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10 Creepy, Real-Life Encounters with ‘Shadow People’

Friendly or dangerous? Take your pick.

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  • Photo Credit: Aaron Mello / Unsplash

Many religions, legends and folklore tell of ‘shadow people’ in one form or another. In recent years, stories of personal encounters with the eerie figures have flooded the Internet. A subcategory of Reddit was created solely for those who have experienced a shadow person and wish to share their story. So thanks to readers over at Reddit, we’ve compiled a list of some of the spookiest encounters with shadow people. We have many questions, but what we know for sure is that these encounters will have you taking a second glance at every odd shadow you see. 

1. During the late 1960s, sniggity encountered shadow people on three separate occasions. The first time, they caught one looking through their bedroom window before disappearing. The second was a few months later, when they woke to five shadow people lurking aimlessly around their bedroom. The third, and final, time was late at a summer camp: They were laying in bed in their bungalow when shadowy figures appeared and began walking in circles around the bed. In all three occasions, the figures were pitch black–darker than the dimly lit room. This user has experienced all they want from shadow people and hopes to never encounter one again.

Related: 15 People Reveal True, Creepy Encounters That Changed Them Forever 

2. Anatheium has had a few encounters with shadow people, but there is only one that truly terrified them. On a summer evening, they stayed up late watching television with their sister. As they got up to go to bed, they passed by the front door and saw a Native American man standing in the frame. He stood at about 6’5”, wore a black suit with an old-fashioned top hat, and had long hair and sharp blue eyes. The user screamed, making their sister jump up and impulsively throw a salt shaker at the figure. The shadow person’s face fell into what seemed like a sorrowful expression, then shimmered away through the front door. Later, when describing the experience to their father, he said the shadow person sounded like a description of his great uncle who died when he was young.

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  • Photo Credit: Valentina Locatelli / Unsplash

3. When Icefy was five or six, they went into their backyard to play on their trampoline and saw three men. They were standing side-by-side, wearing matching hats, and were pitch black. They yelled at the creepy figures to get off. Their parents heard the shouts and raced downstairs. To this day, the parents recall how frightened their kid was. Icefy told their parents that there were people on the trampoline, but when they looked back, the shadow people had vanished. They didn’t step on the trampoline for two years, but this isn’t the end.

Their grandma described waking to a dark figure standing above her many times at their old house. One night, their mother woke and saw a similar figure standing over their dad. They’ve moved houses since, but the shadow people seemed to have followed. 

Related: Night Terrors: Why Do We Wake Up Frozen in Fear? 

4. After a poor night of sleep, LossfulCodex laid down midday to take a nap. They recall a strange feeling in their head but believed it to be a side effect of sleep deprivation. Then, from the corner of their room, they heard South Park, as if there was a television sitting right beside their bed, although there isn’t. A ringing and high-pitched whooshing sound joined in the chorus. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t lift their arms or head.

Then, they heard a knock at the window. Behind the glass pane crouched a dark, faceless figure. A second figure of identical stature entered through the bedroom door and sat at the edge of the bed. The shadow person spoke, “I would be afraid too. This is what nightmares are made from.” LossfulCodex was confident that it was a dream, but it seemed inescapable. The room faded in and out, then the user woke. It was easily the scariest experience they’d ever had with lucid dreaming.

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  • Photo Credit: Douglas LeMoine / Flickr (CC)

5. Macweirdo42’s earliest memory involves a shadow person. They were two or three years old at the time and recall waking to see a dark shadow on the wall beside their crib: a shadow with bright white eyes. It started moving toward them. They moved to the other side of the crib, but another shadow person was approaching from that side as well. Neither creature had any form that could easily be discerned – they were just pitch black against an already shadowed wall. With nowhere to go, they crouched in the center of their crib. Their parents recall Macweirdo42 telling them the shadows were trying to get them. 

6. At 3 A.M. one morning, VoXenau woke and went to the kitchen to get some water. On their way, they stumbled upon a shadow person sitting in the recliner in the family room. They had been seeing shadow people their entire life, so this sudden appearance was not startling. They stood still for a couple minutes to be certain it was indeed a shadow person. As their eyes adjusted to the dark, it became clearer–a shadow person was sitting in their living room staring at them. They started moving toward it. The figure seemed undaunted. When they were three feet apart, the shadow person evaporated. 

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  • Photo Credit: jb / Flickr (CC)

7. In 6th grade, So_Says_Clucifer attended a barbeque at a local park. After a day of playing with their classmates, it was time to head home. The older kids (including this Reddit user) were tasked with collecting the younger kids and getting them ready to leave. The park wasn’t that big, so finding all the kids proved easy. But then, things took a turn toward the paranormal.

About halfway across the park, they saw a dark figure of what appeared to be a toddling small child. Thinking it was one of the kids they were looking for, the user and their friend ran after the shadow, yelling at it to stop. When the figure reached the edge of the park, it turned white, dropped to all fours, ran up the tree like a cat and leapt over the wall. The user and their friend ran away terrified, unsure of exactly what they saw. 

Related: 13 People Share the Scariest Books They’ve Ever Read 

8. One night, when mrtibbles32 was five and trying to fall asleep, a shadow person appeared before their window. It seemed harmless, pacing back and forth in front of the window, appearing as if someone was floating just outside the window–but the room was on the second floor, 20 feet off the ground. No living human could be outside their window. This continued to happen. Sometimes more than one would appear, and the two shadow people would interact. The user didn’t realize what they were seeing at the time; they just believed it to be a childish fantasy like seeing Peter Pan. It was only recently that they were able to pinpoint exactly what they’d seen–and it was no Lost Boy. 

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  • Photo Credit: Kiwihug / Unsplash

9. PineWolf14 has encountered shadow people more than once. Often, they hear them breathing or feel the shadow hovering over them while they sleep. They’ve heard whispers saying “don’t move” in the middle of the night. Wisely, the user never did, but on one night this changed. Instead of lying still, they rolled over, and came face-to-face with a shadow person. If the two had been any closer, their foreheads would have been touching. They opened their mouth to scream, but there were hands around their throat, choking them. They started to thrash around, punching and kicking at the shadow person until, suddenly, the shadow person vanished. 

Related: Beyond Slenderman: 9 Disturbing Creepypastas to Read in the Dark Tonight 

10. A few years ago, Mistressofdark was sleeping over at a friend’s house and had trouble sleeping. As they were lying awake, a tall, solid black silhouette entered the bedroom. It wore a top hat and long coat and looked like a male figure. He sat in a chair beside the bed and stared at them.

After a few second, he started talking. The user doesn’t remember the conversation exactly, as the experience took place 5 years ago, but it was a harmless encounter and the shadow person seemed genuinely interested in them. Then a second shadow person appeared–the same black silhouette, but this time a woman. Strangely, she was crawling. The man sitting beside in the chair told them not to look and the woman wouldn’t notice them. She was not a good entity. Shortly after, the woman left, and at dawn, the shadow man too vanished. 

Featured photo: Aaron Mello / Unsplash; Additional photos: Valentina Locatelli / Unsplash; Douglas LeMoine / Flickr (CC); Kiwihug / Unsplash; jb / Flickr (CC)