Q: In Darkness Walks you categorize eight types of shadow people, one of them being the very curious “Hat Man”. I have received many such accounts on my website as well. What do you suppose this type of shadow person is or represents?
Jason: The Hat Man isn’t just one type of entity. There are numerous cases where the shadow person is wearing a hat – always an old-style hat – and behaves like a ghost is reported to behave, such as standing still or fading away. People who witness this type of entity almost never report fear, so I believe this is simply a ghost sighting.
The other type of Hat Man almost exclusively wears a fedora and is much more unnerving. People report stark terror when confronted by this entity and feel it is feeding off their fear. This menacing entity occasionally has red, glowing eyes and doesn’t fade away like a ghost; it walks away like a physical entity. This type of Hat Man is not a ghost; it is something much more malevolent.
Q: One theory is that shadow people are not really ghosts in the traditional sense, but that they are living interdimensional beings or even time travelers. What are your thoughts?
Jason: The physicists I posed this question to got quite a chuckle out of it, but the hundreds of people I polled felt interdimensional beings is the most logical explanation. This would explain the behavior of the vast number of shadow people reports of an entity that simply seems to be walking from Point A to Point B, completely oblivious to things like people and walls. Maybe shadow people are simply images of interdimensional beings that are bleeding through into our realm.
Astral projection is another similar explanation. Maybe these entities are what we can see of a person’s astral form. Shadow people being time travelers doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. It doesn’t hold with the many scientific time travel theories out there. But who knows?
Q: Can you briefly relate one of the most unnerving or unsettling shadow people encounters you’ve come across?
Jason: In the past couple of months, I was contacted by a woman whose husband was dying of cancer. As the cancer progressed, he reported seeing shadow people standing around his bed. No one else could see them. Weeks from death, the number of shadow people in his room increased to more than 20. Although weak, he convinced his wife to take him to a hotel 150 miles away. When they got to the hotel room, he told his wife he wanted to go on the trip with her to hide from the shadow people, but they’d followed him. After praying for the entities to leave her husband, they vanished and he died.
I’ve come across a number of shadow people stories where they seemed to be waiting for someone to die. Frankly, that gives me the willies.Jason Offutt is also the author of Haunted Missouri, and his website is From the Shadows.