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Shadow People: Paranormal or “Normal” Reality?

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Editor’s Note | Higher Journeys

It’s been quite a few years since I first heard the term “shadow people.” Serendipitously shortly thereafter, I ran across an individual who shared with me the personal experience associated with such a phenomenon. She didn’t know the characterization as such, but she’d been having “shadow being” visits for many years. I later found out that her mother had also been having them on a regular basis.

Hence, the journey to find out just what, who, and why these beings seemed to be invading  the human space on a regular basis began.

In the years since, I’ve covered at some length this anomaly – individuals from all over the globe who describe roughly the same experience; of seeing a shadow like being, often at the threshold or doorway of their bedroom (but not always). Whether cloaked in an outer garb or a simple silhouette of a person – no facial features per se, but physical appendages fully noticeable, are a common trait. Often appearing as transparent or semi opaque, the beings almost always appear to have a black shadow-like hue. There have been many variations to these encounters and yet the common experiences persist – not the least of which is an utter fear and perplexity on the part of the experiencer.

Just last week, I had the opportunity to interview an individual who came forward to tell me her story of a recent regression in which she conveyed that she had been in contact with some sort of non-human race (perhaps in a previous life.). Not wanting to stop at the initial regression experience, I asked her if she’d had any other “curious” encounters either prior to, or since her regression revelation. Her answer? “Yes!” She then went on to explain an encounter she’d had when she was 5 years old in which a shadow like being visited her in her bedroom. Unbeknownst to her, when I explained that there seems to be a common phenomenon known as visits by “shadow people,” she was shocked to know that such a thing existed beyond her own individual experience!

As the stories continue to spill forth, the plot indeed thickens. Are shadow people a paranormal phenomenon or a ubiquitous encounter within the human experience? And if so, why?


The Mysterious Phenomenon of Shadow People

“I’ve heard of shadow people, and maybe even seen one. Are they a common entity?” ~question via email

One of the most interesting and intriguing phenomena in the world of paranormal activity is that of the “Shadow People.” Each and every week there seems to be more and more stories and reports involving these mysterious beings, and they certainly have become a hot topic and a subject of growing interest of research by investigators.

Stories about these strange entities and their natures vary from harmless, quiet and shy observers to malevolent and downright nasty creatures of mal-intent.

As with most things in the paranormal field, no one can say with any degree of certainty what these shadow beings are, but we will explore a few of the prevalent theories.

Shadow people have gained their nickname because they are most commonly observed or reported as having a human-like form. Unlike the typical descriptions of ghosts who are usually described as having human form with discernible characteristics such as physical features, clothing and accessories, shadow people are said to be feature-less.

Generally, they are described as appearing to have mass, though their natures seem to vary from simple two-dimensional shadows, to distorted three-dimensional forms.

Their movements are sometimes described as “unnatural” seeming to be very quick and disjointed. Sometimes they are said to move in slow motion, as if they were submerged in liquid, and then to suddenly move rapidly from one place to another within the room.

Again, some accounts differ even more widely and describe a completely black being with red eyes, a cloak, and a hat. This variation has become known as “the hat man”.

Many witnesses describe feeling a strong presence or a sense of being watched, many times they will get a glimpse of ‘something dark’ out of the corner of their eye, they turn to look in the direction of the presence only to see it disappear into thin air, or flee right through a wall.

Sometimes they are reported as being childlike and playing games with witnesses. These seem to be curious and are also almost always seen through peripheral vision, when the witness turns to see them, rather than disappear through a wall or into thin air; they usually flee in a particular direction. Once while visiting my house, my sister reported chasing a small child around from room to room.

Many times people interpret the presence of shadow people as being ominous and equate experiences with shadow beings with feelings of dread, ill intent and pure evil. Sometimes these shadow beings seem to be curious about the people who are seeing them.

Theories surrounding the nature and origin of shadow people abound. Some believe that they are inter-dimensional beings which exist in a universe parallel to our own. Others suggest that they are demonic entities, or are observers from another place, some even suggest that they may be thought forms unconsciously created by negative psychic energy and related to a place or event in which extreme emotional or physical stress/trauma has taken place.

It is extremely hard not to notice the subconscious symbolism implied by these manifestations. In Jungian Psychology and Philosophy the shadow is associated with the hidden aspects of the conscious mind; it is an archetype of the secret, repressed area of human nature and behavior, perhaps that is why feelings of fear and malevolence often accompany interaction with these beings.

Possible Scientific Explanations:


Some of the conditions reported in shadow people experiences are similar to occurrences in episodes of sleep paralysis. Often times witnesses to shadow people have reported that the experiences occur just before falling asleep, or just after waking. Many times victims are in bed and report being ‘held down’ during visitations.

Read the entire article here.

Watch/Listen to this incredibly informative interview conducted by Art Bell about Shadow People from the early 2000’s.

Alexis Brooks

Alexis Brooks is the editor-in-chief of Higher Journeys, an award-winning talk show host, #1 best-selling author, and international speaker covering metaphysics, spirituality and personal transformation. Her work explores consciousness, human potential, and the deeper characteristics of reality from a transcendental perspective and her approach to these subjects have been described by many as “clear and easy to understand” in covering an otherwise complex and esoteric subject matter. Alexis' mantra: If you dare explore the mystery, Universe will more than meet you half way!


  1. Shadow Beings - A Personal Account - Higher Journeys
    March 26, 2015 @ 4:53 pm

    […] Journeys back in 2012. A woman named “Kelly” describes a multiple number of visits by shadow beings that have plagued her since the 1990′s. After further investigation, it was discovered that […]


  2. Sara Allen
    November 13, 2017 @ 7:12 am

    Last night my dog woke @ 1:50am & left the bed barking. My husband works nights so I got up to investigate. Nothing.
    Between 1:50am & 5:00am I woke 3 times with the feeling someone/thing was standing in the bedroom doorway. What was very strange is that I know it was 3 different someone’s. When I woke each time I had the feeling of just seeing a paper with their name & info on. But I can’t remember any of it.
    I am a witch & I’m familiar with energy & entities. These visits actually scared me which is unusual.
    Our family always has sentinels & shadow figures in & around the house. My husband & boys have seen them inside & outside the home for years. We’ve also had small “creatures” darting around the house. None have ever caused any harm. Every house has had someone who stands guard in our hallway, outside the bedrooms. This was different & the 1st time I was ever scared.
    Whats your opinion?
    Thank you.


    • Alexis Brooks - Editor, Higher Journeys
      November 13, 2017 @ 3:02 pm

      Hello Sara, Most certainly you and your family have had of variety of interesting and curious experiences. Questions: Has this phenomenon been happening in just this house or in others that you/family have lived in? Also, do you know whether or not other family members (not living in the house) i.e. parents, grandparents, etc., have ever spoken of similar experiences? I ask only because in my research I’ve run into several scenarios in which the “shadow entity” phenomenon was intergenerational. Although I think that a number of factors could be at play as to how/why this is happening to you and family. I have also heard of cases in which the property plays a significant role in this sort of activity. Clearly, I am not an expert in this area, though I’ve interviewed some guests who are. One that I would recommend you check out is Rosemary Ellen Guiley. She’s done extraordinary work in this area. Perhaps you can listen to a show that I did with her on the subject: Also I would recommend visiting her site at Hope that helps! Best, -AB


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