This post may contain affiliate links - I may make commission from any purchases

So you are sitting on the living room couch watching the evening news or a football match, maybe your favourite soap – nothing scary really, perfectly normal TV.  You might be alone, you might be with a partner or friends, the kids may even still be up.  Then suddenly, from the corner of your eye you sense movement.  You turn in your seat, expecting to see the cat or one of the kids come down from upstairs but what you almost see is far more chilling – a shadow person.

Sightings of shadow people are increasing and so far, there are multitudes of theories about what they are but very little in the way of concrete ideas.  From time travellers and interdimensional tourists to ghosts and even aliens, everyone who had seen one or read about them has their own idea.  Here are a few to help you form your own opinion.


As with almost any paranormal or mysterious phenomena, the imagination is the most commonly blamed culprit.  Whether through misidentification, hallucination or just seeing something that isn’t there, the imagination gets the blame for the creation of shadow people.

There is little doubt that imagination may play a part in the sightings – we are all susceptible to seeing something and misinterpreting it or letting our imagination get the better of us.  And while there will always be a percentage of cases that this can be explanation for, it only takes a few that it can’t be to make us realise there might be something more to the phenomena.

Shadow people or spirits?

One of the most commonly suggested explanation for the shadow people is that they are a type of ghost.  Ghosts are normally shown as white and translucent or having a normal human form.  Poltergeists are one type of ghost that doesn’t have a physical form but these ghosts presence are known only by their actions, not normally by a strange shadow caught in the corner of the eye.  The shadows also tend to be less clearly human than ghosts who either tend to be human shaped or clearly human.  One human-type feature that has been reported with shadow people however is glowing red eyes.

Others have suggested that rather than being traditional ghosts, these shadow people may be demonic in origin.  They may be playing mind games with humans purely to frighten them or may receive some sort of energy from fear.

Finally, some researchers have suggested that shadow people could be real people – or at least their spirit form while conducting a type of astral projection.  Some believe that many people travel out of their bodies while asleep into a spirit form and that perhaps, a glimpse of these spirits is what people are seeing when they noticed shadow people.  So the shadowy figure in the corner could actually be your partner when they are asleep and you are awake!

what are shadow people?

Shadow people – ghosts, imagination or something else?


Many scientists are coming to believe that the dimension we occupy is one of many.  Therefore, some are theorising that these shadow people could be either travellers from another dimension who have not completely manifested in this one or even our glimpsing another dimension.  Physics allows that beings could have different vibrations to us and this would make them appear perhaps as shadows.  Similarly, we may be glimpsing a different version of ourselves going about their business in another dimension and to them we may be a glimpse in the corner of the eye as well.

Some have mentioned the idea that shadow people are time travellers, perhaps people visiting from the future.  Why they would appear as shadows rather than normal people is a little unclear but perhaps they use some advanced technology to hide their presence, though not completely.  Preserving the timeline, and all of that?

Finally, aliens are always in some people’s thoughts as candidates for the mysteries of our world.  While it seems odd that a being would travel billions of miles to lurk in the shadows in the corner of the room, we are applying our logic to creatures that probably think very differently to we do.  Or again, the differing vibrations theory could come into play, meaning that we can’t see them even if they were standing before us and they are merely glimpsed from the corner of the eye.


Shadow people, it seems, are a question with lots of potential answers.  Sightings are on the increase, perhaps with people reading on the internet about other cases and realising that the odd glimpse they get is more than just their imagination.  Time will tell if we can understand more about the phenomena and finally answer the question conclusively.