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Lacroix's avatar

Who, or what, are the Shadow People?

Asked by Lacroix (519 points ) November 10th, 2009

Many people have reported seeing the black outlines of people watching them for brief moments before disappearing. Sometimes the shadows are said to have glowing red eyes. This phenomena seems to be on the rise.

I have heard theories ranging from fairies to time travelers regarding their origins. What do you think? What are these beings? Do they even exist, or are thousands of people simply hallucinating the same thing. If it is just a hallucination, what is the cause of it?

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24 Answers

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DominicX's avatar

Trick of the mind? Optical illusion? I certainly don’t believe it’s anything paranormal.

NewZen's avatar

Too much time playing video games.

MacBean's avatar

I get that sometimes. I wasn’t aware that it’s becoming a popular phenomenon. I put it down to a combination of constant exhaustion and a very active imagination. I’d be interested to laugh read about some of the other theories.

rangerr's avatar

I think we talked about this on another question or two.
If it’s just the outlines of a person, I think it’s just your mind.
If you’re actually seeing a person.. like details and all, that’s when I start to question it.

Or, everyone just needs to lay off the drugs.

XOIIO's avatar

Your not seeing me… Ummm I mean anything… Heh heh

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Stress, insomnia, too much pill popping, could be a lot of things. Sceery.

nzigler's avatar

Where is this phenomena being reported out of curiosity?

peedub's avatar

The Wendigo?

nebule's avatar

an epiphenomenon of seeing the monster in LOST?

Grisaille's avatar

would you quit giving Dan Brown ideas

dammit

kevbo's avatar

I’ve never heard of this as a phenomena, but this shit seems to happen to me all the time at home (minus the red eyes—I never see that). I see movement out of the corner of my eye and abstract swirling dark things near the ceiling when I turn out the lights and go to bed. It doesn’t help that my house creaks like a mofo.

I just assumed it was a consequence of assimilating too many nut job conspiracy theories.

Oh… also, I thought it was really odd that similar shadowy figures were incorporated in the ending of the film “Ghost”, but now that I know about this as a real or imagined phenomena, it makes a little more sense.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I saw the Q, and immediately, I thought, Andy Gibb! He was one of the Shadow People! Uh-huh!

mattbrowne's avatar

Sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations.

grumpyfish's avatar

I’ve experienced this many times, and for me it’s directly correlated to sleep deprivation.

Lacroix's avatar

@mattbrowne and @grumpyfish Supposing you’re wide awake, though, and not on medication?

grumpyfish's avatar

@Lacroix That’s what I was saying—I’ve not seen this when I wasn’t sleep deprived, and can actually judge my level of sleep deprivation by the effect.

Not saying other people haven’t seen different, just my experience =)

mattbrowne's avatar

@Lacroix – Have a look here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallucination#Scientific_explanations

I guess there’s tons of more information on the web. Ghosts and their ilk are fiction and we should enjoy them for entertainment purposes only.

grumpyfish's avatar

@mattbrowne They should come with that warning label. “The apparition you have just seen is for entertainment purposes only.”

dooj's avatar

They are the shadows of people whose personalities have split.

fundevogel's avatar

I remember hearing something about this. The general scientific consensus seems to be that it is an artifact of how the human eye processes peripheral vision. I’m too lazy to look it up and I don’t know an extraordinary amount about how the human eye works, but the fact that they can not be seen directly, even by accident is pretty damning.

mattbrowne's avatar

@grumpyfish – I couldn’t agree more. I think there’s enough magic in real nature. Personally I find quantum tunneling more dazzling than ghosts and quantum interference and the idea of shadow photons more mind-boggling than poltergeists and zombies.

So we could have labels like “The sunshine you have just seen is the result of little guys walking through doors without opening them.”

Isn’t this ‘paranormal’ enough to have some fun?

Shadowhunter's avatar

Jason Offutt wrote darkness walks. If you’re interested.
Shadow people have been reported all over the world. Though the main body of reports started in the late 90’s, shadow people and shadow creatures have been reported since the 1940’s. before the radio show The Shadow. No one knows what they are. Certainly some sighting are induced by sleep paralysis, etc. the interesting ones are the reports of daytime sightings, by multiple unrelated people. Quantum physics has a explanations for these shadow beings(?). bubble universe theories, alternate dimensions, etc.

There are three types reported in all cultures and countries. A tall shadow wearing a fedora type hat, known as Hatman, short hooded ones, and shadow creatures.
Some of the reports included descriptions of red glowing eyes. The electric stimulation of a part of the parietal lobe will create this effect as well. Hypnagogic effects cataplexy etc.
in a study Offutt refers to protocol that eliminates testimonial by subjects taking ANY medication, legal or otherwise. If its not meta physical, then it’s quantum. If its imagination, then why do people of all different races and religions report the same thing.? I’m curious too.
And why the sudden increase in reports? From everywhere?
Cheers

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