The Man in the Black Hat

Also known as the Hat Man. He has been referred to by people in my family who have seen him as ‘the man in the fedora’. I have made friends with a family who calls him ‘Un’, the name their daughter gave him when she was little.

This post is a little different than most I put up. I won’t be adding links or telling you to go read what someone else said. This one is taken from personal experience. My book (trilogy, whatever it turns out to be when it finally comes out) starts off with a pretty fair rendition of what I personally experienced. And it scared the hell out of me.

If you search the internet, you will find uncountable stories of “Shadow People”. These people are, well, shadows. Not ghosts. They are seen as dark figures moving, often out of the corner of your eyes.

The “Hat Man,” as he seems to most often be called, is usually counted among their number, but he is also usually set apart as different. Some say he is harmless, a curious visitor. Others call him Death incarnate.

There is a whole ‘world’ of Shadow People out there that people have created, fictionalized, rationalized, and tried to make sense of. Some say the shadow people are against humanity, some say they feed off us. Some people say they are harmless, and still others say you can keep them away with the name of God, Jesus, or just good thoughts.

I can’t attest to any of that. I only know what I saw and what happened to me.

The problem with recounting what I saw is many fold. For starters, I am putting myself out there for ridicule. Whatever. I’ve gotten over it. If you don’t want to hear what I have to say, don’t listen (read). There are many people out there who don’t believe in the supernatural at all. Period. End of story. Many of those people are related to me by blood or marriage. If you are reading this and you fall into that category, I suggest you stop reading and move along. Your mind is closed and I have no interest in opening it.

To those of you who are wondering if maybe you had a supernatural experience, but you are not sure, let me help you decide.  The answer is no, you didn’t.

The best comparison I have come up with, and don’t laugh because it’s not supposed to be funny, is an orgasm. Really. You know when you’ve had one. If you think you had one, you didn’t. If you don’t think you’ve had one, you didn’t. And you can explain it all day to someone who hasn’t had one, and they will never understand. They may think they understand, but they don’t. The other similarity is that, when its over, it’s really over and it doesn’t seem so real anymore. The next day, it is really easy to convince yourself it didn’t happen. Maybe it was real, maybe it wasn’t. Only the person who had it knows for sure.

So, have you had a supernatural experience? The answer is easy, if you let yourself answer honestly.

I did. And it scared the hell out of me.

What I saw was not exactly the same at the Hat Man, but was very similar. It appeared in my bedroom. Woke me up, actually. The whole room seemed to be lit by a sourceless red light. The thing I saw stood just inside the doorway, and filled it the way a 7 foot tall, 300 pound man would have. It looked like a shadow that stood of its own volition; freestanding, not cast upon the wall. It did not wear a hat, but seemed to be draped in a trench coat. It did nothing but stand there, but I could feel it was…dangerous. I don’t want to say evil, because that came later and was very different. This thing was ominous.

I  have no idea how long it was there, or how long I stared at it, because staring at it was all I could do. I couldn’t move. I was breathing, but I couldn’t control it. It was ragged, rapid, and as out of control as possible. My heart pounded as hard as it ever has. And it just kept going. Not like a dream keeps going, where you do the same thing over and over, but more like watching an accident you can’t stop.

If you have ever been in an accident and experienced the world going into slow motion, where you almost felt like you could just get out of the car and stop it by hand, but your body just wouldn’t do it — it was kind of like that. Kind of time distorted, but time was passing.

And then it was gone.

My room was dark and my eyes burned badly from being open so long and staring at the doorway. I knew it had been gone for a long time, but I couldn’t remember it leaving. My heart rate and breathing were normal again. Until I realized it had all happened. Then I went into panic mode again.

This is hard to explain. It left, and time passed, my body went back to normal, but my consciousness skipped ahead in time. I went from it’s there, to it’s not there in a blink of personal time, although I knew time had passed. The only thing I can speculate is that I was so panicked that my brain literally shut down and came back online again later.

That was not the end of my experience, but it was for that night, and that is where I am going to stop this narrative, as I started out pertaining to the Hat Man, and this is when I saw the thing that I relate to as the Hat Man.

My experience led to a jumping off point for my novel Lucid Nightmares, but it was a starting point only. If you read that book, the account of what happens to Jack while lying in his bed is based pretty faithfully on my personal experience, including the head pain and trip to the doctor although I did not go to the emergency room (Hmm, I think that part may have been edited from the book). I waited about three weeks before going to the doctor and having my head checked for the pain that persisted after the second part of the encounter (which I did not relate her. I am not convinced that was the Hat Man.)

In researching the Hat Man, I discovered he is very commonly reported, along with a couple of other reoccurring creatures, which I incorporated into my story. The first thing I came across that struck me as similar to what I had encountered was the Hispanic legend of El Cucuy (coo-coo-ee). Roughly translated, he is the bogeyman, stealing bad kids from their homes and taking them away. But some of his shape descriptions fit what I had seen well enough, I used him for my story.

Another was the Old Hag. Another mostly, but not entirely, Hispanic legend. It revolves around sleep paralysis. (Yes, I have experienced sleep paralysis. No it was not the same as encountering the Hat Man. Not by a long shot. With sleep paralysis you wake up and can’t move. No big deal. You are usually so tired you just go back to sleep anyway. From personal experience, if I start by concentrating on moving one finger, I can work my way out of it. With the Hat Man…well, I tried to scream, run, cry, beg, all to no avail. I told you it lasted a long time.) The Old Hag sits on your chest, holding you down, and preventing you from breathing. Not just an old term for sleep paralysis, people report seeing this creature sitting upon them. Their experiences often reflect mine, except I saw I figure in the door and they see it on their chests.

I used her in my story too, but I tweaked the character, and then eliminated it, replacing her with a form of succubus instead.

So that is my experience with the Hat Man, and a large chunk, but not all, of my experience with the supernatural. What did I take away from my experience with the supernatural?

I don’t want any more experience with the supernatural. None. Zip. I don’t like to talk about it, and I don’t like to think about it. People who go looking for it are looking for trouble. That is my honest opinion. Don’t go looking for it. If you find it, and I know it can be found, you won’t like it. I don’t know how you possibly could.



2 thoughts on “The Man in the Black Hat

  1. I too have seen the hat man so your not alone my girlfriend has also said she has seen a mist/smoke above me when I slept!

    I always felt him as a presence and not as something to be feared.

    I have also had experiences of sleep paralysis in the past where I could look at the doorway and nothing else. I had to breath in and out really hard to snap out of it, by doing this I woke up my girlfriend and she nudged me out of it saying “what the hell are you doing!” which totally snapped me out of it but I remember it all so vividly.

Leave a Reply