When a player buried bones, they had a possibility of angering an aggressive Shade appearing and attacking them. Shades were transparent in appearance and looked somewhat like a ghost. As with similar guardian random events, the combat level of a shade varied according to the combat level of the player unfortunate enough to run into one. When slain, the shade usually dropped nothing, but sometimes it would drop an assortment of bones, and on rare occasions, shade robes. Originally, shades were able to close or open a door without standing beside it, which was unique among all free monsters, but this feature was removed.
Before Evolution of Combat, it was not very wise to train on shades, because no matter how much damage you inflicted on them, you only received a quarter of the normal experience per hit and only 5% normal slayer experience.
These were the fourth highest level free-to-play monsters, being tied with Cockroach soldiers. However, after the Wilderness Crater was re-opened, Hellhounds were introduced to free worlds and so shades are now the fifth highest level monster.