This is a book excerpt from my book Diary of a Gay Nerd which you can read for free if you have a Kindle and Kindle Unlimited and/or Amazon Prime. Instead of opening my book and searching for the paragraphs, I’m just going to type it all out from memory. The reason I’m doing this is because this memory is haunting me (pun intended) and the only way to shut it up is to write about it.
When I was 7 years old, I saw my first shadow person. We were living in Sepulveda which is part of Los Angeles at the time on Orion Street. We had just moved to a new apartment building and I had my own room. Unpacking my toys was very stressful for me because of the way my step father treated me. He had set up my bed and put my bedside tables in place, and I grabbed a telephone out of one of the boxes, it was a real telephone, but it didn’t work which is why they gave it to me as a toy. My step father picked up the telephone and threw it across the room and yelled at me and hit me.
I think a week or 2, maybe longer had passed and my sister and cousin Tabby were in my sister’s bedroom playing, when one of my sister’s dolls was thrown under the bed. My memory of this event is as clear as day. I can remember it as if it had just happened yesterday. The doll flung out from under the bed and it was thrown at us, at which point we all screamed like girls, well, to be fair my sister and Tabby were girls lol, and we ran to the living room to report the strange activity that had just happened, and the adults told us that it’s just our imagination and to go back to playing.
This is not something someone forgets. Shortly after I published my book I told Tabby about it and she had no memory of that. Well, I certainly do.
I forget how much time had gone by, but I was sleeping in my bed one night and I woke up in the middle of the night around 3amish. I felt like I was woken up. When I opened my eyes I could see a person standing at the foot of my bed, but it wasn’t a person, it was just a dark shadow figure of a person. When I say a dark shadow figure of a person, I’m talking head, torso, arms and legs. I had never seen that before, and it scared me. The next day we went to school and we were in the cafeteria eating lunch and the Principal came into the cafeteria shouting SILENCIO SILENCIO and she called my and my sister’s names and we both had a feeling of dread, like we were in trouble for something, and the other kids thought so too because they were oohing. We saw our mother, and she pulled us out of school because her mother, our grandmother had passed away in the middle of the night.
Coincidence? Could it be that my grandmother had passed away in the middle of the night, then she came to see us kids to let us know? Or maybe just to watch over us? I am curious to know if that’s what I saw. I don’t recall seeing this shadow person too often in that apartment building. Perhaps selective memory? I don’t know. What I do know is there was something in that apartment and I was afraid to go into my sister’s bedroom.
We moved to another apartment building in Van Nuys, California on Sherman Way. We lived in one of the apartments for several months, maybe longer, then we switched to the Manager’s apartment because my step father became manager of the apartment building. It wasn’t too long after we changed apartments when I think my great-grandmother passed away. I don’t think we were pulled out of school for this because I honestly have no memory of her passing. I don’t know the timeline. I’m just guessing because I started seeing 2 shadow people in front of the closet in our new apartment. Again with the timeline, I’m not sure how long we were there before I started seeing them, I just remember it was 2 this time, and they were there every night for months, maybe even a year. Every night I woke up at around 3amish and they were standing in front of the closet and every time I saw them, my body froze solid from fear. I could move my head and eyes just enough to look to see if they were still there, and I would close my eyes and hope they would go away, and sometimes they did, and then I was able to go back to sleep.
I’ve been told that I imagined the shadow people because shadow people don’t exist. Well, check out the Wikipedia article on Shadow People that says they do exist. Here is one paragraph from that article that makes me curious.
Although participants in online discussion forums devoted to paranormal and supernatural topics describe them as menacing, other believers and paranormal authors do not agree whether shadow people are either evil, helpful, or neutral, and some even speculate that shadow people may be the extra-dimensional inhabitants of another universe.
Believers and authors do not agree whether shadow people are either evil, helpful or neutral. Hmmm… When I told my mother about them she didn’t believe me at first. One night I told her I was so scared and I didn’t want to sleep in my room anymore. I asked if I could sleep on the couch and she told me absolutely not, under no circumstances am I allowed to sleep on the couch, but that night I woke up like clockwork at 3amish and there they were, and I had the courage to get up and run to the door and I opened the door and closed it and I ran to the safety of the couch where I fell asleep. My mother woke me up the next morning and told me that I wasn’t allowed to sleep on the couch and I told her I was so scared from the shadow people that I needed to get out of that room.
You have no idea what a child is going through if you are not also having the same experiences. There’s a saying about walking a mile in a person’s shoe, well, some people are so close minded that they are not willing to walk a mile in your shoe, nor are they willing to believe you.
Finally I think either my mother started to believe me, or that’s what she wanted me to think because she told me she believed me and that if I wanted the shadow people to go away to say the Lord’s Prayer and they will go away. That night I said it from what I could recall of the Lord’s Prayer, and I never saw them again… in that apartment building.
I believe it was in 1982 that we moved to Bakersfield to manage another apartment building. I didn’t have any sightings of spirits or shadow people for a long time. Well, let’s just say I wasn’t woken up from a dead sleep at 3amish until after we saw a movie called E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. After that movie came out I was woken out of a dead sleep and I looked at the clock and it was 3am. My heart sank in my chest because I knew that something was coming to visit me again. If my grandmother’s passing brought a shadow person, then my great-grandmother’s passing brought 2 shadow people, then who died and how many shadow people will I start seeing from now on? Well… the answer will surprise you. I didn’t see any shadow figures at all, instead I saw something a little more comical. I saw E.T. himself standing in the doorway of our bedroom. The door was open and I could see into the hallway and there he was staring at me with a lit cigarette. Every time he took a drag from the cigarette I could see the red light pulse from inhaling from the cigarette.
OK, now that sounds like I’ve gone crackers, doesn’t it? I actually didn’t feel threatened, probably because it was E.T. E FRIGGIN T! How could anyone be afraid of E.T.? So I went back to sleep and never saw another shadow figure nor figure from a movie (lol) ever again.
The shadow people were gone, but I think because when you get older you stop believing in such things, but since I had such a strong memory of “such things”, I knew I would never forget. I have seen spirits here and there, I even started seeing auras for awhile, but that’s another blog post.
I shared my memories of the shadow people in my book because like it or not, it’s part of my story. People can say they don’t believe me, and that’s fine, I’m not asking anyone to believe anything I say in my book. You have your own beliefs and I respect that, so respect my beliefs. These are just my experiences.