I've been reading with interest the stories popping up on here about the so called "Shadow People".
I have, over the last 15 years or so, had a number of encounters with these creatures and, what interests me more, is that I have met both malevolent and seemingly benevolent kinds.
Let me talk about the malevolent "stalking" kind first. I was in Spain at the time. My parents had decided to move there from England and, as I was 15, I was sent over early to stay with my aunt (dad's sister) so I could get settled in at school and not miss out on my studies while they sold their house and so on. Now after I'd been there a while, things got pretty bad over there; I'd never spent any considerable period of time away from home before and my cousin (aunt's son) was spoiled and jealous, making my life hell. His mother doted on him and so believed his blandishments and even accused me herself of stealing a large sum of money I had not even known was in the house. I was in despair obviously. Then, one night, I met my first shadow.
I was lying on bed at night, in the dark, but wide awake as I couldn't sleep. Then, I felt my consciousness slip and was unable to move, like sleep paralysis but I was wide awake. In my mind's eye I saw a large clawed hand reaching out over my face and panicked, fought and fought to break the paralysis and finally managed; I slammed my hand on the light switch repeatedly but the light wouldn't come on. I saw a shadow slip through the open window and, out of the corner of my eye, saw it swirling around on the floor. I heard a voice, disembodied and deep repeat the words "the twins" three times and felt the presence of what I can only describe as a pure icy evil in the room. Then, the shadow on the floor seemed to be sucked up into the ceiling and the oppressive feeling and presence were gone. I sat up and turned the light on successfully.
For the following six months I had other encounters. Most days I found myself walking down the empty road to my aunt's house (anyone who's been to Spain will know how dead the place gets during siesta time) and having the inescapable feeling that I was being followed. Each time I would turn to look back and see nothing or no-one there, only to have the feeling return after a couple of minutes. Once or twice I thought I saw a shadow slip in and out of my vision but I cannot be completely sure. Then it got worse.
I began to experience a form of attack. The attacks would go like this. I would feel immense pressure first over my third eye and then on my temples. My body would start to tingle and then vibrate as if electrified, I would start feeling what seemed to be like what I can only compare to heat stroke (I experienced that once so know what it's like) eye sight fading, great dizziness, feelings of disconnection and disorientation and then a feeling like my soul was rising up out of my body, but feeling like it was being pulled against natural resistance. In other words something was trying to pull me out of my body but my soul wanted none of it! Then the feeling of an evil presence would materialize, I would sometimes hear muttering or mumbled words somewhere off in the distance and then encounter an agonizing, piercing pain in my chest, just like it had been seized in a powerful hand and squeezed hard. This was accompanied by a pain like being stabbed between the ribs by a knife made of ice. Now remember, I was 15 and perfectly healthily with no issues or defects to my heart, I was having no heart attack, yet it felt like something was trying to kill me.
This would often happen at home while I lay and read or thought on my bed but once it happened at school, as I stood in a corridor during recess, wide awake and feeling nothing but the sudden sensation of movement coming towards me incredibly fast, then the blade of ice piercing my chest and seemingly transfixing my heart. That time I doubled over and fell to my knees... My friend who was nearby said I went completely white and he'd thought I'd died! But as quickly as it had happened, it was over and no trace was left. Shortly after my parents arrived and I moved to what became "our" house, the attacks and the encounters (as well as stalkings) stopped, probably because I no longer felt vulnerable and trapped and was happy again.
Around 10 years later I hit the all-time low of my life. I'd suffered a number of nasty break-ups and more and, worst of all, I'd poured all my energy into training for the London Marathon as a recovery strategy only to badly injure myself halfway through and end up stuck on crutches for 6 months. In essence I was as low as I've ever been. Then the shadows came back but this time they tried different strategies. As before the feeling of being a victim of "body theft" (I read up on the phenomena of supposed spiritual hijacking around this time and it sounds like that, someone or something trying to push your soul out in order to hijack your body) was how it started but this time, after I was paralyzed and unable to move or make a sound (I found forcing myself to scream a sound or word out helped me fight the paralysis) I was assaulted differently this time. I felt no chest pain or any physical pain; this time I was sent visions. Vicious and nasty beyond belief visions of torture, rape, child abuse and everything I find abhorrent and evil in the world. I was forced to witness unspeakable acts supposedly being played out, with me as a fly on the wall watching but unable to do anything. It felt real and remember, I was awake when it started and am not narcoleptic (I did get worried and went to my doctor who got me CAT scanned and tested for epilepsy; the tests were all clear so he told me to slow down and take it easy!). I was always eventually able to exert the full force of my will and every fiber of my being (so it felt) to make myself able to make a sound or move and the vision would end. Then they took on other forms, more like threats; I saw visions of myself being badly injured, mutilated or mortally wounded. Again I was eventually able to force it out of my mind the same way. Each time I saw shadows moving in the periphery of my vision before or after the 'attack', I was followed (or stalked, it's a better description, kind of what like being hunted by wolves or a tiger would feel like I imagine) and glimpsed shadows in mirrors at night or out of the corner of my eye day or night. This time I tried something different.
I was afraid to let my guard down and sleep, I was getting ill and suffering in more ways than one, afraid for my sanity. I figured something out; I often saw the shadows (the outline of a robed and cowed figure in shadow) in the full length mirror in my bedroom or other mirrors so one night I sat down in twilight and faced that mirror. I unfocussed my eyes and faded out my reflection to try and see what was behind normal vision (I call it shadow sight funnily enough) and spoke out loud; I am not afraid of you anymore! I know you cannot hurt me, you can only make me fear and be afraid, and you can only threaten to hurt me! You are weak and powerless without fear so if I refuse to fear you, you have no power over me! You have no power over me anymore!" this time they left, whether because of my words or because I was feeling stronger I do not really know but they left.
For many years later, nothing happened and, touch wood I have been assaulted in no way since. But one event took place which has both confused and enlightened me.
Last year my wife and I were just preparing to go to sleep in Ireland one night. Just as I was drifting off she grabbed my arm and told me to listen because she heard something on the stairs. Of course I panicked and thought she meant we had a burgler so almost went to look for a stick or something! She said she heard a rattling noise; like that a big rattlesnake or a gourd rattle (like a spirit rattle) would make and soft footsteps, as well as almost inaudible hissing breath. I heard nothing and told her she was dreaming. She insisted she was not and told me to listen. I heard nothing but then I felt it. A deep and sharp cold seemed to seep under the closed door and then I felt a presence I was very much familiar with, the presence of a Shadow. To describe how it felt to me; it was cold, alien and inhuman feeling; a distant and unidentifiable sense of a truly unknowable and terrifying entity beyond my understanding... Not necessarily evil but alien, inhuman, almost bestial. This time the entity came up the stairs and appeared to pause in front of the closed door (in the hallway at the top of the stairs) and seemed to be looking through the door at me. I felt its eyes on me and I felt its interest in me but I felt only curiosity, no malevolence or evil intent; just curiosity. It was interest in me. In my mind's eye I saw again the vision of the cloaked and hooded shape made of shadows, indistinct and blurry but there. I even felt a kind of sensation of being drawn to it, as if I should open the door and go out and speak to it, but I was frozen in fear and could not move or was too scared to. After several minutes I felt it draw away and the presence weaken...
Both me and my wife saw a shadow pass by the window and, oddly, the yard lights of neigbours seemed to be obscured by something passing in front of them as it moved off into the distance and I felt the presence weaken by degrees.
So I'm interested that Shadows don't always feel evil or mean evil. I have been intrigued by one, felt the urge and curiosity to communicate from it and been driven into terror by others.
What are they?
Are they spirits, demons or a form of life which exists just off slightly out of phase with our own?