Without a “Shadow” of a Doubt

by Tony Harrington

At a recent investigation of a private residence in Little Rock, Arkansas we met with a young man who has been plagued by the presence of a “shadow figure” that has been attached to him since his age consisted of a single digit. It is always around, blurring in and out of existence, standing just out of reach where it looms menacingly before fading from existence.

On another investigation recently in Alabama, at Fort Morgan, we witnessed a short wiry dark humanoid figure void of any discerning features dart down a long hallway and disappear into a room where we continued to hear footsteps as we investigated.

Smackover, AR: An investigator sees a shadow dart across the floor of a library. It has no facial features, the gender can not be determined and it disappears as quickly as it appeared.

The Nyberg building at the Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanitorium is rife with elongated shadows that bolt across halls, through doorways and stare at you from within dark rooms, long corridors and twisting passages.

Just what is a shadow person?

The answer varies depending on who you ask, with the most favored response being: It is simply your imagination.

Is the favorite answer the correct one? It very well may account for some to most of the experiences people seem to have with these so-called shadow figures-or-shadow people as they are also known. In a field filled with uncertainty, we have to accept that experiences can easily be discarded as an active imagination. If you sit in an unfamiliar room and add to that experience a history of alleged paranormal activity then it stands to reason that when its time for “lights out” your eyes will betray you.

Every dark corner suddenly comes to life as elongated shadows and unfamiliar surrounding merge and as our eyes try to focus our brain shifts into analytical mode and attempts to make sense out of chaos. It is during this time that we very well may see something “move”. It is the same science behind a camera trying to focus in the dark. The lens opens and closes trying to allow in enough light to steady on a focal point, and just like the camera, our eyes do the same thing. During this process we may experience seeing what appears to be dark figures lurking just out of reach.

Or, a more frightening answer may be true, that we are not alone. Shadow figures have long been associated with residual hauntings where spirits wander around unaware of our existence as they live their moments on earth trapped in a continuous loop, walking the hallways like they did when they were alive. But what of signs of intelligence? Are shadow figures more than a scene from a moment in time on repeat? Are they capable of interaction with the living? I personally have not experienced any signs of intelligence when it comes to the mysterious “Shadow People”, but that is not to say others haven’t. We would love to hear your tales of dealing with these shadow figures if you indeed have experienced them.

One other explanation of shadow people requires the belief that there are multiple timelines happening simultaneously and that our existence is just one timeline. Occasionally, our world will mesh at precise moments allowing us a glimpse into the workings of the other timelines that are typically hidden from us. At that moment we will see the forms of those on the other side of the veil briefly and then, as the timelines write themselves the shadow figures disappear. Too Science Fiction? I think so, but I felt the need to include all possible explanations.

Hypnagogia is the experience of “waking sleep” where your brain still processes subconscious images equivalent to a dream even though you may be awake and alert of your surroundings. In these moments people will often see indiscernible humanoid shapes. But that explanation does little to explain away seeing these forms when we are wide awake.

Whatever they are, seeing a shadow figure is a frightening and exhilarating experience. So what is your take on the shadow-person phenomenon? Real or imagined? Residual or intelligent?  Share your thoughts with us and your fellow readers.

5 thoughts on “Without a “Shadow” of a Doubt

  1. first of all I’d like to say i very much enjoy your site! this is quite an impressive and epic collection of research. nicely done.
    i like to refer to my shadow person as “The Shadow Man”. he weaves his way in and out of my reality. sometimes i see him a lot, sometimes not for months. but he is indeed real.i am not sure by what means he is able to be visible. but he is simply a silent observer. i don’t feel threatened or anxious in his presence, he presents no threat.
    i have been dealing with paranormal activity since my mother (thinking it was a game) gave me an Ouija board at the young age of thirteen. since the events of the first Ouija board experience, I’ve been exposed to an unusual amount of paranormal events. i guess you could say the left side of my brain has had a sufficient amount of time to develop sensitivity to spirits and dark presences.both my sister and i have experienced an extensive amount of activity in our home of which has had no previous owners.
    we have dealt with it over the years, but at times these presences are strong and are able to knock over/move objects..open/ close doors..misplace items..enter through dream scape, and affect moods. But worst of all is the taping/scratching/strange clicks that cant be dismissed as weather or house related. the defining moment was the restless soul which tapped in the wall directly behind my head for a week or so. which was quite disturbing. a more recent account which disturbed both my sister and i was a spirit of some kind who was jumping from rafter to rafter in our attic. there is only one entrance to the attic in our house and that is through the guest bedroom. and even to do so you need a ladder to get up there.. this dismisses the chance of an animal, or person up there. it was obnoxiously jumping from rafter to rafter, stopping above my room, and then above my sisters room.. then preceding its rounds over to the guest bedroom and back around not skipping a rafter. i could write all day about the events that have occurred in this house for pages, but instead i will get to my question..
    i have heard that Ouija boards are able to open “portals” for those in the other realm to travel through. i think that i know the location of the portal.. i can feel it. I’m sure it may sound a bit nutty to some (being able to feel a debateably existent portal to the other side) but it is similar to the feeling one gets before a paranormal or psychic experience. i just know.
    have you or any of your crew know heard of these portals? if so, have you heard of any possible ways to close them?
    these phantoms (i suppose you could call them) have been harassing my sister and i for far too long, and we seek a remedy.
    i realize i live half way across the country therefore this case is not your traditional investigation, but none the less i think this is a very interesting topic you could potentially learn a lot from and have fun with.
    but any info would be great!


    1. Hello Ariel, thanks for stopping by and for the kind words about our site here. We try very hard to provide a wide array of topics for discussion and a lot of research goes into them, and sometimes an opinion or two.

      We, the Spirit Seekers as a group, have had many experiences with seeing shadow people and ultimately the experience is the same. It is a scary one only because you aren’t expecting it. But, the actual manifestation does not seem to be negative or malicious in any way.

      We have heard stories to the contrary and won’t debate that there is the possibility that these things have the potential to be bad spirits/ghosts. If they are people, then just like our world, there are angry, mean, bad and hurtful people in it.

      You mentioned the Ouija board from your childhood. We posted an article a while back about one investigators experiences growing up with a Ouija board in the house. If I could locate the link I would post it, but it is buried somewhere in our archives.

      Now to the answer to your question. I know for a fact that other people have had experiences with these portals,and technically that is what a Ouija board is intended to do. Sounds far-fetched and out there since the boards are marketed as a game. Prior to being a game though they were used to primarily contact and speak with the dead.

      Whether Ouija boards work or not is ultimately up to the user and I won’t even broach that heated debate. I will say that we have investigated several places that seem to have paranormal activity or some kind of presence around as a result of Ouija board usage according to homeowners.

      Ultimately I am going to defer this to our founder and get back to you about how, if possible, to close the portal.

      But why is there a portal in the first place? Many people believe that if you are using a Ouija board and have made contact with the spirit world and you do not say good-bye at the end of your session, that portal will remain open and who knows what could make its way in.

      I will do some research on the issue and get back in touch with you or have our founder reach out to you.

      In which state do you reside. We have a large network of friends who operate groups all over the country (and even in other countries) and adhere to the same core values and beliefs we do. If we are unable to assist you we will search out one of these groups who might be able to assist if that is a route you want to go sometime down the road.

      Until then, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and we will be in touch.

  2. Hello again,
    Thanks for your input!
    I think your right about the different types of shadow figures. my experiences with “The Shadow Man” have only been peaceful , but i have also had an experience with a different kind of force in the form of shadow. i saw the shadows a few times before i fell asleep, which was a mistake because it entered into dream scape. of course many would dismiss this case as the product of an over active imagination, but i think those who have had similar experiences know that there is more to it.
    it all began with me waking up in my bed, with my sister sleeping soundly next to me. its was oddly quiet in my room. the door was open to the hallway (of which would normally be closed). as i looked into the dimly lit hallway, slowly four figures took form. they weren’t in the shape of beings, but short and similar to large boulders. they were rotating around each other routinely and with each moment they grew more distinct, and more powerful. they swiveled their way into my room, and i began to panic. i wanted to move, but i was unable to. there was an unseen force (most likely coming from the figures) holding my body down. unable to move they dragged me to the floor in complete control and dragged me to the floor. at this point my sister woke up and began to scream. the force (s) then took control over her and brought us both to the wall by our necks.. and yes we began to suffocate. i could actually feel the physical pain, the gasping for air. it released us momentarily, and i ran into the hallway. i struggled to get away but it continued to trip me drag me and yank me around. i have never felt a more helpless feeling.

    this may have been “just a dream” with no relation to the paranormal world. but i felt compelled to understand further. i told my dream to a trusted friend of eight years whom i had visited the same day as the night the dream occurred. after i told him in great detail, he asked me if i had noticed the strange doll hanging in his living room. as i thought back, i realized that i had been paying attention to it. i kept looking at it, and i didn’t understand why. he then went on to tell me how the doll has been in his family for generations passed down from his grandfather. he explained that through out his life he had experienced very similar experiences that i described. he believes that a dark spirit hides in the doll and manifests itself in dream scape to those who are open and pay attention to it. if i had known about this doll before having the dream, i would be more willing to dismiss it as my imagination. but because i had no prior knowledge of the doll or my friends experiences, it leads me to believe that what i experienced was real on some level.
    anyways, form what i have heard and experienced there seems to be different types of these shadow folk that manifest themselves in different ways depending.some quite frightening.

    I live in Hillsboro, Oregon which is about 40 minutes out side of Portland. i did some research on the closing of Ouija board portals last night (as much as the internet provided) and some say that the portal is the board itself, while others believe that the portal exists within the person who plays with the board. others say that the board is essentially meaningless and that a portal can be opened by placing your hand on any object and summoning spirits, making what ever object you use the portal.
    anyhow, any information you come across would be great.
    have a wonderful thanks giving!
    don’t forget to thank the turkey before you eat him :]

  3. yes they can interact with people and they are many forms of these shadowed creatures i also believe that only certain people have the ability to see them and even fewer to interact with them. i have seen many shadowed figures. most of which i can not explain. only a few have been pleasant most exhibit total chaos. but at the same time im not so sure that they are spirits rather than something completely different. the most recent experience was the most horrible that i have had. it started out as random flashing lights outside my house in a tree which only lasted a few seconds while i was lookng up a very large figure appeared almost as if it were cloaked with a very discerned shape. it sent me into a immediate panic attack kinda like it pulled the life out of me i couldnt move i was gasping for air and then it disappeared and everything turned back to normal. i was left with a very strange and eerie feeling to look up and when i did. right above me in the sky was the distinct figure of a skull.i would really appreciate any information you could give me on this.

    1. Hello Kagney, thanks for stopping by and for sharing your experiences with us.

      In our personal experiences, the shadow figures we have seen seem to be benign and not very interested in what we are doing. None of our investigators as far as I am aware have been attacked in any way by shadow figures.

      You are correct in that not all shadows are humanoid, some people claim to see smaller masses that appear to have traits of animals, especially in the way they move.

      Some of your experiences sound like sleep paralysis, often referred to as “Old Hag Syndrome” in which people feel like they are being attacked, shortness of breath, the sensation of being watched and seeing shadow figures. This is often caused by stress and affects people who sleep on their backs more than any other demographic.

      As to what shadow people/figures actually are…ask 20 people and you will get 20 different answers. Sorry that I can’t provide an answer for you, but if I did I would just be offering my personal opinion alongside of anyone else who has ever been asked.

      Thanks again for stopping by, hopefully you will visit us again.

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