Bizarre Encounters with Black Mass Shadow Entities Brent Swancer Among the many strange experiences reported in the world of the paranormal we have a range of different types, from the slightly odd to the truly outlandish. Among these must surely rank high those reports of shadowy, usually quite nebulous entities that seem to skirt about on the periphery of our perception, not usually witnessed clearly but always making their presence known. These beings, entities, whatever you want to call them, seem to come out from the ether past our understanding to leave questions and few answers for those who have seen them, and here we delve into the world of the shadow people, those amorphous, fleeting things that torment and shock, yet remain elusive and mysterious. There are numerous spooky reports of what can only be described as amorphous black entities that appear as a vaguely humanoid shapes, somewhere between an apparition and a bizarre cloud-like specter. One of these reports comes to us from the archives of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), concerning a woman in the U.S. state of Tennessee who had her own brush with the weird on February 29, 2012. According to the report, the woman had just returned from dropping her daughter off at the bus stop, after which she had decided to step outside and enjoy a cup of coffee on her deck. As she sat out there enjoying a moment of peace and quiet as her husband was inside, she says that she noticed a very odd apparition lurking about the property, and she would say of her outlandish encounter: The encounter was so upsetting for the witness that she claims she refuses to sit out on her deck alone anymore to this day. What was this thing? Another report comes from Your Ghost Stories, from a witness from the state of New York, who in 2011 had an anomalous experience he cannot explain. He was supposedly sitting in bed at night one evening reading a book when he realized that he was not alone in that darkened room. The witness explains: Odd indeed, and it illustrates that the witnesses in these cases often don’t know whether they are witnessing a ghost or something else. Another report comes to us from The Shadow People Archives, with a witness who had an encounter with one of these entities in the woods behind his house in broad daylight. As he was out there playing with a friend something caught his attention, which would prove to be very weird, to say the least. He explains: There are several such reports on the site Live About, with one being from a witness from New Jersey who says it all started when her children started complaining of some dark shapes that would flit about in the periphery of their vision down in the basement, where the children playroom was located. The witness herself would start to see these strange masses, and she says of this: The family apparently learned to just sort of deal with these things, whatever they were, and at times they would actually talk to the entities and tell them to go away. Most of the time these entities were fleetingly seen, at best, but everyone agreed that they were really there, lurking in the shadows and watching them with inscrutable intent. However, at one point the witness did see one up close and was able to discern some of its features, or lack thereof. She says: From the same site is another account from a witness who says that she has seen them prowling about her property and that they are “smoky and shapeless,” dissipating if they are looked at head on. She also says that they seem to project a malevolent aura about them, and that she believes them to be some sort of demons. The witness says: I have had a few encounters with such entities related directly to me, and they are no less bizarre or otherworldly. One witness tells me he came face to face with a shapeless black mass that came crawling out f his closet one evening as he sat there watching TV in bed. He says that he was very awake at the time and that it could not have been any sort of sleep paralysis or dream hallucination. He explains what happened as follows: In another report told to me, the witness says that whatever it was seemed to be almost stalking her one day as she was outside of her home in rural Pennsylvania. She says that she had been taking a hike in the woods surrounding her house, typically a safe, comforting place that she felt of as home, but on this day something was very different. It had been nearing sunset, and she says that she kept seeing something move out of the corner of her eye, seemingly keeping pace with her just out of the periphery of her vision, always melting away if she looked directly at it. She wrote it off as her imagination playing tricks on her, but the shadowy black mass kept congealing in the corner of her vision to pulsate and move along the trail, to the point that she felt it was undeniable that something was there with her. She says: What could be behind such reports as we have looked at here? The most common theory is that these are indicative of a paranormal phenomenon known simply as “Shadow People.” These entities are usually described as vaguely humanoid in form, only often without any discernible features and as being rather hazy. Often a feeling of sudden dread and fear accompany such reports, and they are usually described as being an inky black, as if they are particularly pronounced shadows. They are sometimes reported as able to change forms on a dime, and they are usually portrayed as rather shy, often vanishing or dissipating when looked at directly, and they tend to only appear in the periphery of the vision. Rarely do they directly physically menace the witness, but they almost always leave the impression that they are somehow not friendly or that they are something with the potential to cause harm. They never attempt to communicate, and often are described as being almost surprised that they are seen at all. There have been many theories on what these shadow people might be. They are sometimes said to be some sort of interdimensional travelers, just passing through or bleeding through into our world somehow, perhaps just as surprised to be here as we are to have them visiting. Or they may also be here for some reason, although what that may be is anyone’s guess. Other ideas include that they are demons or some other type of spiritual manifestation, but oddly those mediums who have tried to look into Shadow People have come away with the distinct impression that these are not human, and not the ghosts of the dead. What could they be and what do they want? It does not seem that the answer to this will be revealed to us anytime soon, and for now these strange apparitions and entities prowl about in the shadows, up to mysterious errands we will perhaps, or even cannot, understand. .