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.