The Black Stick Man Phenomenon
March 27, 2012 172 Comments
by Tony Harrington
In the world of the paranormal, there is seldom anything new to write home about. Ghosts are ghosts after all, the tried and true staple of an investigator’s diet.
Rarely do we see an emergence of a new phenomenon. We might see an older type of entity experience resurgence in popularity due to a high-profile expose on shows like “Ghost Hunters” or “Destination Truth”, but that is not the same as a true emergence of a previously undocumented event.
That theory was flipped on its ear in 2009 when website http://www.Listverse.com featured “Black Stick Men” as one of their top 10 most bizarre modern paranormal phenomena.
The list; which included Black Eyed Kids, Dog-Head Man, and other cryptids immediately caught fire due to the inclusion of the Black Stick Men. As it turns out, there was something to be said of the recent phenomenon.
The black stick men are just that…walking stick figures, the kind you would draw as a child, or as an adult if you lacked any ability to draw whatsoever. The male gender is usually attached to the figures, though to be honest, they seem rather gender-neutral.
The figures have been described as unusually tall, black in appearance, lacking any facial or bodily features and very lean. Their appearances have been documented on message forums and websites since 2008 and unlike shadow people as a whole, do not coincide with a mention on Ghost Hunters or other paranormal program. Accounts of encountering the figures just started creeping up.
Could they be part of a viral marketing campaign, in similar fashion to an alien being caught on a game camera in Louisiana turned out to be viral marketing for the film Super-8 or could they be some part of a collective of urban legends?
The complete lack of photographic or video evidence quickly discounts the fact that these stories are part of a marketing campaign of any sort. They also do not appear to be centralized to one location such as the mysterious www.thisman.org website which seemed to be more of a performance art piece rather than a fully-realized otherworldly phenomenon.
Also, there is no “A friend of a friend” accounts to tie these encounters to an urban legend. The details involved in the accounts are scant at best, mostly fleeting glimpses. So, unlike true urban legends, there is no moral or sense of irony.
The details, of what little there are, about these creatures/apparitions seem to be consistent from story to story. The appearance usually takes place along a deserted road, or in an alley way, away from bright lights and prying eyes. The person encountering the stick men more times than not report being tired. The figures move smoothly as if gliding, they do not make any sound although the air around them is reportedly charged with static.
The actual stick men themselves seem indifferent to us unless provoked or if they realize they have been spotted. Then they will flee quickly or in some rare instances will approach quickly in a frightening display of aggravation. However, there have been no reported incidents of anyone being touched or harmed by the mysterious beings.
The only indications of their intent have been reports of vague feelings of malevolence, though some feel this has to do with the disturbances in the atmospheric/barometric pressures that often accompany a sighting.
Are they paranormal? Who is to say? Most of the accounts are not associated with a known haunted spot and most sightings are not tied to any other ghostly phenomenon. They are simply things that exist outside of our realm of the normal. So in that sense, yes, they are paranormal…but not necessarily ghosts of any type.
The Black Stick Man phenomenon is fairly new, not enough research/evidence has been conducted on just what or who they are and why they are visiting us. They could be ghosts, yet they could be alien as well if you are inclined to believe that we are not alone in this world.
Either way, to those who have seen these things, they are very real and are among us. As to where they go and what they do once out of our line of sight can only be speculated.
Have you encountered one of these mysterious beings? If so, please share your story with us in the comments below.