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First Time Seeing Shadows


This is one of the earliest memories that I can recall, and some of the finer details escape me but I can still see the actual event and moment in my mind very clearly. This happened in the 1985 or 1986.

Up until the time I was 8 years old my family lived in an apartment complex in Elizabeth, NJ. We didn't live in the best neighborhood to say the least, but my parents did the best they could to keep us safe and sheltered from the craziness of urban living during that time. Our apartment was on the 4th floor of the complex very close to the stairwell. The layout of our apartment helps paint the picture: as soon as you walk in you are in the living room, with the one one bedroom directly in front of you. To your right is a very small hallway with 2 entrances to the kitchen on the left side of the hallway and the bathroom at the end on the left as well.

My mother had her own experiences in this place, and she has told me times when she was so scared to be alone that she would wake me up as an toddler by scratching my arm (not hard mind you, just enough to wake me) so that my cries would break the silence and give her something else to focus on.

I was about 4 years old when this happened. I remember waking up one night for one reason or another, and for whatever reason my 4 year old self had I crept my way out of the bed I shared with my parents to the bedroom door. My mother was sleeping and my father was working the night shift at his factory job.

I opened the bedroom door just a crack, enough to look into the living room and the hallway in our apartment. Kitchen overlooked the parking lot and there was plenty of light coming in from there so my eyes didn't have to adjust all that much. Against the hallway wall I saw 4 shadows moving along towards the kitchen and bathroom. At the time it didn't strike me as odd or frightening, but more of a curiosity. But as I type this I am getting a serious case of the chills:)

I watched these shadows as they crept along the wall until they were out of my sight. I cannot recall if I told my parents about this the following morning but this memory has stuck with me ever since.

If you were to ask me what shape these shadows had to them I would say that (and I swear I'm not making this up) they looked a hybrid of movie monsters (Dracula, The Mummy) and cereal mascots (Count Chocuka, Boo-Berry). Or at least that's what my 4 year old mind interpreted it as. Needless to say when I told this to my wife and other family members later on I get laughed at. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, thething45, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Spiritual_Paganist (15 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-25)
Im going to approach this level headed, there is a chance it may have been light from a window coming in and the light may have been passing a tree which could have made it look hybird and that's a very common mistake youngsters make, did these shadows give off a vibe, and what were your mothers experiences, did they invove any silouettes or shadow people appearing to her, I would love to hear. But if the shadows were seen in a shaded area or somewhere where no light was then there is a chance it could have been entities.
Chznasty (1 stories) (8 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-23)
You know it made a very serious impression if you remember if from that young. Thats freaky.
thething45 (5 stories) (12 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-19)
Thank you Manafon1 for taking the time to read and comment. I'll ask my mother for her experiences one of these days as my curiosity was peaked as I typed in my story. I'm remembering some of the smaller details of the apartment - the bedroom had the fire escape right outside the window but the kitchen window did. Or connect to the escape. We moved out of that apartment right after I wrapped up 2nd grade.

If I had a choice I would have selected Toucan Sam & Tony the Tiger as my late night visitors!
Manafon1 (7 stories) (717 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-18)
Hi thething45--I also has my first paranormal experiences at around four years old. You very well may have seen ghostly shadows moving along the wall of the apartment but something you wrote suggests another possibility.

"Kitchen overlooked the parking lot and there was plenty of light coming in from there so my eyes didn't have to adjust all that much". If at four floors up you still got a lot of light from the parking lot, it also seems very possible that a car's headlights playing off tree branches, light poles or signs, could easily have thrown some weird shapes across the wall. As a young kid such shadows would be alarming because of their approximation to human-like figures. Because the shapes you describe are exactly things a kid would think they saw.

Is it possible you saw something paranormal? Definitely yes. It would be nice if you could provide some details on what your mother experienced in the apartment as well. That would paint a clearer picture of what might have been going on there. However, it's unlikely you saw the spirits of Count Chocula, Boo-Berry, The Mummy and Dracula. Unless the ghosts of the apartment had a real sense of humor.

More than likely your child's mind grabbed for the only reference points it had and suddenly shadows cast by a car or wind moving tree branches made you think you were being paid a visit by General Mills finest 😉.

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