by Andrew K. Arnett

In my previous article on Kings Park Psychiatric Center, I found numerous reports which suggest that the abandoned asylum is crawling with Shadow People. This is a peculiar type of apparition that has intrigued me for some time, leading me to delve into the topic of Shadow People on other occasions.

But what are they?

Often described as a black mass or patch of shadow with discernible humanoid features, they are interpreted by occultists and paranormal investigators as the presence of a spirit or some kind of supernatural entity.

The phenomenon of the Shadow People was first brought to prominence in 2001 on Coast 2 Coast AM when Art Bell discussed the topic with Native American elder Thunder Strike, then later that year with author Heidi Hollis, credited wth coining the term Shadow People.

According to Hollis, Shadow People can be likened to dark silhouettes that embody a human form with profiles that flicker on the periphery of human vision. Hollis is of the belief that these entities are negative alien beings but can be subdued by the positive energy of Christ.

In general, paranormal researchers’ descriptions of Shadow People run the gamut from menacing evil to neutral to even beneficial and helpful. Others suspect that these entities are extra-dimensional in nature, inhabiting a universe parallel to our own.

Fact of the matter is that Shadow People have been with us for a long time, being as old as Death itself. Often under the guise of different names, such as shade, djinn, or Nalusa Falaya, they can be found in many of the world’s religions, folklores, legends and ghost tales.

The Egyptian word for shadow is khaibut. Egyptians believe that the khaibut was one of seven souls possessed by each person. The Roman word umbra means shadow in English, and is described as a ghost, a shade, or the spirit of a person who has died and travels to an Underworld or, a Land of Shades.

The ancient Greeks would dedicate their shadow to the God Zeus, a great but fearsome sacrifice, because it was in the temple of Zeus-Lykaia, one would lose their shadow. Lykaias is related to werewolves who are said to wander the earth devoid of a shadow and reflection, thus, they lacked a soul.

In the Nag Hammadi, the shadow is described thus:

How well it suits all men, on the subject of chaos, to say that it is a kind of darkness! But in fact it comes from a shadow, which has been called by the name ‘darkness’. And the shadow comes from a product that has existed since the beginning. It is, moreover, clear that it existed before chaos came into being, and that the latter is posterior to the first product.

Nag Hammadi

The appearance of Shadow People have also been attributed to psychological and physiological disturbances. People suffering from sleep paralysis have described being accosted by an indistinct shadowy figure as they lay awake yet paralyzed and unable to move.

People diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have reported seeing Shadow People. In addition, people who suffer from sleep deprivation often describe seeing shadow entities at the edge of their peripheral vision.

Related to this are methamphetamine addicts who, after a long binge, begin to witness the presence of these dark shadowy presences. Psychiatrist Jack Potts posits a “conspiratorial component” to the sleep deprived meth user. In an interview, one subject told him, “You don’t see shadow dogs or shadow birds or shadow cars. You see shadow people. Standing in doorways, walking behind you, coming at you on the sidewalk.”

Why are these bizarre entities often witnessed by those in the throes of a meth binge? One theory holds that Shadow People are inter-dimensional beings who, searching for negative energy, are drawn to people who have opened a portal by engaging in self-destructive behavior.

To be sure, meth releases a tremendous amount of dopamine. As a result, the brains’s initial contact with meth often results in pleasant experiences of euphoria, colors, and even hallucinations of a religious nature like seeing angels, etc.

After continued use, the brain’s dopamine production becomes depleted, atrophied or burnt out. The user becomes an addict, needing more and more meth to maintain even a semblance of normality, as he sinks inevitably into ’meth psychosis’ with its accompanying symptoms of paranoia, hallucinations, fear, and violence. Meth users can stay awake for up to 72 hours or more and this lack of sleep can contribute to hallucinations.

Regarding the multiple sightings of Shadow People at Kings Park Psychiatric Center, I have to wonder if this is at least in part, the result of the abandoned buildings there being used for drug abuse. There is no doubt that drug abuse is a huge problem on Long Island. Just two weeks ago, 40 people were indicted in a massive drug trafficking ring in Long Island, with tens of thousands of doses of crack cocaine and other drugs rounded up.

Prior to that, a methamphetamine ring was busted in Suffolk County, not far from Kings Park. I am also aware of the fact that Kings Park asylum is often patrolled by police, and they are less interested in your typical urban explorer or paranormal researcher but are specifically on the look out for gang and drug activity.

When you think about it, a ‘shadow’ as we know it is a very peculiar thing. For instance, at times, we can see our own shadow. Other times not. It changes shape as we walk along the sidewalk. it gets shorter then, it becomes elongated, stretched and bends around a curb. Our shadow jumps ahead of us then just as quickly it is behind us. Sometimes it multiplies into two or three or more shadows and just as quickly disappears.

The shadow is a conundrum because it exist – we can see it with our own eyes, when we do, yet we can never touch it. Is it really there after all?

At the very least, a shadow is a mystery and serves as an apt metaphor for how we may perceive an alternate dimension, or even, inter dimensional beings.