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The Shadow People are a mysterious and recurring feature in folklore, paranormal and cryptid research. They have also entered the public imagination and are frequently employed in popular culture across many media. The general idea of the Shadow People concerns their malevolent ghost-like presence that is often felt or seen "at the corner of one's eye". Appearing as large and terrifying shadows, these creatures may stalk a victim or stay in hiding, but they almost always surround each and every visit with an aura that causes victims to become extremely paranoid, scared, delirious, or even paralyzed.

History

Folklore

Shadow People have existed in all cultures since prehistoric times. Many ghosts and demons in folklore share striking similarities to the Shadow People, being tall, shadowy, and vaguely humanoid specters whose presence brings an unshakable feeling of doom, dread, or despair on any unfortunate people who stray in their path. Often, these creatures were seen as harbingers for great destruction or ruin, such as the death of those who encountered them, the failing of harvests, the coming of plague, or even in some cases, the arrival of a natural disaster, such as a flood or earthquake.

Paranormal Studies

In the fields of paranormal study, the Shadow People are discussed in length with varied theories ranging from the spirits of the dead, "echoes" of past or future events, parallel dimensions, and even demonic entities or psychic vampires.

Cryptid Studies

In cryptid studies, the Shadow People are not as explored, but theories range from an undiscovered humanoid or possible alien connection.

Possible Scientific Explainations

The Shadow People are recognized as a common hallucination when people suffer Sleep Paralysis, a condition once blamed on many "nocturnal spirits" such as succubi, night hags and goblins. The condition causes the body to become paralyzed, but also causes the brain to remain active, causing horrifying hallucinations and a sense of dread.

Popular Culture

Due to their deep cultural impact dating back to prehistory, the Shadow People have inspired many iconic creatures in popular culture, such as the infamous internet-based horror figure known as Slender Man. They are also frequently found in "creepypasta" material, as well as in media concerning the supernatural.

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Notable Legends
Chupacabra | Cyclops | Dragons | Wyverns | Dullahan | Fairies | Gremlins | Grim Reaper | Ghosts | Giants | Headless Horseman | Kraken | Loch Ness Monster | Medusa | Minotaur | Monsters | Mothman | Ogres | Siren | Skeletons | Spiders | Vampires | Wendigo | Yeti | Zombies

Demonology Legends
The Devil | Demons | Fallen Angels
Abaddon | Abere | Abyzou | Andromalius | Angra Mainyu | Aka Manto | Asmodeus | Asuras | Antichrist | Baal | Banshee | Baphomet | Beelzebub | Beast | Behemoth | Behemoth the Elephant | Belphegor | Bifrons | Black Cats | Black Monk of Pontefract | Black Shuck | Black Volga | Bogeyman | Buer | Cerberus | Coco | Crom Cruach | Demiurge | Eight Feet Tall | El Charro Negro | Enma Daio | Erlik | Gargoyles | Hellhounds | Iblis | Kali | Kansa | Kelpie of Loch Ness | Kitsune | Krampus | Kroni | Lamashtu | Lamia | Legion | Locusts of Abaddon | Mahishasura | Malsumis | Mammon | Mara | Mares | Mephistopheles | Moloch | Mourioche | Nure-Onna | Rakshasa | Ravana | Raven Mocker | Sack Man | Samael | Six Demons | Stolas | Succubi | Termagant | Unholy Trinity | The Watchers | Wa Nyudo | Whore of Babylon | Zabaniyah
Disambiguation Pages
Satan | Demon | Pazuzu | Succubus | Antichrist | Baphomet | Krampus | Behemoth

Gods & Spirits
Gods & Goddesses: Apep | Bila | Camazotz | Damballa | Fomorians (Balor, Bres) | Geb | Gods of Olympus (Ares, Atë, Hades, Hera, Limos, Poseidon, Zeus) | Jötunn (Ymir, Loki, Hela, Skoll and Hati, Fenrir, Jormungandr, Surtr, Hræsvelgr) | Kali | Loviatar | Nun | Perkūnas | Set | Tiamat | Titans (Atlas, Kronos, Prometheus) | Veles | Xolotl
Spirits: Dybbuk | El Silbón | Fetch | Hinnagami | La Llorona | La Sayona | La Viuda | Mackenzie Poltergeist | Myling | Poltergeists | Sluagh | Stingy Jack | Unseelie Court
Disambiguation Pages
God | Jesus Christ | Angel

Humans & Humanoids
Abhartach | Ajax the Lesser | Ame-onna | Antaeus | Bandits | Baron Samedi | Black Rock Witch | Blair Witch | Bolster | Cain | Cassiopeia | Christie Cleek | Count Dracula | Creon | Davy Jones | Delilah | Draug | Doppelgangers | Goblins | Goliath | Gomorrahites | Green Knight | Green Witch | Grendel | Grendel's Mother | Hags | Haman the Agagite | Hanako-San | Herod the Great | Herodias | Horsemen of the Apocalypse | Humanity | Iemon | Ixion | Jezebel | Judas Iscariot | King Ahab | King Arthur | King Oenomaus | King Vortigern | Kuchisake-onna | La Tunda | Lilith | Lord William de Soulis | Louhi | Lucius Tiberius | Lycaon | Marry-san | Meg of Meldon | Morag | Morgan le Fay | Nanny Rutt | Nessus | Orcs | Pandarus | Paris | Phaedra | The Pharisees | Polyphemus | Rich Man | Romans | Santa Compaña | Saul | Sawney Bean | Sciron | Shechem | Sko-Ella | Sodomites | Stingy Jack | Tamamo no Mae | Tantalus | Tereus | Trauco | Tydeus | Umibōzu | Yallery Brown | Ysbaddaden

Monsters, Animals & Anthropomorphic Beings
A-mi’-kuk | Akkorokamui | Averesboro Gallinipper | Aye-aye | Basilisk | Boneless | Cirein-cròin | Cockatrice | Cuegle | Cuélebre/Culebre | Devil Monkeys | Dip | Dragon | El Comelenguas | Erymanthian Boar | Escornau | Fossa | Fouke Monster | Foxes | Frankenstein's Monster | Giants of Voronezh | Golden Cicada | Groundhogs | Monster of Mount Bandai| Harpies | Herensuge | Hydra | Jackalopes | J'ba Fofi | Kappa | La Cegua | Lambton Worm | Leviathan | Manticores | Madman Marz | Michigan Dogman | Mikari Baba | Morag | Mordred | Morgan le Fay | Ojáncanu | Onamazu | Otesánek | Paparrasolla | Pesanta | Redcaps (Robin Redcap) | River Mumma | Undead| Scylla | Stymphalian Birds | Tailypo | Tarasque | Trolls | Tsuchinoko | Will O' The Wisp | Wolves

Common Legends
Amanda the Doll | Black Goo | Bunnyman | Bye Bye Man | Candyman | China Doll | Clown Doll | Cropsy | Crying Boy | Hairy-Armed Woman | Hatman | Homey the Clown | Hook Killer | John and Susan Buckley | Joliet the Haunted and Cursed Doll | La Tunda | Licking Maniac | Melon Heads | Men in Black | Mystery Killer | Nain Rouge | Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square | Old Man Try-By-Night | Peeping Tom | Rain Man | Robert the Doll | Paimon | Patasola | Skinned Tom | Teke Teke | The Killer In the Backseat | The Man Upstairs

Cryptids
Beast of Gévaudan | Black Eyed Children | Black Stick Men | Cherufe | Devil Monkeys | Emela-Ntouka | Dog-headed Men | Fear Liath | Flatwoods Monster | Ghosts Goatman | Grafton Monster | Greys | Hoop Snake | Indrid Cold | Jackalopes | Jersey Devil | Kelpie of Loch Ness | Kongamato | Malawi Terror Beast | Mamlambo | Manananggal | Maricoxi | Mngwa | Momonjii | Morag | Nobusuma | Pope Lick Monster | Popobawa | Pukwudgies | Reptoids | Roc | Ropen | Salawa | Sea-Serpents | Shadow People | Sheepsquatch | Slide-Rock Bolter | Snallygaster | Spring Heeled Jack | Tanuki | Thunderbird | Two-Toed Tom | Water Horses | White-Eyed Children | Yowie

Modern Legends
Charlie | Bloody Mary | Bloody Mary (Halloween Horror Nights) | Ghost (Johnny, I Want My Liver Back) | Ghost Trains | Momo | Orie Chef | Aliens (AC) | Martinez Dog Demon | The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water | Crisis

Possessed Objects
Coffin on Wheels | Ghost Trains | Black Volga | Robert the Doll | Joliet the Haunted and Cursed Doll | China Doll | Amanda the Doll | Clown Doll | Gargoyles

See Also
Cthulhu Mythos Villains | Trevor Henderson Villains | Creepypasta Villains | SCP Foundation Villains

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