Graveyard Shift

You've No Doubt Seen Or Heard Of Shadow People...But What ARE They?

Shadow people have been scaring people for thousands of years - but what are they? Some people believe these humanoid figures are a supernatural spirit or entity that manifests as a dark shadow. 

The history of shadow people dates back as early as the 600s CE. Creepy shadow people stories come from all parts of the world and are eerily similar. The Quran makes mention of pitch-black sapient beings created from fire that were "not purely spiritual or physical in nature." Heidi Hollis more recently described shadow people in her book The Secret War as "dark silhouettes with human shapes and profiles that flicker in and out of peripheral vision." But their emergence in popular culture can be attributed to some paranormal investigators who've dedicated their life to researching and finding these shadow people. 

But what are shadow people, and where do they come from? Read these creepy stories and see if you can discern for yourself. 

  • They Look Like Huge, Ominous Black Shadows In The Shape Of A Human

    The most common form a shadow person presents themselves in is the "classic shadow being," which is described as "dark, inorganic, phantom-like bipedal figures that look just like a dark black shadow of a figure, but don't seem to quite have full human form or facial or bodily delineation. They feel very masculine and oppressive and like something that is beyond human and out of our scope of understanding."

    Natalia Kuna, the psychic medium, describes the figures as "tall, about seven feet in height, though they can configure and transform into different sizes and shapes. Often their limbs (arms and legs) seem quite long, and very occasionally fingers seen."

    Some believe their dark form is used as camouflage and they take on a rough humanoid form to blend in with us. Others report seeing shadow people with red or green glowing eyes, or even wearing a hat, like the "Hat Man" who often appears in a "cape or trench coat and a hat which can range from a top hat to a fedora or cowboy hat."

  • Some Believe That Shadow People Are Extraterrestrials

    Author and self-proclaimed shadow people expert Heidi Hollis mentions that shadow people are "alien beings" in her book The Secret War. More specifically she believes "The Man In The Hat" to be an extraterrestrial. Some believe the figure's hat could be a "form of disguise to cover up an unusually shaped head that could be alien in appearance, or it is some kind of otherworldly technology or even protection device."

    Theorists believe "The Man In The Hat" may belong to an alien species known as "the greys." These types of aliens are what most people associate with extraterrestrials. 

  • Others Believe They're Interdimensional Beings

    Natalia Kuna, a psychic medium, describes shadow people as "conscious, intelligent, interdimensional beings." She writes that they're able to dematerialize very quickly and "shape-shift into other forms such as in the figure of a cat, dog, rodent, oddly-shaped spider, insect or other creature or shape." On Kuna's website, she says the "Man In The Hat" is "an intelligent consciousness from another dimension or time-space reality, possibly the future."

    She's not the only one to think this. Author Michael Kinsella wrote in his book Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong's Hat that shadow people are "extra-dimensional inhabitants of another universe." 

  • Ancient Cultures Believed In Shadow People

    Ancient Cultures Believed In Shadow People
    Photo: Unknown / Needpix / Public Domain

    Mythology of shadow people dates back to early 600 BCE. Ancient Egyptians believed in shadow people, and called them the "khailbut." Romans believed these people came from the Underworld. Greeks thought shadow people were literal shadows of themselves, which they often gave up to Zeus as a gift. All of these cultures, though, had a common belief: these shadow people were both part of the real world and the metaphysical one.

    In Ancient Egypt, in particular, shadow people often went and did the bidding in the spirit world for humans who couldn't reach it - sometimes for good and, sometimes, for evil.