From: email withheld by request
To: The Official Shadow People Archives
Sent: Sunday, August 9, 2009 11:26:59 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Lake Montebello shadow man
The following occurrences took place a while ago. I had no paranormal experiences neither before nor since. Nor have I ever dabbled in any illicit drug. I've never even been drunk. After such a long time, I am still certain of what I saw that day.
I am an electrician. A few years ago (2004?), I was working in a home located just off of Lake Montebello in Baltimore, MD. The home was quite old and "lived in". Judging by the Frank Lloyd Wright style woodwork and knob-and-tube wiring, my guess is that the place was built pre-depression. The man living in the house had an odd stride, with one leg in a brace and using a cane to quickly dash about. He moved quicker than one would expect of someone with an injured leg. His presence was easily identifiable without having to look directly at him. I had two experiences in this house.
The first experience occurred when I was replacing a dimmer in the dining room. Behind my right shoulder was a closet door with a tall mirror. I bent down to pick something up, turned around as I rose, and caught a glimpse of an archetypical tall shadow man with a hat in the mirror. It was solid grayish black, two-dimensional, and moved like a large piece of flexible plastic. The shoulders resembled those of a trench coat. The hat was more "Pilgrim" than "cowboy". It was only for a split second, and only entered maybe 1/4 of my vision, if that. The figure seemed to be darting across impatiently and reminded me of the owner of the house. In fact, I thought maybe it was the owner's reflection. He was standing in the kitchen doorway directly after this happened. I quickly analyzed the geometry of the mirror and room and concluded that whatever I saw could not have run across the kitchen doorway. It must have passed through the dining room on my left while I rose from the stooped position. I was creeped out. The hair on my arms stood on end. I could have asked the guy if he'd ever seen anything like that, but did not for fear of sounding crazy.
Later that afternoon, I was troubleshooting some switches in the basement. I was concentrated on the conduits in the ceiling when I got the sense in my mind's eye that the owner of the house dashed through the basement in front of me. His quick, uneven gate was unmistakable, though inaudible in this instance. I assumed he went out the open door leading outside. I was startled to find him coming down the stairs only seconds later. The stairs were wooden and creaky. Logically, I should have heard him go up.
What struck me about this location was the proliferation of compact fluorescent spiral bulbs. Usually a basement might have two or three big fluorescent shop lights. This basement had a small porcelain fixture literally every 3 feet. There must have been 20 spiral bulbs all operating at once, each with its own ballast and flicker pattern. I have read that unusual electromagnetism might bring on shadow-like hallucinations. I think perhaps it was the visual flicker which gave the illusion of someone dashing through the basement. Therefore, I don't necessarily think the basement experience was paranormal. If it was a doppelganger of the homeowner, perhaps he also brought about the figure in the mirror as well.
-J from Baltimore