If you’re someone who is afraid of that which cannot be explained, don’t worry – this tale doesn’t end with ghosts or the paranormal, though it sort of opens out that way.
When the sun is low on a misty outdoor day, a shadow is cast by the observer onto the mist, which can make it appear as if a tall, shadowy figure is watching you.
The water droplets on the mist make it even more disorientating, as the shadow can even appear to be moving toward you.
In the end, though, it’s ultimately just you being frightened by your own shadow.
The specters have ben seen for a very long time, and likely explain very old sightings of “Dark Watchers” reported for hundreds of years in California.
Hikers in the Santa Lucia Mountains there have seen tall, featureless silhouettes on the horizon, watching silently as they hike, since the 1700s.
Seen this once on a mountaintop, with much brighter and bigger rainbow around it. Unforgettable experience.
It looked something like this: pic.twitter.com/ARHpOr52S1
— Sasha Sukhovey (@alex_sukhovey) November 14, 2022
Steinbeck’s story includes a mother who warns the protagonist “when thou comest to the high mountains, if thou seest any of the dark watching men, go not near to them nor try to speak to them.”
While on the mountain, the protagonist “saw a black figure for a moment; but he looked quickly away, for it was one of the dark watchers.”
For Jeffers, the figures are not quite human.
“He thought it might be one of the watchers, who are often seen in this length of coast-range, forms that look human to human eyes, but certainly are not human. They come from behind ridges to watch. But when he approached it he recognized the shabby clothes and pale hair and even the averted forehead and concave line from the eye to the jaw, so that he was not surprised when the figure turning toward him in the quiet twilight showed his own face. Then it melted and merged into the shadows beyond it.”
There have been sightings from coastal areas, particularly, all over the world, and now a UK man has managed to capture on on film.
My first Brocken Spectre. Creepy to see it out the corner of my eye and think it was someone else moving pic.twitter.com/j38PhwGZqE
— Chris Randall (@ultrapeakschris) November 13, 2022
Chris Randall, an ultramarathon runner, and snowboarder shared the footage on Twitter. He called the experience “creepy,” as he initially thought the specter meant he was not alone in the hills.