Shadow People: What are they?

Shadow People: What Are They?



Different authors and people in the paranormal have their theories as to what a shadow person is, and these ideas come from all fields of study and belief, ranging from metaphysics, religious ideals, parapsychology, cryptozoology, even the occult and demonology.


Others have ideas that shadow people are thought forms, ghosts themselves or sometimes even demonic forces. A thought form, by the way, as most people are familiar with the basic ideas of what a ghost and demon may be, is a manifestation of mental energy from a thinker or person into a semi corporeal (physical) form. They called tulpas alternatively and the idea for them comes from Tibetan and Hindu mysticism.

Further speaking of the tulpas, there is a book called Thought Forms by Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater, which is essentially study on the power of the nature of thoughts. They state as their premise that thoughts have two effects on the physical world, a “radiating vibration” and a “floating form” and going further, they break up their classification of thought forms into several different categories:

  • Thought forms that take the image of the thinker
  • Thought forms that take the image of a material object
  • Thought forms which take the form of a unique entity all of its own, expressing its inherence qualities in the matter which draws around it.

The book also examines the effects of music, emotion and colors in regards to thought forms as well.  Some people feel that shadow people are creatures from another plane of existence that overlaps ours.  Oddly, others believe that shadow people are two dimensional entities that reside or pass through our three dimensional reality and are somehow tied into Grey Aliens.


This explanation is often tied into deep and twisted conspiracy buff theories and I personally don’t hold much to it. I personally prefer the tulpas theory for most shadow people experiences.


Remember, at any given time there may be more than just your own thought forms in a given area if that theory holds true. Tulpas may also be present during poltergeist outbreaks when people believe they are seeing demonic forms and monstrous creatures…if a thought form takes the form of your thoughts, and you are angry, distressed or worried, one must consider, what would anger look like given form? Or fear? Or passion? I can almost bet it wouldn’t be pretty.

Of course, these are all possible and none confirmed. Now that we have explored the paranormal possible causes, we also need to be balanced and examine logical explanations as it always best to eliminate all possible rational explanations first before jumping to paranormal conclusion.
Many different scientific principles can explain the effects experienced during shadow people encounters, including hallucinations and optical illusions brought on by different physiological or psychological conditions, drug use and or the interaction of external agents on the human body.

Also, images seen in the peripheral area (edge) of vision can be caused by what is termed pareidolia, which means in simple terms, when your brain incorrectly interprets complex lines, colors, light or shadow or texture that may appear to be something familiar…the common term used by us and the majority of other researchers was coined by Grant Wilson, matrixing.
Hypnagogia, what is known as “waking-sleep” is a condition in which a person is half way asleep and half way awake.  While in this state, people can be conscious and aware of their environment but also at the same time in a dream like state, where images from their own subconscious may be perceived; they often report lights, and shadows moving around them, or faces in the dark as well as a heavy feeling of impending dread.


This is one of the effects of sleep paralysis, as you noted earlier with the paralysis part coming from your body’s natural tendency to paralyze itself while in REM sleep to avoid reacting to internal dream stimuli. Sleep paralysis is another good possible explanation or even lucid dreaming, while rare, may be occurring in which it would almost be a waking dream.


So in the end, shadow people are as mysterious as ever, another mystery to be solved in time.

— Anthony Justus


About Anthony Justus

Paranormal investigator, writer, seeker of knowledge and truth in all its forms, dark and light. Nothing is what it seems; there is nothing so strange as truth and truth is elusive as the shadow cast in the deepest night.
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One Response to Shadow People: What are they?

  1. Christopher says:

    Shadow Person Story: It was about 1 am, very dark in a hotel room. I wake up from a strange dream I forgot about. I can’t move at all. A figure appears near where the door is. I freak out. I try to close my eyes but I can’t keep them closed, like some force breaks them open. Every time I closed and opened my eyes, it gets a tiny bit closer. I wake my parents up. They say I’m going through sleep paralysis. After they go back to sleep, the person runs to the other side of the room and disappears. It is the only time it has happened.

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