Black Stick Man



The following account is slightly shortened but otherwise unchanged and comes from my diary record for Tuesday, 31st October 1978. Only the names have been changed. We were all aged between 15 and 17 at the time. The Loose Valley referred to is near Maidstone in Kent. My diary record also indicates that there was a new moon on that night.

"I will record a rather unpleasant experience which took place tonight. A group of about ten of us were sitting chatting in the Loose Valley at about midnight. After about 45 minutes Will leapt to his feet slapping his head saying there was a bee in his hair; he looked absolutely terrified. Both Dorothy and I saw the outline of a tall, thin figure wearing a hat dancing behind him. Will said later it was if a terrifically loud buzzing was coming-up through the top of his head. However only Rachel heard any buzzing.

We partially satisfied ourselves that it must have been a bees' nest, and so we moved a little distance away. As we moved away Dorothy and I saw a ring outlined in the grass which enclosed where we had been sitting. Eventually it started raining so we headed for Rachel's house. As we left I turned around and saw the same thin black figure walk across the opening between the trees to where we had been sitting.

We had been sitting in Rachel's bedroom for a while, when I looked at Will who was reading and saw an amorphous black blob drop out of his hair onto the bed. I was the only one who saw this. A few seconds later a black shape started whizzing around. The main movement was from bottom left to top right as I was sitting, getting larger during the movement and inducing a great fright. About four people altogether saw this.

Later the girls slept in a room together. Apparently Rachel and Molly saw the black blob in the curtains during the night. I, however, had an excellent night's sleep. On first awakening I saw the thin black figure silhouetted against the wardrobe doors. I must admit I lost my calm last night and was bloody terrified by the whole thing."

I have now moved away from the South East, but I occasionally meet Will. Even twenty years later he has been extremely unwilling to discuss the events of that night in any detail as he still found the memory disturbing. During our last meeting I gained a little more of his account. He was not aware of the thin figure which I saw behind him during the initially buzzing. Unprompted by me he did recall the black blob falling out of his hair, which I thought I alone witnessed. However, he recalls it dropping onto the pages of the book he was reading rather than onto the bed as I recalled. Will also recalls more of the girls' account of their night after retiring. Apparently the blob had several times appeared near the curtains and moved them, while silhouetted against a bright light which appeared to come from outside but did not correspond to any street lamp or likely car lights.

This has been the only 'supernatural' experience of my life.

redundant link removed - stu

This brings to mind a story two of my friends recounted to me. Some years back they were driving at night up the A11 to Norfolk when, at Elveden in Suffolk, a stickman, just like a childs drawing, ran across the road in their headlights. They both saw it clearly, no doubts. Note the nice lexilinked location.
Reply to Mr. Ian Simmons


The story you refer to concerning the stick figure running across the road upon the A11 at Elveden is a story documented in the seminal master work Borderlands. I believe published around 1999.

I haven't actually read Borderlands, but I'm not surprised, it's author, Mike Dash was a fellow Fortean Times contributing editor for a long time and I certainly related the story to him. I think I also included it in an FT column piece about weird things glimpsed in car headlamps a few years back as well.
Stickmen in mediums' autobiographies?

Despite the total lack of evidence I've managed to gather since posting this on another thread, I'm *positive* that either Betty Shine or Doris Stokes mentions, in her autobiography, seeing a stickman "made out of the landscape" more than once during her youth.

My memory of the actual description (and, indeed, source) is iffy a I read this in my early teens; my parents owned both books but it was definitely in one of them (I wasn't a big fan of clairvoyance -- ti was just a long boring summer and I had nothing to read..) and it made a lasting impression on me.

As far as I can remember, Doris (or Betty) is on a journey somewhere when she looks out of her window and sees a giant stick figure bounding along the landscape, keeping up with the car/train/whatever, and it appeared to make itself out of whatever bit of landscape it was passing at the time -- fields, trees, bridges, etc. :eek!!!!:

Doris/Betty (or "Boris", if you prefer) seemed to find this quite peaceful and reassuring, but I was deeply terrified, and soon gave up my habit of staring dreamily out of the window on long car journeys. Even now it gives me a bit of a chill if I think about it.

Hello. I submitted this particular item to IHTM.

The title 'Black Stick Man' was given to my piece by the IHTM controller and is in fact rather misleading. The figure was tall, very thin and a black silhouette; but was not a stick man (as in simplistic representation of a figure using straight lines for torso and limbs, plus a circle for the head).

Best regards
This sounds similar to the "dancing thing" in another thread. Both are tall black straight bodied things.
Black cut-out man in SE London

This is my first post. I wanted to share an experience that happened to me some years ago, for which I have no explanation but still to this day I'd like to see if anyone out there has any ideas to contribute. The fact that I stumbled across these accounts on the FT website of black silhouette figures confirms a lot to me, namely that myself and a friend are not alone in something we experienced. Please read on!

I was walking from a friend's house to my own, in the early hours of the morning after a night of general chat while I was at university here in London, UK – specifically, a relatively leafy suburb called Brockley in South-east London. I had drunk only everyday tea or soft drinks all night and had consumed no drugs whatsoever. I'd simply gone without sleep. The time was around 6am and dawn was literally breaking when a friend and I found ourselves walking down my street to where my apartment was located, when we saw a figure walking up the street towards us. The word we coined later to describe its movement was 'lolloping' - a kind of up-down bouncy walk. It took a few seconds for the two of us to realise this was no human being. I asked my friend: "See that man?" "Yes," was the reply. "It's not a man, though, is it?" I found myself asking. "No,' said my friend, sounding scared. "It isn't."

The creature was entirely black and like a cardboard cut-out, flat and one-dimensional. It had no features at all, and it had arms that hung down to its knees. It seemed to be ignoring us, then it seemed to realise we could see it and it began to 'lollop' faster towards us.

We ran to my front door and hid in the hallway as quiet and unmoving as possible when we saw the thing - we felt it was male - approach the front door and appear to look through the glass from the way its head moved up and down and around. It then turned away.

We didn't sleep for some time after that, discussing what we saw. It was shaped like many descriptions of 'greys' but both myself and my friend came away with the impression that what we saw was either of this world or from another parallel dimension. To all intents and purposes, it appeared to be sauntering along the road enjoying the walk before it became shocked to see us staring at it in horror. We instinctively felt this was not a creature to try and communicate with, this was not something that it was good to be near. We might have been wrong but neither myself nor my friend would ever like to see this creature or others like it again, though I'd love to get some ideas on what it was. We felt that if this creature had somehow gotten hold of us, we would not be around today to tell the tale to anyone who might believe us or at least give the story open-minded consideration.

So. Sorry for the long first post but – what do you think?

Andy Hinkinson-Hodnett
Saw this report and it reminded me of this thread.

My sister and her friends described what they saw to me on May 2, 2003, party out at her house out in the country at 3:30 AM._ There were almost twenty kids there. They had set a fire in between the house and an adjacent field. The party wound down at around 2:45 in the morning. My sister who is 17, and her two friends started to clean up. They were unloading some chairs when my sister saw a figure standing a little off the driveway by the house. She motioned her friend to look; they were a little scared so they jumped into the van. Once in the van, they looked back up towards the house, and the figure was gone. My sister described it as appearing to look like maybe it was a man, and it had lighter colored, or white clothing on. Once the van was started, they all convinced each other, that the figure or person was probably E's dad just checking up on them. They then headed back down towards the fire to resume cleaning. About 3:20 AM, they headed up the driveway and into the grass, and down the hill towards the fire, which was still burning. The van's bright lights lit up "frozen things." There were strange figures or creatures or something in two separate rows. She says maybe fifteen in each row, and thirty in all. She said, "They were three feet to four feet tall." They were directly in front of the car about fifteen feet away from them. She describes them as having a Christmas light head, and that the heads were connected to the body but she couldn't see how. She says their arms were up, but she couldn't see hands. She says they were stick like. Stick people she says, dark gray or brown in color. They didn't move. Not at all she says. She says they were just frozen in these two separate rows. My sister immediately began to cry, and then both girls screamed for E to get the car moving. She peeled out and they headed to town. The girls drove around for two hours until they finally got enough courage to go back as the sun came up. She hasn't been able to sleep, or eat, and when she told us what happened she could barley finish the story because she was fighting back tears. To say that she was shaken up is an understatement._ Thanks to Peter Davenport National UFO Reporting Center
I think you should read 'The Mothman Prophecies' by John A. Keel or 'Visitation - The Certainty of Alien Activity' by Peter Hough.

You may think that these books don't sound like they apply to you. Let me assure you that they do. You may then draw your own conclusions.

I don't envy you your experiences.
Chilling, indeed. Those stories sent shivers down my spine, and I can picture them in detail.

andyshh - Seems like you and your friend interrupted something. Maybe two dimensions intertwined for a second, where they'd normally run parallell to each other, if you see what I mean.
That's my theory anyway, in a very brief form.

As for the other stories here, I cannot say I have any ideas at all as to what they are. That's what makes it so chilling...

I've encountered something myself, about a year and a half ago. I'd gone down for some food at after 3am (it was in the holidays ;)), and since it was already getting light outside and there was just enough to see, I didn't bother switching the lights on (I had no fear of the dark). (I'd here like to add that I don't drink alcohol or take any sort of mind-altering substances.) As I turned through the doorway there was a large 'shadow' in front of me. I didn't make out much of a shape, but there was definitely something there. I stood still in shock for a second, and I think it did too, and then it just lunged at me. I felt a strange sensation, the best I can describe it is a big electric shock or falling over on concrete, and then it was gone. I was left shaking and stunned, but otherwise I was fine. It didn't actually hit me what had just happened until about a minute after. I just went straight to bed after that, not that I could sleep for a while afterwards...
I don't think it was hostile, whatever it was, I think it was as surprised to see me as I was to see it. I got the feeling it was just passing through when I interrupted it. Why it lunged at me I don't know, but it was gone after that. I don't suspect I'll see it again, it's long gone now, but it makes you think - how much do we really know about the world and its many life forms?

Chant - I think I'll get myself copy of the Mothman Prophecies...
Yep, I went and got a copy of Mothman Prophecies at the Uncon after talking about my experiences on the board here. I have to say, though, while it covers many weird apparitions it doesn't have anything on stick men and the like. I'm developing a personal theory that these things belong to other parallel dimensions that occasionally, particularly at twilight and dawn, come into contact with our own version of reality. I definitely think reality is a concept that looks increasingly less and less, to coin a pun, a reality and more a shared illusion... heck, Matrix anyone?
andyshh - Have you read the WHOLE book?

It explains in some detail that the nature of this 'phenomena' changes from season to season - he has had many experiences with this phenomena but had limited what he has written to be in keeping with the phenomena recorded at Point Pleasant where the 'mothman' term was coined. Yet the theories behind these sightings are sound and of great interest if you have experienced buzzing or the flashing pops of light in connection with something strange you'd like to investigate further.

If you want to read something more literally connected with this then Hough's book includes more examples of the same phenomena. Whether it is stick men, shadow people, or silhouettes it is all one and the same. What struck me as particularly relevant to this feature was the sharp 'buzzing' sound which I also experienced before my own wierd incident described on the SParalysis thread.

Your own theories are expanded upon at the end of Mothman Prophecies. If you're interested in pursuing mass hallucination then Jung's books are interesting, and Jaques Vallee has a lot to say on the subject. A good bookseller will look up options for you.

If you already know all this then apologies, and I'll leave it in for others.;)
Hi, yep – I have read the whole book, thanks – but I haven't read Hough's book. Do you have it, and if so, can you provide an ISBN number so I can order it from my local bookshop? In one of those weird synchronicities, I'm studying Victorians and the supernatural at the moment and picked up a seriously academic book called Victorian Hauntings. In that, the author – one Julian Wolfreys – postulates that reality should be seen as being, by definition, haunted and that hauntings of any kind show the inconsistencies of what we term reality. I haven't got to the end of this book yet, but it seems to me that the questioning of what constitutes reality is becoming more and more commonplace.

No I haven't seen a ghost. I pressed the wrong button and will have to type it out again!!!!:D

ISBN - 1-901809-09-2 and it's 6.99 and British-based.

It's very good as it covers a lot of subjects I'd read independently in other sources as 'oddities' but put together in the book begins to fall into a coherent whole - If you believe it, that is, which I'm afraid I believe hook line and sinker!

Myke's story certainly seems to fit in to the idea that what he saw thought HE was the 'ghost'. It's really annoying because I can't remember where I saw it but I once read that a woman thought she'd fallen into a time warp one day as she was walking along her street and everything went quiet until she saw a bus with no wheels - a hover bus if you will, modern-looking, full of passengers in strange dress- going down the road. The wierd part is that she said a couple of people looking out of the window looked disconcerted, and then increasingly horrified, by seeing her stood there as they passed and she could see pandemonium breaking out on the bus as it disappeared!

Now WHAT, do you wonder, do you think THEY thought they'd seen? Interesting, eh? The world is so screwey!

Edit - I think the book was 'Encyclopedia of the unexplained' or something like that and it was hard-backed and dark with alien and stonehenge (what else?!) pictures on the cover. It must have got lost on one of my many moves!

And beware buying books...It will suck you down into a vortex of 'mmmn, that's a curious fact, maybe I should read that book he's refering to' until you end up with a veritable LIBRARY of them and you STILL don't know a fraction of it all. Your friends then start to worry about your grip on reality. Which reality? you ask knowingly, tensing to spring into a discussion that only we, here, will find as fascinating as you, as your friends back away in consternation...Do you realise where this all could lead? whilst you still can...:D
this is excellent

I saw three thin dark "beings" walking right in the middle of the dirt road in front of our farmhouse when I was a kid. Just for the record, this is the same farm that I had a UFO sighting at but I think this "tall dark thin beings" thing was a couple of years later.

I was myself out in the road, probably because I liked to visit/experiment on/antagonize the large red ant den there.

I remember looking down the road and distinctly seeing the three figures, who seemed to be walking abreast and coming in my direction. They weren't all the exact same height but within a few inches anyway. They seemed to be over well over six feet tall. It was a typical, normal summer day. And strangely enough the did seem to be "lolloping" along as described in another post.

I remember thinking that it must be the neighbors from down the road coming to visit or something and looked away for a moment but felt uneasy because there was some strange feeling that something wasn't right. They shouldn't have seemed so tall and dark. So I looked again in the direction they had been and they were gone. I had only looked away for a couple of seconds. It really frightened me and to this day I distinctly remember this episode and get the shivers. I never could explain it. I'm glad to hear of other similar things from other people, whatever it may be.
Out of interest...Do the stick people look flat, or do they look tubular, or didn't you all get close enough to see, also were they jointed or bendy? Did these things start appearing after the stick man from the saint was first 'on screen' as Keel talks about these entities reflecting things in our world as a tool to get their foot in the door, as it were. Does anyone know any stories from their parents and grandparents generation?

This is all fascinating stuff, eh?:D

It boggles the mind what a rich variety of sightings there are - what with dog-headed men, stick people, vortexes, etc.:eek!!!!:

What with this thread being a year older since it last saw the light of day! And so many nice new shiney people around recently.
I thought it would be worth giving it a quick dusting off, to see if anyone has anything new to add to it.

Mr P
Good idea, Mr. Poultice. And I agree they do seem shiney.:)
I googled for bowtruckle but couldn't find a reference to it which wasn't related to Harry Potter. :mad: "Stick man" (in this thread's context) means something else altogether.
When I was going to art school I stayed in this really crappy place the school was using for first year student housing.
There were 4 of us living in the cramped attic of this place. Anyway, Late one night I was coming up the stairs to hit the sac when I saw this thing standing over my sleeping room mate.
It looked kind of like the robots from the end of A.I. only black and less ropey. It it didn't seam to have any highlights on it showing much depth but there was a light behind it that probably didn't help. It didn't pay me any mind either it was just focused on my room mate. For some reason It just didn't seam out of the ordinary to me at the time and I got into bed and went to sleep. The whole thing just didn't hit me as important until the next day when I told him about it.
I think I kind of freaked him out. About a week later he left the school in the middle of the night leaving all of his possessions behind. Never saw it again.
Hope he was OK. Did you find out if he just left, or did he disappear off the face of the earth?
Mythopoeika said:
Hope he was OK. Did you find out if he just left, or did he disappear off the face of the earth?

The Stick man got him!:eek!!!!:

You take these things very calmly Guild!
No, he took his car. Just didn't take any of his clothing or personal items. I still have one of his shirts. :D We were all under a lot of stress and geting verry little sleep so it could have very well been my mind playing tricks on me. I was the only one awake at the time so I didn't have much to back my story up.

No I am being silly there. ;)

I just find it an interesting case. It reminds me a bit of the mothman encounters. The way you were not scared at the time, the sort of real/unreal nature of the encounter.

I wonder if there are some experiences into which we project the images of the things we fear - Lobelia Overhill on another thread saw aliens, other people see ghosts or big black dogs. If we have no particular belief do we jut see stick men? Are these the holes into which we project our fears - do our fears disguse the real nature of these strange visitors. I'm rambeling now I know, but this is a fascinating subject.
"Sticky" Icons & logos

I agree with Mr P that this is an interesting thread.

Harking back to Chants question as to appearance & timing of Stick men, has anyone else seen the rather creepy stickman on C5 SWAG- I saw it for the first time after reading this thread last week.
what is it?

What is C5 SWAG? I would like to see the creepy stick man too! Is it a t.v. program? probably one I don't get.
I must admit that I have opened my mind since I first became entranced by the paranormal. I only used to believe in Ghosts and Hauntings. I totally disbelieved any "Strange unknown creature" stories. I began to extend my research and at least try and see these stories with an open mind. Now I have a completely different opinion about our so called reality.

SWAG is a program on British tv, on a channel called Channel 5, hence the C5 abbreviation. Sorry, but I don't think you'll get it in Alaska, it barely has demand to broadcast in the UK, let alone America. Although swag is good.
Stick "like" entity

These stories bring back a memory of an event that happened to me about 3 years ago. My family and I were returning home by van after a visit to the relatives. My oldest son was driving and I was in the passenger seat to supervise him. It was Sept. and sunset was about an hour away with partly cloudy skies. Although cool, the country road was clear and dry with good visibility. We were about 5 miles from home and approaching an intersection notorious for for traffic fatalities. So I stopped my day dreaming and focused on the intersection ahead to look for potential trouble, such as approaching vehicles that failed to observe the stop signs, when "it" caught my eye. "It" first appeared (~150 meters) to be a dark fiqure on a bike on our side of the road, just to the other side of the intersection. I told my son to slow down from the 55 mph we were traveling. As we got closer I noticed that this thing was not on a bike nor was it a deer that we usually hit that time of year. I judged its height at about 8-9 ft. and it turned, or should I say more of a rotational jump, to look in our direction. It was dark grey and with long,gangly, almost tubular limbs. The "arms" seemed to reach to the ground although it seemed upright. The human-like head was a lighter color with a pointed face. If there was a torso to it, it was small as the head appeared to end almost at the conjuntion of the limbs. At this point my emotions came to life. I had the intense feeling that this thing was very aware of my noticeing it and that it was somewhat suprised by the fact. I also had a feeling of dread as if there was an inherent maliciousness to it. We are now less then 50 metere away at this time. At this point it bolted across the road in less than a second and traveled along the opposite shoulder, then off the road into a open field at a speed faster than any deer I have hunted. The best way to describe it's locomotion would be like that of an arachnid. I followed it with my eyes until it went into a nearby woodlot. My son asked me, "What the hell was that?" After being left speechless for a second I said that I had no idea but it defintely was not a deer or person. (Way too big and fast)
We pulled over and scanned the woods and field for signs of it or anything else for that matter but with no success.
Although I saw it very clearly, I still have a difficult time trying to put "its" description into words. There was one thing I saw in the sci-fi movie, "Lost in Space" that reminded me of what I had seen. That would have been the Dr. Smith charactor that had transformed into a spider like creature.