Friday, February 11, 2011

Shadow People

Image Copyright: Jeanne Nelson
Have you ever seen a dark figure in your peripheral vision only to find nothing there when you turn to look?

If you have, you may have glimpsed one of the Shadow People~ dark humanoid figures that lack distinctive features who appear and disappear in the blink of an eye. The most frequently sighted is the Hat Man, a tall dark man wearing a hat and often a cloak. Some reports suggest that the Shadow People aren't malicious in nature, but rather observers of our world. Others insist that they are soul-stealers. No one knows why they come or how long they've been around but the phenomenon is world-wide.

Jason Offutt, author of Darkness Walks: The Shadow People Among Us, states in an interview with Stephen Wagner: "The oldest mention of entities like this in literature I've found was in the late 1800s, although shadow people have been reported in various religions throughout history." 

Scientific explanations attempting to debunk these paranormal experiences claim the manifestations are a result of optical illusions or hallucinations.

"When a specific region of the brain called the left temporoparietal junction is stimulated, it can create the illusion of a shadow person. Images seen in peripheral areas of vision can be caused by pareidolia, a condition in which the brain incorrectly interprets random patterns of light/shadow or texture as being familiar patterns such as faces and human forms." ~ Wikipedia

Photo: Disney's Peter Pan
In faery lore, shadows have their own life force. If a faery steals your shadow, you will wither and die. If you steal a faery's shadow, he or she will grant you one wish.

The notion of a sentient shadow can be found in J.M. Barrie's  beloved Peter Pan. And a modern variation of the Shadow People was showcased by the appearance of "The Observer" in the FOX television series FRINGE.


Whether it's a supernatural visitation or a figment of imagination, I've experienced this phenomenon many times. Always accompanied by a rush of adrenaline, a wave of nausea and a stomach-dropping dread.

Have you encountered the Shadow People? What was your experience like?

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9 comments:

Christine Danek said...

Hello fellow crusader. I have experienced the shadow people. In fact, I've written about them in my current novel. It was an odd feeling when I saw it. I almost felt like I was crazy for a second.
Have a wonderful weekend!

The Weed said...

Hey, thanks so much for visiting my blog via Angela Scott! It's a pleasure to meet you, especially since I, too, am a crusader ;-) Also, great post! I've never noticed Shadow People myself, but it's a great idea for a story (ie my story, ie I might totally hijack this so thanks!)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Hello Crusader! Looking forward to getting to know you :)) I see Shadow People all the time. They don't scare me; I wish they'd stick around for a chat! LOL

Lydia K said...

Hi fellow crusader! I think those shadows are more fascinating than scary!

Deborah Walker said...

Hello, my dear fellow crusader,

I've just written a flash story concerning shadow people in an off-world sf colony. I've never see one, but they're fascinating.

Susan Fields said...

Hello Fellow Crusader! I don't believe I've experienced Shadow People myself, but it's an interesting idea for a story. Sounds like your shadow people may be a little on the scary side, with the dread and nausea. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better!

Charity Bradford said...

Fascinating! Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm excited about this Crusade. I can't wait to get a glimpse into your world.

BTW, I'm jealous of you gorgeous hair. My sister has hair like yours, but I got plain old brown. *pouts* Enjoy it for me!

Tanya Reimer said...

Ohhh great post. I always thought they were demons.

Alyssa Fox said...

Hello, fellow crusader. I've never experienced them before.

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