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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Decemystery (2019) 31: Shadow People

A drawing of the Hatman.
As 2019 comes to a close, I wanted to end things off on a very high note. While Project Blue Beam was a heck of a story, I knew of one that was bigger, better, and significantly less maddening. In the place of that madness though is horror—a lot of horror. So, for the final day of the year—and of the decade—let’s discuss the story of Shadow People.

A Shadow of a Doubt: The Mystery of Shadow People

Shadow People are not like your typical enigma. While their name may allude to something like a ghost or a demon, the general basis for them is anything but that. They are, at their core, their own beast and it’s a beast that is as enigmatic as can be.

Described as humanoids that are pitch black in color—often being darker than a starless night sky—Shadow People are said to be visible even if there’s not a single bit of light in your room. Their presence has been described as one that fills the witness with unspeakable dread, anger, terror, and hatred, though in some cases they’ve filled people with peace and serenity. In rare cases, it’s no different than seeing a normal ghost (which we’ll touch upon in the theories section). No matter what the emotional sensation one gets is, it generally lasts until the entity disappears, which can be seconds or minutes.

The emotions that one is filled with when seeing a Shadow Person—or in the presence of one—is something that’s very common with ghost sightings (negative emotions being associated with demons or poltergeist; positive ones being a guardian angel of sorts or beloved family member). Though Shadow People have been seen in locations that have never been the sight of a death—peaceful or violent—and are also very different in their appearance than your average ghost. As I said before, they’re pitch black in color, but they’re also much more physical in appearance and have fewer discernible features. One can usually make out the bare minimum of a face and in many cases, a hat (we’ll touch upon this later).

It’s because of this that popular lore states that Shadow People aren’t ghosts, but rather something that originates from the witness themselves. To discuss this, we need to talk about a very strange topic: energy.

Energy in the realm of the paranormal and supernatural is something that’s very, very… strange. Though it’s a very popular topic of discussion when dealing with poltergeists. There’s a theory that spirits like that aren’t really spirits, but rather the products of the energy that teenage girls give off when going through puberty. In many cases involving poltergeists, there’s a teenage girl in the household that’s going through hormonal development and the like. As such, this intense change in who the girl is results in something manifesting that wreaks havoc in the house. A good example of this is the legendary Enfield Poltergeist (which was the basis for the 2016 horror film The Conjuring 2).

Shadow People are said to be similar in nature to that theory, albeit not restricted to hormonal development and changes. Rather, they’re said to be the products of intense hatred that one holds for someone or something—or general negative emotions that one has at the time. These emotions end up manifesting into a sort of entity that sort of “haunts” the person. Exactly how intense said haunting is depends on how intense the emotions are when the entity is created.

One extremely popular entity that’s been sighted a lot is an entity known as the “Hatman”. The drawing at the start of this entry showcases what some claim the entity looks like. The Hatman has been described as being malicious, benevolent, and generally benign in the way he acts. Some will wake up to see him staring down at them, although the witness won’t be suffering from something like sleep paralysis. Others have seen him out and about while on a late night walk, simply watching them before he vanishes into thin air (one of my personal favorite stories in a case like this was where the Hatman was in an alleyway and winked at the person who saw him before he vanished). In darker cases, the Hatman fills the witness with a sense that be likened to seeing the Devil.

It goes without saying that the Hatman has developed a reputation for being the Shadow Person that people have claimed to see. In fact, his reputation may actually exceed him given there’s a website that was dedicated to him called “The Hatman Project”. The website nowadays seems to be inactive, but if you wish to visit it, click the hyperlink above. This story below is from the website itself, but I’m using it as an example to showcase one of the more malevolent examples of who—or what—the Hatman truly is.

I was 23 when I saw what I think experienced what people call the Hatman. It was by far the most terrifying experience of my life. First let me say it was early morning and still dark. My mother and I are both nurses so working day shift we left early for work before daylight. I was staying with my mom to save up money ( Single Mom worries). My mother would drop my 5 year old son off to day care for me because it was on her way to work. We lived on five acres, with large lights on wooden poles throughout the property that turned on by a timer. It gave a sense of protection because it could get really dark. But this illusion was dispelled instantly that morning. Walking to our vehicles I noticed a man standing under one of the lights closest to the house. I couldn’t see his clothes per say but their outlines. He didn’t have a trench coat, it looked to be mid thigh victorian era coat tapered,, he had on boots from what the outline suggested, a stove hat, and he was looking at a watch on a chain. He didn’t cast a shadow of his own. He was black as night. It’s amazing the things that go through your head when something like this is happening. I could feel the evil coming off him in waves. It was almost like my adrenaline was about to make my heart explode. I was so terrified I actually felt my eyes dilate. I began screaming at my mother to put my son in the car, just go. Go right the fuck now. Not my usual vocbulary. Plus they couldn’t see or feel what I was feeling. My mother kept yelling what’s wrong , what’s wrong? I walked back to her car and put my son in the seat and literally forced my mom into leaving without me. All the while it’s watching. I can’t see it smiling …but I can. If that makes sense. It made me sick to my stomach. We had a 500 ft long drive way that led to a dirt road, very isolated. I didn’t get in my car and follow my mother and son until they were at the end. I had to make sure it wouldn’t follow them. I just looked straight at it. My heart running a 10 K and I’m standing still. I left finally to find my mother waiting for me at the end of the dirt road to the highway. Bewildered I made her leave and called her from my cell to explain why I had acted like a crazy person. Strangley, she believed me. I don’t think it was used to my reaction. I had to protect my family. Even though I knew it was there for me ( I don’t know how I knew this, I just did ). I hope to never feel that type of intense fear again. Ever. I’ve met my quota in spades.

That, more or less, is where the story of Shadow People concludes. As such, let’s move onto the theories section.


1. They’re ghosts

Our first theory is that Shadow People are ghosts. There have been ghosts that are said to be shadowy in appearance (mostly demonic ghosts), so it stands to reason that they’re nothing more than ghosts. This is a very popular theory for some given that Shadow People generally vanish like ghosts, appear like ghosts (namely from nowhere) and have been known to float like, well, ghosts (or at least the very generic ghost in television shows). Though some don’t think they’re ghosts due to malevolence, which leads us to the first offshoot of this theory.

1a. They’re demons

I said above that shadowy spirits are generally demonic (or claimed to be demonic), and given the horrible emotional sensations that many have gotten from seeing Shadow People, it stands to reason that they’re demons. Many point to how some Shadow People have bright, red eyes and, well, fill those that see them with dread. Whether or not you believe this will likely extend to your belief in the paranormal—let alone your belief in an afterlife.

1b. They’re angels

A much less posited theory, but one that’s been presented nonetheless, this theory states that Shadow People are actually angels. This is mostly brought up because of the sightings where people have felt at peace when they see them. That said, most don’t buy into this theory as the ratio of positive experiences with Shadow People compared to negative experiences is about 1 for every 15.

2. They’re interdimensional beings

Some believe that, because Shadow People often look much more real than they do transparent or ghostly, they’re interdimensional beings. I’ve really got to find time to discuss this supposed beings, but the idea is that either dimensions cross and these entities “slip” into ours, or they outright travel because they’re on a field trip or on vacation. Unless you believe in interdimensional beings though, this theory is more than likely going to read like a rejected 1980s Sci-Fi film script.

3. They’re aliens

Final day of the year, and of the decade, and we have one last theory that posits aliens are at work. Indeed, some claim that Shadow People are aliens taking on the guise of a human to study us Earthlings. This isn’t too far fetched if you’re at all familiar with the theory that aliens are actually demons (or the Nephilim). Given that some say that seeing an alien—particularly a Grey—fills them with unspeakable terror and dread, Shadow People are likely aliens. Why exactly they’d take the guise of a shadowy figure as opposed to just masquerading as a human a la the Men in Black, I don’t know. Though I shouldn’t question it too much or the MiB may knock on my door.

4. They’re manifestations of one’s emotions

This theory is the one that I mentioned during the actual story. Shadow People are merely the products of one’s own emotions. I will concede and say right now this is my personal favorite theory due to my own experiences, but I’ll also concede that it’s very likely that this can be a case of confirmation bias.

Admittedly, buying into a theory like this requires a lot of belief in the paranormal and a deep willingness to believe in things like positive and negative energy. As such, this is a “love it or hate it” theory and it’s one that will either get you laughed at or understood by the person you describe it to. I expect people to look at me as they read this and think I’m rather crazy. Though that’s nothing new and as such, I leave it at this.

5. They’re products of shadows and nothing more

This theory posits that Shadow People are all shadow and no, well, people/person. I mentioned this yesterday with how Project Blue Beam’s supposed cloud tests were more than likely the result of people seeing patterns where there are none. The same argument applies here. We humans love to see patterns and as such, we’re likely seeing “humans” in with shadows and thinking they’re one thing when it’s nothing.

6. They’re hallucinations

Our sixth and final theory is that Shadow People are merely the product of a lack of sleep. I’ve actually had things like this happen to me when I’ve woken up at 2 or 3 in the morning and never gotten back to sleep (or napped during the day). By the time 5:00 P.M. rolls around, I keep seeing shadows and figures out the corner of my eye. I’ve seen them walking, standing, or even crawling like it’s Kayako from Ju-On/The Grudge. It’s terrifying to say the least, but they vanish in the blink of an eye. As such, this is an extremely plausible theory to say the least (in my opinion at least).

My Take

I personally think Shadow People are real. Granted, I’ve had my own experiences with them, so naturally I’m a bit biased. Though I don’t think every sighting is credible. I believe that some—or even a fair number—can be chalked up to people making up stories or having hallucinated (or merely having seen a strange shadow). That said, at the same time, I do think that there’s truth to them at heart. I’ve seen things that definitely aren’t merely shadows; not when something can appear darker than even the pitch black void that is my room at night.

Now as for what I think they are… that I can’t say for certain. Their mere presence was something that invoked unbelievable terror in my like in some cases, but I also didn’t feel a great sense of comfort like others claim. I don’t think they’re interdimensional entities or aliens (why exactly some think that, I don’t know). If I had to hazard a guess, and based on my own experiences and the claims of others, I think they’re products of one’s own creation. This could be through negative energy that one emits or simply a case of unusual psychosis, though I’m sure that by speaking about negative energies, I sound like a new age quack.


I had said I’d share some stories with this entry when I wrote about Black-Eyed Kids. I had all the intentions of doing that, but after the endless writing since then, all I want to do is curl up and fall asleep. As per the norm, feel free to lambaste me in the comments for breaking a promise. I’ll do my best to never make promises I cannot keep in 2020, though I will return to the realm of Shadow People next year when I focus on the Hatman (well, hopefully I will). Until then though, thank you for spending the month with me as I shared these 32 strange mysteries. I hope your new year is fantastic and that fortune shines upon you throughout the new decade. As for me, I’ll return to writing on January 7th. I’m exhausted and need to relax for a bit.

1 comment:

  1. Now, I think I've shared this story before, but my family was in Savannah once. Blue Moon Brewery, and down in the basement looking for spirits. Mom went off one way, to the back and she swore we were behind her. She said our names, but as it turned out we hadn't left our spot.

    So, what did she see?

    To this day, she's never said.