ObscUrban Legend Wikia
Shadow People
An alleged photo
Type Being
Continent All
Country All
One-Time? No
Theories  · Hoax
 · Interdimensional traveler
 · Demonic presence

A Shadow Person (also known as a Shadow Figure, Shadow Being, or Black Mass) is the perception of a patch of shadow as a living, humanoid figure, particularly as interpreted by believers in the paranormal or supernatural as the presence of a spirit or other entity. According to believers, they are seen flickering on walls and ceilings in the viewer's peripheral vision.

The shadow people are very similar to the Black Stickmen.


Shadow People are described as being completely black humanoid creatures made of pure shadows. They are often reported moving with quick, jerky movements, and quickly disintegrate into walls or mirrors. They are believed to be evil and aggressive in nature, although a few people consider them to be a form of guardian angel.

There are two sub-types of the "Shadow Person" phenomenon: the Hat Man and the Cloaked Figure. Both of these are considered shadow people, but possess unique looks. The Hat Man is often described as wearing either a top hat or a fedora, but otherwise acting and looking like a normal shadow person. The Cloaked Figure is described as wearing a long robe and a hood.

Possible Explanations[]

There are several explanations as to what the creature could be. Theories include:

  • A hoax
  • An interdimensional traveler
  • A demonic presence
  • hallucination

Notable Encounters[]

When I was younger, there was a "man" at the top of my stairs. I used to go to the bathroom every night between about 12 and 3 and he would always be there! He was a shadow on a mirror. I was only about four or five, but other people saw him, too. He even tried to push one of them down the stairs! Since moving into the house across the road, though, I haven't seen or heard from him. I can't go in my old house upstairs, because there's a very unwelcome and hostile feeling to it. I still can't work out who he is. I've also seen him in my friends' houses, and he just stands there... looking at me, although there's no face, just a shadow. [sic] -Lauren, Paranormal.about.com

I'm in my teens and from New Zealand. Half a year ago, I would lie on my bed and casually surf the net. From the corner of my eye I would see a dark mass on top of my wardrobe facing towards me. But when I finally turned to it, it shrank to nothing - quite fast. At night the black mass would be by my bedside or at the doorway. I would hide under the covers and curl up in a ball. I just wanted to cry for help. [sic] -Amie, Paranormal.about.com

Hey guys, I probably posted this story on here many years ago (decade or more) but can't be sure. Okay, so a heap of weird shit had gone down in the home our rather large family of eleven individuals resided in. The shadow man with the hat and coat is the one I'll share here. Mainly because in 1999-2000, I decided to see if I could find out anything about this entity and came across an almost identical drawing to what I saw on a semi-regular basis as a little kid. This particular night, the hat endowed shadow appeared outside the bedroom window and was suddenly inside, in our bedroom. My sister and I had beds that ran parallel, with the foot ends facing the window. I spot the shadow man and see he is moving but not actually walking closer towards me. My little sister yells out, "don't let him get you". I quickly roll on my tummy (I was seven, Cate was six IIRC) but as I'm looking at him, I see he has something in his hand. I hide my face and feel three distinct prods on my left shoulder blade. I saw this entity probably a half dozen times in that room but there was a heap of other weird crap that went on there as well. So, any of you lovely lot ever experienced anything like this? A lot of people would just say it was a simple hypnogogic experience, which I would've probably have dismissed it as such once I became familiar with the term but for the fact that my little sister saw him and yelled out. [sic] -LauraRoslin, forum.forteantimes.com


  • In 2010, the apparitions were described as one of the most regularly reported paranormal phenomena in the United States.
  • The stories of shadow people have been compared to those of the Raven Mocker, a witch from Cherokee Indian mythology who sometimes appears as a shadowy phantom, and the Islamic Jinn.
v · e · d
North American Beings
Axeman Of New Orléans · Black Flash · Cloak Man of Clifton Heights · Danbury Frog People · Dark Baby · Donkey Lady · Flaming Bruja · Grinning Man · Harlequin · Houston Batman · Invisible Man of Palmetto · Mad Gasser of Mattoon · Maryland Goatman · Man in the Plastic Bag · Mauston Birdman · Melonheads · Mexican Being of Light · Muppet Clown · NASA Gargoyle · New England Faceless People · Ohio Bridge Trolls · Pedro the Pygmy · Phantom Barber · Phantom Clowns · Phantom Whistler of Louisiana · Pig Lady · Santa Lucias Dark Watchers · The Smiley Face Killer · Stroudsburg Rain Man · Subway Man · The Green Man · Toronto Tunnel Monster · Toxic Lady
South American Beings
Argentina Gnome · Peruvian Giants · The Hiper Bompreço self-immolator
Asian Beings
Glowing Winged Woman of Vietnam · Issik Kul Lake Swimmers · Monkey-man of Delhi · The Man from Taured · Tsunami Spirit
European Beings
Green Children of Woolpit · Headless Angel of Portugal · Invisible Smoker · Jophar Vorin · Le Loyon · The Manchester Pusher · Pérák · Ratman · Whipping Tom
African Beings
Door Dogs
Australian Beings
Miscellaneous Beings
Black Eyed Children · Black Stick Men · Demolition Elves · Dopplegangers · Flying Humanoid · Operators · Shadow People · Time Travelers
v · e · d
Miscellaneous Cryptids
Antarctic Godzilla · Bermuda Beast · Kabagon · Ningen · Qupqugiaq · Rhinoceros Dolphin · Sky Jellyfish · Sky Serpents
Miscellaneous Alien Sightings
4chan Grey Alien · Martian Sasquatch
Miscellaneous UFO Sightings
Black Knight Satellite · Foo Fighters
Miscellaneous Hauntings
Miscellaneous Phenomena
Aging Doll · Angel Hair · Bloop · Bottomless Pits · Cameraheads · Eerie Silence Phenomenon · Glitches in Reality · Panic in the Woods · Ringing Stones · Skyquakes · Smoke Ring · Solar Plexus Clown Gliders · Star Jelly · The Third Man · UVB-76 (The Buzzer)
Miscellaneous Beings
Black Eyed Children · Black Stick Men · Demolition Elves · Dopplegangers · Flying Humanoid · Operators · Shadow People · Time Travelers
Miscellaneous Events
Disappearance of Amy Bradley · Roberto Ferreira Nobrega time travel claims
Miscellaneous Locations
Endless Elevators


Photo Gallery[]