The explanation we get from skeptics and mainstream science—and who are usually people who have never experienced the shadow people phenomenon—is that it is nothing more than the active human imagination. It’s our minds playing tricks on us, our eyes seeing things in a fraction of a second that isn’t really there—illusions. Real shadows caused by passing auto headlights, or some similar explanation. And without a doubt, these explanations probably can account for some if not many experiences. The human eye and mind are easily fooled. But can they account for all cases?
There is no way to prove or disprove any theories about a phenomenon that is so mysterious, that happens so quickly and without warning. Science finds it virtually impossible to catalog or study such phenomena in any methodical way. All we can do, at present, is to document personal experiences and try to piece together what the shadow people phenomenon might be. Perhaps it’s an old mystery becoming more recognizable—perhaps it represents a doorway to and from different planes of existence… or perhaps they simply are just shadows.
Those who are experiencing and studying the shadow people phenomenon say that these entities almost always used to be seen out of the corner of the eye and very briefly. But more and more, people are beginning to see them straight on and for longer periods of time. Some experiencers testify that they have even seen eyes, usually red, on these shadow beings.
Most reports on shadow people are overwhelming negative (encounters with shadow people tend to be accompanied by a feeling of dread, according to many reports but there are allegedly different types of shadow beings, and some of them are non-threatening. Most of the time though, it’s just dark and scary. Apparently there’s one type of shadow person that is said to be more demonic in nature, and that’s known as “The Hat Man” and is reportedly seen wearing a top hat and suit. Other times, shadow people have been reported to attempt a physical attack during an encounter (similar to some sleep paralysis experiences). “[Shadow people] are sometimes discovered by a person who wakes up to find them trying to choke or suffocate them,” said Hollis in an interview with Coast to Coast AM.
Certain belief systems and folklore describe the Shadow People as either a black mass of humanoid shape or as shadowy figures that crawl around at night. The Cherokee Indians reported shadow people through out their history. In Cherokee Folklore the ” Raven Mocker ” was supposed to be a creature described almost exactly like shadow people. The Cherokee legend said it was the spirit of a dead Cherokee witch and it came back from the other world to prey on the living.