We accompanied Polly Gear (Mountaineer Ghosts Paranormal Investigators) who took the famous Shadow Man photo at the former West Virginia State Penitentiary, and acquired her witness testimony of the event first hand. Below is Polly's picture and words from her experience at the Moundsville Penitentiary. (Also compare this photo with the more recent Moundsville Ghost Picture.)
"My name is Polly Gear. I am from Clarksburg, WV and co-founded Mountaineer Ghosts Paranormal Investigators with Misty Davis. On May 7, 2004, I captured a photograph of a shadow person in the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, WV.
The experience happened that night around 1:30 am - just a few hours after a severe thunder and lightening storm. I was walking south toward the lobby in the north hallway when I heard a noise from the doorway to the cafeteria behind me. I walked back to the doorway and turned on the flash light to see what the noise could have been. When I reached the doorway that enters the small hallway between the big hall and the cafeteria, I flipped on my light and saw a black form of a human shadow walking toward me; but it was looking out the windows to its right as it was walking. The light from my flashlight shone right through this shadow person. At this time, the shadow person saw that there was some light on itself. It looked at its arm (where my light was on it), then it looked at me and dashed behind the door frame of the smaller hallway it was in. I said to myself, 'This is paranormal! I have to get a picture of this!' So as the shadow dashed behind the door frame, I started slowly walking backward down the big hallway. I threw my flashlight to the floor as I kept slowly backing off - walking backward. As I was doing this, I got my camera ready...turned it on and waited for it to be ready to flash. I some how knew that I had to keep walking backward or the shadow would leave. As soon as my camera was ready, I held it out and took one photo shot. It was so dark in the hallway, so I was seriously afraid that I had missed the entire doorway where the shadow man was. As you can see from the angle of the photo, I nearly missed my opportunity, but my prayers were answered that I could capture a photo of it."
"A little detail on what this shadow person looked like at a distance of 10 feet between it and myself when I first saw it in the small hallway...this shadow was a perfect outline form/shape of a man - a big man. Inside the shape, as my flashlight was on it, was really black vibrating static - such as you would see on a TV set that is off channel...only black! There were no facial features, no hair...no sounds from it. Its movements while walking were somewhat animated - hard to describe it for you to understand. It was definitely a sentient being; it knew I was there...it looked at me. I was NOT afraid of this shadow...no evil or dark feelings happened with this. I felt it was just as curious about me as I was of it. I feel that is why it chose to partially step out into the hallway where I was - to check me out. With the hallway being so dark, I did not know that it had stepped out until I looked at the photo on the camera right after I took the shot. When I saw I had a photo of it, I ran back down the hallway to the area and checked every inch of the cafeteria, the other hallway, another room off the big hallway and even outside around the cafeteria. There was NO ONE in the area. I want to mention that on this night we had rented the penitentiary on a private basis and there were only 15 people there...and 13 pf us were women. Neither of the two men there that evening were large men. They were men that I knew personally, so I know positively that I did not mistake this for a real person. I would also like to say that if I had any doubt at all about this photo being a real shadow person - one that I SAW with my own eyes at a distance of 10 feet, I would not have put this photo out in the public to be seen. I am showing this photo and telling my story of this experience and swear it to be truthful in my own words."
The original shadow man picture was taken 110 feet away from the door. Negative image of the shadow man from the original picture showing how far back Polly was. Notice that the shadow of the ghost is behind the pipe on the wall. See our investigation of the Shadow Man picture that had been wrongly discredited by TAPS Ghost Hunters in an early episode.
For more, see: Moundsville Shadow Man Photos.