ParaPedia - Encylopedia of the Paranormal, Bizarre, Mysterious, & the Unexplained


Shadow Figures and Shadow Beings

Definition: Shadows can be seen in both bright daylight or at night. Most often they are capture by photographic equipment (still photos or video) but have been seen with the naked eye.


Sooner or later anyone who engages in paranormal investigations or has read about ghost/spirit hauntings will encounter the topic of shadows and shadow beings. While the study of shadows and shadow beings (aka shadow entities) is a whole field unto itself, as paranormal investigators we feel it is important to discuss the subject to some extent.

Shadow beings, as the name suggests, are characterized by simply a dark black shadow figure. Sometimes the figure is wispy, other times more solid. The shape is usually a human form, though non-human (possibly animal) shapes have sometimes been reported. The shadow usually is from 3 to a much as 7 feet tall. Sometimes faint facial features can be seen, most notably eye openings. On rare occasion a full face is seen. The shadow usually doesn't show any signs of arms or legs. Shadows seem to have the ability to move a great speeds. They can be seen standing still then quickly accelerate out of view. They do not seem to be contained by walls or other solid structures as they have been seen passing through them.

Shadows can be seen in both bright daylight or at night. Most often they are capture by photographic equipment (still photos or video) but have been seen with the naked eye. When seen with the naked eye they are often seen indirectly. That is, it's rare to look straight on at a shadow. Rather, they are seen off to the side of direct vision. Some individuals seem more prone to viewing shadows than others. For these reasons the very existence of shadows are subject to much criticism.

People often associated a sinister meaning to shadows, owing to the black color. This most likely is a false assumption. Black simply means the absence of emitted or reflected color. Whatever shadows are composed of it's possible they do not emit or reflect any visible light (visible to the naked human eye at least) so they appear black to the human eye.

As previously mention the true nature of what shadows are is the subject of an entire field of study with in the paranormal and is beyond the scope of this discussion. However, there are a few theories that should be reviewed:

Ghosts/Spirit Manifestations - Some theorize shadows are just another way ghosts and spirits can manifest themselves. While not as common as the more usual white or bright light manifestation, it is possible that for whatever reason some spirits manifest more darkly. As mentioned before, whether this can be interpreted as having purpose or meaning is uncertain at best.

Non-Human/Inhuman Entities - It is theorized that shadows are another class of paranormal entity, possibly representing non-human or inhuman entities. If so, whether they are angelic or demonic is not known.

Aliens - Some believe that shadows are an alien life form. They could be the actual alien itself or a telepathic manifestation of their projection to our world. This theory isn't widely discussed or accepted as it leans so much towards the science-fiction. But it deserves to be mention in the interests of completeness.

2-Dimensional Entities - Some have theorized that shadows are only 2 dimensional in structure (they have length and wide but no depth). It is theorized that shadows can only be seen when looked at by right-angles (i.e. 90 degrees or close to its profile). When viewed straight on or directly from behind they can not be seen because they have no depth (thickness). When a shadow seems to appear and disappear it might just be turning from side profile to head-on and visa-versa.

Alternate Life Forms - The sometimes observed animal-like form of a shadow leads some to believe these are a type of rare and undocumented life form. Some paranormal researchers have taken video they believe shows a shadow in a very animal-like form. One video we have seen claims to show a shadow moving along the ground then "sprouting" wings and flying off. Since we did not take this video nor have access to the source LIPI is unable to perform an analysis of the claim.

There is no report we are aware of that indicates shadows are dangerous or threatening (other than their appearance). Some people have reported shadows moving small objects but there are other types of paranormal activity as well as non-paranormal events could also explain it.

To summarize, shadows and shadow beings (shadow entities) are an aspect of paranormal investigations. The probability of encountering a shadow is low compared to the other paranormal events that are more commonly reported. Still, investigators should be aware of the theories about shadows to better understand what they may encounter on an investigation.


Paranormal Theories


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  external linkShadows, Shadow beings and shadow entities by Long Island Paranormal Investigators - Ghost Haunted Demonic Investigation Ghost Hunter New York NY



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