Jason Offutt's book of ghost stories, "Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri's Most Spirited Spots," is here. Order online at tsup.truman.edu, www.amazon.com, or visit Jason's Web site at www.jasonoffutt.com
Light from the television bathed the bedroom in a soft, white glow, the sound of Conan O’Brien’s monologue keeping Scott Donaldson company.
“It was in late August of 2003 on a average night,” Donaldson of Price, Utah said. His wife lie sleeping next to him, his children asleep in other rooms.
But the night slowly turned grim as Donaldson realized there was someone else in the room.
“I noticed in the corner shadows of the closet area something dark begin to move,” he said. “It did not scare me at first because I thought it may be a cat. But, as I looked more it was a tall shadow in the shape of a man with a hat.”
As the Shadow Man began to slowly snake its way toward the bed, the flickering TV betraying its presence, Donaldson felt not frightened, but curious.
“For the first few minutes it was like a game,” he said. “The presence was trying to move slowly. It was like as if he did not know if I was asleep or not.”
The entity’s steps brought it within inches of the bed, then Donaldson’s curiosity changed to fear.
“I was not scared until it came next to my bed and was looking over my wife,” he said. “She was sleeping. It would then look at me. It would move as if it did not want to be noticed.”
Even though the entity was so close, Donaldson couldn’t make out its face, only blackness and the hat.
“The angle of the hat gave me clues on which way it was looking,” he said. “It started to move to my side of the bed, and I kinda of moved. My instinct was to grab the gun.”
Donaldson, a youth corrections officer, keeps a handgun next to his bed for safety.
“When I moved, it was to position myself to be able to quickly grab and load the gun,” he said. “That is when it stopped and did not move for about 45 seconds. I stared hard at the Shadow Man, but I could not see his eyes.”
Then the thing moved back toward the shadowy corner near the closet.
“For a moment I thought it was going to go back from where it came from, but it started to head towards my children’s room,” Donaldson said. “That is when my threshold could no longer give into the curiosity.”
He grabbed the gun, slapped in a loaded clip and leapt from the bed.
“It ran into the darkness before I could hit the bedroom lights,” Donaldson said. “It was like watching ‘Cops.’ I woke up my wife and checked the closet with my gun in raised.”
Donaldson’s wife screamed, asking what was happening, but he wasn’t ready to answer.
“I told her to grab the phone but not call 911 yet,” he said. “Nothing in the closet. I checked the kid’s room and awoke them. I checked every inch of the house.”
All doors were locked, none of the movement-based security lights outside had been triggered, and Donaldson could find no one in the house.
“My wife did not call 911,” he said. “I had to kind of lie to her and the kids about what had just happened because they were scared to death. I just told them that I thought someone was in the house but it was probably just a cat.”
But Donaldson knows it wasn’t a cat. Donaldson had seen a Shadow Person.
“Bottom line is that I did encounter what seems to be a Shadow Man,” he said. “I am open minded and observed what took place. I did not feel an evil presence or negativity. Just a curious figure who was looking interested in us.”
A few days later, Donaldson, also a musician, wrote and recorded a song about the experience. If you’re interested, you can hear Donaldson’s Shadow Man encounter set to music by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or going to www.myspace.com/confusingadam.
Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt c/o The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty, Independence, Mo. 64050.