Hello, my name is Jennifer Chinn from Versailles, MO. I have been haunted by the Top Hat Man since 1982. This haunting began when I was just eight years old. My mother had just married my step-father who was very abusive and we moved from Missouri to Texas to begin our life with him. I began seeing figures at the end of my bed and two were pleasant and one not so much. Let me explain my first recollection of the Top Hat Man. My step-father wanted to take a photo of me and my then three-year-old cousin. We were standing in front of a sliding glass patio door with a sheer curtain covering it. It was daylight outside with full sun. My step-father had my cousin and I stand together as he took a Polaroid photo of us. When the photo developed it was dark with clouds/smoke and in the middle was a man wearing a top hat and trench coat. Obviously at first we thought this may have been captured from the television, however we weren’t watching TV at the time. This was a Polaroid captured photo with instant results, with no ability for Photoshop. It doesn’t help that the house we lived in had strange events that occurred and the previous owners left in a hurry leaving valuables behind. We heard strange noises in the attic and ceiling fans would turn on and off along with the window air conditioner units, while being unplugged. There was one event that left us speechless. My three-year-old cousin wanted to brush her teeth and she was too short to reach the counter in the bathroom. My mother told her she could use her closet mirror in her bedroom. My cousin came out of the bedroom and said, “The baby in the mirror took my toothbrush.” We searched the house for the toothbrush and couldn’t find it. My mother then told my cousin to ask the baby in the mirror to give it back and she walked out with the toothbrush.
We moved from the house and eventually my mother had the courage to leave my abusive step-father and we moved to back to Missouri in 1983. The home we moved to was a two story home with a basement. I always felt uneasy about the home and chalked it up as trauma after leaving my step-father. I would have dreams of being in the basement and I would feel this heaviness behind me and when I would turn around I would see the Top Hat Man. I couldn’t breathe and would pass out from his presence. I had this dream too many times to count and only while we lived in that house. When I would tell my mother she would tell me that it trauma from the photo that was taken of my cousin and I and he wasn’t real.
Let’s fast forward to 2012. I am married with two teenage children. My daughter was 16 years old. I was a deputy for a sheriff’s office. I had drank an energy drink at the beginning of my shift at approximately 1600 hours. I kept feeling a weird heartbeat and at the end of my shift I drove to our ambulance base and asked them to check me over. I was transported to the hospital and diagnosed with pre ventricular contractions, harmless. I had no way home and had to call my daughter to pick me up from the hospital. I told her I was ok but I need a ride home from the hospital. She said, “Mom, I am so thankful you called and are ok, I was having this horrible dream.” She said, “I had this dream that this guy in a trench coat and top hat was chasing me and my brother.” I had never told her any stories about my experience with the Top Hat Man up to this point. Once I begin to tell her about the Top Hat Man on our way home she was terrified. She has had the dreams of the Top Hat Man several times but hasn’t seen him since she has been grown.
Let’s fast forward to 2016. I was speaking to my infamous cousin who is now grown. I am not sure how the conversation came up, however I began telling her about the Top Hat Man and about all the strange occurrences that happened over the years. She began to tell me that she has taken several pictures of her children and she will capture the Top Hat Man in photos. She has numerous photos with him in them. She never knew about the Polaroid photo or the “baby in the mirror” occurrences that happened many years ago.
Let’s fast forward to 2018. I was in conversation with a sales rep at our local cell phone provider store. A man had died several years earlier in her home and it was quite the extrication to remove him from the home. As a deputy in the county I was aware of the details surrounding the man’s death. She began telling me how she has seen the Top Hat Man in her home. She said she would be in the basement and feel a dark presence and she could see the Top Hat Man at the top of the stairs.
Although, I haven’t seen the Top Hat Man since my youth, he somehow is still with me and my family.