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Shadow On The Stairs


This happened during the first week in November 2018. I had pulled an all-nighter writing and it was already the early hours of the next morning. I wasn't sleepy but thought it was about time I went to bed. My laptop showed the time as around 3:40am as I was logging off.

Turning off the lights downstairs, I stood momentarily in darkness at the foot of the staircase. The hallway light outside our split-level apartment lined the front door, which was on my left. As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I had the distinct impression that someone was standing to the right of me on the bottom step. The figure wasn't very tall, about medium height, of a rounded build, with no discernible features. From the general shape and the feeling that I got, it was definitely a 'he'.

He appeared as a shadow, darker than the surrounding darkness, which was how I noticed him in the first place. The light switch was between the door and the stairs, so I quickly turned on the staircase light. Of course, no one was there. But I wasn't afraid, just startled.

I shared my experience with a few friends, expecting to be told it was just my imagination. Someone suggested that I ask for clarity and wait for a sign. Much to my surprise, another then told me he just had a dream about climbing a ladder or stairs. He wasn't able to find his way down and needed help. This friend is of medium height, with broad shoulders and a middle-aged spread. A rounded build. It was a strange coincidence.

He told me he had experienced astral projections before while in a dream state. Once he had 'seen' a friend who was in great pain and it worried him so much that he contacted her afterwards. He learned that she had been ill and was taken to the hospital at the time of his dream.

I wonder if my friend had somehow 'travelled' while he was dreaming and came over to visit. Sydney is several hours ahead of his time zone, so our early morning will equate to his late morning on the previous day. He does nod off for a nap now and then.

Both of us could be mistaken of course. The dates and times might not even align. But then again, time might not be as linear as we think in such matters. I do like the idea that my friend had dream-travelled on some astral path for a while. If I actually had an astral visitor who showed up as a shadow, I'd rather it was a friend.

Is there some connection between spirits, shadows and stairs? I've heard and read of many similar accounts. My younger sister was followed by a shadow man on the stairs ("Shadows On Sentosa"). One of my uncles encountered ghostly children on the stairs at my Grandma's house ("The Children At Cairnhill").

Could stairs be some kind of transition point, like a link between levels, planes of existence or different realms? Perhaps they function like portals, doorways and thresholds?

I'm interested in what other thoughts are there on this subject.

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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, Jubeele, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Rex-T (4 stories) (245 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-17)
I'll share with you all a similar event that happened to me, back in the early 80's (before the internet). I had been laid up, recovering from a knee operation and had started reading a science fantasy trilogy, written by Michael Moorcock.

In my reading, I kept coming across long words that were (seemingly) unpronounceable. So, in my frustration, I made up my own words instead. "The Bad Guys", "That City Up North", etc, all became the comfortable norm, until the night I had an unusual dream.

I was standing on a grass covered hill, talking to a man that had a strange accent. I was telling him about these long words and my frustration at trying to pronounce them. He smiled and repeated these words back to me, the difference being that they sounded natural and just rolled off his tongue. Before the dream ended, he also told me that the words were from the Welsh dialect.

Before Jubeele's conversation with her friend, I had assumed that somehow, I had reached an understanding through self-enlightenment and this was a natural process (my skeptical view when I was younger).

Now I wonder if an OBE or some other paranormal explanation is possible. I also suspect that this occurrence happens to a lot of other people but they either forget or shrug the experience off as "nothing special".

Rex Dundee
Jubeele (17 stories) (747 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-17)
Hi Melda, thanks for reading and your kind words. We've missed you on YGS.❤

To All - I've heard from my friend and unfortunately, he doesn't remember the exact date of his dream. But we both feel it's possible I saw him as a shadow while he was having an OBE. It was during the same period and his dream was about the time when I stood at the staircase (late morning for him; early morning for me). Maybe in the dream realm, earthy concepts like date or time are more flexible?

To illustrate this point, he told me of an OBE he once had in a dream where he was talking to a man in Finnish. My friend is polylingual and he was studying that language at the time. The man had corrected his grammar in an irregular case structure in Finnish. He remembered the conversation when he awoke and went to look it up in the language book. It was as he was told and he hadn't come across it before. Could it be that he and the Finnish man were dreaming at the same time; somehow they were able to connect with each other and had a chat?

Based on this theory, I wonder about the reports of some people witnessing the past or seeing into the future. Perhaps in dreams, time can flow differently upstream or downstream, and our subconscious minds are more receptive to messages from various sources. Could the past be a dreamer's present? Or the future someone else's past?
Melda (9 stories) (1112 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-14)
Jubeele - Good thing you were surprised but not frightened. The shadow was obviously not a menacing presence and was probably just as surprised as you were.

It's a pity your friend doesn't remember more details about his dream of climbing a ladder or stairs. I have never tried to astral project, my experiences have been spontaneous. On the last occasion I had a rather unnerving experience so I prayed to all that was holy to help me prevent these experiences. It has never happened to me again. However, as far as I know, I tend to remember what happened and what I saw during these experiences. Perhaps your friend doesn't always remember, or only remembers snippets. The thought that he might have been your shadow is very interesting and I must admit I rather like the thought that he might have visited you!

I apologise for being late with my comment but I haven't been spending much time on this site, or for that matter on any other site. Things are rather chaotic in my life at present.

Regards, Melda
valkricry (44 stories) (3017 posts) mod
4 months ago (2019-01-13)
I'm glad Rook could stop by too! Personal experience as a reference is by far the best tool ever! Even Uncle Google must yield to it.
I hope you can narrow down the time frame on if this was your friend.
Jubeele (17 stories) (747 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-13)
Val - thanks for reading my account and for the idea of referring to Rook for more info. 😘

Rook - appreciate you coming by and providing your input. I've had a number of experiences over the years with shadow people. Somethings frightening, other times just startling. A few times I've felt certain it was a family member after they had passed. Most of the time, a shadow is simply a shadow. But there are times when I've been left wondering.

Thanks for clarifying the difference between astral projections and OBEs. In hindsight, I wish I had paid closer attention to the date and time, but I was initially half-inclined to dismiss it as my imagination. That is, until my friend told me of his dream and his own experiences. I've gone back to double-check when I first spoke about the shadow and have narrowed down the likely dates to within a few days. I've asked my friend if he could remember the date or time of his dream and will post an update when I hear back from him.

The theory of spirits somehow slipping through cracks provided by thresholds is fascinating. This will give me much food for thought. 🤔
rookdygin (24 stories) (4428 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-13)
My ears were burning (I received an e-mail... 😉) and thought I would drop by and see what was happening.

Based on my experience and in my opinion As far as an individual appearing as a shadow while they 'project' (either during an OBE (Out of Body Experience) or remote viewing) it is very possible that they may appear as a shadow IF someone can see them. In my case, I choose to appear that way... In other's it could be the amount of focus/energy the individual has 'invested' into the effort OR if it's an 'accidental' projection then it's only 'partially' formed...

I say OBE or remote viewing because when you perform an Astral Projection you are sending your spirit out onto (into?) the spirit realm and OBE/remote viewing take place on the physical realm (just my opinion though).

I hope that makes some kind of sense.

In this case... I wish the times lined up better... While it is possible to 'time travel' during a Remote viewing or an OBE experience...

Is there any way to see if the time of his dream really lines up with when you had your experience?

You ask a very interesting question here...

"Could stairs be some kind of transition point, like a link between levels, planes of existence or different realms? Perhaps they function like portals, doorways and thresholds?"

There is a theory that I have heard concerning doorways and windows... Because they form a threshold 'between' inside and outside (or simply between rooms) that it's easier for spirits to manifest in these transition points 'between' spaces. Just a theory though.


valkricry (44 stories) (3017 posts) mod
4 months ago (2019-01-12)
I'm hoping Rook sees this and weighs in, because he does astral traveling, and understands it far, far better than I. However, it seems to me, there have been cases on here, where Rook obtained permission to do a remote viewing and that person reported seeing a shadow of some sort. Maybe one of the other members can recall more details. It was all very interesting.
Jubeele (17 stories) (747 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-12)
Hi Haven,

I'm thankful it wasn't a scary encounter. It was the first and only time I saw a shadow figure on the staircase. But on occasion over the years, I've thought something pushed me at the corner landing as I was going down the stairs, causing me to almost fall. Or had an ankle suddenly give way, as if I was tripped. I can't be sure though, but I now make a point of taking my time and holding tight to the handrail going up or down the stairs. 😕

A few years ago, Rex-T suddenly tripped on the second-last step coming down the stairs. The metal shoe rack near the door broke his fall. The staircase was well-lit. He wasn't rushing nor was there anything in his way. Thankfully, nothing was broken but he ended up with a nasty bruise and abrasions to his right knee.

Your stairs sound really creepy. Do you get the feeling of being followed coming down the stairs as well? My younger sister had something similar happen to her on Sentosa Island, in Singapore. I've wondered if her shadow man used to be a soldier on guard duty since that place was once an army barrack.

My mother is a firm believer in feng shui principles. She's made jade talismans for us to hang near the doorway and the bottom of the stairs. I'm reminded of her love for us whenever I see them. Maybe you can try installing additional lighting for the stairs to dispel the darkness, or hang a crystal at the foot of the stairs to reflect more light. Or you can place other talismans or symbols that resonate with you, represent something positive and provide comfort. Hopefully that would help. It's something to think about anyway. 🤔
Jubeele (17 stories) (747 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-12)
Hi Cuddlebear,

I think that attics and basements are often unpleasant because of poor lighting or ventilation. I remember working in offices where we faced a wall or partition the whole time, like batteries hens, never knowing what time of day or what the weather was like. It was depressing. Poor airflow makes a place smell stale and uncomfortable. I'd be predisposed to assign negative thoughts about such places. Or maybe that's precisely why they attract nasty things.

Tunnels and bridges? That's true about them representing points of transition too, being places in-between. They have attracted their share of legends as well as scary encounters. Apparently, the ancient Celts believed in thresholds of space and place, as well as time. Perhaps there are certain borders where spirits can on occasion slip through a "crack between the worlds". 😨

To keep things in balance, the Chinese and other cultures have several 'liminal deities' who preside over boundaries like doors, walls and moats. Their role is protect the borders and keep incursions to a minimum.

Rex-T and I are doing fine. Haven't lost anything to our mysterious prankster for a while. Our best to you and the Cuddlewife. 😊
Haven (14 stories) (243 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-11)
Hi, Jubeele --

To me, the stairs are the scariest place in my house. I don't really know why. A few days ago, I was walking up the stairs and I heard footsteps behind me. I stopped to let the cat go by because he's always winding himself on my feet and constantly tripping me, but this time there was no cat. When I got to the top of the stairs, my cat was coming out of a bedroom stretching, looking like he had just woken from a nap. I have seen and heard may strange things throughout the house but for some reason the stairs really freak me out. I always run up them at night or when it's dark, I always feel like someone is standing there or following me. Creepy...
Cuddlebear (4 stories) (149 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-11)
On your question concerning stairs. In most houses with scary places those places seem to either attics (up stairs) or basement (down stairs). Whether or not this has to do with these being spaces rarely used or something else who can say, but certainly horror movies have made the most of this circumstance.

I would also point out that tunnels and bridges seem to make up more of haunted road ways than normal stretches of road, especially when you factor in the relative distances of tunnels and bridges to open roads.

And like stairways bridges and tunnels represent transitions of one sort or another.

Thank you for starting this train of thought, it'll obsess me for a bit.

I'm glad your visitor was not malevolent. And I hope all continues to be well with your two.
Jubeele (17 stories) (747 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-11)
Hi Fergie, how lovely to hear from you! 😘 We've missed you on YGS.

I think there could be different reasons for shadow people. Perhaps some of them are not ghosts or spirits, but astral travellers just passing through and not intending to frighten us.

Once, during a meditation workshop, I found myself somewhere else in the dark and surrounded by twinkling lights. It looked as if a blue velvet cloth with sequins had been draped over the hall. I realised I was somehow 'floating' in the night sky. It only lasted for a few moments and I was back in the hall again. The instructors told me that I must have gone into deep meditation and picked up a stray image, or wandered into the astral world. Other people in the room were giving me a few strange looks by then, so I quickly shut up! 😳
Jubeele (17 stories) (747 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-11)
Hi lady-glow, I was so surprised to see the shadow man. I thought for a moment we had an intruder and I was worried because Rex-T was asleep upstairs. As I turned on the light to the staircase, I was prepared to grab a walking stick from the umbrella stand next to the door. Just in case.

I prefer to think it was my friend travelling over for a visit. He does have some uncanny experiences and the ability runs in his family. But Rex-T thinks it could also be the prankster who's been making our things disappear and reappear recently.

If it was an actual intruder, I'd have been really terrified. I find some living people far scarier than any ghost or shadow man. 😨
Fergie (40 stories) (1159 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-11)
Jubeele, I have no clue if there is a connection with stairs, but I must say that our eldest daughter has seen shadowy figures on or near her stairs on a couple of occasions. I'm not sure if she knows the distinction between a shadow person and a shadowy figure. My shadow person was speed-walking down our passageway.

I'm so glad it wasn't a frightening experience. Who knows. Maybe it was your friend astral travelling. Interesting! 🤔
Jubeele (17 stories) (747 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-11)
Hi Manafon, I did get quite a jolt when I saw that shadow man. I blinked but he was still there. But I didn't get the chill or feeling of dread as I did on other occasions. Nor the pang in the heart when it's family. Somehow, it feels different when it's family.

I was fascinated to hear about my friend's experiences. He's had them all his life but only recently begun to talk about them. I wonder since he was stuck on the stairs in his dream, his subconscious then came looking for help? 🤔

You've reminded me that I've seen the silhouette of Rex-T's brother in our bedroom doorway. Plus, I also saw a tall shadow man in a hat on the road when I was a child. You're right; it doesn't just happen on a staircase.

After that incident, I find myself checking the stairs now and then for a shadow that shouldn't be there! 😲
lady-glow (11 stories) (2345 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-11)
Hello Jubeele - it's creepy to see something in the dark just for it not to be there when the lights are on, at least the shadow wasn't a scary presence.

I have no idea if your friend's consciousness/spirit went to your place, though I think it makes sense knowing that this wouldn't be the first time he experienced something like that.

Thanks for the good read.
Manafon1 (5 stories) (617 posts)
4 months ago (2019-01-11)
Hi Jubeele--Your thought that your friend did some astral traveling to your staircase seems like a good theory. It must have been a bit startling seeing that figure standing there.

Although there are an immense number of reports of apparitions being seen on staircases, there are an equal number of case studies detailing apparitions being seen by fireplaces, windows, in hallways, by beds and so on, that I don't think staircases are unique in attracting apparitions.

I've witnessed two shadow figures in my life and a couple of full body apparitions but only one was within the vicinity of (but not on) a staircase.

Seems quite likely that your friend was dreaming of climbing a ladder or stairs and somehow traveled to your stairway. Cool!

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