Shadow Man

by - May 15, 2023

There are some experiences in my life that I don't fully understand, and this is one of them. I used to love supernatural, ghostly, ghastly movies as a kid, but at some point, I stopped being able to stand the creepy feeling and it's because I had my own unexplained paranormal experience. Horror movies, I can do. But paranormal especially when it's in the home or modern-day buildings? No, thank you. Nah-uh.

It was definitely not sleep paralysis, which is a common scientific explanation for what I saw. I've had sleep paralysis where I knew I had been asleep and woke up and felt like I was sinking into the mattress and couldn't move. This was different.

I was wide awake reading the latest Wheel of Time book by Robert Jordan. It was 2-3 am in the morning (uni life, I didn't have to get up early unless I had a morning class) and ever since I'd gone to bed that night at about 1 am to read I'd had this creepy feeling that something wasn't right. At one point I noticed a gross, giant cockroach in the corner of my bedroom and thought maybe that creepy feeling was from that - I loathe cockroaches, I'm just glad even though they can fly that they usually prefer to scamper around on the floor where I can evade them.

I tried to brush off the feeling but it wouldn't go away. I was laying on the left side of my bed by the bedside table and lamp. I continued reading and at one point, something told me to look to my left to the open floor space next to my bed. That's when I saw him. Somehow I identified him as he. He had no definable features - no face and no hair. He was like a 2D flat black shadow figure that didn't cast a shadow. He had a clear outline that wasn't a hard line or blurred, instead, his edges seemed to shift with energy even though he stood completely still. I could make out a bald head and chin, and I'm not sure if I saw the ridge of a straight nose as my head moved angles.

I saw his black shadowy waist first standing next to my bed. My head and eyes travelled upwards until I was looking at where his face would have been. His head was angled and his neck curved in a way that made me feel he'd been standing there a while observing and assessing me. And I'd only just been able to see him now after sensing him all night. I don't know what he was assessing me for but I had a dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach that I did not want to match whatever criteria he was searching for.

We stared at each other for maybe 10 seconds before I looked down at my book and snapped it closed and hit him with it, but when I looked back to take a swipe he'd disappeared and the feeling of dread went too. It was like a weight suddenly lifted from my shoulders. I kept the book closed, only a little aware that I'd lost my place, shoved it on my bedside table, and dived under my blankets. I slept with the light on that night with my head underneath the blanket and peeped out now and then even though I felt he wasn't coming back I just wanted to make sure.

The creepiest part of this experience was later that week, we were chatting with my neighbour and her daughter, whose bedroom faces mine, had a similar encounter. This Shadow Man seemed to be moving from house to house that night hunting something - perhaps weakness? - in young people. A way inside to possess or influence us in a bad way? I don't know.

I've since learned that Shadow people are fairly common sightings. Though, other reports commonly include red eyes, hat and cloak or jacket. My Shadow Man had no apparel, no hair, and no eyes. He was just an outline and even though he was very still, the blackness seemed to be energised and moving. It's hard to describe. I can still visualise the shadow that wasn't shadow. It wasn't still. It felt like it was moving sharply and sporadically - there was no discernable pattern to how the blackness shifted.

I've been thinking about him lately after listening to the first episode of the Otherworld podcast and being reminded about Shadow people. I try not to think about this experience because I don't want to invite this type of energy back into my life. I like my world to be simple and not scary and unexplainable.

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