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  • Writer's pictureBryan Stafford

Shadow figure experiences

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

Submitted question covered in this blog:

"Can you explain what shadow people are?"

This is a great question, thank you to whom submitted it, as this is something that I have heard that many people experience - including myself!

It should be mentioned right from the start that this topic is NOT at all related to Shadow Work or the Shadow Self. For more info on that, please see this previous blog:

There has never actually been any real explanation to what can feel like haunting activities of dark shadows. Shadow figures, sometimes called shadow people are different from spirits of people who have passed on. In fact, many who have seen them say they do not feel that they are human and some clairavoyants consider them non-human in nature.

The shadow figures are usually shapeless dark masses that are mostly seen with peripheral vision. Some say they have seen them move between walls, have no human features, wear no clothes. The exception for this is that some say a hat man/hooded figure shadow figures commonly described with this experience. Some also have described their experience as a form of sleep paralysis unable to wake up while being held down by a shadow figure while sleeping. This was similar to my own repetitive interaction with a shadow figure.

As I slept, being completely aware of my surroundings, I realized I was actually awake. But unable to move. A shadow encroached closure and closure. The closet it got, the more fear and terror came over me. Each experience it seemed to gain more proximity. Each time as soon as I was able to finally move, my body suddenly responded to my state of mind I was in and I would have to stop myself from screaming as I regained control of my body. This persisted until the final night that I experienced it, just before the shadow reached for me my spirit guide and past ancestor pulled me away and I had a dreamy moment with that ancestor before I woke up. I never experienced sleep paralisys again. This is a rare interaction with shadow figures and most people experience them while awake amongst the darkness at night.

People who encounter shadow figures generally explain having a sense of dread. As mentioned they usually have no discernible mouth, noses or facial expressions. Although, there have been suggestions of glowing red eyes with the man with the hat shadow figure. Some are seen as child sized dark humanoids. There have also been experiences of shadow animals, such as a shadow in the form of a cat, or dog. But, with no discernible mouth, nose or eyes.

Some people say they seem to be made up of dark smoke or dark steam. Some day that at times when shadow figures move, they appear to be moving on an invisible track from one place to another, such as a toy train on a small scale railroad track. They have been seen to hop or shift in a way almost like a strange dance. They are also known to just be there staring or looking at the floor. 

Two commonly mentioned types of Shadow People other than a general shadowed-shape are the ‘hat man’, that looks like they are wearing a fedora hat from the 1930s and is sometimes depicted as having glowing red eyes. And, the ‘hooded figure’, which looks like the shadow person that has a hood over their head. The hood and hat stand out as clothing, and sometimes the figure is described as having a shadowy shape as if wearing an old cloak or drench coat. But, usually they are described as not wearing any clothing at all. Some say they merge with the darkness of natural shadows and their presence can be sensed or felt in the room.

These entities are not associated with demons or spirits. The experience mostly explained when it comes to unsettled spirit interaction is that a slight smell similar to sulfuric acid or an electrical smell, or rotten flesh can be present, sounds can be experienced as if coming from everywhere at once, and chills are often felt or a sudden drop in temperature, and sometimes momentarily physically touch or poking sensations can occure. The entire space of air in the affected area will feel thick like fog and the temperature can drastically change. These are not typically expressed from those who experience shadow figures, which generally appear as a shadow (hense the name) and are not usually described as spirialing smoke or mist, nor have detailed features.

Some ways in which to deal with shadow figures are:

  • It will probably go away if you just ignore it. If not a shadow figure however, sometimes spirit activity increases because the present spirit may want some attention. Distinguish which you are dealing with based on interaction.

  • Fear can be overwhelming in these situations. And so, try to use light humour during. This may help you to feel more comfortable in the situation, or to remind yourself that you're not in any real danger.

  • If you feel that the figure is trying to tell you something or communicate with you, then it may be a spirit afterall and not a shadow figure. Try to find out what might be the communication and if they're something you may be able to resolve for them.

  • If the entity is aware of you, it just might hear you or listen to you. So, simply ask it verbally to leave. Whether it is a shadow figure, an unattended spirit, etc. Giving it your request to depart from you or from your home quite often works. For a more persistent entity, you may want to attempt a simple lights out spell or cleansing of the space, before attempting more complicated workings such as a banishment, for example, which is most likely not even necessary.

Please feel free to reach out if there is anything else on this topic that comes to mind or other that you have questions about.

Blessed be, and thank you for visiting

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