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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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            Legends

Folklore, religions, and myths
Abaddon | Abyzou | Aka Manto | Akkorokamui | Angra Mainyu | Ares | Asmodeus | Asuras | The Antichrist | Atlas | Baal | Bandits (The Good Samaritan) | Baphomet | Baron Samedi (folklore) | Basilisk (folklore) | The Beast | Behemoth | Belphegor | Bigfoot | Black Monk of Pontefract | Black Rock Witch | Blair Witch | Bloody Mary | Bloody Mary (Halloween Horror Nights) | Cain | Cockatrice | Crom Cruach (mythology) | Cthulhu | Damballa | Delilah (theology) | Demiurge | Demons | The Devil | Devil Monkeys | Dog-headed Men | Dybbuk | Eight Feet Tall | El Charro Negro (folklore) | El Silbon | Enma Daio | Eredin | Fallen Angels | Fairies (folklore) | Fouke Monster | Ghost Trains | Ghosts (folklore) | Giants of Voronezh | Goliath | Green Witch | Gremlins (folklore) | Grim Reaper | Groundhogs | Hades | Haman the Agagite | The Headless Horseman | Herod Antipas | King Herod | Herodias | Horsemen of the Apocalypse | Iblis | J'ba Fofi | Jezebel | Judas Iscariot | Kali | Kali Kelpie of Loch Ness | Keyser Söze | King Ahab | King Arthur | Kroni | Kronos | Kuchisake-onna | La Cegua | La Sayona | La Viuda | Legion | Leviathan | Lilith | Loki | Lucius Tiberius | Mackenzie Poltergeist | Madman Marz | Malefactors | Mahishasura | Malsumis | Mammon | Mara | Mares | Mark Slender | Meg of Meldon | Mephistopheles | Michigan Dogman | Moloch | Momo | Morgan le Fay | Nure-Onna | The Pharisees | Poltergeists (folklore) | Rock Demons | Samael | Satan | Saul | Sawney Bean | Set | Silas Scratch | Six Demons | Tailypo | Termagant | Titans | Unholy Trinity | Victor Crowley | The Watchers | Water Horses | Whore of Babylon | Wolves | Xolotl | Zozo

Urban Legends (Common)
Amanda the Doll | Bunnyman | Bye Bye Man | Candyman | Charlie | China Doll | Clown Doll | Cropsy | Crying Boy | Demonic Aliens | Hairy-Armed Woman | Hook Killer | John & Susan Buckley | Joliet the Haunted and Cursed Doll | Licking Maniac | Mad Gasser of Mattoon | Melon Heads | Men In Black (conspiracy theory) | Mystery Killer | Nain Rouge | Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square | Old Man Try-By-Night | Peeping Tom | Rain Man | Robert the Doll | Paimon | Patasola | Sister Mary Chopper | Skinned Tom | Teke Teke | The Killer In the Backseat | The Man Upstairs

Urban Legends (Cryptids)
Beast of Gévaudan | Black Eyed Children | Black Stick Men | Cherufe | Chupacabra | Demonic Aliens | Devil Monkeys | Dog-headed Men | Fairies (folklore) | Fallen Angels | Fear Liath | Flatwoods Monster | Ghosts (folklore) | Goatman | Greys | Jersey Devil | Kelpie of Loch Ness | Kongamato | Kraken | Loch Ness Monster | Malawi Terror Beast | Mamlambo | Manananggal | Maricoxi | Mngwa | Momonjii | Mothman | Nobusuma | Pope Lick Monster | Popobawa | Pukwudgies | Reptoids | Roc | Ropen | Salawa | Sea-Serpents | Shadow People | Slide-Rock Bolter | Spring Heeled Jack | Tanuki | Thunderbird | Two-Toed Tom | Water Horses | Yamachichi | Yeti (cryptozoology) | Yowie

Internet and Creepypasta
Alice Killer | Aliens (Agamemnon Counterpart) | BEN | Blind Maiden | Buried Alive Model | Carmen Winstead | Child Murderer | Evil Otto | Eyeless Jack | Ghost (Pokémon Creepy Black) | HABIT | Herobrine | Hoody | Horace Horrible | Jane the Killer | Jeff the Killer | Laughing Jack | Luigi.EXE | Masky | Mr. Bear | Murderer (Smith Sisters Murdered Anonymously) | Photo-Negative Mickey | Rap Rat | Red (Creepypasta) | Sally Williams | Seed Eater | Slender Man | Smile Dog | Smith Sisters | Sonic.EXE | Tails Doll | Talking Angela (Legend) | The Collective (TribeTwelve) | The Devil (Misfortune.GB) | The Expressionless | The Girl in the Photograph | The Man in the Fields | The Muddy Hand | The Piche | The Rake (Slenderverse) | The Seeker (Hide and Seek) | The Skin Taker | The Woman to Eat the Children | Ticci-Toby | Zalgo | Zalgo (Slenderverse)

SCP Foundation
Bobble the Clown | Church of the Broken God | SCP-049 | SCP-058 | SCP-087-1 | SCP-096 | SCP-1048 | SCP-1048 Duplicates | SCP-173 | SCP-2999 | SCP-372 | SCP-457 | SCP-513-1 | SCP-966 | SCP-973-2 | SCP Foundation