The Shadow Knows!

The Shadow reminds me of younger days when my ears were glued to the radio listening to: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”

Coming from the Philippines, our culture is steep with superstitious belief. Sometimes we find solace that a glimpse of a shadow of our dearly departed will come to visit us that all will be well. And we love telling stories that creeps us out of our mind!

There are rituals still being practiced in the Philippines to cast away the shadows that I stumbled at National Geographic.

A pot is thrown on the ground to break the cycle of death, and prevent more from following. The dead person’s favorite personal items — perhaps a snapback cap or pack of cigarettes — are tucked into the casket so he or she can have them in the afterlife. When it leaves the home, the casket is spun three times to confuse the spirit and stop him from returning. Coins are thrown along the path of the funeral procession to help pay for travels to the next life. Children are carried over the casket before burial to keep the ghost from haunting the living.

The fictional character of The Shadow is a hero, a crime fight-fighter. The story behind the photo is nothing heroic about it. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”


Photograph by Adam Dean National Geographic

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