The Black Shape

April 9, 2024

Black shapes are often reported in connection with supposed paranormal phenomena, and is something I used to experience on the edge of waking.

I’m not sure when the vision I called a "waking dream"* first started, but it came and went throughout my twenties and thirties. And it was always the same.

I would be fast asleep when an overwhelming fearfulness would shock me awake. When I opened my eyes, the dark shape was there, shapeless but malignant. Absolutely black against the lesser darkness of my room. 

I would scramble backwards in bed, pressing myself up against the headboard as if I could somehow push myself through the wall and into the next room.   

By then, I was completely awake. But the shape would remain, hovering ominously next to the ceiling. I would fumble for the lamp in a panic, but even after I got it on, the dark shape would persist for several agonizing moments before it dissolved slowly into the light.

My ex-husband never saw it. But other people did, including our upstairs tenant and a no-nonsense handyman who told me in all seriousness that our house was haunted. People in that house, and the one we would live in next, often felt like they were being watched, mechanical toys turned on on their own, electronics failed unexpectedly, and the clear sound of a woman laughing was heard by two individuals at the same time.

In both locations, my middle boy was subject to night terrors so extreme that he would wake up screaming. In the completely unretouched picture (above), you can see him, completely overshadowed by a hovering black shape.


*The edge of waking or sleeping is called the hypnopompic (between sleep and awakening) or hypnogogic (between waking and sleep) state. In both hypnopompic and hypnogogic states people are prone to vision or hallucinations. It's my opinion that some of these occurrences are meaningful while others of not.

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