Celluloid Diaries: Shadow People

Friday, February 10, 2012

Shadow People

Shadow Person
Shadow people are human-shaped hooded forms that can be seen out of the corner of your eye. They are opaque black and when you turn to face them, they vanish unnaturally fast into the ether. Sometimes they are caught in pictures and they always appear with a sense of dread and doom. Many believe them to be harbingers of catastrophes and it is said that they will appear more often when the end of the world is near. Strangely enough, the amount of eyewitness reports is increasing at an alarming rate. Is this because more people are talking about this phenomenon so others are admitting to it? Or is something more eerie going on?

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.

Shadow People
However, those who have had encounters with shadow people firmly believe in the supernatural aspect of this phenomenon. For them, the scientific theories only explain why we are able to see these beings, but they don't explain what they are or where they come from. Some suggestions have included demons, aliens, time travelers and interdimensional beings. One of the weirdest things is that some people do see them with their central vision, especially young people who trained their eyes on high-speed computers and televisions from a tender age while their visual perceptions are still forming. And what about shadow people who seem to have a mind of their own and move off to incredible speed when someone notices them? One of the eyewitness reports says: "The figure seemed to be made of darkness, no discernable features other than the outline. It was mid afternoon and the kitchen was quite bright, yet the figure seemed to just absorb the light. For two or three seconds I stared at the figure, then it seemed to notice me. As soon as it did it moved off to the left at incredible speed, almost seeming to melt away in that direction."

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.


Book About Shadow People
About The Strangers Outside

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.

80 comments:

  1. Well I certainly know that the Austrian tv show, Inspector Rex certainly has! While a couple of police dog Rex's owners have died, the other few have just vanished in-between seasons and were never seen or mentioned again! Ever! haha!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have been seeing Shadow People as long as I can remember. The frequency with which I saw them increased when I reached my twenties. I very seldom have a feeling of dread or doom when I see them. And they always seem to be about 3-4 ft. tall. I had the feeling that they were going about their own tasks and had no idea I was there and could care less. When my son and his friend had a lengthy encounter with one, it was in a place no humans would be at during the night and seemed equally curious of them.

    I have yet to see a full frontal glimpse - they are always out of my peripheral vision that I catch the glimpse of a shadow. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to my seeing them - no particular time of day or month. And no notable events occur before/during/after their appearance. I have come to accept them as part of my life.

    I do not feel that they are 'evil creatures' and I entertain several possibilities of their origin. Beings from another dimension, souls traveling in an astral state, or possibly an entity which lives in our dimension that we 'have yet to discover'. I think if these things were evil, they'd definitely have screwed us by now. They seem to have their own goals and don't care about us one way or the other. It's very common for people to report seeing them their whole lives starting usually around the ages of 4-6. I think that's interesting because there could be something about their vision that is better attuned to these things. I have entertained the thought that these beings may be 'spirits or ghosts' going about their business in whatever dimension they should reside. I have also thought of the possibility that I may be more closely "tuned into" the same frequency that these beings use. Which is why I have been able to see them for most of my life.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very nice and interesting article. I remember seeing those shadow people a few times as a kid... then never again as a teenager or as an adult. I have this feeling that the more we believe and pay attention to those shadow people, the more they tend to come back. On the contrary, if we disregard those as mere visions/hallucinations, they don't come back. It is as if our brains play tricks on us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi.
    Stopping by from Friday Friend and Follow to say hello.
    Have a great weekend!
    POSH

    ReplyDelete
  5. The things I see out of the corner of my eye are bugs that, when I turn to face them, aren't there. I think it's that my mind's used to having bugs in the apartment, since the flat I live in now is the first nice apartment I've ever had. I think my brain's used to mouse-infested cockroach dumps.

    At least that's what I want to believe. I'd prefer to keep the monsters in horror novels and movies!

    ReplyDelete
  6. My best friend's daughter has had at least two encounters with the dark hooded entity. She said it was holding some object. She didn't know what it was but it reminded her of bagpipes. She said that's not what it was but that's what it reminded her of. I think she was about 14 when it happened the first time. I think a year or two passed before it happened again. She said it's always simultaneous with an episode of sleep paralysis. Very frightening.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I often see shadows moving in the room or out on the street, most times they don't appear dark and when I look directly at them they disappear - but I am often not the only one who sees them so it doesn't seem to be a trick of the eyes. Most of these "shadows" don't feel negative, many even feel familiar. It's only once in a while we (including others in my home who sense them) feel any negative feelings. They don't really scare me except for once when I walked into an unlit room and "into" one.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, shadow people are certainly an interesting phenomenon . I can see how they would inspire a writer. I too am the author of two novels though not of suspense:)). Following now from the warrior hop.

    ReplyDelete
  9. loooooving this post, and will sooooo continue to read your writing!:) Thanks for sharing, making my day! love from Norway

    r

    ReplyDelete
  10. Saw you in the Hop! New GFC Follower, Hope you follow back and come check out my great giveaways!

    www.giveawayhog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have seen the shadows since I was about 10 years old. The older I got the less I have seen them but it still happens from time to time. They would appear when I was walking alone in the woods. I would see movement to my side and when I looked they would move quickly behind a tree or building. Scientists can say what they want but a person knows when they are being watched. Thats the big question tho- why are they here? Do they have an agenda or are they just watching and why do only some of us see them. I have always been a little creeped out when I see them but I have never felt in danger or afraid.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have seen shadow people with my own eyes. I have also seen the CIA lurking in trees to spy on me through the windows of my laboratory. This typically occurs when I have been indulging in a certain seven percent solution.

    Perhaps they're after my recipe?

    ReplyDelete
  13. I completely believe in them and have seen them. I grew up in a haunted house and have lived with spirits and other paranormal things all my life. I'm somewhat sensitive and they are drawn to me. This book sounds fascinating. I could go on a long time if you let me on this topic lol!


    wow299@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just shared a link on my facebook page www.facebook.com/hazellovesdesign

    :) Hazel
    www.hazellovesdesign.com
    hazellovesdesign@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I believe the Gestalt Effect theory is the most likely explanation.

    ReplyDelete
  16. My fiance and I both has seen a shadow man.
    I thought mine was a really vivid dream until I started telling him about it and he interruped me and was able to describe the guy I saw in perfect detail.
    When he was younger (about 7 or 8 I believe) he woke up and saw it in his bedroom. He was tall and thin with a trenchcoat and a hat bending over a box on his night stand. But his face wasn't visible. He sat for a minute looking at the shadow man, but then he moved to sit up and the shadow man quickly ran away into his mirror and dissapeared.
    Mine was only about a year ago (Some 20 years later). I woke up feeling someone was there, and looked in the mirror in our bedroom. Our closet has mirrored doors. I saw a very tall man, almost the height of the closet. He was wearing a trenchcoat and hat, completely black. It was hard to tell if he was in the mirror or right in front of it. But I sat there for a minute focusing my eyes and thought it was maybe a reflection of something hanging off the dresser across from the mirror. I looked, and no, nothing was hanging. It was the side of a white IKEA dresser. So definately shouldn't have been reflecting black. I looked back and he was still there. I sat up to get a better look and he sank back into the mirror and dissapeared. I didn't feel threatened, so I went right back to sleep. When I was telling my fiance the next morning, I mentioned, "Tall shadowy man" and that's all the prompt he needed to describe the trenchcoat, hat and relation to the mirror.
    Neither of us has seen him since. This seems to match the shadow people desciption, and maybe this one is following my fiance, and is not situated in a certain place or tied to an item like a regular ghost.
    Well, that's my story. Its kind of relieving that lots of other people have seen the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow this is kind of scary but super interesting. I bet your book is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love the concept of shadow people and I've got to add your book to my To-Read list!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wooo Hooo i'm #1000! New follower from the hop, hope you come by and follow!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. As someone who write nonfiction ghost books and does paranormal invedtigating, actually "shadow people" are another form spirits take. Now if you see a shadow with red eyes, that is considered demonic among the paranormal investigating community. And I have see a shadow man with white eyes (or whites of the eyes showing) that I figured was a Civil War soldier--one of those killed by Confederate snipers and were buried in Henricus Historical Park back in the 1860s. I see this one near one of the few graves remaining.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have also been subject to hauntings since childhood, I have not thought much about the first \"ghost\" I can remember seeing when I was 8 or 9 yrs. old. I woke to use the bath rm. and was shocked to see a black figure that stood next to my bed blocking the only exit as the bed was placed against the wall, I tried to see my brother across the room in his own bed yet it was too dark too tell, this figure appeared shorter then my brother standing and taller then my brother kneeling, also, \"it\" appeared to be wearing a cloak and was darker then our bed rm. at night. I have recently learned that these beings are not ghosts and are always dangerous. They are commonly attracted to children who are unhappy, often targeting children who are not treated well by their parents or guardians, the very ones who need the most love and care. They do feed off your sorrows, try not to dwell on your sad feelings, talk to another adult that you trust, do not keep fear and resentment with you.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow, that's really cool. I love legends and stuff, and I researched something similar to shadow people a few years back for a story. Awesome! Thanks for stopping by my blog - sorry my vampire post wasn't up yet. I just got to it. Happy v-day (vamp day)!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello, I found your blog on the blog hop everyday and am now following - would be great if you could check out my blog & follow me too :-)

    http://whatkimmididnext.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks so much for joining Flock Together this week at Mom’s Best Nest . I am now your happy follower and look forward to reading your posts.

    ReplyDelete
  25. your blog is amazing dear!!!
    so much inspiring
    keep posting because your work is perfect!

    x

    ReplyDelete
  26. Stopping by from the Thirsty Thursday Blog Hop! http://queenofsavings.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I know for a fact that the shadow people do exist. Me and my 13 yr old daughter have been seeing them for about 4 yrs now. I have moved us twice in the hopes that we would leave them behind that they would not follow them. but no matter what we do where we go or where we live they are still in our lives. if not on a daily basis at least a weekly basis

    ReplyDelete
  28. Stop by to follow you from Friday Friend and Follow
    by MSPOSH followed google, fb, have a great friday. I would to be followed back conniemfink.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. This freaked me out so much. I came home with my mother from a couple of places, we stopped at mcdonalds on the way home. Anyway, at the house i had just finished my burger and i was looking for my mom. i couldnt find her, so I go into her room. I see my dog laying in front of the bathroom door (open) i look inside (thinking my mom was in there) and I see a shadow figure in the middle of the bathroom. It didn't move. I stayed there for about 20 seconds, i didn't believe what i was seeing! By the way, our house is barely three years old. Usually these things appear in older places, don't they?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Shared on my fb page http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=371955562814809&id=151679434845458

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am ur biggest fan from africa

    ReplyDelete
  32. Shared on fb
    http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=360520903972650&id=100002400632299
    Jadavis42@students.tntech.edu

    ReplyDelete
  33. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/#!/JessicaADavis/status/170711893319745536
    Jadavis42@students.tntech.edu

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi I'm a new follower =)

    Sandie
    http://knowonderblog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. This is a very haunting subject! It really freaks my husband out when I talk about stuff like this. I don't see people but there has been three people who have lived in my house including my hubby who says it's all nonsense has seen my dog who died years ago.

    PS New follower from the weekend hop. I will be back to check out more posts.

    My site is http://hmmargazi.blogspot.com if you have time stop by

    ReplyDelete
  36. Very scary....
    I shared on facebook.
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=326218267416165&id=100002404300700

    ~Steph
    soklad82@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hello! I'm a new follower from the Hoppin Weekend blog hop. I'd love it if you would follow me back!

    ReplyDelete
  38. suebunting1977@gmail.com Sue Bunting posted on Facebook about this giveaway https://www.facebook.com/#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=221246634638724&id=100000867350528

    ReplyDelete
  39. suebunting1977@gmail.com sueabunting1 tweeted this giveaway https://twitter.com/#!/SueABunting1/status/171072351331553281

    ReplyDelete
  40. Just found your blog through a blog hop and I'm so glad I did. I'm a writer too and your newest follower. I've never given much thought to shadow people before. I think shadow people probably are just our eyes playing tricks on us, kind of like how we don't actually read whole words, we just glance at words and guess their meaning with a surprisingly high rate of success. That said, it's much more interesting to think of shadow people really, truly lurking out there!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I love the idea of shadow people. I have an inter cranial ilness that I am told affects my eyes and when I toll anyone that I see someone out of the corner of my eye they just say hmmm not really. I knew it was real. I would love the book I have shared on facebook.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I have shared your giveaway on twitter
    https://twitter.com/aesop30/status/171515170273755136

    tweet me @aesop30

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi found you on Make My Morning, following you on Google, please follow me at http://bridgetsdaughter.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. NEVER trust anything you see in your periferal vision! We all have a blind spot where our brain \"fills in\" on its own. Anyone who claims to see things out of the corner of their eye have just been fooled by a crappy \"copy and paste\" job by the brain!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Sounds like a really good read! Would be nice to win a copy. Thanks. I shared it on twitter!
    https://twitter.com/#!/bellekhris/status/171915343579713538

    khrisocubillo at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I think these shadow people are imaginary but yes, sometimes I think I see shadows.

    glad I found you via the hop. Your newest follower and a regular visitor now
    cheers,
    Kajal@http://purplechronicle.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  47. Strange thing is I know what you mean ... I remember seeing those figures in the corner of my eye when i was younger ... not to mention whenever I am home alone now too! Stopping in from the hop today … would love a follow via Google+ and GFC … BTW … I could really use some answers to my post today – if you have the time please stop by and comment  thanks! www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Shared on Facebook - SJ Wesley

    ReplyDelete
  49. Shared on Twitter - @samanthawesley

    ReplyDelete
  50. Followed on Google FC - sammie stars

    ReplyDelete
  51. Stopping by from the Alexa Drop Hop!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi hopping over with the Alexa Hop have followed you via GFC hoping you can follow me back http://StressedRach.co.uk Thanks x

    ReplyDelete
  53. I have seen shadow people off and on since I was about 11. I believe they are some type of entity. I hope they are not malicious; my 11 year has been sleeping in our room every night for the past 6 months because she says she keeps seeing a shadow pass by her room at night. I would LOVE to read your book! Thanks for the giveaway!
    sqwalker2@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I shared this giveaway on my Facebook page, here:

    https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoBearsFan1?ref=tn_tnmn#!/ChicagoBearsFan1/posts/115754851886189

    kimbuckjr@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. Tweet....tweet...

    https://twitter.com/#!/kimbuckjr/status/172846685591056384

    kimbuckjr@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. I am following hte blog hop and I followed you via rss feed as masugr at yahoo dot com Hope you can follow back if not already http://mywildcrazylife.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hopping in from Stop Drop Alexa Hop

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am following you on GFC : éva

    urbane6726(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  59. I shared on google+, I hope it worked, I would love to read this book.
    I follow you as Marjorie Roy on g+ and reader as
    Marjorie/cenya2.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  60. added you through blog hop, hope your book does well and keep writing

    LeRoy

    Daddy Waddy Weeviews

    ReplyDelete
  61. shared on fb
    http://www.facebook.com/brenda.witherspoonbedard/posts/281521338585270
    brendawitherspoon at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  62. https://twitter.com/#!/BeeWBedard/status/173222894829182976
    brendawitherspoon at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hi
    Shared on Facebook
    Angela Mitchell

    ReplyDelete
  64. Also
    shared on twitter
    https://twitter.com/#!/skyalive1976/status/173277917646827520

    ReplyDelete
  65. this looks great -- thanks so much for the chance to win!
    http://twitter.com/Just_Add_Walter/status/173400864046858240

    justaddwalter@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Interesting. My Brother in Law has had a similar experience. I'm sure he'd love this book.

    https://www.facebook.com/heatherlynjones/posts/341208375924438

    ReplyDelete
  67. I feel as though it's 50/50. Little visual occurances happen. I have, on the other hand, had the experience of the shadow. It usually appears on a particular unit at work when there is someone dying. I have seen it 'scurry' in the hall as well. I have been patted on the back and arm by the invisible thing at work too. Not harmful though.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I have a recurring dream about a particular house. When I find this house, I know there is a shadow person waiting for me. I am a new follower of your blog.
    http://beyondislandhopping.blogspot.co.nz

    ReplyDelete
  69. Shared on twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/GeekDad248/status/173777842545508352

    ReplyDelete
  70. My mom used to talk about shadow people all the time, very interesting! Shared on my Facebook-Melissa Dealmeida

    ReplyDelete
  71. I came here for the Follow Friday (you can find mine here if you're interested) but this post caught my eye. Funnily enough, I was watching a programme about shadow people the day before yesterday. Really, I think that it's just something left over from the days when we hadn't yet forced our way to the top of the food chain, when running away from a shadowy image in your peripheral version could mean the difference between life and death. It's interesting to think about all the different theories about shadow people, though! (It has to be said that some of them are a bit too far-fetched, though). Interesting post!

    ReplyDelete
  72. I had encounter with a shadow person in summer 2001. My room mate kept telling me she was constantly seeing this tall black shadow man with a brim hat hovering our doorway and at first she wasn't scared sof it but eventually it had started to creep her out when she would see it. I believed she was seeing this energy because I am very spiritually intuned and she wanted no parts of being intuned with any type of spirit now here she was telling me about this thing thats freightening her, but I had never seen it for myself. Well one night while she went out I stayed home with my then 5 yr old son, I had put him to bed and as I turned out all the lights from my apt, this gigantic very black (darker than the darkness of my apt) shadow man with a hat formed right where she had been telling me for months she kept seeing it. I was very startled but did not entertain it I just went straight to bed. While I was in my sleep this thing attacked me, it was trying to choke the life out of me and the only reason I didn't die in my sleep was because my 5yr old started to scream in his sleep. I jumped out of my sleep when I go to console my very devastated 5 yr old, he said to me that he was dreaming that a very bad man was trying to kill me. I had to literally PRAY b4 I could even make myself go back to sleep from being so scared and the very next day my throat was swollen and you could vaguely see hand prints on my throat. These SP2 are real and dangerous and they will fool you into thinking there harmless.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Oh and he is as tall as the top of any door frame in your home. Looks like a 7 foot tall man out line

    ReplyDelete
  74. I see them every so often. They're never frightful or dangerous, just kind of there, like another person you would meet walking down the street. I've seen them since I was little. Last time I can remember was about 10 yrs ago, one walked across my bedroom at night, from left to right, and turned his head to look at me as he kept going. They've always been male, kind of like the "hat guy" but without the hat. I've seen them behind trees or around a corner, but always when I'm alone. I've never been scared, mostly non-chalant, like oh, there's the fuzzy black man-thing. Nice to be able to put a name to these things.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I have seen them and more. Being from the Caribbean I am very superstitious. I have a sister who sees them regularly and have asked me to bless my home a few times. I know I am being bothered by one when I am find myself paralyzed at night without being able to call anyone for help.
    I am your newest follower, please check out my blog http://puzzlemecomplete.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  76. Yesterday night I started to have thoughts of the devil and satan for an unknown reason. I couldnt take my mind of the word "devil". I began to pray and read the bible for a bit. Out of fear I went to sleep at my parents bed. I began to feel sleepy. I then looked straight to the door and there was the hooded figure shadow. It was neither by the wall or the closet but just there on the corridor. I looked away and closed my eyes. I then looked again and it was gone. I was so scared but I am relieved to find that other people have had similar experiences.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Within the confines of our ghost hunting experiences we at Beyond Sight have begun to formulate many hypotheses as to the status of these misty wanderers. Some members of the group follow the popular tenant that these are images of beings too weak to manifest within our world, though very few in our circles, others consider the possibility that these are traces of malevolent creatures. More popular among the group members is the suggestion that there may be other worlds within our sphere of consciousness which we cannot readily discern with our human eyes.

    For a moment we shall follow along our “Other World” hypothesis and suggest that if there is a world existing alongside ours (and our experiences tend to support this notion), then these may be faint glimpses of our counterparts from elsewhere. Our eyes being unable to detect more than two dimensions and needing the combination of two such images to create a third space, are simply not equipped to interpret a more multifaceted place which holds life times of unknown numbers of locales. Thus we see only a shadow.

    Let me say it like this. When we record voices they are not often clearly audible to the unassisted human ear. They are distant perhaps separated from us by a veil of electromagnetic energy (our theory, not necessarily fact) which also hides this other place from our sight. Yet we do hear a shadow of the sound and call it an EVP. I suggest that the same principle may apply to our eyes and that these shadow people are faint images of our neighbors.

    ReplyDelete