The rattle of a toy train running across the bedroom floor pulled Maggie from sleep. As she sat in bed looking through the gray light of her room, she realized she’d never seen it before.
“I was very young,” Maggie said. “And woke up to a toy train in my room. It wasn't mine so I got up and went to it.”
The toy stayed elusively just out of her reach, leading her toward the black, gaping mouth of her open closet door. Maggie scampered after the train, closing in as it crossed the plain of the closet doorway. She stretched out her hand and it hovered over the caboose when something happened she remembers to this day.
“Something from inside the closet grabbed my hand,” she said. “I then freaked out.”
Maggie’s mother ran into the room, pulled by her daughter’s screams. She snatched Maggie from the closet doorway and held her close.
As Maggie grew, she tried to push this story from her mind, dismissing it as something from the imagination of a very young child, but she knows it wasn’t.
Then, one day, something dark walked into her life.
“When I was approximately eight I began seeing the Shadow Man,” she said.
A blacker-than-night, human shaped shadow began visiting Maggie every other day – at first.
“It was always the same one,” Maggie said. “I felt uneasy, but not completely frightened. He was just a dark figure, no hat or anything traditionally associated with them.”
She never saw her Shadow Man appear, nor did he ever enter the room, “I just knew when he was there.” Standing. Always standing.
“I didn't get the feeling of any emotion from him,” she said. “He didn't seem to smile or even look at me. He would stay until I fell asleep so I never saw him leave either.”
This mysterious, black Shadow Man visited Maggie so often she grew used to him standing in her room.
“On a few occasions I did see him move, though,” she said. “He would walk a few steps either direction but always stayed in the same general area. And he would shift his stance or tilt his head almost like a normal person would when standing for long periods of time.”
But was this the thing that once tried to lure her into the darkness with a toy? She never knew. She didn’t know what this entity wanted from her.
“As far as emotions, he gave off none towards me,” Maggie said. “I never felt any kind of caring or malice from him.”
Maggie’s own feelings, however, perplexed her.
“I almost can't describe what I felt,” she said. “It wasn't like a caring you have for a friend or parent, nor was it romantic. It wasn't that I didn't want him to go, or that I missed him. It was just if he didn't come for a few days or so I felt like I had done something wrong, like I upset him.”
Maggie doesn’t know why she felt that way toward this dark sentinel in her room.
“I never felt like he wanted me to do anything but it seemed like I missed something,” she said.
Maggie’s not alone. People of all ages from around the world have reported seeing Shadow People, usually in their homes during the late hours, often walking down hallways, skulking in corners, or like Maggie’s – just watching, waiting.
In my book “Darkness Walks: Shadow People Among Us,” Lee Prosser, a sensitive and author from Springfield, Mo., described these beings as simply curious.
“I feel these Shadow Entities are scouts or explorers from another dimension simply taking a peek-see at what humans are doing,” Lee said. “They can appear at any time, and at any place; watching and observing.”
Maggie’s Shadow Man visited her regularly for about a year.
“Then it became less frequent until he stopped all together,” she said. “I didn't miss him or feel abandoned once he left. The last time he came I knew it was the last somehow.”
Maggie can’t figure out why her Shadow Man visited her, or what she may have “missed.”
“As far as my life at that time I had no real reason to feel this for him,” she said. “My parents were happily married and I had no real deaths in my life as of then. I never felt inadequate or disappointing. My parents were supportive and encouraging.”
As an adult, the Shadow Man experiences are long gone, but Maggie is still looking for answers.
Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”