of the bed. As soon as she looked at the face, it was gone. I then got up telling her it must have been my daughter. I went into her room and she is fast asleep. Other than this she never saw anything again.
The most frightful experience with “it” was in late August when I woke out of a dead sleep again and did the routine, except this time “it” didn’t disappear. It stayed floating in the corner of the room. It was a swirling black cloud with some gray in it. Probably 4-5 feet long and 1½-2 feet wide. I will honestly say I have not felt that kind of fear ever in my life. It felt like there was pure evil in the room. I couldn’t move but I was able to nudge my Fiancé and say, “Look there it is, that thing I keep seeing!” With that she rolled over and only after she turned over did it disappear. We moved out in Late September and I have not been woken up since.
I did ask a few people of the history of this house but to no one’s recollection did anyone ever meet their fate on that ground. Like I said, normally, I wouldn’t take the time to write this, however, I feel as though I needed to get it off my chest.” – JD
6. They Know Who You Are
“The thing about them is that they don’t move the way people say ghosts move, sort of unaware of their surroundings. They move around like people for the most part as if they’re really interacting with the world. The three times I’ve seen what I can only call a shadow person, I’ve been keenly aware they knew I saw them. That’s the creepiest part, that they seem to know who you are and where they are, that they’re intelligent.” – Anonymous
“My only experience with anything like this was after a particularly vivid dream in which someone was whispering what I can only describe as “secrets” into my ear. When I awoke I looked directly across my bedroom and I saw a shadow darker than darkness and it turned and looked at me. When I called out it then turned and ran straight into the wall and I’m sure I saw a kind of splash of darkness, like dissipating smoke, as it disappeared.
I absolutely believe that whatever it was had been whispering into my ear before I woke up and that I had awakened before he thought I would. I also just feel I know it was a he.” – Anonymous
8. “I Know What I Saw”
“On Thursday 20th Aug 2015, I woke up to see a shadowy figure standing by my bed. It looked about the same size and shape as a person but had no sharp edges to its form. Others have described sightings as looking like being made of dark smoke, and that’s exactly what this looked like. I looked straight at it, and it immediately moved away quickly and was gone. The whole thing lasted for just a few seconds, but I know what I saw. I also felt strongly that it knew I was there and reacted when I looked straight at it.” – iamtfbundy
9. A Bad Stench
“I’ve seen one leaning over my mother while she was sleeping. It seemed like it was very interested in her, observing her. When it saw me in the doorway it reacted extremely fast. It sprinted towards me and passed through me at great speed. Probably worth mentioning is that it divided itself into three beings when it moved. Woosh woosh woosh, all three passed through me.
But strangely enough, that shadow figure didn’t seem very hostile to me. I think there is more than one type of shadow people. When I was a kid I dealt with a demonic one, which, I kid you not, haunted my bedroom for a while. Every sign of a haunting was there: cold air, sense of fright, religious objects falling down, scratches on the ceiling, and even a face appeared. I’ve only seen that one once before it started the ‘haunting’, and I remember it left a very bad stench behind. And it looked different. I only saw a small portion of it, but it was more material, it had more substance, like thick smoke, while the other one was more translucent, ghost-like.” – dim
10. Don’t Encourage Them
“I’ve encountered a few in my life. They are demons or Jinn. They are not good. I’m a sensitive empath and I feel death. I have never been approached by a good shadow person. They put on a facade to get you to let your guard down if you have one. The most frightening experience I have had was about three months ago. I was visiting my hometown and staying at my mother’s house. I was in the back bedroom lying in bed and turned the TV off for the night. The door was closed and the room was pitch black. I felt and heard someone in my room.
I honestly thought it was my brother looking for something he might have left in my room and he didn’t want to wake me but I turned and looked towards the door and saw a tall black figure. It was so dark I could see it in the pitch black. I asked who it was with no answer. I Asked What It Wanted and It moved closer. I felt such fear and a weight. I’ve become desensitized to spirits so that was odd. It wanted me to be afraid. I yelled as loud as I could, “Go away. Leave me alone!”
It stayed I got up and picked up my phone and turned on the flashlight. When the light filled the room the black figure was gone and my door was cracked open. I grabbed my rosary that was blessed and an eagle feather and prayed till I fell asleep. I never pray. I still don’t know what it wanted but now it is masking itself as a little boy about 7 maybe 8 with black hair and sad eyes. I’ve told him to leave but he still peaks around corners at me. Don’t encourage them. Tell them to go away.” – butcherbabe777
11. A Family Visit
“I was visiting my family and my sister and I had just turned the light off to go to bed. I was lying on my back and after my eyes adjusted, I looked toward the closed door and saw a shadow darker than the dark walk across the door. I clearly saw what looked like legs walking. I just closed my eyes and turned onto my side and tried to fall asleep as fast as I could.
It freaked me out since it was in my old bedroom and I used to have weird stuff happen to me in there when I was in high school. I get nervous whenever I stay at my parents’ now.” – shyrecluse1126
12. Darker than Any Shadow
“During an investigation. All four of us in the room saw it. It has no sound. It moved very smooth, not articulated. It reflected nothing and was darker than any shadow. It seemed very curious about us and kept walking by the door of the room we were in and eventually came inside. We had the lights off in the room, but it was light outside and in the hallway. The window let enough light in to see clearly and even on our infrared cams. I didn’t “feel” anything, not even scared.” – snowbirdie
13. “We Coexist”
“I’ve lived with shadow people all my life, and see them every so often.
First time I was 10. I woke up in the middle of the night and looked at my door and there was a shadow person standing there in the hallway (I used to sleep with the door open), and I could clearly see the outline of it. It was static though, the outline was clear but shifted, like there was interference in what I was seeing. I could tell I was being watched and looked at, but there were no facial features, just a black mass in the shape of a person. The figure darted to the left of the doorframe and entered the living room, I could hear its footsteps oddly enough. It came back, then stopped in my doorway again before going down the hall towards my parent’s room. I got up to look and of course nothing. I sleep with my door closed now. I never saw it again in that house, I heard it though walking through the house many times. It wasn’t until I moved into my current place that I saw them again, this time much more frequently. I see them every few weeks or so. They don’t bother me, I don’t bother them. We coexist.” – Knirel
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