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The Shadow Man of Crowborough

The Shadow Man of Crowborough


 Shadow spirit

Ghostwatch Europe
Views: 951
Report by: ExorSister
"Let the shadows be your guide - encounters with the other side"
Report ID: 327

The Shadow Man of Crowborough


I saw him first one morning, on my way to school… And again when back again I came. 

Sometimes he’d be in the garden, sometimes by the door, sometimes on the wall, my face brushing his hanging feet.

Each time closer, and closer, until




Fleet of foot, pitter patter, I would pass on through

It didn’t matter where in space

Or where he sat because




Which is what they told me. Those other girls who walked in their obnoxious gaggles, chattering and laughing away while I made my own way to school, my thoughts full of prophetic encounters, pathetic fallacy, the dark, rolling hills.

I hate to think where they’ve ended up now.

Stuck in monotonous office jobs or the obedient wives to careless men who barely see them

Let alone hear them.

Not like the man at the end of my street.

He was mine. Present. Of the past but not the future. He wasn’t going anywhere… He just was. I used to leave him things. Little things. A scarf. A book. Poor Waiting Man, wasn’t he ever bored? Sitting on that wall, looking, watching, listening.

And then I heard him, In my room - breath...



And thin

Him, at night, sitting in the corner. I don’t know how he got in but he must have noticed me watching. As he watched me. So patient, so still. 

My breath was shallow too. In the dark I couldn’t see anything, just hear the gentle touch of early rain outside. Little drops flicking my window. And the cars outside. I wasn’t scared. I’ve never been scared. Some people don’t like the dark. I find it lets me see more clearly. Less clutter.

Light hurts the eyes. Too much light your retina burns. Don’t look at the sun, the screen, the eyes. But a darkness? No darkness ever hurt anyone. Unless it was resisted. Lost explorers trying to navigate a cave in a no-torch pitch black. One foot wrong and they’re done. But don’t blame the dark.

An old woman’s leg aches late at night, she looks for something to numb the pain, can’t see her pills so takes the wrong ones, the strong ones, the ‘do not exceed more than one a day’ ones. Next morning, she doesn’t wake. But don’t blame the dark.

A man creeps along a country lane back from a clandestine encounter under a moonlit sky. The car approaching doesn’t see him till it’s too late, the light catching only the look of terror on his face. But don’t blame the dark.

The dark didn’t do the deed. The dark doesn’t damn. The dark only deepens what’s already there.

That was him, by the way. That last man, traversing the street. Or at least in my dream. I don’t know why I knew this. But he was looking for home. And now he would never find it.

But why did he find me? I didn’t know him. I certainly wasn’t his home. Was I supposed to help him find it? To find his lost love?

I didn’t know. I tried reading to him, when he came to visit. Poems I thought would speak to him, help guide him to where he needed to go.

He didn’t respond. He would just stay there, 




Until I would drift back off to sleep

And come morning, he’d be gone, and I would be alone.

He came again.

He came many times


At night




And calm.

He wasn’t there to hurt me.

He was good.

It was then I realised

That they were the good guys.

Not just him, but all of them.

 All of those who in books haunt, possess and linger.

Harmful, hurtful, hurting beings. 

But what if it wasn’t them

But us?

And so I learned to listen deep, in the dead of night and dawn of day

For him

For his kind’s not what we should fear.

It’s not the darkness from which we should hide.

It’s the silence.

The silence inside.

So listen deep my dears

For what’s within will not

Unfold or wake without

The dark.

And, with eyes no longer lit to see… We must begin again, to listen.

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