My experience with The Hat Man came in 1994 when I was about 14 years old. I was living with my grandmother and great-grandmother at the time at my home in Nashville, TN. I had been staying up really late that night and at about 2:00am in the morning I found myself lying in bed and nodding off as I was watching TV. The lights were all off and the only light that was lighting my room was coming from the TV set in front of me.
From where I was lying my bed was position up against the wall. Looking down toward my feet I had a clear view all the way into and through my great-grandmother’s room (which was just parallel to mine) as there was no door between my room and hers. I could also see into the hallway. Just inside the hallway was the doorway going into my grandmother’s room.
As I was lying there with the covers pulled up to my face, nodding off, my eyes would open and fall, open and fall, over and over again, except that I heard something on TV that made me open my eyes a little wider–only this time I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I had always had a fear about intruders and what I would do if someone ever broke into our home. For a brief moment I thought that the movement I was seeing might be my grandmother getting up to go to the bathroom. But as I moved my eyes more into focus, looking down through my great-grandmother’s room into the hallway, I very quickly realized that it wasn’t my grandmother.
What I saw gripped me immediately with fear and dread. I saw a tall human-like figure and the figure looked like that of a man. The man had no distinguishable features whatsoever. I could see no eyes, no nose or mouth, only blackness. He looked like a shadow, only darker–much darker. He had a very wide brimmed hat and a long trench coat that flowed as he moved. I started to tremble. My heart began to race. At that moment, I came to the conviction that there was indeed an intruder in my house. As I watched him move, in the back on my mind I began to play out scenarios as to what he and I was going to do. Was I going to yell? Was I going to get up and run after him and try to fight him?
I kept looked into the hallway. He stood there at the threshold between my great-grandmother’s room and my grandmother’s room. He leaned his head and body into my great-grandmother’s room and looked in–turning his head toward her and then toward me. I had my eyes closed as much as I could so I could still see him, and yet still look like I was sleeping, He stood there for what seemed like an eternity, He then moved very slowly and without sound back into the hallway just out of view. Then immediately I saw his figure move toward my grandmother’s room, the same as before. he leaned his body and head in, looking at her, again, not making a sound. He then leaned back and moved out of view into the hallway.
At this point I didn’t know what else to do. I was convinced that we had some kind of burglar in the house, so I summed as much courage as I could, jumped up out of bed yelling, and charged into the hallway ready for a fight. I turned the hallway, and…he was gone.
Obviously I had startled and woke up my grandmother and great-grandmother. I told them what had happened and needless to say we didn’t go back to sleep for a long time, and when we did we left the light on.
After my experience that night and during the next day, I spent a lot of time talking with my family about what had happened. I was surprised to know that my experience of the man with the hat and cape was not the only one that had had happened in that house. As it turned out both my grandmother and great-grandmother had seen the same thing (although they had described him in different terms–see their stories below).
Over the years since that time, I had grown very antagonistic against the whole thing, brushing it off as mere happenstance–a figment of my imagination or perhaps the result of my nodding off and being in that in-between place of being half awake and half asleep. I thought about it every now and then, but relegated it to the back part of my mind and paying little attention to it. I would continue to feel this way about the experience until 2 years ago. That’s when everything changed.
I was listening to Coast To Coast AM with George Noory one evening and it was really late in the night–perhaps 2:00am or 3:00am. They were doing a show on what was called “shadow beings.” It was the first time that I had ever heard of something like that. As I listened to the show nothing could prepare me for what I heard next. George Noory and the guest went on to describe people’s experiences with one particular shadow being–a dark man-like figure with a large wide-brimmed hat and a cape. Immediately I felt chills run down my spine. I knew at that moment that what had happened to me as a teenager was not a figment of my imagination and was definitely not the result of me nodding off. I had seen what these people were describing.
Since that time I have engaged in quite a bit of research on the phenomenon of The Hat Man. I have read countless stories from others who have had similar experiences and have compared people’s stories to try to make sense out what is happening. I now believe that I am at a place in life where I can draw some conclusions on who or what The Hat Man is and how he is connected to the wider experience of the shadow people. This web site serves as a staging ground to continue my research and to offer my help to those who have experienced the same phenomenon.