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Have you ever seen something darting in the corner of your eye? Suddenly had this inexplicably immense fear that was just crushing you? Wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible, even though it is a comfortable home, your home? Have a nagging curiosity that has been driving you insane lately? Feel like you're being watched? Developed an irrational and superstitious mentality and/or a morbid obsession with the unknown and paranormal?

You are experiencing what is commonly known as shadow people. It is something which is becoming increasingly prevalent. But what are they? Some people report that they are inhuman. And some speculate they travel between dimensions. And others shrug it off as sensory perception. But anyone who has experienced this will typically tell you they don't know, they don't want to know. What do they want? What is their purpose? Nothing happens randomly, right? But there is one question you haven't asked. In fact, the very reason why you ask the above questions is to suppress it. In doing so, you think you have victory, you have overcome your fear. But no, you have made it worse... your inquisitive nature grows each day as a result. The question, where do they come from? It's throbbing in your head, snatching sleep from you, tiring you out with subsidiary questions, until you finally snap and investigate.

I was once like you. I was fascinated by the paranormal. I had experienced several experiences, some auditory, some optical. Perhaps even what you might call a poltergeist. It was during this time that I had my first encounter with these beings. It started out like a typical encounter, only this one wasn't shy or malicious. It was benign. It came when I longed for a son after my son had died in a house fire. The house was mine. The being comforted me. I didn't wonder why it came to me. I just acknowledged it, let it be, and started rebuilding my life. I got a new job, a new house, all of life's essentials (most of them actually. I could never remarry after the divorce). And it followed me. As days went by, I found myself lacking fear. When burglars intruded, it scared them off. When I suffered from infestation, it made them disappear. When I went outside, I would suddenly be compelled to do things of extreme caliber. And I did them. One time, I was a vigilante. Well sorta.

One day, I decided to jump off a cliff overlooking wild rushing water and gleaming jagged rocks. Yet I felt reassured. You could have called me crazy back then and I wouldn't have heard it, just shrugged it off. But when I looked down into the water, I could have sworn I saw my deceased child drowning and the cries... they just weren't surreal. I could recognize his voice. I started to feel sick, dizzy, and tired. I thought of immediately moving away from the cliff... but someone pushed me. I didn't fall, which is why I'm still alive today. I had moved away from the cliff quick enough so I was shoved onto the ground. It was then that I realized what this thing was trying to do. It was trying to kill me. But I tolerated it. I could see no incentive for expelling it... until it took everything away from me.

I would get angry for no reason, when no one was around. I would yell at my pets, pick fights, get in trouble with the cops, etc. But that wasn't the worst of it. First, when I went on an afternoon walk with my dog, he got shot during a shootout. He died. The being was nowhere until it came at midnight, stirring me up and urging me to come with it. I ignored it. When I woke up, I got a knock on the door and was greeted with the police, who reported complaints from my neighbors about loud screeches coming from my house. I then got a call. It was from my boss. I was fired. Bob and I had been long acquainted with each other. This wasn't like him. He hanged up before I could talk with him... before he could explain why. The next day, I found my car damaged in a car accident but the driver wasn't around and no one would help me. A few weeks later, I met someone who I could have potentially married. But it was there and it frightened her off.

But these weren't enough to break me. I did not have much attachment. So it targeted my past. I returned home one day and found everything displaced. But what really pissed me off was finding the frames containing photos of my deceased family in shambles and the pictures scattered all over the place. After hours of repairing, repositioning the objects, I noticed something amiss. Where were my son's pictures? Oddly, the family photos didn't have him in them at all. He wasn't on my lap, he wasn't in his bed when I kissed him good night. It had taken him out of the objects that I had treasured, out of my memory perhaps. This was the last straw. It had to go. I yelled at it and demanded that it leave me alone. I coldly told it how much I hated its company and hated everything it did for me. I did not feel any sympathy at that moment, although I sometimes found myself regretting it. I demanded it return the photos. For a second there, I was truly afraid (the first time in my life ever since meeting this entity) that it would suddenly become hostile and attack me. But it just left and it hasn't returned ever since.

I discovered the photos of my son in a pile under the couch, but he never returned in my family photos. Perhaps he was never there? Impossible. After it had left, I did a search on the premises of my old home. After asking several people, I found someone who had lived here for a long time. It turns out that many seances had been conducted here in the house and it was built over a burial ground. I did more searching, but it turned up nothing.

Ten years later, I'm a religion teacher. But I'm hardly religious. Far from it actually. I have abandoned my search and once lived a life of a recluse. Nothing unusual has happened to me since that incident. But during one of my religion studies, while I was teaching on the subjects of prosperity, resilience, submission, and the moral implications of calling it quits to win and the vices of vengeance, I found a peculiar verse:

"The shades tremble beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof."

After 10 years of noncompliance, refusal to get worked up over something that will lead me nowhere, my curiosity re-emerged. I initiated another search and this time I got a good lead. I found that "shades" is translated as Rephaim in Hebrew. They were inhabitants of the Netherworld, the land of the dead, what is now known as the grave. This is from Wikipedia: "The Heb. root רפא means "heal," and thus the masc. plural nominalized form of this root may indicate that these deceased ancestors could be invoked for ritual purposes that would benefit the living."

That would explain the seances, the being's attraction to me, the familiarity I had for him... the feeling that he was once human. But one question, long forgotten but never quelled, began to ring in my head. Where do they come from?

I found another verse a few days later:

"Your dead will live. Their corpses will rise. Those who lie dead in the dust will wake up and shout for joy, because your dew is a refreshing dew, and the earth will revive the spirits of the dead."

Believers of the Bible will interpret this as resurrection, befitting of their religion and interests. But I know what it was. I know what it is.

I know what I saw.

It is a journey. A reunion. The result of our grief, the result of our demands. They hear. They know. They think. They wish too, just like us, and they are coming. And I know what they whisper, why they arrive to comfort us in our time of greatest need, and what they wish to convey to us.

It is a message, an invitation. To a gathering of old and new, to a timeless procreation of past and present intertwined, but with only good, to a place of comfort and of silent recluse. I now know they are not shadows. They are cloaked beings. They do not come to frighten. They come to warn us of an impending doom.

You'll know too, when Death comes knocking at your door, writing:

"The great journey waits for no one friend, not even you. But when it does, when the time comes, when your time comes, therein you shall find rest."

You'll know that they come to deliver us from sorrow... and bring us to hereafter.