In the world of paranormal research, there are two distinct types non-corporeal creatures — ghosts and shadow people. In many instances, it can be nearly impossible to tell the differences between ghosts and shadow people, but after some exhaustive research into these scary monsters and super creeps, here's a handy guide to help you figure out whether you’re dealing with an energy-sucking shadow creature or a full-bodied apparition.
Are ghosts and shadow people the same things? It’s a question that’s bogged down believers in the supernatural for a long time. While they both share similarities, they’re definitely not the same thing. Not only are there different classes of shadow people, but the types of ghosts that you’re likely to bump into aren’t anything like the ominous figures cut by a shadow person. The following guidelines will teach you how to know if you saw a ghost or a shadow person lurking in your room and what to do about it.
Paranormal experts have been debating for decades about whether or not ghosts can actually understand what's happening around them or if they're simply going through the motions of a past life. It's believed that ghostly apparitions are simply the residual energy left over when a person dies, meaning that while you may be able to see them they can't see or interact with you.
On the other hand, shadow people are sometimes corporeal beings who are, at best, believed to be from another dimension, and at their worst they may be demonic in nature. People who have had interactions with shadow people believe that the creatures make conscious decisions for how they'll treat a person, something that a ghost can't do.
While no one knows exactly why shadow people exist, one interesting idea is that they're similar to poltergeists, meaning that humans create them from their own negative energy. While most ghosts are created through outside means (murder, suicide, etc.), a poltergeist tends to be created when someone with a lot of pent-up negative energy becomes a vessel for their awful feelings. This is usually done subconsciously, although you could probably manifest a poltergeist or shadow person if you tried hard enough.
If you believe that you've created a shadow person on accident then your best bet is to try and clear all of the negative energy in your life. Start meditating, cleanse your apartment, do whatever you've got to do to stop feeding that horrible creature.
Trying to determine the intentions of a ghost is nearly impossible. You might find, depending on what type of paranormal phenomenon with which you're dealing, that the ghost doesn't have any intentions. If you have a poltergeist in the home, it's taking cues from you or whomever's negative energy helped manifest the creature, and it's going to keep doing what it's doing until you cleanse the home. If you're dealing with an interactive ghost it could be reenacting something from its life over and over without any ill intent towards you, despite the negative ramifications of a ghost clanging and banging around your house.
The intent of a shadow creature is nothing but malicious. Since the first report of a shadow person there haven't been any claims of one of these creatures doing anything positive whatsoever. Many paranormal experts believe that shadow people want to feed off of your negative energy and fear.
If you've never been visited by a ghost or a shadow person, your first experience with either can be terrifying and confusing. How do you know with which type of entity you're dealing? When it comes to ghosts, there are a few different types of entities that you can encounter. There are ghosts with "interactive" personalities, like Bruce Willis at the end of The Sixth Sense or a Civil War battlefield ghost, but there are also ectoplasmic mists that are just as visible as interactive full body apparitions.
Aside from the two visible, and easily recognizable types of ghosts there are poltergeists, or "noisy ghosts," which are essentially pure energy. You're most likely to experience one of these if you have a teenager in the home or a large amount of pent-up negative energy. They knock things down, break windows, etc. Finally, there are orbs and the swirling bits of light that are most commonly seen in photographs.
Shadow people, though, are usually described as being tall and "human-like," but as if their bodies are made of shadows rather than flesh and blood. The most notable shadow person is the "Hat Man," who's been appearing since at least 2001 since he was discussed on Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM. It's been theorized that "Hat Man" is a separate phenomena from shadow people, even though he appears in the same way as the rest of his creepy brethren.