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.