Shadow people are said to linger in the darkness but do not wish to be seen, who or what are these dark creatures and what do they want from us? Usually appearing in a person’s peripheral vision and darting away upon being seen, these dark humanoid-shape beings are the most common form of paranormal phenomenon that people witness. While these sightings can be a terrifying experience, accounts suggest all they seem to do is to observe and examine us.
The following photographs show that while we might not understand the reasons for their visits, it doesn’t mean they aren’t around us, waiting patiently to be seen if you’re willing to look hard enough.
1. Shadows on the Hill
Originally built in the 1860s, Lawler Ford road, or Zombie Road as it is better known by the locals in Glencoe, Missouri, is famous for being the ‘Most Haunted Road’ in America. Stretching just over 2 miles long, this forest road is synonymous for strange lights, eerie urban legends and sightings of shadow people. Since the 1950’s there have been numerous reports of dark, humanoid shapes that mysteriously appear in the treeline, some travelers have even said that they have been followed down the road by these shadowy entities, only for them to suddenly disappear into thin air as soon as they leave the area.
These strange sightings were enough to interest the world renowned Paranormal Taskforce group who came to investigate Zombie Road in 2005. The above photograph was taken by Tom Halstead, and appears to show shadow people shadow lining the top of the hill. Halstead stated that there was no-one else present at the time the picture was taken and that the hill area was completely surrounded by water.
2. Zombie Road
During another investigation of Zombie Road in 2006, Tom Halstead once again managed to capture a black entity on camera. Since the Paranormal Taskforce investigations and subsequently, the 2007 documentary Children of the Grave , sightings of shadow people have only grown in numbers. Unfortunately for those of us who wish to investigate this mysterious road for ourselves, in 2010, the road was turned into Rock Hollow Trail. For the time being, Zombie Road is now only open to bicyclists and dog walkers during the day and by night you can expect a fine up to $1,000 for anyone caught trespassing after dark.
3. Legend of the Gray Man
In South Carolina, the legend of the ‘Gray Man’ is commonly told. The mysterious figure is said to be the ghost of a young man who died sometime in the early 1800s after being caught in quicksand in the marshes near Pawley’s Island. Locals say his spirit has haunted the nearby shoreline ever since. Notably, sightings of the Gray Man are said to always foretell severe storms and hurricanes.
First seen in 1822, there have been more recent sightings in 1989 just before Hurricane Hugo and most recently preceding Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Is this picture taken on the beach of an eerie shadow figure the Gray Man? Many believe this to the best photographic evidence of his existence to date.
4. The Figure In Black
Australia’s Port Arthur was once a former convict settlement and later the site of an industrial prison. With such a long and brutal history it is hardly a surprise that the area has a notorious paranormal reputation. In 2011, the Poultney family visited Trentham Cottage and snapped the above photograph. Mr Poultney said the family had been through the house just moments before, and it had been empty which begs the question who or what was in the doorway?
After seeing the photograph, Port Arthur Historic Site tour supervisor Colin Knight said the shadowy figure matched similar sightings of former Port Arthur clergyman George Eastman, who has reportedly haunted Port Arthur since he died in 1870.
5. The Queen Mary
The Queen Mary has a long and intriguing past. The ocean liner turned troopship, turned hotel is now an infamous haunted attraction that draws tourists and paranormal enthusiasts alike in their thousands each year. It’s said the ship is home to over 130 paranormal residents, so it should come as no surprise the Queen Mary is known as “Most Haunted Ship” in the world. Submitted to Haunted American Tours in 2008, this photograph widely considered to be the best photographic evidence of paranormal activity aboard the famous cruise liner.
6. Haunted Alcatraz
Located in the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary is often cited as one of the most haunted places in America. Prisoners, rangers and visitors have all reported a wide range of alleged paranormal activity on Alcatraz, from whispering in cells and locked cell doors opening and shutting seemingly by themselves to phantom figures in corridors. The above photograph was taken by Glenn Shelton, who claims he has finally proven once and for all that Alcatraz is the” Most Haunted Prison” in the world.
7. Moundsville Prison Encounter
Moundsville Prison, West Virginia, first opened its doors in 1866 and was the home to many dangerous criminals over its years in operation. The prisons long and dark history includes multiple murders, suicides, riots and executions and today is well known for its extreme paranormal activity. Shutting down in 1995, the prison is now open to tourists and paranormal groups who are interested in its haunted reputation. This picture was taken by Polly Gear of the Mountaineer Paranormal group during an investigation of the prison; Gear stated there was no-one around at the time this photo was taken and cannot account for the shadow person standing in the doorway. Is this the spirit of a former inmate or something else entirely?
8. Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky, opened in 1910 and soon after gained a notorious reputation for patient mistreatment and human experimentation. It’s believed as many as 64,000 people who were admitted to the sanatorium died there over the years before its closure in 1961. Today, under new ownership the sanatorium has opened its door once more as a haunted attraction for tourists and ghost hunters after being featured on the television show Ghost Hunters.
After hearing about Waverly Hills haunted reputation, a lone traveler decided to go investigate Waverly’s paranormal activity for himself. He took this picture while wandering the rooms of the sanatorium, and swears he was alone at all times and was surprised to see this dark figure captured in one of his photos.
9. Waverly Hills Shadow Child
With its growing reputation for paranormal activity, Waverly Hills Sanatorium is often called the ‘Most Haunted Hospital’ in America. Known hauntings include the apparitions of a young boy named Timmy who likes to play with rubber balls. The nurse who hanged herself is said to still haunt room 502, as is another nurse who fell from the same room’s window, and scattered screams and mysterious footsteps can regularly be heard echoing down the now abandoned hallways.
This photograph was taken during a tour of the sanatorium in 2014. The photographer claims there were no children in the building at the time it was taken, and that this chilling picture was snapped at random on her phone. Is this a sighting of young Timmy or another lost soul confined forever more within Waverly Hills walls?
10. Allen County Hospital Sighting
The Lima Tuberculosis Hospital in Allen County, Ohio, closed its doors in 1972 and has since been left abandoned to slowly decay over time. Despite this, the hospital has become a popular destination for urban explorers and ghost hunters who are drawn there by the growing number of paranormal sightings. It is said that if you go into the basement of the old tuberculosis hospital at night, you can see apparitions of dead bodies on the floor and ghosts of former patients wearing nightgowns have also been seen, but the most common sightings are of shadow figures that dart in and out of the rooms and have been known to follow explorers as they roam the hospital grounds.
However, ghost hunters beware, police and security patrol this abandoned building frequently and will arrest or issue a trespassing ticket to any individuals found on the premises. One urban explorer who was willing to risk a ticket uploaded this picture to a website for abandoned buildings after his most recent visit to the hospital. The other photos submitted contained no other evidence of a black figure or any ghostly activity.