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hatman

An Encounter with the Hat Man

Rebecca was six years old in 1978 when something terrifying walked into her life.

“When I was a child I saw what I now know is called the Hat Man,” Rebecca said. “The Hat Man I saw spoke to me.”

Although she now lives in Florida, Rebecca grew up in Missouri, and spent parts of 1977 and 1978 in her grandmother’s house in Independence, Missouri.

“During this time in my life my mother, sister and I lived with my grandparents off and on due to our own circumstances and the fact that my grandfather was in and out of the hospital,” she said.

Rebecca remembers other relatives staying in her grandparents’ house at that time, taking the spare bedroom she usually shared with her sister. That night, Rebecca and her sister slept in her grandmother’s room, and soon discovered they weren’t alone.

“My sister and grandmother were sleeping in the bed like normal, and I was sleeping between the two of them with my head at the foot of the bed,” Rebecca said. “I had a terrible nightmare, one where the dresser drawers were opening and closing on their own and ghosts and clothing were flying out.”

Rebecca remembers her dreamself lying in the same place as her body slept.

“Most dreams are in other places, or familiar places, but never from the perspective of where you are actually sleeping,” she said. “I woke up from the dream very afraid.”

Terrified, she gently kicked, trying to wake her grandmother, but couldn’t rouse her.

“I debated getting up and finding my mom, but I would have had to walk past the dresser from my dream and decided that was too scary,” she said. “I turned my gaze away from the dresser and up to the window behind the headboard of the bed and that is where I saw the Man.”

The Man, a dark, looming figure, seemed to stand on the headboard, but Rebecca now wonders if the Man stood behind the headboard and was extremely tall.

“The Man was wearing a long flowing coat, a top hat and carried a cane,” Rebecca said. “He had no real features, but was a solid object that blocked the light from the window behind him. I was terrified because there was someone else in the room and because I recognized it as non-human.”

Rebecca and the Hat Man stared at one another for what could have been minutes, or seconds, when the figure lifted its arm and pointed at her.

“He said, ‘This is your last chance,’” Rebecca said. “His voice did not fill the room. The best way I can describe it is that it filled my head. The voice was flat with no residual sound, as if everything surrounding the words had been removed.”

After the Hat Man spoke those five cryptic words, he put down his arm and disappeared. She told her family of the encounter the next day, but they paid little attention.

“Little kids are always filled with stories that grown ups nod and smile while hearing,” she said. “I vaguely remember being afraid of grandma’s room for a while, but not much else following the incident.”

She didn’t bring up the Hat Man encounter again until her teens; this time her family listened.

“Everyone believed in ghosts, so it was another neat ghost story from a family member for everyone except my aunt,” she said. This is because her aunt has had more than one ghostly encounter, all eerily similar to her own. “She said she had seen the same man in that same house.”

Although the fear of her grandmother’s room has long since gone, along with the terror of that long ago moment when she met the Hat Man, one question remains.

“I’ve tried to figure out what, ‘This is your last chance,’ meant,” she said. “My grandfather died somewhere around this time, but I can not be certain if the Hat Man appeared before or after his death. I do know that grandpa was not in the house at the time, but he spent quite a bit of time in the hospital toward the end of his life. Was the Hat Man telling me this was my last chance to talk with him? I don’t know.”

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  • PurrlGurrl

    I saw hat man as a child. My sister and I (being about 5 and 7, respectively) were using her bed as a trampoline, an activity that would get us into trouble with our father if he were home rather than at work at the time. As we were happily bouncing and squealing, I saw in my peripheral vision the shadow of a man in a hat standing in the bedroom doorway watching us. I was immediately chastened and made us stop jumping, thinking that it was our father (who always wore a hat, summer or winter), home from work. When we stopped, the shadow man turned and moved away from the door. I went right out into the hallway, looking for our father, but nobody was there. Reaching the kitchen I found my mother who said our father wasn’t home from work yet and I must have been imagining. I didn’t see the shadowy man again that day, or in fact, ever again. But, he remains a very vivid childhood memory.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Roger-Wilkinson/597908598 James Roger Wilkinson

    As I am gifted/cursed with th gift of medium.This story is very interesting as my family lived on a ranch in California…we found many artifacts from long gone native americanswho once lived by the river on our ranch…when my brother and I were quite young we slept in my bedroom in two single beds.. Many times both of us or one of us or the other would see a huge lumbering male silhouette moving in place at our doorway.The hall light was on so it was only a vibrating shadow..Once it came crawling into the doorway on its hands and knees.I screamed for my Mom and my brother woke upand saw the crawler also….My parents then would come running into the room and through the silhouette and turn on the light.When they turned the light on the shadow would sort of just explode into spots and evaporate so to speak.My parents seemed concerned and always told us this fib to make us feel better:
    “The shadow is molecules of Light that collect in the atmosphere and materialize at night”..Uhhh wrongggggg! Once years later my brother and I were sitting and talking and I asked him if he remembered that shadow man.He said he did.We never spoke of it again.
    james wilkinson…

  • Jackpat
  • Tsuroshi

    Holy shit dude.

    So what is it about the head that makes people think it’s a hat?

  • hidflect

    It looks a bit like a hat. A wide narrow “brim”.

    Faced with an incomprehensible vision, we can sometimes leap to the nearest explanation we can relate to. It’s a common enough phenomena related to normalcy bias. Anything outside our world view can trigger irrational denial. Think of wives who deny their husbands are sexual molestors. Jerry Sandusky’s wife for example. Our brain is trained to make fast assumptions. That’s how we avoided tigers in the jungle. So you see something and the reptile section of our brain takes over.

  • Tsuroshi

    Yah, I agree that our preconceptions, attitudes, emotional states, etc. can have major effects on our perceptions and, more importantly, our interpretations of the things we perceive.
    What do you think that means re: your interpretation of the “Hat Man” entity?

  • Bradly

    I first encountered him when I was 19. It was about 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning. The first episode of “sleep paralysis” he revealed himself as an emaciated, hairless, ugly hound that proceeded to run through my living room and jump onto my bed and tear at my throat. The second time, when I was 20, at my mother’s house, he appeared as my brother, but he was rotting and dead. He was floating in the middle of my room in broad daylight. The third time, at my sister’s house, right after I had fallen asleep about 10:00 pm, he appeared as a strange decrepit crow that whispered in my ear after swooping down upon my chest. He asked me if “I wanted to live or die.” The fourth time, a couple of months later, he finally appeared in his most familiar form. He was a tall dark silhouette of a man wearing a trench-coat and a fedora, surrounded in a brown cloud of reeking smoke. He proceeded to enter my room and stand beside my bed. He reached out with his index finger which was as very cold and held it against my forehead. The strange thing was I wasn’t that frightened during these experiences. Perhaps he wasn’t a demon at all but Death himself.

  • Nour

    Very very similar encounter happened to me. I still cant believe what I have read here because I feel relieved and surprised in the same time that someone else has encountered the hat man as well…I had this strong terrifying dream in different periods of my life that made me literally shake and freeze in fear… And exactly as it is written here “he blocks the light” and I have seen his shadow on the floor. I started to run from my apartment in the hall of the building and rapidly shut the doors. Then when I turned back I saw he was looking through the spyhole (it is broken so cannot be closed and I have seen the light from inside the apartment). I saw he looked through it, then moved, then looked through it, then again…I fear to death and here the dream always stops….Every time I talk about it, I sweat in fear. I don’t know what to do to face him…

  • Paul Psychologist

    Hypnagogic and hynopompic sleep paralysis and hallucinations. Google it. Take comfort in that this is normal brain mechanism that occurs around times of stress or trauma. Lots of things can help including not lying on your back as this is the perspective in which the experiences invariably occur.

  • Nietzsche

    can’t tell you how validated that I felt when I finally learned that others have seen this “thing.” I remember waking and it’d be standing there and I would melt into the covers after not being able to awaken my brother beside me. It was tall, featureless, wearing a brimmed hat and trench coat.

    The only other time that I ever saw anything like this was when I became an adult, my brother and I saw a small family of blurry shadow people right before dusk that disappeared as we began to corner them with rifles. Then, on the walk out and talking about what we had seen—they reappeared in the distance with the setting sun to their backs so we could definitely see their distinctive human shapes.

  • liebowitz

    I have a friend who had multiple experiences with the Hat Man as a child. It wasn’t sleep paralysis. I know what that is and have experienced it. When he was older, he wrote down his experiences and contacted the then famous Hans Holzer, paranormal investigator. Mr. Holzer published his account.

  • Chris Lavallee

    so what your saying is people can see the exact same thing if they suffer from sleep paralysis? wouldnt that be mass hallucination? how could people see the same thing are we all connected or is there another explanation” mr.psychologist” so ….why do people see a 7 foot shadow with a hat and trench coat standing next to bed looking at them?

  • matt soukuo

    in the 80s seen the hat man = not a cowboy hat but more like Zoro
    I had a sword that took someones life – and it was very attracted to it
    plus are lot was 1 – in the whole town = 1 ivy lane dyer ind
    some say it was a berial gound for lynwood Indians – my mom saw it
    my brother child came from ky and saw It
    it followed me to a girlfriends house – she was so scared we left the house
    next morning we woke =her hot blonde roommate said someone got into bed with me last night – I turned but no one was there – lol

  • Christina Bullard Jennings

    I saw the hat man when I was 15. I was awakened by him holding my foot at the end of my bed. I was so terrified that I froze out of fear and shut my eyes. I am 38 now and I have experienced numerous sleep paralysis episodes. They are extremely terrifying and I feel awake but I am unable to move or make a sound. One episode was so terrifying and I felt like I was going to die. I was finally able to recite the Lords prayer and miraculously I was freed from being paralyzed. I have experienced something coming into my room and actually getting in my bed. I am very intuitive and I feel like these things are literally trying to consume peoples energy and kill them. They are evil and I try to bless or cleanse my home when I feel negative energy. The Indians called these entities shape shifters or skinwalkers. If you are seeing these things then you are most likely an intuitive person. Listen to your gut always. Learn a prayer and tell them to go. They have no power over you. They will try to trick you and make you do things. They want you to be scared and they feed off of you. I hope this helps.

  • Lauren

    I had a vision of the hat man two nights ago. Same top hat, flory coat and cane. He came to me in what I would consider a dream, though I wasn’t asleep. I had been laying in bed when I closed my eyes to meditate, daydreaming as I usually do. I was in a snowy scene, with one long road. Down the road, the hat man reached out a hand and beckoned me forward. I hesitated. I could feel my heart start to race as the man walked toward me. My heart was beating faster and harder out of my chest and he spoke in a low whispering hiss. “Yes, your heart. An attack.” I opened my eyes and sprung out of the bed. I do get heart palpitations sometimes, and I was born with a heart murmur. But was the hat man telling me how I die? Or warning me to take better care of myself? Or was he just a manifestation of my own fears?

  • barfstew

    I have had a variety of different encounters/dreams with various things. My dreams of this Zorro-like guy persisted the longest. When I was young, he hurt me. And I may be mixed up but in the subsequent dreams I too had a sword and I was chasing him to kill him. He would laugh and mock me as he escaped.

    Unlike others nightmarish villains, the hat man is very matter of fact, kind of seemed to be less preoccupied with scaring me because he was able to hurt me. It’s like he is not very emotionally connected to the fact he hurts you.

    Oh well, maybe we’ll find out tonight? Or when we’re finally dead.

  • Spookypalooza

    I was a grown adult (32 yrs old) with a husband and 2 children when I saw him and I wasn’t asleep at all. Someone recently explained that we ourselves (you or somebody nearby) could actually be somehow energetically creating this manifestation. They’ve proven telekinesis, so maybe this is another form of energy manipulation. But it doesn’t answer why they all look pretty much the same and we’re ALL thinking his name is “Hat Man”. Not Mr Shadow Guy, Not Blackie. I think he actually told me his name was “Hat Man” when my brain first said internally, “What the hell is THAT?!?!” (Note: Not WHO is that, but WHAT…).

  • nullz

    My recent experience with a “Hat man” went completely different than what I’ve read from most people here in comment discussion. Before I get to that I’ll explain what happened to me when I was a child. About 8-9 years old. I was living at my childhood house that I loved. I was a very sensitive child. You know how most children cry until they get attention from an adult, well I would cry more and more when adults wouldn’t leave me alone. I would just sit on my floor by my bed and weep alone until I would hyperventilate and then finally fall asleep. My mom and grandma would have to tell my teachers or family who was baby sitting me that if I started crying to just leave me alone because it would only make it longer, and to just let me cry myself to sleep. I remember I was very afraid and uncomfortable with…this world I guess. I absolutely could not sleep without the bedroom door open so that I could hear my mom watching tv and the light shining into my room, also with my scooby-doo nightlight plugged in. Me and my sister always shared a room. We had a day bed, I slept on the top portion with my head nearest the direction of the door, she slept on the bottom roll out part same body direction because I was afraid of sleeping next to the under the bed part. One night I couldn’t get to sleep, my mom had gone to sleep so the only light for me was my night light. I remember I had this overwhelming feeling that something was behind me at the door. So I propped myself up with my elbow, and looked. I stared in horror for only a few seconds at this thing that was leaned against my door frame, it was just in the form of a mans body but it was all white like the inversion of a shadow. It had no clothes made out that I could see, no facial feature it was just like a silhouette. It leaned against my door frame with it’s arms crossed and it was leaned slightly forward in my direction with it’s neck forward so that I knew it was LOOKING at ME. It wanted me to know it was looking at me. It didn’t do anything but stare at me. I remember that I looked away from it like when you’re a child and not looking at it you feel will take away some of somethings power, I leaned over to my sister and violently shook her awake although she wasn’t as awake and alert as I would’ve liked. I told her that there was something at the door and to look. She propped herself up with her elbow too and looked back at the door and said she didn’t see anything. I couldn’t believe it, how could she not see it, it was right there, I begged her to not go back to sleep but she did, I remember lifting my eyelashes in case they were making me see this. But there it was just leaning there staring at me. I went under my blanket covers and cowered under there and felt the thing stare at me for 3 more hours or so. It must’ve left when I finally fell asleep…I would hope. For years I felt guilty for feeling horror and anger from a visit of a being of light, but then I realized that evil pretends to be beings of light too. It wanted to confuse me. How David Icke says that the evil things like to absorb the energy of children before puberty most, it’s the best energy to them. That’s what they are doing to us. they need only instill us with fear then soak it up. Well now I’m in my 20′s and last year one night my kitten died, I was visited by a “hat man”. big mistake, im not that fearful child anymore. I’ve had many years of anger grown about it. In the darkness of the room I see the hat man at the door, I got a good look at him. He looked different then some of you have described, maybe he has different wardrobes xD well he was wearing a stupid black fedora, black slacks, black turtle neck, black gloves, and a black balaclava like mask only without mouth or eye holes. He was actually wearing a turtle neck, what is this the 90′s? xD Anyways, he stood there and stared at me, I was laying on the floor next to my kitten who was tucked in a shoe box because we couldn’t bury her til the morning. The hat man seemed to realize his efforts of instilling fear into me by just staring at me wasn’t working so he actually had the nerve to push my body into the side of my kittens box thinking it might make me fear or something….uh oh, wrong move hat man, It enraged me, I jumped up off the floor so fast and yelled at the hat man that he’s a pussy then I literally punched him square in the face even though he was a bit taller. Then he ran out the door and down the hall. I gave it no further thought and fixed my kittens box, and layed back on the floor to go to sleep, then the hat man came back and was at the door frame, and the anger shot back into me and I jumped back up to punch him again, but he ran off again…Let me tell you, I’ve never had a visit from “hat man” again. We can’t feed those evil bafoons our precious energy. I love you all :D

  • Lui

    My wife and I were driving in a busy downtown street around 1pm.. I was driving, on the corner of my eye I caught a dark cloaked figure walking on to the street as we approached. I noticed him stepping onto the road between 2 parked cars, expecting him to appear again once he passed the cars. At first I thought it was a pedestrian, so I made a note to be careful in case he stepped out into traffic. As I approached the parked cars expecting him to pop out, my wife spoke up and told me to be careful of the man crossing the street. As we approached and passed the parked cars he was between I stopped to look and no one was there. Later my wife and I discussed it further, we described the situation and the figure exactly the same.. A dark tall figure cloaked, with a brimmed hat and cloaked.. The interesting thing was that it was a very busy downtown street in the middle of the day and we saw the exact same thing..

  • bkkk

    God bless you. We should always make our courage bigger than our fears. We are more powerful than them when we believe and pray and are fearless. Thanks for making me laugh towards the end of your post too XD