The Shadow Men

I’ve heard them called many things; the shadow men, the men in top hats or the dark strangers. I’ve heard tales that they’re taller than the trees, or they can stand shoulder to shoulder with a seven-year-old girl. I don’t know what to call them? I don’t even know if “they” are male or female. But, what I do know is that they’re drawn to your fears. When you cower in the darkness or pull the covers up to your chin, that’s when they come to feed on it.

With an event happening to me I’ve been blessed or cursed (I’m still undecided) with this new ability. I can see the shadows that dance at our backs and whisper for us to do bad things. I can’t hear what they’re saying, but sometimes I don’t have to listen to know what they want.

On rare occasions, I’ve seen a different kind of entity attached to people, it’s more transparent like glimpsing a spiders web in the sunshine, and I’ve found that these people are generally good and the thing is like a guardian angel. But the worst ones I see are attached to evil people, and they are many. I see a black void like mass that leeches itself to the person with tentacled appendages, It’s bulbous body flexes and twitches like a psychotic parasite, I can see the pain it causes them and the insanity it drives them too.

Since the event, I have been searching and documenting these creatures and entities, trying to understand them better. But some time ago something happened that I was expecting. One of them found me.

A few months ago I was driving home from a late night concert. I’m not going to tell you who’s concert because that shits embarrassing. I turned on the freeway, and slowly the houses disappeared to a flat backdrop of short shrubs and distant hills. The freeway lights started to flutter by as the moon crested the sky. Colossal black cloud boiled in the distance and lightning flashed, painting the horizon purple. I knew that the rain would be coming soon.

Up ahead I saw a bridge crossing over the freeway, A mass of shadows collected by one end, and I looked up to see if anything could be causing it; like a balloon or plane, but nothing was in sight. The rain started to come down in sheet, so I slowed the car and hit the window wipers.

I glanced again at the foot of the bridge and saw a towering figure made from a swirling mass of shadows. Each limb was like a contained tornado. It almost seemed as if the person flickered; such was the force of the whirling shadows. As I passed under the bridge, I heard a rumble on the tires telling me that I was drifting off the road. I quickly righted myself and glanced in the rearview mirror. All I could see was the back of the bridge and no shadow man. I knew I wasn’t hallucinating, the things I see are definitely real, but this one was new to me.

Up ahead, I saw the street lights blinking off one by one, and I thought the storm must have caused a power outage, it’s not uncommon around my area as the power station is situated at a higher elevation than the surrounding towns. It’s fun to watch the awesome power of mother nature as lightning spikes off the poles. Just before the lights nearest me turned off, I caught a glimpse of the figure again, but this time he was an average human height. As I passed and the lights failed I watched it turn to follow me, the thing held out a hand towards the car, and I quickly turned away and put my foot on the gas. The rest of the drive home was treacherous, to say the least. However, I made it home okay.

I don’t know if anyone else does this, but its a habit I’ve gotten into ever since the event. I now put salt around the perimeter of my home. My neighbors think I’m crazy, as does that girl at the register when I’m buying 10kg of salt each week. I don’t care; I can see the things out there and want to sleep soundly at night. As for Mrs. Jacobs, who has lived on her own ever since her husband Charlie died five years ago. Well, let’s say that she’s far from alone and its probably best shes half blind anyway.

That night after topping up the salt ring I went to the shed to put it away. When I turned around, It was there, right in front of me, practically nose to nose. The shadowed face looked me up and down as if I was as interesting to it, as I was of him. (I’m going to call it a him to save confusion.) I told him that he was not welcome in my home and it tilted its head to one side. As it opened its mouth, I thought I heard a faint whimpering sound. Now, this has never happened before, maybe my gift is getting stronger, or it’s just some sort of ability these entities process. The shadow man bowed to me and evaporated on the spot. Like dissipated right there, into nothing.

I didn’t stop shaking all night and sleep only just found me in the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t see anything of these shadow men for quite some time until I witnessed an incident yesterday.

Me and a buddy Dan went out for a few drinks at the local mall. There’s a new place just opened up, and we wanted to check it out. Sometimes it can be a bit distracting for me with all the spirits and such that walk beside us in our everyday life, but thankful Dan only has a little glowing add-on, and nothing weird happens around him. I’ve told Dan about the ability and after a series of “test” he’s happy that I’m not mad and thinks that my gift is kinda cool. As we finished up, we decided to go back to his place for a few more beers and jumped into a cab. Dan lives in a town about 15 minutes drive from the mall, and we have to pass over a bridge to get there. At the approach the bridge we hit a bit of traffic, which isn’t unusual only slightly annoying.

The traffic was due to an abandoned car in the middle of the bridge. Cars were slowly trying to pass around it making the bridge congested. As we approach, the cab driver was saying something about stupid drivers and somesuch when I noticed a shadow man. I had told Dan about my recent encounter with one of them, and he perked up and looked out the window.

The shadow man glided through the barrier and disappeared toward the edge of the bridge. I shouted for the cab driver to stop and after a few moments, he did. Without a backward glance, I was off over the barrier; Dan was close on my heels. A lady in her mid-thirties tethered on the edge of the bridge surrounded by shadow men.

Each of the shadow men lent toward with their hand stuck to their sides. I could see a greenish aura flowing from the women to their opened mouths. Dan called to the lady, and she instantly turned and raised her hands pleading for us not to come any closer. Dan took another step, and she bucked at the edge shouting that she’s jump. I stood in awe of Dan’s calmness as the shadow men fed on the women’s fear.

The lady complained about her husband cheating and that she had nothing left to live for. Dan spoke quietly and calmly to her and gently got nearer. I watched a shadow man turned sharply toward Dan, and it flew at him. But as it reached him, Dan’s glow spread, and it hit an invisible wall. It kept smashing, kicking, pushing at Dan but he seemed oblivious to the onslaught. For some unknown reason, the shadow men couldn’t harm Dan. The lady had grown calmer with Dans talking, and she responded as Dan gave her the option of stepping down off the edge.

The flow of the greenish vapor slowed to a trickle and eventually disappeared, the shadow men turned as one and dissipated, all except one that stood towering over Dan. I could see that it wanted to do him harm, but every attempt had proven futile. But it didn’t stop it trying one more time before disappearing itself.

I’m happy that Dan managed to get the lady to come down, but I’m also a little worried that by doing so he’s opened a can of ectoplasmic whoop ass. For the time being, I’ll keep an eye on Dan, make sure he’s okay. As for the shadow men – I’ll continue investigating.

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