Types of Shadow People – What They Are And What They Want

Several Types of Shadow People

Shadow people haunt our darkest nights.A good bit of confusion exists over just what a shadow person is and how to define them.  It is obvious that there are several types of shadow people all with different sources and motives.

Shadow people are a pariah to our darkest fears.  Anyone can imagine waking in the middle of the night only to see in their sleepy haze, a shape standing in the dark doorway to their room.  A shape that is darker than the surrounding night.  A shape that seems malevolent, standing and watching you as you sleep.

You can imagine the thoughts that would go through your head. What is it? Where did it come from? What does it want? How long has it been there?

In this article we will look at some basic information that is common to all shadow people and then break things down into some possible classes of shadow people that people may encounter.

Basic Definition Of Shadow People

Before we delve into the types of shadow people, we should go over the commonalities of the entities that fall under the category of shadow people.  Some common features of shadow people are:

  • A shape that is generally male in appearance
  • They are aware of us and react to our ob serving them
  • The typical shadow person is tall, ranging from about 6′ to 7′
  • Very often they seem to be wrapped in a cloak or large old fashioned cloak
  • Hats are not uncommon
  • Their appearance has depth to it, unlike a shadow cast on a wall that is flat
  • Quite typically they have no visible eyes, but some will have glowing red eyes
  • Shadow people are rarely reported to have spoken or tried to communicate
  • Physical objects seem to not matter to them and they can walk through walls
  • Can have a demonic shape and demeanor

This list encompasses the bulk of the entities that fall under the very broad heading of Shadow People.

Shadow People Motivations

Because the classification of Shadow People is so large, their motivations are fairly wide ranging.  Often times the apparent motivation of shadow people is tied to their source.

Lurking Shadow People

Cloaked is just one of the types of Shadow People you may encounterGenerally found in homes and very often around bedrooms, the classic shadow people tend to be lurking.  They will stand in door ways or corners and just watch their victims. These types of shadow entities don’t generally seem to have any intent, they are just there observing.  Sometimes they will wander a location, following people, or stalking them. Quite often they flee at being noticed, vanishing around corners or simply by going through a solid wall.

Typically these are the classic human shaped shadows, sometimes with a hat and often times with a cloak or large coat. Less common is a vague figure, more like a human with a cloth over them sort of shape.

Encounters with this class of shadow people typically install a sense of dread or foreboding. Whether this is just part of our instinctive reaction to seeing something dark in the night, or if they actually exude a sense of fear around them is open for debate. Some seem to just be observing us with unspoken intent.

This class of Shadow People seem primarily to be attached to an individual and have been known to follow people from one location to the next.

Caution  should be used though with any of these entities, as a neutral in intent shadow person may actually be a hostile one waiting for an opening.

Dangerous or Aggressive Shadow People

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that some shadow people fitting the classic description are in fact malevolent. This is why I think all shadow entities should be treated with a high level of caution. Even if a shadow person is not initially hostile, it may just be a ploy. Considering that we are dealing with entities that may have a much different perception of time than we do, they are very capable of waiting for humans to break down or have a weak moment, giving them an opportunity to act on us.

If you experience a persistent shadow person, use a significant level of caution!

Visitors And Transient Shadow People

There seem to be a class of shadow people that are less interested in what we are doing but have their own agenda. They are seen typically going from one place to another, and seem not particularly interested in the goings on of those that observe them.

Of all the types of Shadow People, these are the least understood as they do not linger and interact with us.

Shadow Figures As Omens

Some sightings of shadow people appear to be omens or portents of something bad happening, much like the the legends of seeing a Barghest (Hell Hound) is a portent of death.

Similarly to the lurking type Shadow People, these entities are generally associated with just one person and are a more transitory occurrence, stopping after the event or tragedy has taken place.

Haunting Shadow Figures

The last main class of Shadow People are those tied to a location and seem to haunt only that area. Several types of shadow people make up this large group and their motivations vary considerably depending on the type of Shadow Person.  In general though, those that haunt a location tend to be more malevolent and dangerous to encounter.  They are less likely to flee when spotted and may actually choose to attack instead.

In my estimation, the least malevolent of this class are simply spirits that are negative in nature.  At the extreme other end of the spectrum are the worst of the Shadow People, the demonic shadow creatures.  What they want is usually to express their emotions on us.  For weaker ones, that could be scratches and sick feelings.  Stronger entities, are capable of full on possessions, throwing objects or shoving people.

If you decide to investigate an area with a known, repeating shadow entity, please use extreme caution.

4 Main Types Of Shadow People

Now that we have explored their motivations and where you may encounter them, we need to talk about the main types of shadow people.  There seems to be some relationship to the shape or form that a shadow person has to where they are found and what their intent is.

Human Shaped Shadow People

These make up the bulk of the Shadow People sightings, and include the typical cloaked figure and  shadow people wearing hats.  These can come in a variety of combinations.  Obviously what these shadow people are is pure speculation at this point in time.

The persistent shadow people of the lurking variety don’t generally seem to be purely evil in intent, and almost seem more interested in us or at least in feeding off our energy.  Others are simply negative manifestations of spirits. Almost universally though, they are a sign of something negative.

Black Mass Shadow People

Less human in form, but still of that general size and the black mass type of shadow people give the impression of being a human figure but more fuzzy or blurred.  They can change in shape, forming more of a cloud, but the impression is always that an entity it there.

It is my assertion that many of these black mass Shadow People are former negative spirits that have begun growing in power and are losing their human identity.  As they absorb more and more negative emotion their sense of being human and who they are fades and becomes distorted. In the end, the become a form of the following type of shadow people, demonic.

Demonic Shadow People With Red Eyes

Definitely the most dangerous of the types of Shadow People, demonic shadows should be avoided at all costs.  Among Shadow People, these are one of the few types that you can sometimes see the eyes of.  Many accounts of them talk of glowing red eyes, which is a particularly bad sign.

Demonic forms vary widely, but usually retain a humanoid shape, but are often exaggerated in height, have wings or horns or elongated fingers. They do not give the impression of being a normal ghost or sentient entity.

Luckily these demonic Shadow People are typically tied to one location

Other Forms Of Shadow People

There are yet more forms that fall into the Shadow People categories.  One that is more common is the Old Hag shadow person.  Other less common reports are of shadow people that are non-human, but seem more alien than demonic in nature.  Of course there are also other shadow entities, such as dogs.

In fact, there is likely a class of shadow people that actually are aliens, but simply present to us a shadowy forms as they interact with us.

Final Thoughts On Shadow People

Obviously all Shadow People are nothing to take lightly. They can appear for what seems like no reason and start meddling with our lives in less than pleasant ways.

If you are experiencing one that you cannot get rid of, I would highly suggest contacting a professional and enlisting their assistance in ridding yourself of these entities if at all possible.

The site Psychic Universe has a few suggestions on dealing with Shadow People and protecting yourself from them.

Have You Encountered Shadow People?

Have you had are are you encountering shadow people?  If so, please write in and let us know about it.  We would love to share your experience with the world so that others will know that they aren’t alone in their encounters and so we can get a better grip on what these shadow people want.


Photo Credit: Eric McGregor






  1. A couple years ago I was walking down the street with two friends around 11pm. We were all about 15 and I live right next to the ocean so we were walking down street towards the cliff to see the ocean cause we were bored. Right when we started to turn off the road and walk up to the cliff which was about 20 feet in front of us a man popped out of the dark and seemed to just appear walking towards us. There is a street light on the road and so we stopped and this strange man walked right up to us and stopped a foot in front of us and just stared at us. This was very weird because he came in the light without making a single noise and looked very pale but pretty much normal besides his clothes. He had gray hair and was wearing a sky blue bathrobe with translucent silver moons all over it. So when I looked at the moons I could see thru them to the ground which was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen up close in the light. We said “hello” and he didnt reply. He looked frozen still and then suddenly turned around and walked away down the road. We were all just saying “wtf was that” and kind of creeped out so we decided to all go home. We turned on a different street that goes the opposite way and got to the top of the street and then I got a feeling I was being watched. I turned around and saw a black human figure directly under a streetlight looking at us from a distance.(about 30 yards) So I pointed it out and my friends were freaked out but I started running towards it yelling “who are you” just out of curiosity and I wanted to know who was creeping on us at 11pm. It stood there watching us run at it until I was really close to it and then it calmly turned and walked into the woods. We were all right there like 5 feet away when it was taking its last step into the thick bushes and there was no noise, nothing, it was gone. It disappeared right into the dark and I witnessed it so I know this stuff is no joke. About a week later I was walking home around midnight by myself and saw what looked like the same black figure walking down the street towards me. I was overwhelmed by a sense of fear and my instinct told me run to my house which I was already going to thru my neighbors cut thru in their back yard. So I ran thru neighbors driveway up the side to not turn sensor light on and I got to the cutthru and bam. The sensor light turned on so I looked and this black figure was directly in the light sprinting towards me like it was about to get me. I was so scared I think I shit ITS pants. I ran faster than lance armstrong on a bicycle, I swear I made it from my neighbors backyard to in my house in about 5 seconds. I did play with an ouija board by myself about a month before this all happened and it really scared me. Now I am 21 and that memory vividly stays with me to this day. Just yesterday I had a nightmare and woke up to my girlfriend going to the bathroom and when she walked out of the room I saw a small shadow figure run by her into my room and go right to the closet in the corner of my room. I was telling myself that this is all in my head but I could still see it over there and I felt like I was being watched by it. I hope someone finds out more about these things because I know for a fact they are 100% real and if you want to do yourself a favor then don’t touch ouija boards and don’t mess with anything paranormal so you can live a normal happy life unlike I have been for the past 6 years.

  2. Hello,

    Please review and share.

    Documentary Preview Link:

    The three students went missing in June of 2016. Sarah McCormick, Kyle Miller, Joseph Moore all three went missing together on their trip from Florida to Tennessee. The three students were making a documentary about the mysteries of the Shadow People. Their documentary was cut short at the abandoned Yost house. They were not to be inside the Yost house but the decided to go inside and set up cameras in effort to investigate the Shadows They found it. Nothing but mystery surrounds this case. Police have no leads in the case. Video surveillance captured the event.

    Sarah McCormick 23yrs, Kyle Miller 27yrs, & Joseph Moore 28yrs. The students of Tampa, Florida went on a road trip to document the witnesses of Shadow People also known and recognized as the Shadow Man, a ghostly aberration that stalks people primarily in their sleep. There are tens of thousands of cases related to the Shadow Man. Deaths and disappearances alike. Millions of people believe the Shadow People are real and most of them have reported seeing the figure at some point in their lives. The three students went missing of June 2016 and not a single clue to there whereabouts. Police have no answers in the case at this time and are asking for anyone who may know to come forward with any information.

    This is not the first case related to Shadow People. There are thousands just like it. Parents of Sarah McCormick are demanding answers from the authorities but there aren’t any answers. Sarah and her camera crew vanished police say. Authorities have now come forward with the information that video surveillance was found inside of the abandoned Yost home that shows the crews last few moments documenting the Shadow People before their mysterious disappearance. Strange anomalies were found in the home before they disappeared and police say a shadowy figure was caught of video right before the students vanished. Still no answers in this case.


  3. I woke up one night with one standing between my bed and my bookshelf. It was very tall and a bit thin. I had the impression it was wearing a beanie and either a jacket or a sweater… It was just standing there. I don’t think it was even looking at me. I think it was looking at my cousin who I shared a room with at the time. It wasn’t scary… it was just chilling.

    I saw it another time where it was closer to the door, also watching my cousin. I can’t say if it was before or after the other time.

    • I had the same reaction to one, not scary, but chilling. I think what I saw was the black mass shadow people. That scared me because the article says that the next phase was a demonic shadow person. I had my encounter at a hotel in Alabama. It stood, or more slighty hovered above the ground. It would keep leaning in toward the bed but then backing away. It eventualy left though.

  4. Hello I hope you guys could help me I have a 8 year old girl and a 2 year old boy my oldest have been seeing things for a while now I didn’t know how to explain to her at first because she was younger and I didn’t want to scare her but now that it has increase and she’s a little older I told her that what she’s been seeing are shadow people to just ignore them they’re trying to feed off her fear and to tell them to go way. Now my youngest has been seen them to,he used to be able to sleep in his bed almost every night now he all ways goes to my bed all scared. Oh and one more thing I forgot to say that my daughter didn’t tell me she told her aunt that she all ways see shadows behind me. My has passed away 5 months ago I really don’t think it’s her. What do you guys think?

    • If you don’t see them, it makes sense. Children and animals have a closer connection to the paranormal, then adults. What she is seeing is probably a shadow person tied to a specific location. As long as she is not harmed, she is safe. As for right now try to figure out what type of shadow person it is. When she stops having fear reactions, it may move to another home, or person in your home.

  5. My wife and I bought a little place in southern Oklahoma. From night 1 we both have seen these thing. Shadow people. Not 1 or 2, sometimes as many as 20. Moving around all over the block. Didn’t believe what I was seeing at first. But I have noticed after 5 years of it, they follow my wife everywhere she goes. They have not engaged her, or tried to communicate. She is terrified.

  6. We have a shadow person who lurks outside of our home. It’s very hostile, but it doesn’t fallow us when we go anywhere. It usually disappears when it gets light outside, but as soon as the sun goes down, it stands in our driveway by the cars. A few times it has gotten in and hasn’t gone past our kitchen or living room. I’m so afraid of it that I’m making my fiance and I move out. Over time it has gotten more aggressive. I could be wrong about it being a shadow person, but reading this article made me think it was an angry one. I want to.get rid of it, but I don’t know how, or if getting rid of it is even possible. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • I’ve had a shadow man appear off and on when my husband and I are fighting. I will often sleep in a different room and the shadow man will show up at the door and watch me. It started watching my daughter and that’s when my husband became a believer. It would crouch in the top corner of the room by the door. We have to cleanse our home about three times a year. 1. We open all of the doors and windows. 2. Command it with confidence “in the name of Jesus Christ, you are not welcome here! go away!”. 3. With a rosary in hand we do the sign of the holy cross over every doorway and window, while my Husband is burning sage and sweet grass behind me. 4. Close the windows and doors as you anoint them with holy water or oil ( top, bottom, left, right). This has worked for us for several years. As soon as it comes back you do the cleanse again

    • melissa leola brady says:

      My sister says white sage.

  7. Just saw one in my bedroom. Did some googling which led me here. This isn’t my first encounter with them. This one though, appeared as a dark shadow in my corner on the floor. At first I thought my eyes were just playing tricks on me in the dark cuz if I stared long enough the shadow would slowly get brighter before vanishing. I was dozing off but something made keep opening my eyes and then I saw two small pin pricks of light for its eyes. They weren’t red light everyone always describes, I’ve never seen one with red eyes. But if this was a shadow person I’ve never had them appear to me like this. The ones I’ve seen usually look like a human, no clothes, no hair, just a solid black mass.

  8. I don’t know what type of shadow person i saw or if it even is a shadow person, i don’t know what time it was but i had just opened my eyes for a few seconds or so i thought and i saw a young male figure in a bomber jacket and crystals all over his chest just staring down at me, i blinked once, still there, blinked twice, still there, blinked one last time, gone, i thought i was facing the wall in my bed but i had been staring blankly at my closet door for who knows how long. i know i wasn’t dreaming because i sat up after i realized i wasn’t facing the wall and turned my lamp on. i don’t know if i was just seeing some random figure or i just saw a shadow person that didn’t fit the description of a regular one.

  9. I’ve only had one experience with shadow men, it was when I was about 5 or 6 years old but remember it like yesterday. And unlike many of the other comments there was no malevolent feeling to them, and they were actually quite helpful and caring. Anyway I had been asleep in my bed one night and has awoken to my little sister crying in her crib on the other side of my room. I tried to go back to sleep but her crying continued for a couple minutes, I began to sit up and noticed her blanket had come off her while she was sleeping, I think she was cold which was why she woke up. So I was about to get up and go cover her back up, and that’s when I watched three shadow men come into my room through the wall that led to the street. When they entered they were all side by side and came through at the same time. One of them was the or a “Hatman” which looks very similar to what has been described by many others and resembles the illustrations I’ve come across. He was tall and wore round brimmed hat, and what was more like a long trench coat rather than a cloak. I don’t remember much about the other two as the Hatman was the one who stood out the most. None of them had eyes, just large dark figures. I watched them as they entered from the wall, they walked/moved towards my crying sister in her crib. And one or all of them covered her up with her blanket and she went back to sleep. They proceeded to walk through the wall behind my sister’s crib and never saw them again. The experience itself was a little different than when reading this, and by that I mean, when you read this it’s kind of broken down and you imagine the shadow men stopping at the crib bending down grabbing the blanket and covering my sister. But it wasn’t quite like that, it was idk smooth, one motion I guess, no stopping or bending, it just happened. They were in and out and gone. Anyway that’s my story.

  10. Not important says:

    Ok, so I am not the type of person to buy into paranormal stories. I work for an industrial company, like to party with friends, fish/ hunt etc. Nothing like your typical “paranormal believer”. I am currently in the process of moving across country with my fiance, and to be honest our move has been extremely stressful. Money plays a big part, but a lot of things haven’t been going our way, and because of that me and her have been having some intense fights, to where we almost broke up over it. So what ended up happening, is she left the day we were fighting the worst, and drove to our moving destination. She took her clothes and small stuff, whatever she could fit into her car, and left without any plan of ever seeing me again. Almost 8 hours later, she starts to text/ call me saying how sorry she was for leaving without me/ saying how much she regretted everything, proclaiming her love through tears…. and I did not handle that situation the best. I was hurt, and angry. I told her I wasn’t going to move with her anymore, and was playing hard to get. It was at that point that everything changed. She starts threatening suicide, saying goodbye, and then goes silent. This is at about 10pm. Apparently she said these same things to her mother, because her mom calls me shortly after hysterical, crying, not knowing how to save or even find her daughter…. We tried calling the police, but being so late the only number that answers is 911. And they hung up on me after saying there was nothing they can do, since she was out of state! The police hung up on me! So obviously at this point I am a complete wreck. I’m screaming please. I’m clawing at the carpet, I’m blowing up her phone, trying to think of anything I can do… this lasted for what felt like an eternity, but was actually just a few hours, until I finally was able to get her on the phone. She was ok. She thought about driving head on into a Truck, but thankfully changed her mind at the last second. So anyway, she makes it to her destination the next morning, and I agree to finish packing and cleaning the house, and to meet her there in a few days. It is now a few days later, and I am planning on leaving in the morning. Since that night, very strange things have been happening here. Three first thing I noticed was hearing the door open. Not what I thought was a door, not a noise that was far off. I heard the door open and knew someone was in the house. I’m not a paranoid person. I knew. I immediately got up, and walked into the main room. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And this was in the middle of the day, at a house in middle of nowhere. Not near any main roads, or other houses. I wasn’t scared. More confused than anything. So I shrugged it off. Then today, I was on the phone with my fiance, when I heard the front door slam shut… It was so loud that my girlfriend heard it on the other end of the phone. The problem with that, is the door wasn’t open in the first place. It was latched shut. I went to investigate and again, found absolutely nothing. Now tonight I am in bed, scrolling through Facebook until i fall asleep, as to being the tv, and everything else has been packed in the truck. When I came across this article. It intrigued me, because when I was very young, like 4 years old, I had a dream. Well, more of a nightmare really. I remember feeling alone in a dark space…. Nothing around me but darkness. I was lost, and scared, when suddenly a hand grabbed my left shoulder. It was so sudden it woke me up immediately. And that’s when I felt my shoulder. It hurt. And when I looked, it appeared to be a red mark in the shape of a hand in the exact spot that something had grabbed me in my dream. I ran to my parents room, woke them up, and then I remember my father running around the house looking for an intruder. Of course he found nothing, and insisted that it was the way I was sleeping on my blanket. But I could tell that he didn’t even believe that himself…. anyway that was the only time that kind of thing happened until now…. and I hate to say this, because I truly dont want to believe in this stuff, but the entire time I’ve been writing this, I have been hearing a lot of things I can’t explain. Even right this second… I’m hearing footsteps, and tapping on the walls all over the house. I’ve been here for 2 years and have never heard anything like this. The more I type the louder, and faster it has gotten. I have even stopped typing, and walked through the house several times since I started writing this, but every time I get up and walk out, all the noises stop immediately. And as soon as I start typing they start back. I’m seeing things out of the corner of my eyes, and at this very moment, I am completly terrified. It is so loud now. My dog even started barking and racing around the house, but he is now on the bed with me with his hair straight up. Something is in this house. Something angry…. I might just leave now if this doesn’t stop

  11. Christine Lee says:

    At 3am today, my daughter came into my room like she usually does. She layed down, her chest to my back and hugging me. I told her to close my bedroom door. I saw her get up to close the door, but she didn’t return to my bed. I layed in bed for about 5 minutes and then I got up to check on her in her bedroom. I asked her why didn’t she close my door or return to my room? She looked at me like…huh? I asked her, ” Nala, didn’t you come in my room, lay down behind me hugging me?” She said, “No mama, I never left my bed.” I was spooked when I realized it wasn’t her. You see, my daughter have braids, and I put them in two ponytails. It dawned on my that the figure I saw had braids, but they weren’t ponytails. Also, the figure had my daughter’s physique, and it was a black dark shadowy figure. This is just the recent event. THere’s way more that’s happened to me, to the point of me calling in my uncle who’s a pastor to bless my house. THings resided until now.

  12. Chris Silva says:

    I find this interesting.I first started noticing these occassionaly out of the corner of my eyes. The minute I made contact they disappeared.Thru the months the figures began to stay longer and become more defined.Just standing and watching. It is at the point now where I can stare back at them without their flight.Its important to point out that I have had the red eyed figure once and thank fully it has never returned.We have recently moved and for the first few months, there was no contact. That has since changed. I feel no ill intent from these but it is somewhat disturbing to wake in the night to one or see one coming down your hall.

  13. This morning I woke up and saw a shadow of a thing with horns at the foot of my bed. I have had things happen before. I have seen things, heard growls next to my bed (I don’t have a dog), etc. nothing that scares me but this did.

  14. The reason I looked up about these shadow people article was because my aunt has just called me yesterday and was telling me how she set up her phone and records things and one night she said a black shadow figure it horns started walking to the camera and made loud breathing noises. I’m not entirely sure if she’s being truthful but she also said that her youngest son won’t go back to his closet Because he saw a man standing in there. But a few years back my aunt was sleeping one night and she turned over and she saw a tall shadow figure looking at her in the corner with a top hat on. And then her brother my uncle would see a shadow man in. Corner and the house just has a creepy feeling to it… The weird thing is I had a dream just last week about my cousin and my aunt’s Boyfriend being possessed… Any ways that’s just a coincidence?

  15. Kevin Hancock says:

    Strange i see black shadow people out of the corner of my eye looking around my door into my lounge. I walked into my kitchen and one had it’s back to me and in a instant it was gone…it’s not a scary feeling that it portrays..just inquisitive I think is the word thst springs to mind

  16. A few months ago I saw a shadow person standing over me while I was laying in bed. I was just trying to go to sleep, but I couldn’t get comfortable. I rolled over onto my back, and I saw a large, shadowy figure standing directly over me. He (no disrespect is meant to the shadow person, but I will refer to it as a male because it had the physique of one) was very big, and had large, broad shoulders, which is why I refer to him as Box-Man. He, unlike many other shadow people, did not seem to be hostile, but actually friendly. He gave off a peaceful aura, and I got the feeling that he did not want to harm me. We stared at one another for several moments (at least I assume he was looking at me, as he only had dark circles where his eyes should have been), but then I squeezed my eyes shut, not because I was scared, but I just wanted to see if he was real, if he would still be there when I opened them. Alas, he was not. He had disappeared when I opened my eyes, and I actually felt a bit sad. I have since looked for him at night, but he has not come back. My girlfriend has said that she has never seen the same shadow person twice, which makes me sad, as that increases my odds of never seeing the Box-Man again. My girlfriend and I have had numerous arguments over this topic, as she thinks all shadow people are evil, and she thinks that I’m crazy for liking a shadow person. I can assure all of you from personal experience that not all shadow people are bad, and although you should heed caution when dealing with them, there is no need to be frightened unless you feel that they are there to harm you 🙂


  1. […] accounts of Slenderman could be simply mis-identification of some other entity like a Shadow Man. This would be the best case scenario. The worst case is something that I find far more troubling, […]

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