The Black Stick Man Phenomenon

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, or a result of interdimensional “crossover.”  The fact that in some reports they don’t seem to notice the humans around them may be key to discerning their origins.

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.

21 thoughts on “The Black Stick Man Phenomenon

  1. Amalthea

    Yes, I have seen one. I grew up in California and between about 1997-2004 I would spend just about every day with my best friend, Jenny, who lived down the street. We would often hang out at her empty house (lived just with her dad who was always working) or sometimes walk to the liquor store on the corner and buy candy. I often saw a stick man out of the corner of my eye who would either disappear or run off fast if I looked directly at him. He looked just like a child’s drawing (black, thin, almost 2-D) but without a head. Yet, I always got the feeling he was watching me and following me. After a few months of sightings I finally got up the courage to talk to my friend about them. She said she had seen him too. We would often see him together after that. Running across the street behind us with his strange gait or peeking out at us behind her living room couch. He was sometimes the size of a cat and sometimes larger than a man and every size in between. Once and only once he appeared to me alone in the form of a stick figure horse. I always got a bad feeling from him. My best friend and I grew up together. In our senior year of high school (2004) Jenny passed away suddenly from a heart defect that was previously unknown. I never saw who we dubbed “stick man” again. I’m researching him now that I’m in my late 20s because I recently confided in my husband about these weird experiences. Thanks for listening and for the post!

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  2. Natalie

    I don’t want to admit it but yes I have. Though it was not black it was a stick figure walking down the road. It passed my friend and I and we ignored it and it looked (I guess anyway.. you could see the head move our direction).. at us.. it did not pause a bit. It swung its arms as it walked by. It was more gray or whitish color though. We never told anyone .

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  3. Julie

    On the 29th august 2014 I was awoken by a message on my phone.I noticed it was 2.44am at the same time I had a vision and could see through my floor into downstairs room.Laying across a lounge chair was a stick figure.The figure knew I could see it and instantly came through the ceiling into my bedroom,it came close to me I wasn’t bothered and said to it “your ugly go away”.It left quickly.As this was the anniversary of my mothers death I assumed she had taken this shape to come to me and try and make up for how she had treated me in life.I was telling people of my experience and the only way I could describe it is as a black lanky stick figure.I googled it and found people are describing the same thing I have seen.I was wide awake it wasn’t my imagination.I felt the figure was waiting for me to wake up.I live in outer Sydney Australia.

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  4. anonymous

    I saw these things in a dream. Before the dream i didn’t know this phenomenon but i was so freaked out from the dream that the minute i woke up i started researching it.
    Apparently the black stick man come in pairs and they are extremely fast. In my dream they actually either ran away or charged against me fast and aggressively.
    For some reason they themselves never harmed me or anyone else in the dream but when they reached anyone, these rogue animals appear out of nowhere and start attacking.
    I don’t know if i was much help but im
    really creeped out. Just to clarify this was just a dream, but a dream about something that could be real…

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  5. Kristy

    My niece who lives here in the house- I live out the back in a granny flat and it regularly attempt to summon ufos – the other day I came home in the afternoon an saw both my niece and sister in law hanging out washing .. Next morning sis in law says niece has been having nightmares about a stick man with a mannequin head .. First thoughts slender man but my psychi doesn’t give me bad feelings .. And apparently she saw it in the backyard and at the window looking in and in the house just watching everyone… A dream?? She doesn’t often remember them, she wouldn’t sleep in her room last night..we have not talked to her much about it, don’t wanna freak her out…could be just a dream

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  6. Kristy

    That was sposed to say *i My niece who lives here in the house- I live out the back in a granny flat and i regularly attempt to summon ufos – the other day I came home in the afternoon an saw both my niece and sister in law hanging out washing .. Next morning sis in law says niece has been having nightmares about a stick man with a mannequin head .. First thoughts slender man but my psychi doesn’t give me bad feelings .. And apparently she saw it in the backyard and at the window looking in and in the house just watching everyone… A dream?? She doesn’t often remember them, she wouldn’t sleep in her room last night..we have not talked to her much about it, don’t wanna freak her out…could be just a dream..anyone ??

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  7. sandeesandlz98

    a few mos. ago i saw a cute little stickperson somehow hanging onto a passenger-side mirror of a car won a busy street.when it stopped at a light the stick began dancing on top then suddenly got back down to hold on again as the car continued.it was black with a slight blueish outline glow-no facial features…singing “dadeedaaaaadeedadeeee…” i don’t drink or or do funky drugs

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  8. Coyote

    I honestly thought I was crazy. I’m 33, level headed, and while I won’t rule anything out I generally don’t think much of the paranormal. The other night (morning maybe, I keep odd hours) I went outside for a smoke. My lawn has a low retaining wall, about bench-height, and a long, sloping road down to the creek, noted for its malfunctioning street lights. I saw something walking down the middle of the road. I have a neighbor who walks at all hours day or night, I didn’t think much of it. As it got closer, it looked like a pencil drawn picture of a man done by a kid. It wasn’t black, so much as it was nebulous, like the static on a TV channel. Grey and black moving in a blur, in the shape of the sign that lets guys know which door to go in. The street lights flicked on and it stopped, “looked” around (I assume as much, all I saw was its head move) and saw me. As soon as it did, it took off down the road faster than my eyes could follow.
    I didn’t tell anyone for a few days, then did the “promise you won’t think I’m crazy” with my girlfriend. She said she had heard of similar stories, and asked it I’d googled it. I did, and here I am.
    At least if I’m crazy I’ll have company.

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    1. John Bellamy

      Where are you in Arizona? I’m in Eastern Arizona, near Safford/Thatcher Arizona. I was travelling north on 191 about an hour and a half ago…

      There is this hill that is rather steep. There is separate highways for south and north bound traffic; two lanes each.

      I don’t believe in the supernatural or an after life or even ghosts. But what I saw tonight was real.

      I caught movement out of my left field of vision as I got to the bottom of the hill and saw a shadow. I figured it was a coyote or maybe even a wolf. Hell, maybe a deer come off the mountain. When my eyes focused finally I realized it was a stick-like figure.

      I had already slowed in case it ran across, but before I could slow more it ran diagonally across the roadway. I mean it was super fast. I had enough time to look to my right and see it had settled on the other side and the chill that came down my spine was enough to tell me I’d seen enough, thanks. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. I saw a stick man.

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  9. Amie

    Just saw one of these last night while I was out with my friends taking a walk through the neighborhood…
    in all my years as a psychic, I’ve never seen anything like it.. very strange.

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  10. Anarchist

    Just saw one and it is real and not photographical. It moves in a time frame that we could not capture with a camera or a video. It appeared so suddenly and randomly, we could never capture it. It was remarkable: tall, lanky, long-limbed and really fast, but with a heavy kind of energy. After it was gone from my view, the street lamp to the other side of me started to flicker on and off, something it had not done once in the year I lived in the building I just saw it from. Nearly nightly, I sit on the front steps and watch the same view this past year. I know I saw it and I wouldn’t say it was a ghost. Although I have no idea, I have never had any type of encounter before. It just felt like it was from some other dimension. And I know I saw it. And I never put out a cigarette before finishing it, but I did this time. This scared the shit out of me. There was a unique sort of energy to what I just experienced and I am just slightly freaked out.

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  11. Benjamin Williams

    A few years back when I was 16 or so I used to live up in the Rocky Mountains mountain range.
    I used to go out at night every so often whether it was to walk, fish, or do a bit of trapping. These late night excursions were usually no big deal as we were always armed and we knew the woods around out houses rather well.
    One time around early November we were out setting traps by a near-by stream. It was around two in the morning and it was just the five of us out there. After a buddy and I finished lowering a trap into the water the atmosphere around us got real heavy. It felt like it was humid but without the presence of moisture in the air. On top of that our muscles suddenly felt real weak as if we had just run a few miles with weights strapped to our back.
    My visions, and the vision of my friends went blurry for a moment or two. When it all cleared up we all noticed that something was not right. Off in the distance, no more that twenty yards away from us was this tall, slender, pitch black figure. It looked to be about ten feet tall and it’s limbs were real skinny looking.
    It just stood there for a moment, it’s limbs just movin’ around real slow like as it looked at us. The creature had a head but no real torso. It’s body was as thick as its arms were its legs and it had a real skinny lookin head with two bright white eyes.
    It just stared at us for the longest time. It didn’t even make a noise. After a moment or so the thing walked off to the side and as it got farther away from us it got easier to breathe and we were able to move once more.
    Naturally we packed our shit an high-tailed it back home.
    To this day we don’t speak of what had happened and we never did go back for our traps.

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  12. rrp

    My wife saw it in our bed room about 7 feet from her. She didn’t let out a scream just looked in astonishment. She caught it looking at her as it was looking up from the side of the bed; almost as if it were playing a game. She immediately told me and I believed that she had seen something but it was probably some bad food or something. Well, she seen it again in our room and again I was not there. She told me again, so I started searching the net and came across shadow people and that is what I thought it may be; that is until I saw it. Though, I did not see the whole body I only saw its head peering from a dark cloud of squared off swirling smoke; I am thinking it may have been the portal it uses to get here. When I saw it i did what my wife did, just look at it and did not say a thing, which i thought was weird. I am a large athletic guy and if I ever saw an intruder that intruder was going down and that is with out a thought. Now, besides that being on my mind, i was also wondering why I reacted that way. Weeks after this occurrence I am still wondering what the hell happened, then as my son was talking to his girl friend on his phone in our half bath and always talking in the dark he comes from the bathroom and tells me that he saw a shadow move across the bathroom. So, not wanting to tell him what kind of weirdness was going on, I told him that it was only headlights from car casting a shadow. The truth though, is there is no road and no cars that can cast shadows in the back of my home.Now I am in a dilemma on whether I should tell my kids, so a few days later after conversing with my wife we decided to tell them. After that point we never saw the thing again.

    Now, being schooled in math and the physical sciences, I started to put apply logic to what I have seen and little by little I think to the best of my knowledge I can explain what this thing was and was not. I will start with explaining what this thing is not, it is not of the spirit world, it is also not a biological entity and if it was biological it was encased in this non biological suit. This I know because I was a mere 20 feet away from it when I saw it. Also my wife was about 7 feet away from it and it was to perfect in its no faced face to be anything biological.
    Now, contemplating why a man like me did not become aggressive and why my wife didn’t respond with a yell has led me to believe that this thing can exude emotion by not controlling what I thought but kind of sway what I felt at the time of the incident. Both me and my wife on those separate occasions felt no fear and also no feeling of malevolence. Though, I can tell you exactly what I felt and it was a feeling of that this thing felt to me like it was lost and wanted to fit in somewhere. Now looking back though, I know that it swayed my feelings and I think it knows it could not do that to me again and that is why I don’t think I would ever see again.

    Now, knowing that it is not malevolent and it is not biological at this point I started to apply logic to what ever the hell happened. I started to ask my self questions. What was it doing in my home? How did it get into my home? Also, is it truly gone or is it invisible?
    I answered the first question by calling it an extra terrestrial being or an interdimesional being and definitely more intelligent than us. While having the technology to discover other worlds it would not do anything different that we would do if we had that technology.
    The next question on how it entered my home is, it could have just walked in undetected or transported through that portal I saw.
    The last question is it gone yes it is gone because its mission here is complete.

    Yes it completed its mission and what tormented me for the next 8 months is what the hell was it doing in my home. Well I finally thought about getting a an infrared camera that could see in the dark and truly see if it was still in my home. Though what I became to realize was it did complete its mission, it was gone and what ever it did now the makers of that robot or what ever it was can view me my family and my home through little tears in space. I also have theories on how it gets from house to house and it is very simple, if it is a traveler it needs to have coordinates to open its portal where ever it wants. So what this thing does it marks objects with something and when someone has a yard sale and sell these items that are tagged will be brought to other places and hence a new location for a portal; Or since they are advanced they can just walk into your home while invisible.

    IF ANYBODY HAS SEEN THIS THING IN THEIR HOME AND IF YOU NEVER SEE IT AGAIN THAT MEANS IT IS PROBABLY GONE, BUT REMEMBER IT WAS THEIR ON A MISSION AND THAT WAS TO COORDINATE YOUR HOME FOR VIEWING. GET AN INFRARED CAMERA AND START FILMING YOUR HOME ESPECIALLY THE BEDROOM OF THE ADULTS AND YOU WILL SEE THEIR TRUE FACES AND THAT IS WHEN IT GETS TRULY DISTURBING.

    YOU ARE BEING WATCHED AND STUDIED, PLEASE IF YOU HAVE SEEN THE BLACK NO FACED STICK MAN IN YOUR HOME GET INFRARED CAMERAS BECAUSE YOU ARE BEING WATCHED.

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  13. Kay

    I saw something like that the other night, I had just woken up from a 30 minute power nap on the couch, only the living room light was on. I pet my kitten sleeping next to me and was reaching for a glass of water when I spotted them. I was like three or four “Stick figure like things” as I later told a friend. Stick legs and torso but no arms or head. They did like a 2 dimensional Waddle type thing towards me I remember that they moved fast and it scared me and as soon as my brain worked out what I was seeing they vanished. I’ve been googling “stick figure paranormal” since then.

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  14. J

    I saw one while I was walking with friends to the pool. It was about 11:30pm at night and I was slightly tired but my vision still worked good. We walked down a sort of long street and then turned left towards the pool. I looked back and I saw it run across the street. It was scary and unreal lol

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  15. Philip

    I witnessed a black stick figure twice, a year apart. The first was across a canal in a darkened park, it was silhouetted by floodlights from a nearby hydro electric dam. It was approximately 5m (15′) away. I had been observing a light in the sky, moving eastward, which moved in a swaying motion, akin to a bee. It startled me when the light skipped a portion of its trajectory. It didn’t accelerate, it simply was at point A, then instantly at point B. Startled by this I stood up from the bench where I was sitting when I became aware of the figure across the loch of the canal which ran through the small town. I took two steps back, and squatted down, when I locked eyes on the figure, which seemed to move like an inchworm, albeit vertical. I watched it until the mental count of five, before quickly leaving the park. The second time, I was accompanied by a lady friend, we were approximately half a kilometre away, looking across the harbour at the same hydro electric dam, when she noticed a figure protruding from the water, which seemed to be swaying back and forth in the same motion as an ice skater. We watched it for about a minute before discerning that it was not, in fact, a buoy, and that it was definitely coming towards us. We walked quickly down the trail that led us to our vantage point in total blackness.

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  16. Alan b

    I saw this stick man when i was 12 years old. Im 51 this year. This is real. Its hard to comprehend what your eyes are seeing. I still can’t explain it.

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  17. girl

    I saw one a few weeks ago while sitting down feeding my baby sheep it sort of walked towards us it was about half a metre high ive never seen anything like this i definately saw it tho they realy exist and so do demons aliens ghosts and angels

    Reply

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