Shadow Animals: Mysteries in the Dark

My interest in shadow animals comes from personal experience.  I’m often outside after dark, and see a lot of opossums, bats, raccoons, and other animals that like to hang out in Madison at night.  But occasionally, I’ll catch a glimpse of something harder to identify–something halfway in size between a cat and a raccoon, but not exactly shaped like either.  These creatures run off so quickly it’s hard to get a good look at them.  Usually, the next day I’ll try to convince myself I’d seen something ordinary–maybe a baby raccoon, even though it hadn’t really looked or moved like one.  But since whatever I’d seen was dark enough to blend in with the night-time shadows, it was hard to know what else to think.

I noticed one of these creatures very early one winter morning, on the bar of land that goes out into the Lake Mendota by the Tenney Locks.  Against the white of ice and snow, its shape was a little easier to make out, even in the dark.  It was catlike, but bigger and more hunched over like raccoon, 100% black.  It ran away, out onto the mostly frozen lake–something I’ve never seen a cat or a raccoon do.  This animal was much too large to be a muskrat and didn’t have a beaver’s tail; besides, it didn’t jump off the ice ledge into open water as a muskrat or beaver would.  It just ran off across the ice towards the other shore.

This was all very strange, but I didn’t know much more about it than that until I recently decided to check the internet to see if others had similar experiences.  I was kind of surprised to see how much I found.  These creatures I saw are called shadow animals, shadow spirits or black animals.  (“Shadow animals” may also refer to the shadow pictures you make with your hands while you brother is holding a flashlight.  Not the same thing at all!)  Some think they’re related to a well-known paranormal phenomenon called “shadow people,” human-like shadows.  Shadow people sound awfully sinister, so I’m just as glad I’ve only encountered the animal kind.

One paranormal investigator saw a shadow animal while closing a vortex in a troubled house.  Here’s how she describes it:

Suddenly, I saw this bobcat-sized creature bolting toward me.  It had a curved back held in the posture of a raccoon. I saw that it had a rounded head, though I could not see the face.  I only saw the top of the head, neck, back, and part of the sides of the thing.  I knew that it had a cat-like tail, and that it was black with black spots (how I knew this, I cannot say).

–Brandy Stark, from Shadow Animals website.

This sounds exactly like what I saw, except that I didn’t notice any spots.  (I don’t know how anyone could make out black-on-black spots either.)  When she encountered this animal, there were several other people present and a video camera running, but strangely she was the only one who saw it.

Since then, she’s collected first-hand stories from many others.  What’s remarkable about these stories is how much the reports have in common.  The black animals people describe are almost always cat-like, fast-moving, and quick to flee when they notice they’re being watched.  They aren’t scary, but rather leave the viewer with a feeling of perplexity.

I’m not really sure what to make of all this, except to realize once again that there are still many things in the world we do not understand.


10 responses to “Shadow Animals: Mysteries in the Dark

  1. The similar sizes & back shape are really interesting. I have had quite a few encounters with shadow creatures & a couple with the more human shaped ones. The most fascinating experience with a shadow animal was in the living room of my old house. The house was newish, but built in a part of NM with a history of native Americans. I was sitting on the couch one night when I saw something walking out of the foyer into the living room, I noticed that my cat was also looking in the same direction as me & she was tracking it (eyes / head moving) as it walked. It was the size of a small bear (maybe about 2.5 or 3 ft tall from the highest point of it’s back down to the floor), that’s what I thought it was, it had a curved back, it was black, very opaque. When I looked directly at it, it “disappeared” but when I looked at from an angle (like 1/2 way between corner of my eye and full on straight) I saw it again, and it had made further progress across the floor since it had disappeared, basically showing up in the spot you would assume it to be if you had been able to see it without interruption. My cat even got up at one point and went to the area and sniffed around, but she seemed to lose interest pretty quickly. Once the “bear” got close to the other side of the living room it disappeared again. I didn’t get any creepy vibes when this happened, the energy felt very neutral, neither “good” or “evil”.

  2. Well I have been asking people if they have seen a shadow Bear.Know one has.I was out helping a lady next store first time I talk to her ,her dog got away so I said I would look.Well hr. later we are talking and this Big black Bear ran 8 feet in front of us but you could see throw it,I turned and said did you see a Bear run in front of us she said yes but would say no more like it didn’t happen.I thought that was just crazy what I just saw if she was not there I would have not believe it.Why would that happen ?

  3. I am a wiccan…. and very susceptible to ghosts. of all kinds. i see hear and even feel them. im 17 years old, and driving in the fog tonight, a shadow wolf darted across the road in front of my truck. i cant figure out if its my spirit animal, or something more malevolent……. and ideas or suggestons??

  4. Chelsea, I’m not an expert, but my advice would be not to read too much into the sighting. Our society gives us all kinds of preconceived ideas about these kind of phenomena, like that they’re evil, or that they’re “spirit guides,” or that they’re all in our minds. Instead of listening to what other people say, keep your eyes and ears and mind open for what the natural world has to teach you. It probably meant something, but it’s an individual thing that’s personal to you. It may take some time to understand on a deep level, but it’s worth it.

  5. I have to say I’m sorta relieved someone else is seeing some of the things I do, I have always been susceptible to seeing and hearing things, but in the past 8 months or so, I have been seeing a shadow “cat”, my year old kittens chase it away from me, it appears to my Fiancée and I both, he tends to “banish” it while I try to ignore it, but even as I type this, my head has gone “fuzzy” at the thought of the creature as it usually does, I wish I knew more on why I have the thing following me around, I see it at home, college and stores, I’m a little curious

  6. I TO CAME INTO CONTACT WITH A SHADOW ANIMAL. IT IS VERY BLACK, CAT LIKE HOW IT RUNS AWAY AND DISAPPEARS INTO NOWHERE. U C IT DAY AND IN THE DARK. MY EXPERIENCE COMES WITH GREAT SADNESS. MY 2 YR OLD PUG NIKKI AND I RENTED A ROOM WITH THIS 74 YR OLD GROUCHY,SNEAKY, SUSPICIOUS OLD MAN. WE MOVED IN ON MAY 3, 2014. BY MAY 6, 2014 .THIS MAN POISONED NIKKI AND. I LOST HER AFTER SURGURY. I KEPT SEEING THIS SQUIRREL RUN UNDER THIS GLASS COFFEE TQBLE EVERYTIME I TOOK NIKKI OUT FOR HER WALK, ETC. I EVEN WENT SO FAR AS TO ACTUALLY WALK BACK AND FORTH TO SEE IF IT WAS MY REFLECTION IN THE GLASS. I WAS WEARING A YELLOW PANTS OUTFIT. IT WASN,T ME OR NIKKI. AND NIKKI NEVER LET ON SHE SEEN IT, BUT I ACTUALLY WENT LOOKING FOR IT UNDER HIS 2 COUCHES. AGAIN NOTHING THERE. NIKKI DIED A SLOW PAINFUL DEATH ON MAY 7 TH. I REALIZED AFTER I GOT THE HELL OUT OF THERE ON FRI THE 9TH WITHOUT THE DIFFERENCE IN MY RENT MONEY, I NEVER NOTICED THAT CREATURE QGAIN. EVEN THO I WAS WALKIN PAST THAT TABLE WITH ALL MY BELONGINGS PUTTING IT IN MY CAR. THAT MONSTER THAT RENTED ME THAT ROOM POISONED HER. AND I HAVE BOTH VETS REPORTS TO PROVE IT, ALSO MY VET VOLUNTEERED TO REPRESENT ME WHEN I TAKE THE MONSTER TO COURT. THE LESSON HERE IS PAY CLOSE ATTN TO YOUR INSTINCTS THEY ARE THE CORRECT ONES.EVEN THO THAT BLACK SHADOW ANIMAL RUNS WHEN ITS NOTICED AND DISSAPPEARS INTO NOWHERE. YOU DO NOT SEE ITS FEET, OR HEAR IT SKURRY AWAY, AND IT HAS YOU ASKING YOURSELF “DID I REALLY SEE THAT?” YES YOU DID. AND QUESTION WHY.

  7. I see these quite often, but have never attached a spiritual meaning to them – for me, they’re just there. There are at least two that manifest around the house, and I have seen them out and around, all over the country. I even saw one at the grocery store in a bread rack! At first I thought that somehow it was my cat, since at the time I had a small black cat whose culinary passion was bread – she’d steal packages of bread, drag them off somewhere and tear into them, usually just eating the soft middles and leaving crusts everywhere.

    I also see shadow people from time to time, but not normally with the feeling of fear most people report. For some reason, I see them out on the road and in the forest, but never on my property.

  8. I’ve had one experience with a big cat like shadow creature, it terrified me as it loomed lime it was stalking me, the worst part, is it went under the streetlight and was still there, but stayed just as black with no details showing, not even on the face. So glad I’m not the only one, I’ve also starting seeing what I assume to be shadow people….are they something to be scared of? The shadow animal made me believe that it was going to attack if I tried to go. the way I was trying to go.

  9. Hi all. Two days ago I have an experience that can be described like this. I am very susceptible to paranormal named things. I don’t look for them they just happen to me here and there. My only and short of scary experience with shadow people was without me knowing what all was about. I have to have someone explain to me what a shadow person it’s like to give my sighting a proper explanation that was accurate. Here again 5 years later I am started to walk my dog outside my home at a different city and somehow I felt something was odd. While he sniffed the ground I turned my neck and a shadow figure on the shape of a bobcat at least shuts past the corner of my eye from my house towards my position. I was so surprised that I jumped out of fear it would attacked us. Be mindful I am walking a small dog. The thing was so fast that it wanished as it crossed in front of me before getting to the street. I triple checked that Whatever I thought I saw was not just an illusion. Finally today two days latter I asked myself if this could be related to shadow people and you appeared on the Internet. What else could I say? This felt so real to me that I can not change what I saw and I have to state that not until today seeing your blog realized others experience similar situations. I hope my experience helps others to speak up and don’t feel afraid on sharing their experiences.

  10. Hi was just trying to look into what shadow cats mean. The place were my kids dad lives. I have seen one a few times. At first it was out of the corner of my eye. I just told mysel I was seeing things. Then once in the kitchen I seen this little shadow creeping across the wall. I turned to look at it and it went so fast from one side of the room to behind the fridge. After that it wasn’t easy to convince myself I was seeing things but I still did. Tell one night my sister was over. We were in the living room. This little shadow can from under the chair across the room and into we’re the fireplace was. It was real quick. I noticed my sister noticed it to. So I asked did u see that. She was like yes I think you might have a cat spirt in your place are something. So after that I knew there was something in that house.

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