Spookiest Shadow People Encounters

Illustration by Dana Augustine

Readers tell of their strange, often terrifying encounters with the dark, mysterious entities known as the Shadow People

Is it just because they are talked about more and more in paranormal circles, or are people really experiencing encounters with shadow people in increasing numbers? Or have these entities always been around? To be objective, we also have to consider that these experiences might be strictly illusions or psychological disturbances. However, you'd have a hard time convincing the people who offer the following stories that what they saw and felt - and what terrified them -- wasn't real.

MIRROR MAN

When I was younger, there was a "man" at the top of my stairs. I used to go to the bathroom every night between about 12 and 3 and he would always be there! He was a shadow on a mirror. I was only about four or five, but other people saw him, too. He even tried to push one of them down the stairs!

Since moving into the house across the road, though, I haven't seen or heard from him. I can't go in my old house upstairs, because there's a very unwelcome and hostile feeling to it. I still can't work out who he is. I've also seen him in my friends' houses, and he just stands there... looking at me, although there's no face, just a shadow. -- Lauren

TERRIFYING VISITS

As a child of between 8 and 10, I had regular but always terrifying visits from what I always described as a tall shadow of a man in a cloak and a top hat. All black, very tall. Once he was carrying a cane and once a briefcase.

He spoke to me one time in a loud, booming voice. He would disappear through the wall at will and return the same way. They were experiences that I would recall to friends throughout my life, and I have always described him as the "shadow man". He has not returned since I worked up the courage to run past him and out of my room.

-- Sandy

UNABLE TO LEAVE

I was only about 10 or 11 when I went to this house. It was daytime and the building was well lit. I looked into a few rooms and saw nothing out of the ordinary... until I turned into a hallway. It was at the other end of the hall, looking at me. Although it had no eyes, the feeling was undeniable. The shadow person and I watched each other for some time. I didn't think it was real, but then it started walking toward me slowly.

I turned and ran. I looked over my shoulder and it had traveled about 7 meters in the split second I looked away, but when I had my eyes on it, it moved slowly. I got out of the house and looked at it again. It had stopped at the door, almost like it was unable to leave the house. It turned and walked back into the house. -- Courtney

DRIVING ME INSANE

I'm in my teens and from New Zealand. Half a year ago, I would lie on my bed and casually surf the net. From the corner of my eye I would see a dark mass on top of my wardrobe facing towards me. But when I finally turned to it, it shrank to nothing -- quite fast. At night the black mass would be by my bedside or at the doorway. I would hide under the covers and curl up in a ball. I just wanted to cry for help.

-- Amie

KIDS' EXPERIENCES

I have two sons who talk often about what they call "The Shadow Man". The latest experience was when I had buckled both of them in the car and had forgotten something in my house. I went back in to get the item. I heard my five year old screaming. I went running back out. My son was in shock, screaming, "Did you see it?! Did you see it?!" I said, "See what?" Then my six year old said calmly, "The Shadow Man." They both said he was standing right there on the deck.

My six year old says that the black and the white shadow follows my five year old. They say they talk to them all the time. -- Diane

SCARED SKEPTIC

When my wife was pregnant with our daughter, we saw one in the house we were renting. I had just gotten off the graveyard shift. We were chatting before going to bed and my wife said she saw "something" in the back room. Our cat was on watch, perched on my wife's belly, occasionally growling. I was a big skeptic: Aw, that's a bunch of b.s., etc.

That morning I started toward the back room with that attitude... and stopped in my tracks when both of us saw the hunched black shape move and turn to look at us with those horrible red eyes. I honestly wish I could say I didn't see what I did, but I sure as hell did. Still freaks me out. -- Dath

DAUGHTER'S EXPERIENCE

Starting at four or five years old, when we moved into our house, my daughter has been afraid of our basement.

She said that she could hear children laughing, weird sounds, and that "the dark man" lived down there. She also said that she had a ghost friend she called Bradley staying upstairs and that Bradley keeps the dark man away from the top floor.

When she was around 15, she was home with a friend, sitting on the couch watching a movie.

Both she and her friend saw a dark shadow in the shape of an adult upper torso hovering by the front door. Within seconds of seeing the shape, it "flew" toward them and then straight down the stairs. My daughter said it was scary, but she's been more accustomed to bizarre happenings. The friend never came over again. -- Lisalu68

SCARED SHADOW

About four years ago, I was lying in my bed wide awake in the middle of the day. The windows in my house were at least 10 feet off the ground, so it could not have been someone's shadow from outside. No one else was home at the time. I looked up in my hallway and at first I didn't see anything... but it saw me, apparently, because I guess I frightened it. I looked directly at it. It was transparent and of gray color and had the shape of a man. When this entity saw me see it, it got scared because it shook like a person would and then it took off down the hallway. -- Amy

I WAS BITTEN!

I know this sounds crazy, but I swear it's true. Years ago I was visited by what I now know is a shadow person. I was lying on my sofa and fully awake. It was approximately 10 p.m. and I remember thinking, I'll go bed shortly. Then I saw this tall dark figure come from my front door.

It was male, all black, long coat and a hat. I asked, "Who are you? How did you get in?"

He walked over and I felt drowsy and unable to move, yet not afraid. He leaned over me and breathed on me. I watched him disappear into the wall. With that I looked at the clock... and it hadn't changed! The next morning I woke up and my left arm was sore. I looked and saw a red, tent-shaped mark on the top of my arm. I've even shown the mark to a relative just to confirm it. -- Donna

I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS

This started happening to me about a year and a half ago. One of my friends and I were walking to a friend's house and we were taking a shortcut. Then out of nowhere there was a shadow figure about as tall as me, which is 6'3". It had a tail like a wolf and was all black. When I first started seeing it, it had eyes about the size of two pennies.

But as time went on they got bigger and bigger. The last time I saw it, its eyes where about the same size as a lime. Not only that, they changed color.

What scares me the most is the fact that the last time I saw it was about two months ago. It used to show up a few times a week, and its eyes where crimson, which is the aura color of hatred. I've been attacked by it before: painful ear ringing, nausea, and dizziness. It might have gone away, but I think it might be planning something. Nothing has happened yet... just waiting for it to show up again, then I'm going to banish it as best as I can. -- Cameron