Friday, February 10, 2012
These shadow people were my initial inspiration for the dark hooded beings in my short story The Strangers Outside. Although I haven’t remained entirely faithful to the phenomenon (the dark figures in The Strangers Outside are clearly visible when you look at them directly and even seem to come closer and closer), I have kept several of their characteristics such as their dark nature, their hooded shape, and the fact that they seem to be harbingers of catastrophes.
The Gestalt Effect or the neurological processes we use for interpreting things we only see partially is probably the most logical explanation for shadow people. The human mind is capable of seeing only a small fraction of an object and filling in the blanks to understand what the complete object is. It isn't uncommon to see part of a lamp post out of the corner of your eye and think it is a cat. The mistake is quickly rectified when you turn to face the item. The same thing could be possible with shadow people. This would explain shadow people's quick movements and the fact that they are always seen in the peripheral field of vision where perceptual errors most commonly occur.
Also, living in a world with HD TV, computer screens, and other kinds of electronics that constantly update their screens at a high rate of speed is changing our vision rapidly. Things we didn't see in our peripheral vision before are now available to us. A peripheral vision of up to 90 images per second is also able to handle faster light waves than the central vision of 3 to 4 high quality telescopic images per second. That means that your peripheral vision would be more likely the place to pick up something that moves in a higher speed spectrum. Perhaps shadow people are the only images out there that are rapidly refreshing, other than our electronics, which might explain why we aren't seeing more than just shadow people.
Let's finish with your opinion on this. Which theory do you think is the correct one? And have you ever had an encounter with shadow people?
This post appeared as a guest article on Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy.
Two sisters return to their remote holiday cottage after a day at the seaside. But little do they know they are being surrounded. Soon after their arrival, the girls will come face to face with THE STRANGERS OUTSIDE. When the assailants make their intentions known, things take a shockingly terrible turn and an intense battle for survival will begin.