The shadow people are dark forms you see moving out of the corner of your eye. You look straight at them, and they're gone, so you tell yourself that you just imagined it.
In form, the shadowfolk are like a silhoutte of a person (sometimes a child), often shaped like they were wearing a cloak or a 1930s fedora. Sometimes they manifest glowing eyes of doom. They show up in folklore, popular culture and paranormal studies.
In Occultism and Parapsychology:
Shadow people may be a type of egregore, thoughtform, or mythago.
Shadow people may be a form of ghost or demon. They may be naturally attracted to places of great psychological trauma, or may be summoned by black magic.
They may ordinary people from another Plane of Existence that is out phase with, or only partially overlaps, our own.
They may be a projection of the viewer - perhaps his Jungian Shadow or Anima/Animus made visible.
Perhaps this is what a doppelgaenger looks like before it is fully formed.
Perhaps 'shadow people' are in fact a symptom of being scried upon - or at least the result of a mistake by the scrier so that the target is aware of his presence, perhaps interpreted in the form of a hallucinatory shadow.
In Conspiracy Theory and UFOlogy:
The Shadow Folk may have an extraterrestrial origin.
Links have been drawn between the shadow men and Alien Greys.
Other links have been drawn to Reptilians brought to the popular consciousness by David Icke.
In Science and Skepticism:
Various theories have been proposed to explain away Shadow People as Pareidolia, hallucination, optical illusion, the side-effects of psychotropic drug use, photosensitive seizures, hypnagogia, and stimulation of the temporal lobe by electromagnetic field.
Shadow People as considered by the occultists at Diabolical Confusions. Another occultist on the same site considers them to be an intermediate stage in a demon taking physical form.
Game and Story Use
- Some fun can be had with the "am I being watched, or am I going crazy?" conundrum.
- Or by presenting a character who is certifiably crazy, but is also being watched or haunted by Shadow People as well.
- There may be a form of technology that takes you out of phase with reality.
- In this case, the Shadow People might be government spies, assassins, or secret police. See also or Remote Viewing.
- They may be members of several alien species studying the earth.
- Shadow People could be the manifestation of Time Travel. In the future, the world is so crowded, people give up their bodies. In the process, some gain the ability to project themselves into the past. Or something like that.
- They may be some form of undead or shadow elemental.