I've had several experiences with shadow people, but I don't think that they have ever been the same exact entity twice. My experiences range from neutral to malevolent, but I have never crossed paths with a benevolent shadow being. I have been an empath since birth, but my sensitivity increased each time I died and I was revived, which has been twice. I noticed a while back that as I grew closer to death, I saw shadow people and experienced other entities with increased frequency until I was well again.
The first experience I had was when I was about 4 years old, give or take, and I was awoken by the feeling of something off in my room. The air felt heavy and dark. I lived in a trailer at this point in time and my bed was up against the wall in a corner. I was compelled to look into the corner on the other side of my room and, standing about 10 feet from the end of my bed in the opposite corner was this... Shadow. It was extraordinarily tall, reaching toward the ceiling in its height. It didn't have a shape, really, it was more of hole made of blacker than black smoke. It was like a rip in the universe. I got my blankie and got the hell out of there. I hid behind the couch, watching my parents watch TV out of fear of getting in trouble for still being awake at 3 AM and that's where that memory ends.
Around 5th grade (11 years), I upgraded to a house right next to my would-be Junior High at the time. I used to wake up at 4 AM on the dot every morning to the feeling of an entity (not exactly malevolent or neutral, somewhere inbetween the two, a lesser evil) in the room with me, but I'd never see anything. My sleep was plagued with terrible night terrors of my father's alcoholism and abuse escalating into cold-blooded murder or dying brutally in a fire/other natural disaster such as a tornado or earthquake. When I would flee to my parents' room to sleep on their floor, I would hear the toilet seat being slapped around and the bathroom door opening/closing on its own (forcefully, but not forcefully enough to be considered slamming).
There have been two instances where a shelf that was screwed into the wall using power tools was ripped off and the potted plants that rested on it were strewn all over the bathroom. Strangely, my father (who is an EXTREMELY light sleeper, all you have to do is snap your fingers in the room he's sleeping in and he'll jump up) would never wake up at the sound of the bathroom shenanigans, excluding the instances involving the shelf. Those are the instances where only I wouldn't wake up.
Now the next experience happened during 6th or 7th grade (after my first death, occurring sometime during the ages 12-13) and that night I was trying to sleep in my room. The entire night I felt VERY uncomfortable and nervous. I felt something in the room with me, but decided to ignore it, and only pulled the covers up over my head. When I finally fell asleep, I "woke up" in my bed. Instantly I knew that something was wrong because this dream had that "other-worldly" feel to it. My bed was in the middle of the room (which it was too big to fit into properly) and on my right about 4-5 feet away there was a huge sliding glass door that took up most of the wall and led to the backyard. The blinds were pulled open (revealing the backyard) and I noticed immediately that it was daylight. It must have been overcast because a considerable amount of light spilled into the room, which made the shadowy figure stand out all the more.
There was a figure floating in the space between my bed and the sliding glass door, facing toward my bed and away from outside. It didn't appear to have a gender, its figure was what can only be described as pointy. It had its knees up to its chest and its arms wrapped around its legs (which ended in points at the ankles without any feet). It had its rather strangely pointy head tilted down and buried in its knees. It was in the fetal position and, immediately, I got the impression that it was crying. I could feel the misery and despair the creature emitted, which inspired a feeling of intense dread within me.
Instinctively, I screamed. Then, quicker than the speed of light (it seemed as though it didn't even take a millisecond), the shadow snapped its head over to look at me. There were no discernible facial features nor eyes. It screamed at nearly the same moment I did, its entire body vibrating while its jaws opened at least a six inches wide in that gut-twisting screech. Then, it began ricocheting all around the room, searching for an escape. My door was closed. I kept screaming, this black entity streaking around my room, until the door swung open with a SLAM and it disappeared through the doorway.
That's what woke me up. I was startled awake by the sound of my bedroom door slamming open, but it was once again night. I didn't catch another second of sleep that night.
The last time I had seen a shadow person it was in person once again. I moved into my grandma's trailer with my mom after my parents' divorce for a little over a year and a half when I was 15/16 after we lost our previous house (this occurred after my second death). Negative energy is sealed within the walls that the holiest of water couldn't touch, seeing as the land was haunted as well. The fact that there were two rivers nearby, walking distance, and a stream that ran directly on our property didn't help either.
I encountered many spirits (all of them of the negative sort), but only one shadow person. Me and my mom slept on a bed in the living room which was connected to the kitchen. On the very far right is a small hallway with one bedroom in the middle of the hallway and a bedroom plus a bathroom in the very back. I lay awake one night as my mother slept and I heard the door to the middle room door swinging open, then shutting (which made a distinct clicking noise as the doorknob was broken. It was impossible to open the door without pulling the lever out manually and unhinging it). I brushed it off after the first two times but as it kept repeating itself, I got irritated and glanced over to see who was screwing with the door at 4:30 in the morning. Nobody was standing in the hallway and since the light from the my snake's lamp would cast the shadow of anyone who could be standing in the room, I knew there was no possible way that this could be happening.
I couldn't tear my eyes away and as I watched, a head and shoulders slowly rose up from the edge table that sat off to the right of the kitchen, roughly 5 feet away from the entrance of the hallway and roughly 15 feet away from me. Underneath the table, though, I couldn't see a body. The shadow would have to crouch down for only its shoulders and up to show. It stared at me, motionless, as the middle room door increased its pace. Now it wouldn't even shut all the way, it was going disturbingly fast. I shook my mom to wake up and whispered, "Do you hear that?", but she snapped at me to leave her alone, turning over and falling back asleep immediately. I couldn't get up the courage to shake her again. I kept my eyes on the shadow person as the door began to lose momentum and slowly come to a stop, swinging itself all the way open. The shadow person slid down toward the floor again, disappearing from sight the way it came. It gave off a feeling of intense negativity and I knew that it was trying to provoke me.
I used to argue with my grandma about keeping my non-spayed cat locked up so that she wouldn't escape from the house and get pregnant again before her appointment with the veterinarian, but my grandma would always open the door despite my fiery protests (yes, my cat had food and water in the room. It was because she would yowl in heat and my grandma thought it was a better idea just to let her get knocked up again rather than listen to her). The arguments would get heated to the point where one of us would be forced to leave the room.
But there was one more experience I had in the house I lived in directly before my grandmother's trailer, days before I died for the second time. I was watching Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and I had on the subtitles. Out of nowhere, I heard a male voice say, "Don't look back" into my left ear and I noticed immediately that they in no way matched the subtitles on the screen. I swung around just in time to see a rather short shadow, about 4'5" to 5'0", a millisecond before it became a black smudge and disappeared through my wooden blinds. I wasn't afraid of it and I didn't even feel a presence. If it hadn't spoken to me, I wouldn't have known it was there.
HOW TO RID YOURSELF OF SHADOW PEOPLE
They have always fascinated me, but I can sense they are nothing to be taken lightly and everyone should take extreme caution in dealing with them. I would advise against communicating with them. Do not speak to them unless you are telling the entities (calmly, but do so with CONVICTION) that they are not welcome in your space unless they mean no harm and stop scaring you. If you speak to them casually, you are directly inviting it in, like telling your friend to come in when they're on your doorstep. If you don't think you can accomplish this, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO SO. You need the confidence to add authority to your words.
Another option is to pray to whatever God you believe in or recite a prayer you know by heart. Believe with your entire soul that these beings will not be allowed to do harm to you. If you find it necessary, bless your house, BUT ONLY IF YOUR FAITH IS UNSHAKABLE. Do not speak of any paranormal events or anything relating to them for a week afterward while your within your home at the very LEAST, but it would be preferable if you don't bring it up until you once again feel comfortable when you're alone at home.
But be aware that this still may not work, no matter how strong your beliefs!
Other methods that have been used are smudging, which I have personally witnessed cleanse an infested home and keep it clean. Another is imagining your house filling with a bright light. Start small, a tiny bright white light sparking in front of you, slowly expanding to fill and encase your entire house. (A strong imagination is key to this one, as well as a feeling of calm and peace deep within yourself. Remember, confidence in your spiritual power!)
A protection method for just yourself is to imagine the warmth of the sunlight, starting with your feet and working your way up to your face. Imagine each part of your body, how it would feel in the warmth of the sun, until you've imagined your entire body bathed in warmth.
I wish you all luck in dealing with your shadows and getting rid of them if you so choose! I find that it is better to coexist with these beings if they respect your boundaries than confronting them. Sometimes, you don't have an option. But that doesn't mean you can't protect yourself from them. The sun warmth exercise I have found to be effective, but it takes concentration. Focus on the positive more than the negative in your daily life. A healthy soul is a worthy opponent and, at times, so intimidating that none dare try.
WHAT ARE THEY?
Honestly, all we have are theories at this point. But if you were to ask me personally, I think that they are beings from another dimension that sometimes collides with ours... Or perhaps they don't belong in any dimension but simply jump between dimensions and have been doing so since the beginning of time? There are so many possibilities here that we can't even really guess at their origin. We truly only see a dust flake in a universe we would never be able to comprehend even if we could see it.:P