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The ‘uncanny’, according to Freud — the feeling that something familiar turns out as strange and unknown, seems to have become a leading paradigm in the memory discourse in literature. Revenants, among them zombies, golems, dybbuks, ghosts, monsters, and changelings — the whole world of the supernatural and paranormal characters brings to mind what has been forgotten within the collective memory. This paper discusses two recent manifestations of the uncanny: Szczepan Twardoch’s The king of Warsaw (Król) and Jacek Dehnel’s But with our dead ones (Ale z naszymi umarłymi). The main objective is to examine the idea of a shadow-world as a design to analyze the multiple ways in which the past affects our present. From this perspective, the publication’s title — Escape from freedom, can be understood as a poetic strategy to symbolize the determining role of the past as a ‘shadow reign’.