When they told me a man wearing a hat was in their bedroom some nights, I assumed they were messing with me and my sisters. But I believe them now, though I am torn between thinking they saw the hat man this website is dedicated to, whether it’s a paranormal entity or hallucination, or, just a man in a hat.
I’ve heard tons of stories of people seeing a hat man, but I’ve never heard one of two people seeing him at the same time. It is important to mention, my brothers are both sleep talkers, and one brother is a sleep walker. And while I don’t believe it’s possible for two people to share a hallucination, I have seen the boys having a conversation, albeit nonsensical, in their sleep. It was really funny. Maybe they told each other a story? It’s also possible they did make up the story to mess with us girls, and after years forgot it was a lie, and that’s why the boys continue to swear on it to this day. But it creeps me out how similar their story is to other stories, aside from them both seeing it at the same time and that the hat man seemed completely uninterested in either of them.
That last point is why I entertain the possibility it was just a guy. We had a couple of incidents in that house of random drunks coming in thinking it was their home. Our house was near a couple of bars and on a corner, and my parents never bothered to lock the doors. Both times though, the men were very loud and confused and easily escorted out. What my brothers described sounded nothing like that. We’ve also had some friends from school sneak into our house to mess with us, but they were found out by our very large dogs and scared off. I only knew it was them because the next day they gave us a hard time for having such scary dogs. The dogs didn’t seem to care when the hat man visited. He was quiet and made no noise when he stepped, which was odd considering how creaky our wooden floors were.
My brothers each had a bed on opposite sides of the small bedroom, pushed against the wall, with a window in between them. Both of them slept with their heads against the window side wall, probably too afraid to sleep facing away from the door, which was at the feet of one brother – the sleepwalker – and their doorless closet at the feet of the other. When the hat man would visit, he stepped in silently through the bedroom door, and without so much as even glancing at the brother that would’ve been right in front of him, he moved to the center of the room and then to the window, where he would stand and stare out of it for what my brothers claimed felt like an hour. They both said the hat man was very tall and very dark, darker than a shadow, and wore what looked like a long trench coat and a cowboy hat, though nowadays they say it was more like what someone in a noir film would wear. Back then they wouldn’t have known what a noir film was, or how to describe a wide-brimmed hat as anything other than a cowboy hat. They also said it had no face, which is the main reason I didn’t believe them. It sounded made up. What didn’t surprise me about their story was that neither of them did anything for the hour he was at the window, because they were scary cats. They said whenever he came in their room they’d just lay there staring at it, and at each other, from across the room. I remember asking how they could see each other at night, and they said it was because the moon was always really bright on the nights he came. That detail always creeped me out. I wondered if that meant the hat man was coming on only bright nights, or if the boys only ever saw him on bright nights and didn’t notice him when it was too dark. I wrote it off as a joke without asking for more info, possibly because I was scared too. Because of where our bedrooms were, the hat man had to walk right by my bedroom door, which couldn’t shut all the way, to get into their room. And worse, if the hat man couldn’t just manifest, and had to walk into the house and up the stairs, then he’d need to walk straight toward my door. I really didn’t like that. Just thinking about it now is making me nervous and I’m starting to jump at the slightest sound, which is silly considering the hat man didn’t make any noise.
Anyways, at the time, I didn’t bother asking them what happened when the hat man left or exactly how many times they saw him, and I got pretty mad at them when they tried to tell me more about it. I did ask one of my brothers as an adult, and I can tell you what he told me, but it had been years at that point so it’s possible his mind filled in some blanks. He said the hat man would, after an hour or so, turn around and walk out the door again, then turn the corner to go down the stairs, and then he was gone. He didn’t fade away or jump out the window, so again, he could’ve been just a guy. As for how long and how often they’d see the hat man, my brother said it happened for years, from when we moved into that house to when we moved out, and only on bright nights. He doesn’t remember how many times they saw him, but it was often enough that the memories blurred together. My brother also added that the other brother wasn’t always awake when the hat man came. Sometimes, but not every time. As I said, one of my brothers, this one, was a sleepwalker, and this same brother has acid reflux, so he spent more time awake at night. But, I think it’s important to include one last detail. This brother had seen more than the hat man. From when he was little all the way into his teenage years he’d see all sorts of disturbing apparitions. He’s claimed to see ghost girls in our aunt’s house to wandering corpses by the railroad tracks. Nowadays he stands by his claims but also isn’t sure if he was seeing actual ghosts, or was susceptible to hallucinations because of his sleep disorder and all the stress he had growing up. I myself have experienced stress-induced hallucinations, though mine were auditory. This goes all the way back to when I was a kid too. I heard all sorts of scary noises, but since my mental health improved I haven’t heard anything, and my brother hasn’t claimed to see anything for years. So maybe the hat man was just a hallucination, one somehow shared with another boy. Or maybe my brother could somehow see ghosts and the hat man wasn’t the hat man, but just a ghost in that house that happened to be wearing a hat. Maybe it was just a drunk, or a long-winded prank by a friend or family member. Or maybe it was a scary story my sleeping brothers told each other on bright nights, or a joke they forget they made up. Whatever it is, my brothers claimed that for years the hat man visited their bedroom on bright nights to look out the window and nothing more, and it still gives me the creeps.