There’s a growing interest in the phenomenon of shadow people. What are they? Ghosts? Interdimensional beings? Time travelers? Something else?

"WHAT WAS THAT?" You were sitting comfortably on your sofareading the latest issue of FATE in the dim light when movement across the room caught your attention. It seemed dark and shadowy, but there was nothing there. You returned to your reading - and a moment later there it was again. You looked up quickly this time and saw the fleeting but distinctly human shape of the shadow pass quickly over the far wall… and disappear.

What was that? Some natural shadow? Your heightened imagination? A ghost? Or was it something that seems to be a spreading phenomenon - apparitions that are coming to be known as “shadow people” or “shadow beings.” Perhaps this is an old phenomenon with a new name that is now being discussed more openly, in part thanks to the Internet. Or maybe it’s a phenomenon that, for some reason, is manifesting with greater frequency and intensity now.

Those who are experiencing and studying the shadow people phenomenon say that these entities almost always used to be seen out of the corner of the eye and very briefly. But more and more, people are beginning to see them straight on and for longer periods of time. Some experiencers testify that they have even seen eyes, usually red, on these shadow beings.

The mysterious sightings have become a hot topic of conversion in paranormal chat rooms, message boards and websites, and it is given widespread attention on paranormal talk radio.

What are shadow people and where do they come from? Several theories have been offered.

THE IMAGINATION

The explanation we get from skeptics and mainstream science - and who are usually people who have never experienced the shadow people phenomenon - is that it is nothing more than the active human imagination. It’s our minds playing tricks on us… our eyes seeing things in a fraction of a second that aren’t really there - illusions… real shadows caused by passing auto headlights, or some similar explanation. And without a doubt, these explanations probably can account for some if not many experiences. The human eye and mind are easily fooled. But can they account for all cases?

GHOSTS

To call these entities ghosts demands first a definition of what we mean by ghosts. (See the article: Ghosts: What Are They?) But by almost any definition, shadow people are somewhat different than ghost phenomena. Whereas ghost apparitions are almost always a misty white, vaporish or have a decidedly human form and appearance (very often with discernable “clothing”), shadow beings are much darker and more shadow-like. In general, although the shadow people often do have a human outline or shape, because they are dark, the details of their appearance is lacking. This is in contrast to many ghost sightings in which the witness can describe the ghost’s facial features, style of clothing and other details. The one detail most often noted in some shadow being sightings are their glowing red eyes.

DEMONS OR OTHER SPIRIT ENTITIES

The dark countenance and malevolent feelings that are often reported in association with these creatures has led some researchers to speculate that they may be demonic in nature. If they are demons, we have to wonder what their purpose or intent is in letting themselves be seen in this manner. Is it merely to frighten or could it be something more? 

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