Interview on Haunted Voices Radio

On April 8th, 2011 I was invited to be a guest on a radio program called Haunted Voices to discuss what made me a believer in paranormal phenomena and what turned me into a skeptic.  Before I was interviewed, James “The Amazing” Randi was also on the program, so I left it all in for your listening pleasure.   

You can listen directly by going to: or you can right click the link and save as.

Shadow People

Sometime in the 90’s a new phenomena started to occur in the world of the paranormal.  A figure often seen dashing out of the corner of your eye or you see this figure in your peripheral vision, when you turn to look at it, it is already gone.  This phenomenon has been dubbed floaters by optometrist Shadow People.

So what are the characteristics of this “other worldly being”?  According to Paranormal Researcher, Rosemary Ellen Guiley:

There are different types of Shadow People.  The core, dominant experience is the nighttime bedroom visitor: a tall silhouette of a man, often dressed in a coat or cape, and a brimmed hat.  The figure is blacker than black and 3-D, obstructing light and blocking the view of objects.  There are no facial features or eyes (sometimes red eyes are reported), but the experiencer knows he is being observed with great intensity.  The figures do not communicate, but often radiate a malevolent, trickster, or evil intent

In the typical experience, a person wakes up from sleep and sees a Shadow Person in the bedroom.  It stands right at the bedside, in a corner or in the doorway.  It may emerge from a closet or slide out from under the bed.  Some of them come through the walls.
The experiencer is usually terrified and screams.  A reaction often makes the Shadow Person disappear, either by vanishing into thin air, zipping down a hallway, or melting through a wall or ceiling (or back under the bed!).  People may feel paralyzed to do anything but shut their eyes, hoping that the figure will be gone when they open them.  Sometimes it is – and sometimes it isn’t.

Some people feel threatened by the Shadow Person.  It sits on the bed, or presses on them, making them feel as though they will suffocate or choke.  The experience ends before actual physical harm occurs, however. –

First I want to mention, Rosemary just described a condition called sleep paralysis.  I mean she explained it 100%.  I myself suffer from sleep paralysis quite frequently and I understand how vivid and scary they can be.

Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being awake but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During these transitions, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes.  People having an episode of sleep paralysis may feel pressure or a sense of choking.  These episodes are not pleasant; people who suffer from sleep paralysis say they can feel an evil presence, often related to demons or shadow figures.  Bright lights and little people crowded around one’s bed is also trait of sleep paralysis, which can also explain alien abductions. 

These experiences can be so vivid; the person will actually feel like they are awake when in fact they are not.  It can be intensely scary and it often leads people to search for answers, leading them into the supernatural.  But as we can see, these experiences can be explained rationally.

But there is something else I wanted to talk about when dealing with these shadow people.  Another person by the name of Heidi Hollis claims to have coined the name Hatman, to describe a different “breed” of shadow people.  The description of Hatman is pretty much identical to shadow people, only a few differences:

The Hat Man’s gear consists of what can be described as him wearing a long-black trench coat, three-piece suit, white collared shirt, and a flat rimmed gaucho hat.  Some have even reported seeing a gold watch hanging on his side on a chain.  Some people describe seeing red eyes, others see solid black eyes if they see any eyes at all under the shadow of his hat. 

 He’s described as being pale, tall, thin and may or may not have a noticeable goatee and thin moustache.  He may grin, tip his hat, or stare undeniably at a person at length or briefly. 

 He appears in most any location, but most commonly is reported in people’s bedrooms as they sleep at night.  A feeling comes over the person where they wake up to find him watching them nearby.  –

 After a quick search on google images I was able to find drawings of what people claim Hatman look like.

I found something very odd though.  There is a children’s network called Boomerang that plays reruns of old cartoons from the 70’s.  I caught an episode of Dynomutt, an old childhood favorite of mine.  It was released in 1977 and the episode was titled Shadowman.  I had to take a picture of the villain, re read the description while looking at the picture, he fits them perfectly and his name is even shadownman.


Now I can’t sit here and say that this thing people are calling shadow people are the result of a cartoon, but perhaps some may be, I don’t know, I just thought it was cool. 

However there are people who will ask “what about the shadow person I saw while I was awake?” 

Well usually the people I talk to, they don’t want a logical answer they usually want a supernatural explanation.  However what I think shadow people are is simply one’s brain making a pattern out of the low image quality of peripheral vision.  Another possible explanation could be floaters in the eye.  Or the one I think may be the most common is simply misidentification, seeing a shadow cast from an object and labeling it paranormal.  We have to understand, the human brain can be easily fooled.