Who are the strange Dark Watchers of Big Sur, California?

And then SFGate decides to write an article about them. I bet they’re pissed now.

But I bet The Big Sur Department of Tourism is happy.

Oooh, another reason to go back to the Brocken as soon as holidays are possible again! I never saw those there :confused:

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I’d be interested in hearing more about your experience, but none of that really answers the hat and capes thing- by which I mean if shadow people have hats and capes, they must have some need for clothing, warmth, shelter or even style, or at least be able to recognize and imitate the concept. This would indicate that they’re human, or formerly human, or have human-like thought patterns, all of which make them relatable to some degree. It’s the same thing I find odd about reports of speaking to demons at exorcisms- being able to have a conversation with one indicates common concepts and language, which implies a whole host of other commonalities that humanize the demon to the point where it ceases to be unfathomable and loses a lot of its menace.

My experience occurred about 1979. I’d temporarily moved back into my parents’ home, while in between apartments, so there was some stress in the atmosphere as to getting settled into a permanent living space. I mention that because in my research, it’s sometimes mentioned that stress or turmoil of some sort can trigger a visit from a ‘Shadow Man’ or a ‘Hat Man,’ as they’re also called.

The actual experience was such: I woke up early. The sun was already up. My bedroom door opened and I thought, for no particular reason, “My dad is coming in to dump my trashcan.” I had this thought in a waking consciousness, not a dream sense. At that point, I felt fully awake. But instead of my father entering, a totally dense, black shadow slid into the room. It had on a pointy-brimmed hat and a triangular shaped coat or cape.

It proceeded to navigate the exterior walls, as a flat, 2-dimensional shadow might, until it stood directly over me, as I lay on my back in the bed. I was 100% paralyzed and could not move or scream, which is what I tried to do. The feeling I had was simply stark terror, as I knew this thing was going to kill me by going after my throat.

As I waited for the attack, I “woke” up. There was nothing and no one else in the room. However, the lighting and natural shadows cast on the walls were exactly as I had just “dreamed” they were represented moments before.

I dismissed it as the ultimate nightmare.

Interestingly, I visited my former boyfriend that week after that horror.

He too, was going through a rough time. His father had just died unexpectedly at work. His mother had run over his cat. He he just been fired. When I talked to him, he began to tell me about a strange “dream” he’d had.

He woke up one morning and thought his door to his bedroom was opening. For no reason, he thought, “My brother is coming to borrow socks.” But it wasn’t his brother but “a shadow”… I told him to stop the story, and I finished it for him. The same “hat and coat.” The same terror.

We weren’t able to pinpoint if we had the experience the same morning but it was within the same week. The other peculiarity is that my dad never came to dump my trash and his brother, with whom he did not get along, would never come to his room for anything, let alone “to borrow socks.” It was though we both had innocuous, placating thoughts, while the door to our room was opening, in order to keep us from panic while the thing got into the room.

As to why a hat and coat or cape? I have no idea. It is just often reported as being seen with that type of outline. There has been respectable research done by respected academics about the Shadow Man. Everything from sleep paralysis to seizures to hypnopompic trances have been suggested as causes. But one would think that you might have more than one experience if it was rooted in an organic or biological cause. I had only one.

It could be that what we see as a hat and coat is not that at all. Maybe a system of cloaking devices that allow it to materialize trans-dimensionally. Who knows?

I should also mention, since you also mention demons and exorcisms that my former boyfriend and I used the Ouija Board extensively for about a year. It never scared us and I don’t believe in demons. It would transpose letters for numbers and move so quickly that we would have to stop to translate the messages. I recall one that said “Beelzabub lurks among those who practice nihilism.”

Thanks for sharing that experience. I’m surprised to hear you mention and dismiss sleep paralysis so quickly, because it sounds a lot like everything I’ve ever heard about sleep paralysis- it happens just as you’re waking up, you can’t move or speak, you may have odd, muddled thoughts, and there’s a shadowy figure and a sense of menace. I’ve never experienced it myself, but it’s supposedly extremely intense and unpleasant, but also rare, so having it happen only once doesn’t sound all that unlikely to me. Having it happen to both you and your boyfriend so close together with the same description is admittedly a startling coincidence though, if that is the explanation!

I should clarify the sleep paralysis experience and ‘The Shadow Man’ phenomenon: I have had sleep paralysis once after that, with equally weird ramifications, but not with the ‘Shadow Man’ element. He’s only ‘visited’ once.

I tend to lean into the supernatural and paranormal because I’ve had a number of weird experiences throughout my life that do not easily avail themselves of a reasonable, science-based explanation. But any scientific explanation is always welcome, as I also lean into science whenever possible. I simply have no idea why some of my experiences veer into the unexplained.

There was line, I believe taken from Nietzsche, in The Mothman Prophecies (movie, 2002) that always seems poignant to me: “When you stare into the abyss, it stares back.”

My mother gave me a Ouija Board for a birthday present when I was 8 years old. I’ve been fascinated with “Otherness” ever since.

Thank you for your interest in my 'Shadow Man" experience.

I fervently hope you never have occasion to meet him.

I’ve had sleep paralysis nightmares quite a few times as a kid but it was never a shadow. It was a strange person that i could see that would peer at me from the window, which i’ve heard is common for those that suffer sleep paralysis. I’m glad that i haven’t had a shadow man one, but the stranger one i don’t think i’ve ever thought or considered it to be supernatural. Interestingly i had the stranger nightmare as a recurring one for about a month as a kid, ever since i haven’t had vivid nightmares.

Hi Grey_Devil. It doesn’t sound like the stranger in the window caused you to become fearful. That would be very good… if I read your post correctly. I’ve read that not all sleep paralysis experiences result in terror or fear. The inability to move is scary, of course. But some people, who have sleep paralysis frequently can train themselves to practice a certain calming or focussing ritual that brings them out of the paralysis. Some people say concentrating on slightly moving just a toe or finger can break the immobility.

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