I See Shadows at Night

Some people see shadows at night. It’s sometimes hard to quantify just what people are seeing. A trick of their imagination? A trick of light? Slipping into a partial dream?

In some ways, the interpretation of what is being seen depends on your worldview. By definition, someone’s worldview, which operates primarily on the subconscious level, won’t even consider some interpretations that may in fact be valid. For more on this, see the series of articles on worldview.

Seeing Shadow People

Many seers I’ve spoken with see shadow people from time to time. Perhaps the first time I heard about this, a teenager told me she saw shadow people in an abandoned church in her neighborhood which she walked past when she walked her dog.  I recognized she was a seer, but didn’t know what to make of what she was saying. Perhaps a trick of light was causing her to see things? Perhaps just a shadow, onto which she projected an intelligence, a will, that was focussed on her?

About that same time, a young lady from Zambia who was attending our local university and also was in a small/life group my wife and I were leading described how in her home village, people stayed in at night, because of the shadow people who wandered around and attacked those who were out. The attacks were spiritual with physical consequences: people would get sick or have nightmares, requiring the intervention of a witch doctor (who would charge for his services) or a Christian (who wouldn’t). Except the Christians would try to lead people to Jesus, and for some, they’d just rather pay a witch doctor, instead of turning their lives over to the King of Kings.

She said you could peer through the windows at night and actually see the shadows passing through the street. They emitted from certain homes (where the witch doctors lived) and wandered about. Although they generally left the Christians alone, they were scary enough that the Christians still wouldn’t allow their kids out at night. Weird. When I asked if she literally saw them, she said yes.

Her impression was that spirit forces were as present in the United States, but just not operating as openly. There are more Christians per capita here, even if many are lukewarm, but even most non-Christians were not readily sending out demons to drum up business for their exorcism services.

Many seers and non-seers who see shadow people testify that they are more difficult to see in the day. At night, they appear to be darker shades within the darkness: shadows at night.

Shadow People in another Abandoned Church

Yesterday, I spoke with a 20-something seer who was walking her dog near an empty church, and she noticed a number of shadows in and around it standing, appearing to watch her. She smiled to me as she described how creepy it was. She’s generally reticent to share what she sees because it’s just crazy, she thinks. But she knows it’s not crazy. It just sounds crazy to the Western mindset.  At first, she said, she thought one of the shadows was just someone else walking his dog at night: it wasn’t. It was a spirit entity.

The spiritual activity in that building, she reported, has picked up recently. She has lived next to it for a while and it’s been pretty quiet, until recently.  She said something or someone has stirred them up.

As a matter a fact, our congregation is remodeling that building and getting ready to move into it in September.

I confessed to her, one of the times I toured that building a couple weeks ago, I announced loudly to the spirits that they were going to be expelled, that they would have to leave soon, that the Holy Spirit was coming with his angels at our behest and the Kingdom of God was about to descend on that church building for the glory of Jesus Christ.

So, yeah. Someone stirred them up.

Sleep Paralysis

This is a related issue, which I’ll blog separately on soon, but suffice it to say now that many people see shadow people in various near-sleeping states.

Materialist Perspectives

A brief review of the scientific literature regarding “shadow people” suggests people who are close to falling asleep have a chemical released in their brain, that triggers a sight response.

Uh-huh.  This view, based on a very small scientific study, has been widely criticized. The fact is, scientists just don’t know what it is people are seeing or why they are experiencing such terror when they see those things.

Another perspective is these people are delusional and maybe dangerous to society.

Yep. Got it.

For sure, I have never seen “shadow people” or any other spirit, that I’m aware of. My brain chemistry isn’t wired in such a way to pick up on these things.

And I’m glad. From what I’ve heard, it’s pretty terrifying.

No doubt, in some cases, people are imagining things. People watch a horror movie, drift off to sleep, and their brains, in the process of integrating what they have seen into their subconsciousness, reproduce some of the responses from the movie. And the minds of children are more impressionable than the minds of adults, which have viewed countless violent and dark images over the years. The minds of adults have been shaped and numbed by these images over the years: their worldview hardened.

If you love horror or occult movies, and you or anyone in your family are oppressed by demons or nightmares, here’s an idea: give up the horror or occult movies.

Spiritual Perspectives

While I believe some people who think they’re seeing spirits aren’t really, I also accept that a lot of people are witnessing actual spirit entities.

Someone recently posted this comment:

This may sound weird, but one time I woke up and saw a creature hanging over me. My bed was next to the wall outside and my head was closest to the wall. The spirit had a long neck and it was either gray or black shadow figure. Its feet were planted on the ground outside and it leaned its head over through the wall and was looking at me.

The writer stated in the comment that the spirit didn’t seem threatening, and asked if I thought spirits could be neutral.

My reply was this:

I think there are spirits with various degrees of interest in the cosmic battle, with degrees of goodness and wickedness. It could have been a scout of some sort, a researcher, an investigator, sent to check out a territory, or perhaps it chose to ignore its orders and just went off on its own for whatever purpose

To contextualize what I think, please see the Kingdom Conflict page or download the long article on the Kingdom Conflict.

Jesus indicated the wicked spirits have varying levels of wickedness.

When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none.  Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation. 1

(It’s important to note in this passage, Jesus is not teaching a truth about spirits and the spirit realm, but using a truth about spirits and the spirit realm to prophecy the coming terrible judgement on the generation of Jews that rejected him.)

The Bible records some interesting events where people saw strange things in the twilight, and the people interpreted what they saw as ghosts or spirits of some kind.

The setting is familiar: It’s a dark and stormy night. They see something they don’t understand: It must be a ghost!

And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he (Jesus) was alone on the land. And he saw that they (his disciples) were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out,… 2

What they see is actually more spectacular than a mere ghost, of course.

So yes, a biblical worldview holds that people can see spirits. And we should recognize not everyone who thinks they are seeing a spirit are actually seeing spirits.

The Solution

So how can you tell? Seers typically know they are seeing spirits because they see them all the time in many environments.

Non-Seers on occasion may see shadow people as well. Perhaps in certain states (some states of waking or sleeping, or some other state), their brain chemistry is syncing just right to things in the spirit realm.

Or perhaps their brain chemistry is projecting an image that isn’t really there.

If this is the problem, what is the solution?

The solution to overcoming fear -whether the fear is spiritually-based or not – is turning to the opposite of fear: Love.

And perfect love is a person who casts out all fear: Jesus Christ. By securing yourself in Jesus’ love, you are secure, and yet you may need to take action steps to manifest your security. If your fear is the inability to pay your bills, the action step is to make more money or reduce your bills.

If your fear is seeing shadow people, whether real or imagined, the solution is focussing your mind on things of Christ, not on things of the world.

If you are a seer, and you see spirits, Jesus is the only solution to actually protect you from what you see. If you are not a seer, and you are oppressed by spirits, the solution remains the same: faith in Jesus.

Any other solution you use to protect or ward them off is temporary and won’t actually work in the long term. The spirit realm truly is divided into two camps: those for Jesus and those against Jesus.  Those against Jesus may have varying levels of wickedness, to the point that some see almost neutral, but they aren’t, and it’s best to not purposely contact with them.

If you aren’t normally a seer, and you are encountering spirits, you also need to take a step of faith, and deal with them in Jesus Christ. The solution is prayer and asking Jesus to intervene, and to even command the spirits away in Jesus name, trusting his power will work.

Even if you don’t believe in Jesus, the demons do and they tremble at his name.

Take Steps to Complete Freedom

In addition, it’s time to take some action steps and refocus your mind on something other than the dark things. It’s time to change your worldview. But how? What if your mind and flesh desires dark things?

Well, as you refocus your perspective, your mind and flesh will desire the dark things less and less, until you will not desire them at all.

Thankfully, a guy named Paul of Tarsus offers step-by-step how to do this.

He likens it to taking off clothes that smell like a dead corpse to putting on fresh clothes. It involves purposely shifting your worldview, and that takes some effort.

I’ve repaginated his advice to help break out the things to avoid and the things to do.  You can download it here Read it. Think on it. Apply the advice, and see how your life changes over the coming months.



  1. Matthew 12:43-45, ESV
  2. Mark 6:47-49, ESV. Parenthesis added.

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