The Shadow People are real. For many years now, I have been aware of their presence. Lingering in the shadows, just out of sight, they watched and waited—the Shadow People. I could feel their gaze piercing through the darkness, sending shivers down my spine. I knew they had a purpose, but I could never quite put my finger on what it was.

Then, in 2015, I died after being involved in a serious motorbike accident. Dying on the operating table as one of the best heart surgeons in the country repaired my shredded descending aorta. After this event and my subsequent recovery, I noticed a slow but steady increase in my sightings of The Shadow People. Let this account of my experiences thus far serve as a warning to others.

Years passed, and I continued to feel their presence, but I never mentioned it to anyone. After all, who would believe me? My fascination with the shadow people grew stronger as I delved into researching hypnagogia and the supernatural, along with other theories behind this phenomenon. It became clear to me that these two seemingly unrelated fields were intertwined, and the key to understanding their intentions lay somewhere in the depths of our subconscious minds.

Hypnagogia refers to the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, during which a person may experience vivid sensory perceptions, including visual and auditory hallucinations. Some researchers believe that the experiences reported of the Shadow People are a form of hypnagogic hallucination.

Some believe that shadow people are paranormal entities, such as spirits, ghosts, or interdimensional beings. However, there is no empirical evidence to support these claims. Of course, there is no evidence to fully support these other beliefs or theories, including my own.

Other researchers believe that shadow people may result from the mind's attempt to make sense of visual input, particularly when the brain is in a state of high alert or stress. This could be due to the brain's tendency to recognise familiar patterns, such as human shapes, even when they are not present. Pareidolia, for example, is a psychological phenomenon in which the brain perceives familiar patterns or images in random visual data. In the case of shadow people, individuals may interpret random shadows or shapes as humanoid figures.

Other conditions that could bring about this phenomenon are sleep paralysis, hypnopompia, stress and anxiety, migraines with aura, substance use and withdrawal, Charles Bonnet Syndrome, Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Not all Shadow People experiences indicate a psychological condition or disorder. These perceptions could sometimes result from optical illusions, low light conditions, or even cultural beliefs and folklore.

While it is believed that the Shadow People is a reasonably modern phenomenon, it’s difficult to pinpoint when it started being reported; it is believed to have begun in the late 20th to early 21st century. However, I should mention that different cultures and periods have had their interpretations of such entities.

For instance, shadowy figures have appeared in various mythologies, such as the ancient Egyptian concept of the "ka" or the Islamic concept of "jinn". Choctaw Native Americans have Nalusa Falaya, and Algonquian Native Americans have Pukwudgies, black dogs from Irish/British folklore. Japanese have Kage Onna. German folklore has Nachtalb, and Scandinavian folklore has the Mara.

We can track this phenomenon back to Greek, Roman, Celtic, Norse, and even Mayan civilisations, which have beings with similarities within their mythology.

In 2017, I died again and was successfully brought back to the realm of the living once. Once again, my experiences with The Shadow People intensified, leading to one experience that inspired me to write this account should anything happen. I have come up with a theory behind the phenomenon myself. After talking with a few people over the years, this has only added to my thoughts that I may be on to something here.

My theory is that when you are in that state of Hypnagogia, you are in a vulnerable position. Your conscious mind has not fully shut down, and your subconscious mind hasn't assumed complete control. At that point, your connection with your soul is most vulnerable. This is what the Shadow People want. They want to snatch your soul away for some reason, and this presents the most opportune moment to perform this task.

The focus of my research has been on this state of hypnagogy, as it has been the only time I have experienced this phenomenon. When I am not asleep, yet not awake, drifting in between the two. Often this is when people have that jolt that wakes them up as well. Often, I’ve had that, and I’m looking around as I can sense something. I believe this is when they have attempted to snatch my soul.

My experiences had been very similar to everyone else's that I had spoken with, a flash in the peripherals of movement of something dark and human-shaped. It always disappears quickly whenever you try to see what it is. That was until mid-2022 when my experiences became more frequent and intense in their feeling. I had never been bothered by this phenomenon, rather more curious.

Now, I felt a sense of malice and ill will towards me. The Shadow People were coming closer, and often, there was more than one at a time. Still disappearing the very moment I sensed them and was roused to look in that direction. I was sensing their presence now, not just seeing them in my peripherals.

One night, I was exhausted, yet I could not sleep. I have always had the issue of not being able to switch off. I have had bouts of insomnia throughout my life. I was sitting on the edge of the bed. I sensed them as my body jolted me awake, and I quickly opened my eyes, seeing the movement of multiple shadow people near the door to the bedroom in the shadows of the passageway.

As I turned to chase them away, I caught a glimpse of one in the mirror in front of me. There it was, standing on the other side of the bed facing my back. This one was much larger than any I had ever seen or sensed. My head snapped back to the mirror as it quickly dissipated into the room's shadows. I sat there, processing what had just occurred. This one had allowed me to see it.

This one was different to the others. This one troubled me. For the first time, I was feeling scared. Was it sending me a message? Was this a warning of sorts? It was here to finish the job, and I was jolted awake. This being had been behind me. It had tried to snatch my soul.

One fateful night, as I lay in bed drifting in and out of sleep, I found myself teetering on the edge of consciousness. Then, I saw it – a towering, humanoid figure cloaked in darkness, standing right in front of me. Its fluid, metallic texture glistened like the depths of a black hole, and its hooded cloak appeared to be an extension of its very being.

Panic surged through me, but I was unable to move or scream. I could only watch in horror as the figure stared at me with an intensity I had never felt before. It was as if it knew that I had discovered their secret – the perfect moment to strike when the connection between my soul and my mind was at its weakest.

The shadow being's presence seemed to drain the energy from the room, and I felt an inexplicable sense of dread enveloping me. It was as if the creature was trying to consume my soul, luring it away from the fragile connection that tethered it to my body. My heart pounded in my chest, and I struggled to regain control over my paralysed limbs, desperate to escape the impending doom that seemed to be drawing nearer.

As I fought to stay awake, the creature began to fade, its form dissolving back into the shadows from whence it came. A sudden wave of relief washed over me, but it was tinged with the chilling realisation that they were still out there, waiting for the perfect opportunity to take what they desired.

Since that night, I have become obsessed with understanding the shadow people and their intentions. I've immersed myself in ancient texts, obscure theories, and even the internet's darkest corners. Despite my efforts, however, their true purpose remains a mystery.

Some nights, as I lie in bed, I can still sense their presence, watching and waiting from the periphery. I know they'll come for me again; when they do, I'll be ready. I've taken precautions to ensure that my account of these events will survive, even if I do not. Should anything happen to me, let this story serve as a testament to the truth.

The very night I wrote this, I’d gone to sleep without issues. That was until a few hours later, I woke in terror. Something was in the room with me. I tried to move and found that I could not. Panic started to grip me as the presence was there still, and my son lay by my side. This wasn’t the Shadow People, and I instinctively knew that. This was bigger.

Controlling my breathing to calm the panic I was feeling, I forced my limbs to obey. The sheer effort required to just raise my arms was immense. I knew from my research that I was experiencing sleep paralysis. Slowly, I managed to raise my upper body off the mattress, my arms out in front of me like a zombie. I was moving, yet everything was taking so long. I felt stiff and heavy. I looked around the room, scanning for any sign. Nothing.

Eventually, my body returned to normal. I sat there, scared. For my son's safety and my own. This was the first time in a very long time that I felt true fear. I decided I’d stay awake for the rest of the night.

If anyone has experienced sleep paralysis, you will know how exhausting that fight is. It wasn’t long before I drifted off again. Only to wake once again with the same feeling of terror and inability to move. I fought again with everything I had.

This occurred 5 times throughout the night, and by the second or third time, I understood there was no threat to my son. Still no less terrifying. Morning finally came, and the ordeal was over. I felt exhausted. I also felt this was a warning of some kind. A threat.

They obviously haven’t been paying attention to who I am.

I want you to understand something, though. These events are a true account of what I, the author of this piece, have experienced. I remain open-minded to all explanations, and I’m not attributing it to one particular theory. If these beings, in fact, do exist, do we think they could not manipulate our psychology and physiology against us? Remaining hidden while science explains away the supernatural? It’s only supernatural to us until we figure out what it is.

If this can happen to me, this can happen to you.

And so, I wait. The shadow people will come, and I will confront them when they do. I will unravel and expose their secrets to the world, no matter the cost. Until then, I remain vigilant, knowing that the darkness holds more than just shadows.