Did you really see that? Out of the corner of your eye - something quick, something dark. It kind of looked like… well, like a person. But when you turn your head, you see… nothing. Was it just your imagination? Now you second-guess yourself, thinking your mind was playing tricks on you. After all, there’s nobody there. It’s only shadows… right?
The phenomenon of seeing “shadow people” is a strange, mysterious, and often scary event that has been reported all over the world. Their true nature is undetermined - as insubstantial as shadows themselves - but theories range from malevolent entities, to extra-dimensional beings, to shades of the dead, to nothing but figments of the imagination.
Because encounters with shadow people tend to be so fleeting and so intangible, it becomes all the more difficult to explain and categorize just who or what they really are. However in some rare cases, there are those who have had the (mis)fortune to actually capture these shadowy figures on camera. The resulting images seem to evoke supernatural spectacle, creeping fear, and even more questions, but they also confirm an important truth: it’s not always just your imagination.
Here are 15 scary pictures of shadow people caught on camera:
1) Shadow Person Head. “My brother found this picture on his phone. This is his room, his door, his chair, etc., but he has no memory of taking this picture. It freaks the both of us out. We have no idea what it could be. I asked him what he thought it was, and he said a ‘shadow person’. He said, he has come into contact with shadow people. He has seen them face to face. We are a family of empaths, so could that have something to do with it? Is it because we can sense things others can't? Is it because we can see and hear things that others can't? Are we more venerable because we are empaths? . . . We both feel its energy when we are in his room, and I fear that it is studying him. From what I have researched about shadow people; when they come face to face, it’s suppose to mean they have interest in you. They usually don't like to be seen. Something took this picture. My brother didn't. I didn't. It’s obviously not a fake or photo shopped picture. So where did it come from? And why is it here?”
2) Uninvited Shadow Guest. “I have always bumped into shadows ever since we've lived here. Everyone laughed at me until one Thanksgiving when my daughter took a picture of her boyfriend. When she showed me the picture, she said, "What is that?" In the photograph, she was referring to a tall, black, perfect shadow of a man with smoke coming out of his head that was swirling and went up to the ceiling. So scary looking. I said,"That's the shadow man that I've been seeing". Now, they all believe me and now he is almost constantly around in my bedroom. It is the same story as everyone else that's written in: darker than dark, fear of someone watching even if you don't see him and they are outside also. Too much to write about. I just wanted people to know they're really out there.”
3) Shadow Person Caught on Web Cam. “This photo of a "shadow being" was taken by a computer camera. The person whose home it was had some anomalous things going on and often 'felt' someone there. She left her computer web camera on for a few hours, recording the room, then went back and looked through the
frames. This is what showed up on only two of them.”
4) Shadow in the School Yard. “I found this photo on my friends bebo and there was a black figure in the background, I was just wondering what it was. I think that it is probably a ghost and it's very weird. This picture was taken at my school in nottinghanshire, England.”
5) Shadow Photobomb at the Pub. “My niece owns a house in Lyme Regis, England. She spent new years eve with friends visiting the oldest pub/hotel in Lyme and took a series of pictures showing everyone enjoying themselves and for posting on FaceBook later that evening. What she captured was pretty amazing.
Firstly, let me explain that they were sitting in a closed area of the bar, where to the left of the picture there is an outside wall with no doors. From the other pictures taken at the time it is fairly evident that no one else was sitting close to them or behind. Yet this one picture clearly shows some kind of form which is not well defined in terms of shape, but seems to be very solid nonetheless.
She also told me that they also all spotted a "wisp of smoke" over the table, much like you'd get when you blow out a candle. However (you've guessed it), there was no candle. When she went to try and touch it, it disappeared.
The pub/hotel was the "Royal Lion" in "Broad Street" and has some reputation for sightings of ectoplasm and the sound of bodiless foot steps.”
6) The Hat Man. “Australia’s Port Arthur was once a former convict settlement and later the site of an industrial prison. With such a long and brutal history it is hardly a surprise that the area has a notorious paranormal reputation. In 2011, the Poultney family visited Trentham Cottage and snapped the above photograph. Mr Poultney said the family had been through the house just moments before, and it had been empty which begs the question who or what was in the doorway?
After seeing the photograph, Port Arthur Historic Site tour supervisor Colin Knight said the shadowy figure matched similar sightings of former Port Arthur clergyman George Eastman, who has reportedly haunted Port Arthur since he died in 1870.”
7) Waverly Hill Sanatorium Shadow Person. Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky, opened in 1910 and soon after gained a notorious reputation for patient mistreatment and human experimentation. It’s believed as many as 64,000 people who were admitted to the sanatorium died there over the years before its closure in 1961. Today, under new ownership the sanatorium has opened its door once more as a haunted attraction for tourists and ghost hunters after being featured on the television show Ghost Hunters.
After hearing about Waverly Hills haunted reputation, a lone traveler decided to go investigate Waverly’s paranormal activity for himself. He took this picture while wandering the rooms of the sanatorium, and swears he was alone at all times and was surprised to see this dark figure captured in one of his photos.”
8) Moundsville Prison Shadow Man. “Moundsville Prison, West Virginia, first opened its doors in 1866 and was the home to many dangerous criminals over its years in operation. The prisons long and dark history includes multiple murders, suicides, riots and executions and today is well known for its extreme paranormal activity. Shutting down in 1995, the prison is now open to tourists and paranormal groups who are interested in its haunted reputation. This picture was taken by Polly Gear of the Mountaineer Paranormal group during an investigation of the prison; Gear stated there was no-one around at the time this photo was taken and cannot account for the shadow person standing in the doorway. Is this the spirit of a former inmate or something else entirely?”
9) Shadow Person on the Haunted Queen Mary. “The Queen Mary has a long and intriguing past. The ocean liner turned troopship, turned hotel is now an infamous haunted attraction that draws tourists and paranormal enthusiasts alike in their thousands each year. It’s said the ship is home to over 130 paranormal residents, so it should come as no surprise the Queen Mary is known as “Most Haunted Ship” in the world. Submitted to Haunted American Tours in 2008, this photograph widely considered to be the best photographic evidence of paranormal activity aboard the famous cruise liner.”
10) Zombie Road Shadow People. “Originally built in the 1860s, Lawler Ford road, or Zombie Road as it is better known by the locals in Glencoe, Missouri, is famous for being the ‘Most Haunted Road’ in America. Stretching just over 2 miles long, this forest road is synonymous for strange lights, eerie urban legends and sightings of shadow people. Since the 1950’s there have been numerous reports of dark, humanoid shapes that mysteriously appear in the treeline, some travelers have even said that they have been followed down the road by these shadowy entities, only for them to suddenly disappear into thin air as soon as they leave the area.
These strange sightings were enough to interest the world renowned Paranormal Taskforcegroup who came to investigate Zombie Road in 2005. The above photograph was taken by Tom Halstead, and appears to show shadow people shadow lining the top of the hill. Halstead stated that there was no-one else present at the time the picture was taken and that the hill area was completely surrounded by water.”
12) The Grey Man. “In South Carolina, the legend of the ‘Gray Man’ is commonly told. The mysterious figure is said to be the ghost of a young man who died sometime in the early 1800s after being caught in quicksand in the marshes near Pawley’s Island. Locals say his spirit has haunted the nearby shoreline ever since. Notably, sightings of the Gray Man are said to always foretell severe storms and hurricanes.
First seen in 1822, there have been more recent sightings in 1989 just before Hurricane Hugo and most recently preceding Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Is this picture taken on the beach of an eerie shadow figure the Gray Man? Many believe this to the best photographic evidence of his existence to date.
13) Shadows of Alcatraz. Located in the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary is often cited as one of the most haunted places in America. Prisoners, rangers and visitors have all reported a wide range of alleged paranormal activity on Alcatraz, from whispering in cells and locked cell doors opening and shutting seemingly by themselves to phantom figures in corridors. The above photograph was taken by Glenn Shelton, who claims he has finally proven once and for all that Alcatraz is the” Most Haunted Prison” in the world.
14) Shadow Figure in the Attic. “This photo was taken in the attic at my workplace (a restaurant which used to be a house and a theater) there are quite a few close encounters by the staff with ghosts in the last 10 years.....but now, finally, we have captured something on film. We believe this to be a shadow ghost that is haunting the restaurant where I work.”
In addition to the stories shared above, here are eight more very creepy photo captures of shadow people that have circulated the Internet. Are they more or less frightening without any background information?
15) Hat Man Brings Bad Omen. "This was taken three days before their mother's funeral. See it's hand on her shoulder? She died in an accident shortly after."
For more eyewitness accounts and encounters with shadow people, check out The Confessionals Podcast Episode 3: Hat Man and Ghostly Interactions; Episode 97: Bigfoot Staring Back at Me; Episode 126: Say It With a Smile; and Episode 129: House of Shadows.
What do you think “shadow people” are? Have you ever glimpsed a shadow person? Share with us in the comments!