The Graveyard Shadow

The Graveyard Shadow

Time to bury all your troubles, Ned.
~ The Graveyard Shadow as he is gleefully spinning his scythe around during his introduction in the opening.
I'm just dying for you to visit!
~ The Graveyard Shadow as he is trying to lure Ned Needlemeyer into his nightmare world.
Come on, little man, let's get this nightmare rolling!
~ The Graveyard Shadow, again trying to lure Ned into his nightmare world.

The Graveyard Shadow is one of five main antagonists from the videogame Nightmare Ned.

Role in the Story

It is implied that the Graveyard Shadow is with the other shadows as they stalk Ned to his room and possess his quilt. During Ned's first trip to the Quilt, the Graveyard Shadow leads the other shadows against him, messing with his head a bit before the nightmares could begin. Ned had eight hours to rid his dreams of the shadows, or they would continue haunting him forever.

Eventually, after conquering enough of his fears of death, Ned manages to defeat the Graveyard Shadow and change him into what he represented: Ted Needlemeyer, Ned Needlemeyer's grandfather. As it turns out, The Graveyard Shadow was born from Ned's fear of Ted dying, along with his own fear of death.

If all five nightmare worlds have been conquered, then the Graveyard Shadow appears later on to merge with his cohorts, becoming a larger, uglier version of Ned Needlemeyer. However, with some help, Ned defeats his wicked copy and returns home. However, the shadows, the Graveyard Shadow included, are left without a mind to torment, and thus have nothing to do.


In cutscenes, the Graveyard Shadow appears as a black, transparent shadow. However, in the main game, he is colored purple. He has a thin body and a black scythe in his right hand along with green eyes and devil wings. He also lacks legs, thin arms, white teeth and devil horns. He also has a devil tail.


Like with the other villains in the Nightmare Ned game, the Graveyard Shadow's personality can best be analyzed through the use of several implications found throughout his level, the Graveyard Nightmare, which he created himself. The Graveyard Shadow is extremely cruel, having a young girl trapped in a giant tomb alone in the dark and having Ned battle his own parents as zombies. He is highly sadistic, messing with Ned as he is beginning his nightmares along with his cohorts. However, unlike his more chaotic companion, the Medical Shadow, he likes taking a more psychological approach to his torture, hinting that he might be more intelligent than the other villains. It is implied that he is the leader of the shadows, as his normally serious demeanor is a bit more prominent than the other shadows and his symbolism, which he implements into his personality, making him much more fearsome. It seems that he either cares more about hurting Ned than any unexpected actions from his fellow shadows, as hinted at in the opening when the Medical Shadow tosses him aside, or he is more forgiving toward his brethren than the others, or both.

The Graveyard Shadow is arguably the most personal of the shadows, as he made sure his entire nightmare world was suitable for psychologically scarring Ned, if not outright torturing him. When things get tough, however, the Graveyard Shadow is rather spineless, although, like with most primary antagonists, this is due to his defeat being imminent.

Powers and Abilities

The Graveyard Shadow has similar powers to the other shadows, such as dream manipulation and nightmare creation, only that they manifest themselves as being more death-related than the rest of the shadows' powers.


  • Ironically, his level is often the first shadow that most players defeat, despite being the implied leader of the shadows. This is due to both his level's easy difficulty and its placement on the Quilt. The same can also be said about the Bathroom Shadow, but to a lesser extent due to its placement on the Quilt.
  • Due to what he represents—death, the death of a loved one, and the fear of dying—and what goes on in his nightmare, the Graveyard Shadow is viewed by fans as the main villain of Nightmare Ned. This view on the character is supported by the fact that most people in the world fear death while the other fears that the other nightmares represent are much more specific to certain people or are just simply irrational fears.
  • In many ways and besides the obvious, the Bathroom Shadow, the School Shadow, the Medical Shadow, and the Attic Basement and Beyond Shadow are all linked to death in some fashion, adding further to the implied status that the Graveyard Shadow has and thus his implied embodiment of all of Ned's struggles and fears throughout the game.