My Terrifying Experience with Shadow People as a Child
This post isn’t necessarily “educational”. That would imply that I am somewhat of an expert on the topic. I am not. I can say, however, that I am “experienced”. My goal… my hope with this post is that we start a conversation. In a best-case scenario, perhaps we can come up with some guidance for parents who find themselves in the peculiar situation where their children have experienced a paranormal event.
My shadow people background
Recently I’ve had the occasion to dredge up some dark memories of unexplained phenomena from my childhood. In turn, this has led me to do some soul-searching in regard to children and how we react when they tell us they’ve experienced something strange.
For context, I grew up in the deep South. My family was Southern Baptist. Not the kind that thinks all ghosts are demons, but the kind that thinks “Of course there are ghosts! The bible says it! The Bible mentions the Holy Ghost many times!” …but what I experienced night after night as a child may well have been “biblical“… but it certainly wasn’t holy.
Every night after everyone had gone to sleep, I would be visited by “Shadow People”. They would walk out of the walls. Some of them would leave, some would stay and stand next to my bed…. And this was NOT sleep paralysis. I would move…. mostly to hide under the covers, sweating profusely and trembling in fear as I prayed they would just leave me alone.
Years passed and I moved on
That was 40 years ago. I’ve often thought about my nightly visitors over the years, but as I grew older, the memories grew distant and no longer carried the weight they used to. My life had taken an adventuresome path where I lived in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and half a dozen other cities. I was traveling the world, meeting with celebrities on a daily basis and becoming friends with artists, athletes and historical figures I had admired my whole life. I felt very distant from that kid who grew up in that vast plot of forest in a town no one has ever heard of.
I decided to speak out on Shadow People
Then- About 10 years ago- I learned that “Shadow People” were a well-known phenomenon! It wasn’t just ME who had seen these things! Then, this year, I experienced some dark paranormal activity again. This time, in my apartment. I kept an audio journal of that experience and – in an attempt to make lemonade from lemons- you can hear those tapes on my YouTube channel “A Shock In The Dark”. I was hoping to capture the mundane yet destructive reality of experiencing a ‘haunting’ in contrast to the glamorous, overly-dramatic versions you see on tv and movies. My intention is to give a little comfort to someone experiencing the same thing… to tell them “You are not alone in this!”
The recording of these journals led me back home where I interviewed my parents about the Shadow People who visited me nightly when I was a kid. Long story short: My parents proved to me – beyond any doubt – that Shadow People are REAL! If you are interested, that interview can be found in Season 1 Episode 6.
How to potentially help your child dealing with Shadow People
While recording, I realized that my parents had made a very bad decision in dealing with this situation… and more shockingly: I am absolutely certain that I would make that exact same mistake!
When I eventually told my parents what was happening to me every night, what do you think they said to me?
Well… What would YOU say to YOUR child if you were confronted by that situation right now?
Me? I know what I would say! I would say something like “Oh, you’ve just had a bad dream! Dreams can’t hurt you!“
That is what my parents did…. and I don’t fault them at all! However- as the child in that situation, I can tell you exactly the impact that had on me. I knew what I had seen. I knew I was not asleep… and now- I knew that the ONLY people who MIGHT be able to keep me safe… didn’t even believe me.
Instead of comforting me, those words made me feel isolated, alone and vulnerable.
There HAS to be a better way.
So what do we do?
It doesn’t seem right to say “Oh, those are just some demons who want your soul, sweetie!“. We want to provide some level of comfort without committing ourselves to “Yep! Nobody knows what they are, they are 100% real and extremely creepy!” or conversely, “you’re just dreaming. Go back to bed“.
Of course, there is another aspect to consider. In my opinion, if it appears that your child is seeing things or hearing things, you MUST consider the possibility of a mental health issue.
I just read an amazing book: Demonic Foes by Dr. Richard Gallagher. He is a big-time psychiatrist who was a skeptic, but found himself becoming the lead “go-to” guy for the Catholic church in determining if someone was schizophrenic… or possessed. It’s a fairly frightening book, but amazing and extremely informative.
Here’s where I start to really demonstrate my ignorance on the topic.
It seems to me that just about ANY psychiatrist is going to chalk up hearing and/or seeing things to a mental disorder. I can not imagine a doctor saying “little Johnny seems fine to me… so it MUST be ghosts!”.
As I said from the beginning – I am not an expert. I do not have the answers. But- I think it’s important that each situation is approached calmly and with some real thought put into it, because –
Sometimes an imaginary friend is JUST an imaginary friend…
…and sometimes it isn’t.
One final/main thought: I think it’s incredibly important that there is an easily accessible guide available for parents who are looking for it. Let’s do what every parent has tried to do since the dawn of time: Let’s do better with our kids… Certainly, better than our parents did with us.
If you have any ideas, professional opinions, experience or conflicting thoughts about how to handle your child’s paranormal experience, I would love to read your comments.
“The Narrator” lives in Hollywood, CA where he continues his adventurous life, but only talks about ghosts anonymously so that the people he deals with in business don’t write him off as being a nutcase.
Check out recordings from his personal paranormal experience at:
Thanks for reading ‘My Terrifying Experience with Shadow People as a Child’.
Have you had a scary experience with Shadow People? PLEASE COMMENT BELOW –