Shadow on the Porch

Informant: Male/age unknown/ ancestry unknown
Location: Omao, Kauai

This happened when I was about four years old or so, on Kauai -- in a small subdivision called Omao.

It was a late summer afternoon, and my dad and I were taking a nap in the living room -- he in a sofa chair, and me slumbering in his lap. As the sun settled down for the night, I woke up. I could see the sky, turning a rosy-pink to a deep purple, and I remember thinking that was something I had never seen before.

And then, through the bank of large picture windows in the living room, I saw a man standing outside on our front porch. Or rather, the silhouette of a man. I couldn't make out any details, as he was back lit against the colors of the approaching night; but I got the feeling that he was looking right into the house, and right at us.


I turned to my dad, and shook him awake.

"What?" he asked.
"There's a man outside," I said.
My dad leans around me, and glances out the windows, to the front porch.
"There's nobody there".

I turned back to the window, and sure enough -- just the yard. Trees, and the driveway, and the light from the setting sun. No man.

My dad settled back in ,and so did I. Closing my eyes, I remained puzzled, but relieved.

Until I cracked my eyes open again, and saw The Man -- this time, leaning in from the side of the picture window, so that I could only see his torso, like he knew I was watching.

And as my eyes flew open, he slipped out of view, off to the left, where a wall and the front door was.

"Dad! There's somebody by the window!" I whispered, trying not to alert whoever it was outside that I knew he was there.

I sensed my Dad was a little more concerned this time, and he sat up in the chair, squinting, trying to focus in the dimly lit living room, trying to get a bead on the alleged stranger outside the house.

A minute goes by, and we are still. Very still.

"I don't see anybody," my dad says.
"I saw him..." I protest.
"Go back to sleep."
"I saw a man."
"You just delirious or something. Go back to sleep."

I was a little upset at this point. My dad didn't believe me. And I know what I saw. So I played it cool.

Dad settled back into the chair, and so did I.

But this time, I would only PRETEND to sleep. I leaned back into my dad's arms, and closed my eyes -- half way. So if someone looked in on us, they would think I was sleeping, but really I would be watching them. The lighting was still good, as there was just enough light outside, so that I could see through the small crack between my eyelids.

So, I feigned sleep. I waited. And nothing happened.


The Man slowly revealed himself -- an inky black shadow bleeding out from the corner of the picture window, leaning into sight like he was trying to hide behind the outside wall of the house. And I just remember feeling really, really scared -- like this is not right.

It was dark, but I could tell this figure had no depth. It looked like a man, very clearly it was shaped like one, with arms, shoulders, a neck and a head, but it was flat; like it had no weight, no substance to it. It wasn't transparent, but I just felt it wasn't right. That's the only way I could put it.

I jumped off my Dad's lap...

"Look! There's the..."

And before I could finish, my dad was up off the chair, and on his way to the front door, Mag-Lite in hand. And it was one of those 4 D-Cell ass whooper Mag-Lites cops use, and he was ready to let it swing, if it came to it.

He whipped open the front door, as I stood inside the house, frozen -- in excitement, in fear of the unknown, I don't know, maybe both. He closed the door behind himself, and ventured outside.

I watched as the beam of his flashlight swept the porch, and I watched as he went around the house, looking for the peeping tom.

A few minutes went by -- I wanted to go to the window, but I was too scared. I wanted to call out to my dad, but I wasn't sure what I would do if he didn't respond.


Footsteps up the stairs. Footsteps on the porch. The doorknob jiggles. Then turns, and the door slowly opens.

But no one comes in.



The porch creaks. I swallow hard. Is it the man? What happened to my dad? I want to call out for my mom, but I am stuck. Frozen in place, like I was chained to the floor.

And then my dad steps in and closes the door. He shakes his head, and I breathe a sigh of relief.

"Who was it?" I ask.

"Nobody there," he says, locking the door. "Must have been your imagination."

I remember him saying that to me -- but I don't know if he believed that himself. I had a feeling he was watching the last this time, that's why he reacted so quickly when I shouted my last warning. Had he seen? Did he know who it was? Or who it was supposed to be? I don't know.

I don't know what it was that I saw that day, all I know is I DID see it. I don't have any doubt of that. And I've never seen it since.