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It all began in London in the 1800’s. A group of young boys were playing football in the park. A well dressed man wearing a suit, trenchcoat and trilby hat was sitting nearby watching them from a park bench.

One of the boys accidentally kicked the ball in his direction. Another of the boys went to fetch the ball. The man, who we’ll call the Shadow Man) picked the ball up to hand it to him. The young boys eyes widened and he ran away screaming, “That man’s  got skeletons hands! He’s got skeletons hand!” The other boys didn’t hang around to check. They all ran home where they told their parents. The Shadow Man calmly walked off, leaving their ball on the seat.

Of course the boys parents didn’t believe them.

The following week the Shadow Man walked into a newsagents to buy a newspaper. His skeletal hands were noticed by the shopkeeper but he said nothing. He also noticed that the Shadow Man had an extremely pale complexion and gaunt face. The shopkeeper reported him to the police who said that they couldn’t follow the case up as he had committed no offence. Irrespective, the Shadow Man took to walking the London streets at night.

One night he entered a rowdy tavern and in a low, raspy voice asked for a pint of beer. As he paid for his beer and sat drinking it, the tavern fell silent. They were all transfixed by his hands. Upon leaving the tavern, a few men followed him up the stairs. By the time they arrived at the exit he was nowhere to be seen. This was particularly odd as the streets by the tavern were long and straight. There is no way that he could have ran that distance in such a short time.

Everybody knows that energy doesn’t vanish. It merely dissipates. This is what the Shadow Man had done on leaving the tavern. His energy had moved into the cobblestones, into buildings and into the footpath.

He decided to take a walk during the day some time later. He missed the hustle and bustle. He was enjoying the Summers day walk university student noticed that he didn’t cast a shadow. The student took it upon himself to attempt a citizens arrest. On trying to grab the Shadow Man, his hands went straight through him. The Shadow Man didn’t budge and explained, “You can never touch me. I’m a ghost. I was killed over 2150 years ago. I now walk  the streets of London untouchable and harming nobody.”

The student then asked him, “Would you mind if I used you as a subject for my next assignment? It’s on the supernatural.” The Shadow Man replied, “Of course. Meet me in Reid Park tomorrow at 1 pm.” The pair met as organised and the student fired question after question at the Shadow man who answered them all very succinctly.

The student got an ‘A’ for his assignment. His lecturer asked him where he got his information from. The student replied, ‘I know a dead man.” The lecturer was a free thinker and believed him. He said, “Good for you. Stay friends with him. Dead people won’t harm you.” They remained friends for the rest of the students life.

The Shadow continues to walk the London streets. He now spends a lot of time on the university campus befriending believers in ghosts. Whenever he encounters somebody who is afraid of him or doesn’t believe him, he simply dissipates his energy into nearby objects leaving the smallest puff of smoke and then waits for a student who is a believer.

Who knows? If you ever visit London, you may encounter the Shadow man. Do not fearr him.