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Do You See Shadow Spirits?

Shadow spirits tunnel

Have you ever caught a fleeting shadow out of the corner of your eye? Or awakened from a dream to find a looming presence near your bed? Or come face to face with a dark shadow in your kitchen that melts away, leaving you feeling disturbed and not quite alone? You may have seen shadow spirits.

There are two possible explanations for seeing shadow spirits. The first and possibly the most common is that you were in a state of hypnogogia. Hypnogogia is the halfway stage between wakefulness and sleep. Sometimes it’s called ‘threshold consciousness’, when you are just edging out of a dream to recognizing you’re safely in your own bed. This is the time when we are most likely to experience mild hallucinations, such as shadows of people or animals. Shadow ghost

Photo Credit: SamueleGhilardi Flickr via Compfight cc

Some people have reported sightings of shadowy figures in the road when driving. This might be the brain’s method of waking you up if you are in danger of nodding off at the wheel. There’s nothing like being jerked awake just as you are about to mow down a ghost.

The second explanation for seeing shadow spirits is that you are actually seeing shadow spirits. 

Angeline came home around midnight after a night out with friends. Her parents and younger sister were asleep in their rooms. Without turning on an overhead light she opened the refrigerator to get some juice. As she reached for the carton, she had a feeling that she wasn’t alone. She turned to see a shadow of a man a few feet away. She couldn’t make out his features, only that it seemed to be male from its height and build. As she stared, the shadow melted away. She thought it must have been the effects of the two glasses of wine she had drunk earlier. She turned back to the fridge to retrieve the juice. Just as she swung the door shut the shadow figure was right by her side before instantly disappearing. Now she never walks through the house at night without a light on.

What Do Shadow Spirits Look Like?

People have described shadow apparitions in various ways. Most report that the figure is a plain dark, featureless shadow. Others have described seeing red or amber eyes, but no other distinguishing features. Many say that the shadows often include a hat, usually identified as one from earlier times.The shadow figure is usually a darker mass than its surroundings – it is sometimes just a regular shadow, at others it is ‘darker than the darkest void imaginable’.

shadow spirits man

Shadow people can be static or moving. They usually disappear when looked at directly. They appear to move quickly into a dark corner or doorway. When a light is switched on, there is no-one there. A good example of a shadow figure can be seen at The photo was taken at West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, WV. The woman who took the photo, Polly Gear, was part of a paranormal investigative team who had rented the penitentiary for a spot of ghost hunting.

Are Shadow Figures Malevolent?

There is no evidence to show that shadow figures can be dangerous. It is the frightening aspect of their appearance that can affect people who see them. Especially those who see them often. 

Energetically, some report feeling no malicious energy or emotions coming from the shadow figure, but others say that they have felt a feeling of malevolence permeate the room. One man says that back in 2002 he and his fiance rented a house together with their three year old daughter. The child woke up crying several times complaining about the ‘monster’ in her room. Then the father began to wake inexplicably in the night to see a dark gray shadow of a figure in the corner of the room. His fiance woke one time and saw a shorter gray shadow of a faceless child standing next to her. The final straw came when the man awoke to see a formless shadow floating near the ceiling in the corner… “4-5 feet long and 1½-2 feet wide” – he says he’d never felt pure evil like that in his life. Needless the say, the family moved out after that. They never experienced the shadow people again.

What are Shadow Spirits?

There’s no doubt that shadow spirits are a variation of ghosts, though the theory has been offered that the figures are ‘leak throughs’ from another dimension.

Many appearances can be attributed to the aforementioned hypnogogia, sleep paralysis, nightmares and drug abuse. Yet there are too many accounts, especially those where two or more people have witnessed shadowy specters, to dismiss shadow figures as figments of overworked imaginations.

Yvonne and her son had just moved into a new build house when one night her son yelled out. Yvonne walked down the hall to his room to see if he was okay. The boy was visibly shaken and described seeing a shadow man wearing a trench coat and a hat standing in the doorway that Yvonne had just come through. She wondered if her ex had got into the house, when her son pointed behind her and said, “There he is!” As she looked and saw exactly what her son had described, the shadow ‘vaporized’. Later Yvonne began dating a man who lived nearby, they were talking about whether they believed in ghosts when he mentioned that his granddaughter often said she’d seen a shadow spirit wearing a coat and a ‘Van Helsing’ hat when she was younger.

Shadow spirits tunnel

What to do if You See a Shadow Figure

If you awake suddenly and see a shadowy figure in your room, don’t panic. Breathe, and remember that this is common in cases of sleep paralysis and hypnogogia. Tell yourself that you’ll just give it a moment while you wake up properly – even if you feel wide awake, you might not be. 

Should you see a shadow spirit while in your house, know that it can’t hurt you. It’s past energy imprinting itself on the present moment. Try asking it who it is – when shadow ghosts are addressed directly they usually disappear.

Try to get other people to witness the apparition. Get a friend round for a sleepover or ask your older sister to sleep in your room.

Research your home and local area to find out if there have been other sightings or whether you can link the shadow spirit back to some event or person who lived there.

Visit The Official Shadow People Archives.

Please share your experiences of your own shadowy visitors. Contact one of our experienced psychics for advice.

Images via Pixabay, except where stated otherwise.

0 Responses

  1. Hi! I see shadow figures almost daily since age 5 (I'm 28 now). I've seen them in every country i've visited (16). The dread and severe malice feeling has come through about two dozen times in my life – you can feel the negative energy in the room right when you walk in at night – you instantly want to leave. I've learned that smudging sage and always wearing grounding crystals helps me specifically. In the past, my shadow figures materialize into a victorian era woman in high heels and a hat and vail, and a 30's era man in the hat with the button on the top, a vest, and a cigar. I can sense the age of the shadows even without any marking features somehow – there's a child shadow who jumps around on the couch and is short in my home in Iceland, and there's an older gentleman shadow that comes thorugh my door into my closet almost daily in my home in Boston. I also have shadows that can't possibly be human – swampy looking shadows like they are covered in seaweed, shadows with the dali elephant stilt legs and arms, half human shadows with horse / upright dog legs, octupus spiders (they're octupus but crawl like spiders). I've seen some weird things 🙂 

  2. Hi A, you surely have seen some weird things! First of all, even though you have felt malice directed at you, nothing has actually hurt you. Secondly, if you have found that sage and crystals protect you, then ramp it up. Research everything you can on psychic protection. We have an article here – it’s focussed on protecting yourself from a psychic attack, which is not what you are experiencing, but it has got some suggestions that may help you.

    I’d also suggest keeping you phone with you and attempting to photograph the apparitions. The results might be either reassuring or very interesting. One more thing, is to connect with someone who could be with you when you think one of these appearances might occur, preferably someone who migh have experience of this.

    Good luck and keep us posted.


  3. The first comment. You may be experiencing psychosis please visit appropriate medical professional, anyway, I had a dream about some random thing. It was all going good , good feelings , toward the end I was about to wake , walking through a clearing in a wood on a hill , it was bright.. I had this feeling like something was watching me so I forced myself to turn my head ( hard to do in a dream ) then I saw it , like a shadowy figure there were leaves and sticks whriling around it and possibly protruding from it like some sort of camouflage,I had a instant sense of dread or knowing.  it noticed me looking at it and took flight , and literally boosted into the horizon with incredible speed. I awoke after that , and the image and scene stayed with me almost like I wasn't supposed to turn my head and see it , like I could of walked past and awoke without ever noticing it.  I don't think my mind made that thing. I dont know if its the same as what you're talking about but I found nothing else on the net.

    I'm planning on studying lucid dreaming and doing battle with it in the wilds. Wish me luck




  4. I had a tussle yesterday night with my husband so I slept in other room alone . I and my husband live together alone. I was disturbed but I slept . At 2 a.m, I felt a tingling sensation on my stomach . Thought it was due to the fan and slept without getting into the trouble . After an hour and so, it was so prominent a feeling that woke up with my eyes wide open. I saw some black shadow right next to me. I thought it was my husband come to wake me up but the shadow moved away and went behind the curtain. I was numb and scared . It was Asif it was saying “Go to your husband”. I went immediately to my husband and hugged him tight as guided in my mind. The apparition also said something that I shouldn’t be violent and be more peaceful. I slept after that when I heard my husband saying sorry in his sleep. 

    I lost my mother this January since then I have been reading too much on life after death and mysteries of life and death. I have had few more experiences which have been paranormal. 

    Should I consult some healer or psychiatrist?  Disturbing though as I can’t share with anyone else.

  5. My name is Jake.    I probably have one of the worst cases of sleep paralysis….I know there is different stages of sleep paralysis' my stage is maxed.  From falling asleep and not even know you asleep, meaning your still in your room but you don't know that you have falling asleep… I'm ok with that stage , can be creepy but that's all.    But I can tell when sleep paralysis is about to happen.  1  as you start to fall asleep you body will tinkle to the point where it hurts. You can try to wake yourself before it's to late.    2   weight will be sitting on top of you and then once you fully locked down and unable to move and your using everything you can to break free or even make a sound.   3   big guy really big shadow will appear. Not cool just the present of him is horrible .

    4  he starts making weird deep deep sound.   5  he's knows you are aware and will respond to your thoughts. Best not to make him mad !!!!!!!!

    6  he takes the covers off you  

    7 stage 7 is my stage.  Levitating above frozen , or him tapping on the foot first and when you realise something just tapped the bottom of you foot. Snatched from my bed and thrown around my room with extreme force because I cursed at him.  Or the bed tilting up on its corner and slowly beng pulled down by you feet .  There is so much more that I don't even want to type!!!      It doesn't matter where you are of if it's dark or light he will show .       I've seen him disappear without me waking up or whatever it is.    A shadow will always find its way back to a electric object. Lamp or outlet mainly never goes up tho.    I've been dealing with this since I was 12 running in my mom's room crying in fear night after night . My wife will wake me when I'm in it . She has saved me so many times.     My name is Jacob brown and this is the first time I've shared my story.    


  6. Way scary, Jacob. Thanks for sharing. How does your wife describe what is happening when you are in Stage 7? Presumably, the bed is not tilting and neither are you being thrown around the room? 

    Suggestion: Set up some cameras so that the whole room is within view. When you watch the recordings back, you will see that nothing is happening apart from you probably thrashing around a bit, and then being very still. Now know that your visions are just that. They are not real. Your brain is creating them. So now you have to tackle the root cause of it all. I’d put money on it that it is from repressed childhood fears. There’s a portion of your emotional self that has to express itself. It can’t do it in real life so it creates these horrifying scenarios in order to bring the fear from deep in your subconscious. Then it’s all pushed back in again and the cycle continues.

    Find yourself a cousellor who is familiar with dealing with such issues. They can even work long-distance over Skype or whatever. 




  7. My boyfriend lost his brother a month ago, hes normally a very strong willed person but has been very depressed. Over the past few weeks, sometimes twice a night hes had what he calls a "witch" riding his back. He manages to get enough noise out to wake me so I can wake him up.  Could this be something attaching itself to him since hes not in his right state of mind at the moment? Can anyone suggest anything we could do to make this stop? 

  8. This literally just happened…9/14/18 @ like 6:30am est…I walked out of my house to walk my dog. There's a church parking g lot at the end of our street and when I turned to walk that way with my pup I saw a black shadow figure, that looked exactly like my boyfriend, walking through the parkibg lot toward me. It was the same build, had the same walk, and it was to the point where I thought it was my boyfriend. When I started walking in the direction that this thing was it just disappeared. That's when I knew it wasn't my boyfriend and it was something else. It legit scared the crap out of me because I really thought it was my man but then it was just gone. I've never had this happen before or have seen a shadow person. My boyfriend sees them a lot and has ever since he was a boy. Can someone maybe explain why it would appear to me as my man..

  9. Hi ,

    I had a experience in a friends bedroom that I  was staying at. There was molecues in the  room and different colours. I was scared and ran out of the room and I looked back to see if this was still happening.I was curious and when i looked back it was still happening.Can some one explained what was happening to me.

  10. Can anybody help with this if you have the six sense can you help me there has been more activity sense after I got possessed and I need help!

  11. I see shadow animals and people all the time, and only a few of them have ever had an evil presence. Two of my friends see them as well and one them says that one she sees frequently, a large wolf, is almost like her protector, waking her from nightmares and laying down on top of her when she gets cold, warming her up. I see similar animals all the time, people not as much. I understand that they can be unnerving, but they aren't harmful. I really want to be able to talk to someone about the shadows creatures I see and learn more about shadow animals.

  12. I guess i need some help. I have been seeing orbs and shadow people since i was young. They have increased in the last few months. I vomit everyday and have night terrors. I have become physically violent and self harming. I am almost 40 and never spanked my child worked hard and ignored this. I recently sought out a priest but it is getting worse. I know i have abilites but how do i control them??

  13. I have been shadow people for about 14 years now, always in between sleep and awake, they are usually black shadows with red eyes standing near or on my bed staring at me, I would finally fully awake in terror, but last night I was I the same transition and this time it was a white shadow and it walked toward me and reached for me, I finally was able to scream so loud and jumped on top of my husband I scared him terribly he even screamed, but at the moment I screamed the TV powered on then off and on and off and so did the cable box. This is the first time the shadow actually moved toward me can someone please help me.

  14. Hey jake have you ever noticed your shadow figure carrying a weapon of any sort? Just trying to figure out if I’m the only one.

  15. Hi. The past maybe 9 years, I’ve seen shadows after waking up. A lady walking into my bathroom, a man standing at the window beside my bed pointing out and tonight a man that got up off the corner of my bed and walked to my closet and disappeared. He was so real looking and even stretched before he went to reach for the door of my closet. 

    I don’t really know why I’ve been seeing them but it’s scary and very cool all at the same time. 

    Anyone have any thoughts? 

  16. Hi,

    I am 36 years old man – today happened something very strange for the first time in my life – I was in the bad just getting ready to fall a sleep in one moment I realise that some animal maybe a wild pig because that what gave me impression of sound was sitting on my legs I was trying to turn around but couldn’t move at all also that animal was saying something but I couldn’t understand what just some letters…. well that’s what happened to me earlier today for first time ever. 

    Nothing else to say. 

  17. I'm currently experiencing the same situation, I've personall not seen it but my girlfriend wakes every other night (not in a panic or fear) saying theres a shadow figure standing next to me or walking by my side of the bed, she initially thought this was me going to the toilet.but when I look it disappears, after asking for a description of what she saw she states it's a shadowed figure of similar height and build to myself, mainly on my side of the bed and that it stands there looking at me, this occurred again last night with the figure being even closer to me than usual, this time she said it was the same figure as previously described but this time she could see its face, with an ethereal white glow, also mentioning the face was similar to mine minus the beard

    ive purched a night vision cam in hopes of catching anything to see for myself. Has anyone had experiences of shadow people looking like themselves??

  18. Troi, Thats the best explanation and advice I've have read on this subject to date. Level headed and to the point. Bravo. Some of the other advice just adds to the hysteria and that adds stress to the one asking for help, which is no help at all. 

  19. My aunts husband died about a month ago in the home after a long battle with copd. As I was driving to visit my mom the holy spirit instructed me to stop and visit her. As I came up on the porch ,looking through the screen door she waved me in and I saw a shadowy image walk a way from her into the kitchen. I thought it to be her son as I entered I asked who is with her ,she replied ,no one.  I walked in to the kitchen to look and saw no one. I've had this on mind quite a bit trying to put it in perspective but dont really understand. 

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