Are Shadow People real?
When we meet people who know what we do there’s a handful of questions that get thrown our way. A top 5 if you will. There’s WAY more than that but for the sake of time let’s keep this reasonable.
Have you ever seen a Bigfoot? Every damn day.
Do you believe in ghosts? I believe in 10 different types of ghosts.
What’s up with Slenderman? Slenderwho?
What happens if a Werewolf bites a Vampire? A pretty good party I’d imagine.
And then… The Shadow People.
Inevitably, they leave disappointed. Sorry about that Creepers.
Not entirely unlike the Black-Eyed Children the Shadow Person is a modern day Creepy Pasta. A product of a radio host who had an idea made generic enough to get people to recall some genuinely creepy times (there we go!) they’ve experienced. As with any good Creepy Pasta, it’s heavily rooted in the past. Experiences we can easily relate with. Paired with a supernatural cousin that’s been around for a long time.
For Shadow People, that long lost relative is the Shade and make no mistake, that was done on purpose. Because of this, you can’t blame people for being so damned hyped about Shadow People. They are, after all, extremely familiar and pretty damn creepy.
How we fell into the shadows.
It’s time to go back to 2001. Apple introduces the iPod and everyone wants one. Harry Potter is destroying records at the box-office and when the Segway is introduced, everyone figures that’s the end of walking everywhere like a sucker.
It was a pretty good time for creepy stuff too. Gallup conducts a poll that says 73% of Americans believe in some form of Paranormal belief. That’s 3 in 4 people who believe in stuff like Witches, Ghosts, Haunted Houses, etc. Compare that to a newer Huff/Post poll conducted in 2017 that saw that number drop to 36%.
If you were on the internet and interested in the Paranormal in 2001, you were starting to see small stories creep up about Shadow People but it was all very vague. Then, something happened – it (they?) blew up. In April of the same year a late night talk show called Coast to Coast AM went all in on the Shadow People story for an entire episode.
They interviewed a respected Paranormal guest on the topic, specifically calling them “Shadow People.” They were described as tall beings, usually male and usually with a hat. They went on to say they moved in and out of shadows and that you never got a really good look at them, seemingly always catching a glimpse of them from the corner of your eye. Then they had people call in to give their first hand accounts and even send in drawings and pictures of these Shadow People.
That was all the fuel they needed. It took off from there.
By that November Heidi Hollis got in on the action and published her first book on Shadow People and then she became a regular guest on the Coast to Coast AM show. She was lending validity to a story they created and in turn, they were helping her sell more copies. Win / win.
From that point on Shadow People were a mainstay in the Paranormal fabric. It didn’t matter that you could directly trace the made up origin to an exact time and place. Regardless of the obvious manipulation, paranormal enthusiasts were ready to buy in. The Shadows were here to stay.
The life and times of Shadow People.
A few books, a movie and many, many black hoodies later, the Shadow People have found a strange niche in our collective paranormal lexicon. At our core, we know this is crap right? But we like it. We like the idea of a group shadowy entities traveling around, barely seen, causing hell, or doing good, depending on who you ask. OR, what version is popular that week.
There’s a reason we love it so much. It’s familiar. We know this story. On an evolutionary, fundamental level. We know it. Shadow People are just Shades by a different name. They’re “Shades – The Directors Cut.”
The entities known as Shades have been around since the times of the Greeks. The big Greeks! The Hesiod Greeks! They were spirits from the shadow world come to earth to do the bidding of those who controlled them. Sometimes they were good, sometimes they were bad. It depends on who’s holding the key at the time. They skulked around from shadow to shadow, right in front of you but never in sight.
We’re on the same page now right? Everything old is new again.
Now, you might be thinking: “Hold on here, this is bullshit. These people took an old story, put a new cover on it and sold us a bunch of crap!”
And… You’re not wrong but hold on there tiger, let’s cool our jets.
The most important point to remember here is that all of this is normal. It’s what we do. It is integral to our story telling. To passing down knowledge to the next generation. “You gotta get those kids somehow, right?”
The Spirit of the Forest was a mystical being intensely written about for many generations, many years ago. It lured children into doing terrible things, it would take people into the forest and they would never be seen or heard from again. She was inhumanly tall, stick-like thin, terrifying in nature. Quiet and beyond dangerous. A force. That story got boring a while back and we stopped paying attention. In modern times, she, or now he, is much more interesting as Slender Man.
It’s why, beyond any rational thought, we had to remake Halloween. There was no earthly need to. The first is literal perfection. But we need to warn a new generation of kids about sex before marriage in a forest. It ended up working out okay. Sorta.
This is part of our cultural progression to evolve these most important stories and adapt them to a new time. Even if your only interest is to sell more hoodies.
One last time then, do Shadow People exist?
My genuine belief is that they exist as something that has been around for a long time. Something that is connected to humans on a deeply intricate and important level. They exist because, generation after generation, we continue to will them back into existence.
We have an innate attraction to the Shade, now Shadow People, a force that compels us to continue telling its story.
In this way, I am absolutely certain that yes, Shadow People are real and I’ll never trust a dark corner in any room. The Greeks knew better and so should you.