This article is about a subject that is from official sources but is not considered canon.
In late 1960s (at July 20, 1968 according police report, shortly after assasination of Robert F. Kennedy), a mentally-deranged paranoid hippie-turned-preacher-turned-cult leader Caleb Fells, committed murder-suicide along with 24 members of his cult, "Free Folks of the Fields" or simply known as "The Fields", believing that death of RFK will trigger the event of the Apocalypse. Not wanted to die during Apocalypse event, he decided to blow themselves using dynamites in their commune ranch where now become Yates family' ranch. The resulted explosion caused all of the cult members and some townfolks living nearby perished. It was very hard to estimate how many number of victims, as most of bodies destroyed and only 23 identifiable parts that subsequently known.
However, the number was mark up. Chief Reginald Hardigan later revealed, in reality, police found more than three times of official number of bodies and parts. The number was mark up by town officials to secure image of Moyer city as tourism destination at that time. The unreported bodies and parts later buried secretly.
The ranch later abandoned in aftermath of the incident. The ranch subsequently passed to several hands. However due to the dark past, nobody wanted to live here. Eventually, the incident later forgotten by townfolks and the ranch owned by Yates family, after bought it from unknown past owner of the ranch some time prior the event in novel.
In 2017, after the Yates rebuilt the ranch and renovated the house where the cult commune house was stood, spirits of Caleb Fells and others awakened, becoming The Shadow People, beginning their reign of terror and anarchy, continuing Caleb Fells' work.
The Shadow People appear like a grayish-black humanoid shadow with static, flickering red eyes. When it possessed human, the human will retain static, flickering red eyes too, which Dean was thought akin like an old TV get lost signal.
Some stronger Shadow People may retain a more stable appearance. While retain their looking, it have discriminable feminine (but not always woman) looking-face with long claws. Their claws are corporeal enough to pierce human flesh.
When they are "killed" either by electrocution by taser, exposure from UV-A light from blacklight, or rock salt blasts, they will simply faded and dissapear. Their "death" somehow permanent, as it will no longer come back after being "killed".
Some time after being awakened, The Shadow People came to the town and mass-possessed people in the town. At first, mass sudden blackout. People suddenly falls unconscious in the middle of whatever they were doing. Next after blackouts, people started gone wild. Started from streaking, menacing pranks, vandalism, and other misbehaviors. It happens every single midnight, made police officers in town busy.
Sam and Dean investigated the strange occurence. At first, they believed demonic works, evil psychic group in actions, witch work, and even rogue angelic possession. Angelic possession theory debunked by Dean immediately remembering Castiel saying that it's not easy for an angel to find a vessel strong enough to survive to pull off some pranks. Demonic work theory also debunked as no sign of demonic activity in the town, the same for psychic and witch.
Soon, people started to report presence mysterious black shades roaming the town, before losing consciousness. After that, number of victims increased in local hospital, due to injuries occured after blackout. When suddenly Luther Broady enraged in hospital, Officer Tom Gruber shot him with taser, here the first clue of blackout was identified. A shade vacated the body, faded, and disappear in air. Sam, Dean, and Gruber later reviewed every security footage prior blackout, from the footages also shown that minutes before mass blackout, the shades are splitting and creeped to the townfolks. After blackout, possessed people eyes become has retinal flare. Sam and Dean realized that something wrong happened here.
They eventually traced back the source that rooted from long forgotten town' old secret after interviewed Bonnie Lassiter, the town librarian that survived from attempted arson and revealed that she had been saved by Barry. From Barry, Bonnie revealed that the town was falling into chaos due to The Shadow People, led by spirit of former cult leader, Caleb Fells. Recollecting the memory as she is one of among of few people in her generation that knowing the commune mass murder-suicide, she revealed that the ranch in act still exist, including the house that now become the Yates' property after bought it from an unknown past owner. They correctly deduced that the spirit awakened, when the family moved in to the ranch. In other place, Officer Gruber later informed by the Chief Hardigan, the truth of the incident.
They also found that, only Moyer townfolks affected by possession, but not nearby town like Bakersburg. Indicating, that the shades only have beef with Moyer townfolks only.
Realising the source of problem, they decided to save the Yates and destroy the lair. The team needed to fight their way to there, as now nearly all Moyer townfolks become spirit-possessed mob. Situation become chaotic, and soon the local police outnumbered and asking help from Bakersburg police force.
They eventually made their way and encountered the leader of The Shadow People, Caleb Fells, possessing Daniel Yates. At the time of discovery, Caleb was cornered but succesfully wounded Officer Gruber and grabbed Ethan with butcher knife, threatening to split him, making Sam and Dean in deadlock condition, as Sam hold iron rounds filled shotgun, while Dean only armed with rock salt rounds, potentially injuring or killing them both.
Barry depossessed Bonnie and possessed Daniel's body. Inside Daniel's body, he demanded his former leader to stop and let go everything. However, Caleb refused. They later brawled inside Daniel's body, gutted Daniel's body and nearly splitting it. Barry later won the brawl and kept suppressing Caleb's spirit. Barry later ordered the Winchesters to burn the house, as it tethered the Shadow People to the world. As Daniel's body began to rupture due to overstraining, Sam later tossed taser to Dean, signalling Dean to change weapon and tased Daniel. When two spirits vacated, Sam turned his blacklight and radiated both Caleb and Barry spirit, destroying both for good.
After the Yates evacuated, The Winchesters decided to burn the house, as it was the thing that tethered The Shadow People with Earth. They also realised that it was nearly impossible to put them rest properly with usual salt and burning, as most of bodies destroyed and very difficult to located every single remains left as many of the bodies secretly buried and some already sent to their hometown and scattered across United States. However, they are relieved that, they were easily to dispatch as only exposing them with UV-A from blacklight and salt rounds seemed to remove the possibility they could ever return. As the fire consume the house, any remaining Shadow People paled and faded away forever.
Powers and Abilities
The Shadow People are unique Violent Spirits with menacing qualities. Despite physically weak compared with other ghost types, it still very dangerous because their ability to influence anarchy and social disorder and their infectious possession capabilities.
- Shapeshifting - The Shadow People are capable to shapeshift their appearance resembling their target or their own desired. However, despite their shape changed, it also come with twists they have crooked movement which noticable by human.
- Invisibility - Like all ghost, The Shadow People was naturally invisible
- Intangibility - Like all ghost, The Shadow People was naturally intangible
- Infectious Possession - The shadow people have unique strategy to possess human. Rather possessed human as whole entity, they can split themselves. One able to split into numerous fragment and distributed to people living in a town, enough to assembly a mob to decimate a town.
- Mental Manipulation - After infecting people, they can influence thought of people to commit anarchy and social disorder. The first sign, is sudden blackout. Next, the victim started to do simple anarchy acts like vandalism and streaks, and eventually escalated to riots and brutal fights, and finally committing evil acts like arson and murder.
- Memory Manipulation - After infecting people, it somehow able to reset the victim brain function, leaving them no recollection about what happening during possession.
- Claws - Strong Shadow People able to create claws. Their claws are corporeal enough to pierce human flesh.
Despite menacing appearance and capabilities, The Shadow People are weak enough to be defeated.
- Retinal Flare - When recorded by security camera, both The Shadow People and possessed people can be distinguished by retinal flare. It was appeared as static, flickering eyes in B/W security footage, but showed red color in color camera footage or directly seen by naked eye.
- Salt - Rock salt blasts could expel them from their vessel (possessed person), as well "killing" them.
- UV-A Light from a Blacklight - UV-A light exposure could expel them from their vessel, as well "killing" them.
- Electrocution - Electrocution with taser could expel them from their vessel, as well "killing" them.
- Fire - Fire exposure can expel them out from their vessel. But Dean choosed to not use it, as it also harming the vessel.
- Salting and Burning Their Remains - Like all ghost, Salting and burning their remains destroyed him.
- Destruction of Object where they tethered into - Due to The Shadow People in Supernatural: Joyride was born because of explosion and very difficult to located every single remains left, Sam and Dean decided to burn the Yates' house as the house was connected with the incident. To completely erase any residual, they decided to burn the house from the basement by flooding the basement with two tank of gasoline and torched it. As the fire consume the house, any remaining Shadow People paled and faded away forever.
- While the novel refer the creature as "The Shadow People", Sam, Dean, and others referred them as "Shade(s)" or "Shadow(s)", as nobody know the proper name of the species of ghost.
- The status of the remaining Shadow People, if any left, remained unclear, as Dean ultimately decided will not pursue to dig up the mass grave and burn the remains of the bodies never reported to or claimed by any family or tracking down the first twenty-three remains that were shipped home. Addtionally, he also realized that the shadow people hadn't been true ghosts as only exposing them with blacklight and salt rounds seemed to remove the possibility they could ever return.