Look on any ghost hunting or paranormal site, or ask any investigator, and alongside ‘traditional’ ghosts and dust-orbs, there is another, far more unusual and much creepier facet of paranormal research – Shadow Figures.
According to Ghost Study dot com (http://www.ghoststudy.com/) , there are three types of Shadow entity:
Type A - Appear as a small dark misty cloud and are almost always under two feet in length, but can hover or float up to 8 feet high.
Type B - Appear as a huge glob of thick cloudy mass. They typically range from 2 to 8 feet in height.
Type C - Appear in human form and some may be seen wearing a hat. They typically appear up to 8 feet in height.
One major difference between recorded cases of 'Shadow People' and 'ghosts' is that whereas ghosts usually haunt one particular location and somehow repeat their former existence there, Shadow People have been known to 'interact' in as much as they observe and then disappear when noticed.
Possibilities of just what these Shadow Figures might be are:
a) Daemonic (given my hobbies, it's plausible :)
b) Paranormal, e.g. ghost
d) Dimensional Seepage
e) Inter-dimensional beings
f) Spirit (as in domovoi)
g) Astral entities
h) Time travellers
i) Echoes of the Self
For reasons that will be explained momentarily, c, d, e, g, h, and i are the most probable explanations.
Judging by the extremely brief nature of encounters and experiences with Shadow People it is apparent that these episodes are limited heavily in time factor - for what reason is unclear.
The lack of synchronicity of reproduced sound occasionally associated with their visitation and the indistinct, yet clearly human/hominid appearance of Type C Shadow People suggests that either only the projected aura can travel or that in order to travel through time/interdimensionally, the frequency of what we call reality must be increased massively causing poor reception at the destination point.
The innumerable sightings of beings and entities throughout history described variously as angels, demons, spirits, etc (not to be confused with the ‘Man in Black’ of the Black Goat of Le Messe Niger fame) - along with a whole plethora of modern cryptozoological specimens - do hint towards the abovementioned possibilities.
Lack of interaction on any concrete level and for any extended period (excluding the observation, 'babble' and then disappearance that is the hallmark of these types of paranormal occurance) suggests that SPs perhaps do not originate from the Demonic Planes or the Astral Planes of our own Reality/Time (unless the work of amateur astral Travellers).
Skeptics generally brush ShadowPeople and Shadow Animals aside as 'microsleep'. Driving home through the Carpathian hills I've had many occasions when I've had to swerve because of a 'Microsleep' running in front of my car. I've also had these Microsleeps standing in the hallway and then going around corners.
One of the best means of testing if a Shadow Entity is 'real' or not is if it crosses an open doorway and still retains shape. This implies that it is not the sleepy mind distorting ordinary shadows because in an open doorway the shadow has no place to form.
The Shadows (mostly animals but also a few people) I have seen on the road have always started running across my path when there was zero chance of me avoiding them. Because I drive so much - approximately 4 hours per day - and in some of the worst weather imaginable and on very bad roads - I am careful to keep conscious and focused. These Microsleeps (and their non-hitting of my Mitsubishi at N kilomteres per hour which would be fatal otherwise) whack my heart out of rhythm and it takes a good while to calm down and establish normal breathing again after the shock of the Non-Collision.
I'm not talking blurs but fully formed, shadowy versions of animals such as deer. The entire road network is dotted with roadside memorials and huge roadsigns saying how many people have been killed and injured on that stretch in the last few years. It doesn't take a great leap of imagination to predict that there will be a few hauntings but Shadow People do NOT repeat these pointless actions of running into a road and dying ad infinitum. These I would count as ghosts.
The Shadow People who could qualify as inter-dimensional entities are renowned for lurking - you know the sensation you get when your neck hairs stand on end and you just KNOW someone is standing behind you and watching you and when you turn around you see a blurred movement which your sanity dismisses as a trick of the light?
These peripheral vision Shadow Figures are brushed away in psychiatric terms as an aspect of Peripheral Vision Psychosis.
According to the Center for Paranormal Research and Investigation, low sound waves can even be the cause.
However, in the case of Shadow figures seen standing at the bottom or top of staircases (a common form of sighting) or the figure watching you in the bathroom, these cannot qualify as they are not peripheral. I, even though long exposed to psychology and its attempt to demystify the world, still don't believe that every single phenomenon can be dismissed as a psychosis (or, in the case of Saintly visions, the consumption of mouldy rye bread).
The fact that these shadow Figures are often noticed BECAUSE they are observing (the human mind and body has many in-built self defence mechanisms stemming from our days as prey rather than predator). We KNOW when we're being watched or talked about (warm earlobe as a superstitious example). These figures are often recorded because the object of their study notices them and turns around, and THEN sees them in peripheral vision - but the sensation of being watched precedes this, therefore negating the psychosis in many cases.
It's not a pleasant occurrence - especially if it's a lone female loading clothes into her basement washer and begins to feel prickles on the back of her neck because she FEELS someone watching her. She turns around and sees a blurred movement in her peripheral vision and her heart leaps.
How can she explain it (as I've never encountered one with red glowing eyes like Mothman I can't comment)? She'd say "I saw something out of the corner of my eye - like a blur - and then it was gone."
Unless she kept going on and on about it and started wearing tinfoil hats, it's unlikely that she'd be shipped off for Electro Shock Therapy and instead would be offered a number of mundane explanations, which she would accept as, culturally, Shadow People have no place in suburban 21st century reality.
An example of a Shadow Figure watching from Ghost Study dot com (http://ghoststudy.com/new6/shadowpics/page114.htm):
Shadow Figures are often reported by magic users following a ritual. It's extremely important before and after any ritual to 'cleanse' both the environs and oneself - not only from what was deliberately invoked/evoked but what may have also been attracted by Reality Frequency Disturbances.
(The Merchant of Venice, Act II, Scene IX)
To use an example: You're trying to raise a daemon (whether or not the ritual is successful is irrelevant). What you're basically doing is calling out (or down, if that's your hypothesis) in such a manner that you'll attract its attention. The same goes for Ouija and other means of Clairvoyance (except they go upwards in traditional Belief systems, unless you're Vodun...then I still haven't worked it out and haven't had chance to ask Baron Samedi yet). You're basically opening up a means of communication or, much worse, a door.
One reason why the Simon Necronomicon was so terrifying (and the entire principle of Lovecraft's Mythos) was that doors could be opened but not closed again. It doesn't matter, on principle, if - in the case of the Simon - you're just spouting quasi Sumerian gobbledygook - you are 'opening doors' from your location and your reality to ‘others’. It is the experienced practitioner who knows how to open a door, do the deed and close it again and go to bed at night not wondering if he or she left the light on...
The Sixth Sense covers an immense area of pseudo-science (as psychology was known until recently); ESP and precognition are just two of many documented aspects that do not fit within the strict structure of the scientific 5 senses yet are clearly seen in some animals. Who knows what else is in our capabilities? After all, we managed to attain sentience.
To go back to the doors, imagine if you will that within our 'mind' (or soul, etc) we have the ability during ritual to create a harmonic that breaches the boundaries of this reality and probes others. We have no way of knowing if this opens a direct line to our intended summonee or contactee, or if it threads its way through countless other planes and realms, attracting the attention of whatever denizens might overhear it.
As I have oft stated, Daemonology is similar to primitive psychology - much of magic is - in that it is isolating and focusing one aspect of our minds using symbols, chants, metals, times and dates (which is where astrology comes in handy). We set the scene to put out a call to a daemon listed in some ancient tome or - and this is one reason I heartily recommend against this method for beginners, e.g. the Chaos Magick version - one of our own creation. Not only do we open ourselves up to whatever is listening in but in the case of 'Homemade Daemons' there is no direct end to the link. The practitioner has no idea whatsoever what will answer the call - or how to deal with it when it arrives (if...if....)
Shadow People, as can be seen in the various personal experiences that have been recorded, appear to be attracted to environs and people that have been involved with magic. It is eerily like sharks smelling blood in the water. The fact that these Shadow People apparently do nothing once they arrive - apart from lurk and watch - does not label them as either harmless or harmful.
I've never heard of anyone summoning them directly. Even mediums don't count them as successful contact with the Afterlife - they're more of an unwanted side-effect.
Quite often when communicating with various entities, one realises that their speech is somehow distorted as if coming through a filter; eg too fast, too metallic, too 'bubbly'. This really leads me to believe that in order to cross planes/time-space, there has to be frequency adjustment. Anomalous Voices, such as that which inspired me to begin research intro EVPs and Reversed Speech, are often associated with the appearance of Shadow People – and both are clearly ‘out-of-sync with this reality.
One theory I formulated many years ago concerning déjà vu, but which applies equally well to the appearance of Shadow People (I get really scary-arsed episodes of déjà vu, usually prior to something bad happening to me) was the Lag Theory. This is a bit Acid-esque but is basically based upon the theory that each decision has a number of possibilities, each of which creates another number of possibilities with different consequences, and so on virtually ad infinitum (the reason why it's not possible to travel to the future and return again as you'd never find your way back through the 'choice-labyrinth'); an extension of this is the parallel universe theory whereby at the point of each decision a new universe/reality is created in order to fulfil the possibility chosen by Self A, Self B, Self C, etc.
In the Lag Theory, Alpha Self (e.g. the you reading this) chooses the reality that I am currently in tune with, however, Alpha Self is still Beta Self and Gamma Self up to the point where their choice-route takes them on an utterly divergent course than that chosen by Alpha Self (we'll just ignore the even more Leary-esque type thinking whereby 'Am I Alpha Self or Beta Self, etc'? as that argument goes on forever). For the sake of argument, we are Alpha Self.
Okay, Alpha Self is in Reality 1, Beta Self is in Reality 2 (until the next branching of possibilities - over simplified I know, and not taking into account the innumerable realities caused from birth onwards). Let's say that Beta Self (who diverged from Reality 1 several years back but has followed a similar course with only minor differences) encounters a personal disaster after choosing one possibility in his/her own Reality. Example - Beta Self's friends ask him to come for a drink. Beta Self says he feels tired so declines the offer and goes home instead. On the way home he has a car crash and dies. This (either deliberately or as a Reality Impulse) sends a shock wave back along the branches and interacts with whichever other Self is currently in a near-identical situation. On a minor scale, this is like Gut instinct or Female Intuition - where the Self knows instinctively, although for no quantifiable reason, why something 'feels right or wrong'.
In the case of Shadow People, it's possible that they are either emanations of Delta or Epsilon Selves whose Reality has somehow crosswired with Alpha Self's, or - and this is where it gets scary - something else entirely that has come along to watch just which possibility your Alpha Self chooses at a particular moment, knowing that the consequences of this choice (and it could be something as simple as eating an apple or not eating an apple) will create a Butterfly Effect further down the Time Line. In this sense, they could be construed as 'Monitors'. When they appear after a magical ceremony (remembering that the limit of their interaction is usually running off when noticed - or, perhaps giving a grin and then running off), it's possible they're there merely as spectators waiting to see just what mess Alpha Self has caused throughout the planes and what the consequences will be.
Whatever they are, they show intelligence that is unknown in ghosts; they do not fit the criteria of the plethora of recorded daemons, they do not appear as fully formed entities swaying me against the alien argument. That leaves two main possibilities : Time and Dimensions.