I want to preface this with the fact that before my encounter, I had no prior knowledge of this entity. I hadn’t seen any reports online, read any blogs, or listened to any podcasts. At the time, I had thought it to be a dream. Since then, it’s been on my mind almost non-stop, and I feel like I’m always being watched. I’m partially recording this as a means to get it out of my system, and hopefully stop thinking about it.

To start with, a small amount of background information. My girlfriend has dysphagia, and has a hard time swallowing any food or drink. She has a slightly easier time swallowing whenever she first wakes up. So I try to wake her up early every day so she can get a protein shake in her system. I had woken up, got her up for her shake, and we had both gotten back in bed to go to sleep. I had woken up sometime later with a feeling of dread. I felt the urge to look into the corner of the room by the door. Standing there, in shadow, was a tall man wearing a wide brimmed hat, somewhere between a cowboy hat and a fedora. He was also wearing a long coat, which to me seemed like a trench coat. He was entirely made up of shadow, but I could tell that he had mass. I couldn’t make out facial features, but I could tell he was staring right at us and smiling, all in a menacing way. I felt complete dread, and that feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach that when you’re about to crash your car. I somehow knew or sensed that he had come in through the front door, even though it was locked, possibly phased through it.

Once I was over the feeling of being shocked, I got out of bed, immediately in fight mode. As soon as I approached, he faded into nothingness. The moment he was gone, I felt mostly normal again, and felt that I could go back to bed. However, the very moment I got under the covers again, he reappeared, still staring and smiling. The sense of foreboding came again, and I again got up. This time he faded the moment that I stood up. I remember getting back into bed, and waking up when it was time to get up for work. My girlfriend woke up and went to get her second protein shake, and when she was done, I told her about the encounter. She then told me that when she was much younger, she had seen the same thing, but in broad daylight. No one believed her except for her one aunt, who believed their place to be haunted. It brought chills to my body hearing her describe the exact same thing. Being my sense of humor, I immediately started to make jokes about it. “What have you brought into my home?”. She didn’t find this very funny.

Once I had gotten to work, I told a friend there about the experience. Her response was, “Well maybe it’s the guy that had it in for my son, looking for him. He had tried to press serious charges against him, and he always dressed exactly like that.”. Her son was the previous occupant where we live now. I joked about it some more, and tried to forget about it until later. But it wouldn’t leave my mind. I put in a description into Google, and immediately started getting search results detailing the Hat Man. Almost everything that I found was an exact match for what I saw. There were a few difference here and there, mostly minor. Some saw him with a top hat on, and a cape, or with red, glowing eyes. Some saw him as I did, standing in the corner, or a doorway, and others saw him standing next to the bed, leaning over them. All of it is deeply unsettling, but it’s also nice to know that I’m not alone in seeing him.

Some say that he’s a demon, some say that he’s a ghost. Some reported that they didn’t get any sense of foreboding about him, but other’s described it as I did. Sleep paralysis came up a lot, but in my case, anyways, I could freely get up and move around. A few reports have said that they actually bumped into him, which gave my impression that he has actual mass some credence. It’s interesting to speculate exactly what he is. (Not to mention reports of other shadow people.) Is he a phantom? A demon? A ghost? Or maybe it’s a shared image in every human’s psyche that gives him shape. I find it fascinating that so many people, and for so long, have seen the exact same man all over the world. I had initially assumed it was a dream, but now I’m not so sure. And when I’m alone, I always check over my shoulder. When I get into my car, I check out the back seat, just to be completely sure I’m alone. I can only hope that the feeling that I’m always being watched goes away in time, but for the immediate future, I’m not too hopeful.