the story life

Stories: Some People Just Aren’t Ready – Are You?

Boyhood Of Raleigh Painting

Two boys sit listening to a sailor telling them a sea story.

For the boy on the left the story brings only fear and anxiety, he has huddled his knees up to his chest in a protective pose. His only goal is to survive the story and find an excuse to leave as fast as possible.

Boys Listening To A Story

The boy on the right however, is thrilled. He has leaned in closer to the sailor and all that the sailor’s story has to tell about the strange world of the ocean, and the adventures it brings.

That’s the power of a story.

Stories come to us whether we are ready or not. But if we are ready…the world opens up to us.

(This painting is called ‘The Boyhood Of Raleigh’ and shows us the childhood of a real person named Sir Walter Raleigh.

As an adult he ended up sailing across the ocean several times looking for the legendary City Of Gold, El Dorado. But that’s a story for another day!)

story talk

Why Does Nobody Think Charlie Brown Has Cancer? Question From Dale

Charlie Brown and Caillou questions cancer
Caillou and Charlie Brown, do they have cancer?

A reader named Dale had a good question and posted it on The Caillou True Story And Urban Legend post:

“I just heard about this myth [that Caillou is bald because he has cancer] the other day from a friend. She was so insistent on it and it did kind of make sense as I’ve never seen or read the books before…

You know, Charlie Brown is a lot older and is pretty much bald as well yet I’ve never heard anyone claim that he had cancer.”

Hey Dale thanks for your comment. It’s interesting that you should bring up Charlie Brown and cancer.

Charlie Brown in a hospital bed cancer

You make a good point but there are actually a lot of people that think Charlie Brown has cancer (and there are even some “Theories” floating out there like with Caillou).

I came across quite a bit of ‘Charlie Brown has cancer’ stuff while doing research for the Caillou blog post.

Like with Caillou, kids who have cancer see that Charlie Brown is bald like them and find the idea of a beloved cartoon character having the same struggles as them comforting.

There’s a story told on by a person named Doc Warren about how Charlie Brown helped a boy with cancer find comfort during the fight for his life:

“Years ago I met a young man who was fighting cancer. He had his signature hat to hide the fact that he had long since lost his hair, his skin was pale and his body was frail.

He carried with him an old Charlie Brown doll.

Charlie Brown doll cancer
“He’s my best friend.” The boy with cancer carried his Charlie Brown doll with him everywhere.

It was well worn and battered… He held it tightly and you could tell that it meant the world to him; it was an extension of him.

I asked him about his doll, curious as to why it meant so much to him. I was ill prepared for what he said.

He said that he saw it… when he was going through his original series of chemotherapy and when he saw the doll, those few hairs on its head he felt that he had found a friend indeed.

To him, the lack of hair meant that poor Charlie was undergoing chemotherapy: Charlie Brown was a doll to tell kids that he had survived cancer and so could they.

“Charlie Brown has no hair, why else would a kid have no hair? He has cancer like me. He’s my best friend,” he said as he rubbed on the rubber head. “Charlie Brown is how I know I will be ok.”

So yeah, while the belief that Charlie Brown has cancer doesn’t seem as widespread as the one about Caillou…it does exist.

And I think that both beliefs usually serve the same kind of purposes for people, especially kids with cancer.

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Rise Of The Shadow People: Visits From The Faceless Shadows

Shadow People True Story DrawingReports of sightings of tall, faceless, shadowy figures have been increasing over the last decade.

These beings are known simply as ‘Shadow People’.

Everyone has woken up with the strange feeling that the was someone or something in the room with them that shouldn’t be there.

But for some people, they are actually able to see what it is…


You are lying in your bed and look at your bedroom door. Huh, that’s strange, the bedroom door is open but you clearly remember closing it before crawling under the covers.

And was that light on down the hall too?

Suddenly you snap awake. You had been dreaming.

But that dream has given you an eerie feeling so you go to sit up and take a look at the bedroom door to see if it’s actually open or not.

With ice running through your veins you realize that you can’t move your body. Arms, legs, even your head can’t move. Only your eyes are able to dart around in a panic to try and look around you.

Shadow Person standing by bed HatmanYou have heard about this before: it’s sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is a condition where your mind wakes up from sleeping but your body is still locked in it’s paralyzed dreaming mode.

As you search your mind to try and remember how to get out of sleep paralysis, the hair on your arms stands up. You realize that there is a presence in the room with you. You sense that someone or something is standing there at the foot of your bed.

You try to scream but of course your jaw is locked in place, paralyzed like the rest of you.

Then a figure moves into your view and your eyes go wide. It’s an dark shadow figure, tall and looming over the side of your bed.

The figure is inky black, you can’t make out any features at all or even eyes. But you can FEEL it looking at you. It’s watching. What does it want? You can’t run away and you can’t even say a word.

It seems that the more your fear rises the closer the shadow figure seems to get. Now you notice that it is slowly stretching it’s arm towards the middle of your chest. You panic and try to do something to wake your body up. If you could only move away or scream for help, something.

Your mind becomes more and more frantic as the arm gets closer.

Then suddenly you are able to take in a deep breath through your mouth and let out a yell. You sit up in bed and the shadow person floats backwards, eventually going through the wall.

You can’t believe your eyes. Surely that all had to be some kind of twisted waking dream, right?

But what you don’t know yet is that this was only the beginning.


Drawing True Story Shadow People visitThe above story is a combination of the many accounts of people being visited by Shadow People that I read while doing research for this post.

Usually the Shadow Person seems to have been watching as you slept. And as you wake up and fear takes hold, the Shadow Person seems to get closer and start ‘feeding’ on the fear.

In fact it’s a common belief that Shadow People appear in your life because the Shadow People gain strength from your fear.

But as you have more and more of these kinds of encounters and their fear level rises, Shadow People will start to appear throughout the day. Mostly they will be seen from the corner of a person’s eye, but sometimes also as shadows running across the room or dipping in and out of walls.

You get the sense that you are never actually alone, there is always something lurking and waiting.

Sightings of Shadow People have been on the rise in recent years, no one knows why this is exactly. But everyone seems to have their own pet theory as to what the Shadow People actually are.

Ghosts, demons, alien beings in disguise, interdimensional echoes, time travelers. Even the famous physicist Stephen Hawking weighed in on the issue:

“There could be shadow galaxies, shadow stars and even shadow people.”

–Stephen Hawking

It’s the haunting mystery of it all, the realization that Shadow People can’t be pinned down as one particular thing or another that makes them so terrifying.

That and the stories.


When someone has an experience with a Shadow Person (or worse, a group of Shadow People) they tend to seek out information about Shadow People to try and understand what’s happening to them.

They wonder: Am I crazy? Are Shadow People real? What do Shadow People want? What can I do to stop seeing them?

Slender Man Shadow People storiesThis search puts them into contact with other people’s stories about Shadow People and soon they can’t stop reading. But the problem is the stories often range from eerie to downright terrifying. This increases a person’s fear level and provides more fear for the Shadow People in their life to feed on.

It reminds me of the ‘Slender Sickness’ some people experience after researching Slender Man too much.

Slender Man is similar to the Shadow People in that he is a tall, faceless figure that lurks in the shadows and feeds off of people’s fear.

Victims of Slender Sickness will actually start experiencing physical symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and piercing headaches. Not to mention the biggest symptom of all …seeing Slender Man lurking in every shadow.

But where those visited by Slender Man experiences can comfort themselves a bit by telling themselves he was a character created to scare people, when it comes to those visited by Shadow People there is no such comfort.

In fact reports of visits by Shadow People stretch back as far as human memory, being called by different names in different places.

Think it can’t happen to you? Be careful. One day you might wake up in the dark and as your eyes start to adjust to the darkness it could reveal a Shadow Person standing in the corner of your room, watching.

Or worse, standing next to your bed.

Okay that’s it, I’m never sleeping again. I think I’m just going to stay up and read scary stories about Shadow People. Good plan, right?

Seriously though have you ever had an encounter with a Shadow Person? Tell your story in the comments below …for those who will dare to read it!