There have been many sightings over the years of shadow people lurking near the edges of our beds as we are trying to get a good night’s sleep. One particular figure has emerged as a terrifying version of the shadowy boogeyman. He is known as the Hat Man.
While lying in bed late at night, waiting for sleep to take you, it isn’t uncommon for your mind to play tricks on you. You may think you hear strange noises or see terrifying figures in the shadows. According to some people, these experiences aren’t always the product of an overactive imagination but encounters with actual shadowy entities.
Have you ever been in a dark or shadowy room and thought you saw a human-like shape lurking in the darkness? If so, you may have been visited by shadow people. Shadow people are believed to be the visual form of spirits or other entities trying to make their presence known in the human world: they appear as “shadows” of the denizens of the world of the dead. Others believe that the mysterious entities could be astral projections, aliens, or visitors from other times or dimensions.
Typically, they start out appearing in your peripheral vision and become more distinct as you focus on them. While seeing one may be a frightening experience, the shadow people are not always dangerous. Some of these spirits are likely harmless visitors; some shadow people have even been known to be helpful to those they visit, warning them of real dangers lurking nearby.
In 2008 Adam Selzer, a tour guide in Chicago and New York, took this eerie photo. He was running a private ghost tour through the Congress Hotel in Chicago. While in the notoriously haunted Florentine room, a shadow figure was photographed along the back wall.
Selzer has been at a loss to explain the mysterious entity in the photo.
What is the Hat Man?
Many people believe that the Hat Man is just one of the shadow people. However, there are specific aspects of the story that set him apart as a distinct entity. Shadow people are typically human-shaped, but their appearances are vague. The Hat Man, on the other hand, has a distinct look that distinguishes him from other entities.
Like the shadow people, he appears in dark, gloomy areas where he almost seems to blend in. He has been described as wearing a long black trench coat, three-piece suit, and hat (either a fedora, top hat, or cowboy hat). He is very tall: witnesses place his height anywhere between 6 and 10 feet. Occasionally, he is seen to glance at a gold pocket watch that he pulls out of his pocket. However, his most terrifying feature is his eyes: when he appears in the shadows, his eyes glow a bright red.
Unlike shadow people–who can be neutral or even helpful–the Hat Man always brings a sense of fear and foreboding. Some believe that he only appears to people who are experiencing negative emotions, feeding off of their pain and suffering. Some have reported seeing him after dabbling with a Ouija Board or after encounters with aliens. Often, he speaks to his victims, whispering ominous threats and warnings in the form of bizarre riddles. Sometimes, he just stares ominously or tips his hat. When he disappears, the victim is left with a sense of impending dread.
In some cases, the appearance of this dark entity seems to be linked closely with tragedy. Many who have seen him claim that shortly after the man’s appearance, their lives were stricken with catastrophe. It is unclear whether the entity served as a warning of misfortune, or was the cause of it.
When these three women had their photo taken out the front of their home they couldn’t have known the chilling image that would develop.
Behind the three ladies you can see what looks like the shadow of a man wearing a hat. If you look closely you can see that the shadow figure has placed a hand on the shoulder of the woman on the left.
It is said that three days after this photo was taken the woman died in a horrible car accident.
The photographer claims that there was certainly no hatted man standing behind the women when the photograph was taken and is simply baffled by the image.
Perhaps this strange shadow appeared as a sort of omen, foreshadowing the tragic events that would unfold just three days later.
There have been countless reports of sightings over the years. In some cases, he appears only at specific times. For example, one Reddit user called “Strangelyydazed” only saw him while she was spending the night with her boyfriend. She says that he would watch her sleep, sometimes leaning over the bed. The relationship eventually ended, and the boyfriend went on to abuse other partners. This witness believes that the man’s underlying anger and violence attracted the entity to their bedside.
Another common theme among the stories is seeing the entity as a child or while staying in your childhood bedroom. This was the case for another Reddit user: “thescissorwizard.” This witness encountered the entity at age 8. They state that they saw a man fitting descriptions of the Hat Man watching from the corner of the room. They recall feeling that the entity was malevolent, even though he did nothing but watch. According to this witness, others who lived in the house in later years had similar experiences, some even reporting that the children of the house had been lifted from their beds and dropped.
This photo was captured by a woman who was dozing in her bed in 2017. She was listening to a podcast and felt herself drifting off to sleep. Suddenly she felt a dark, ominous presence in the room and glanced over to the window. She claims that a tall figure with a hat was standing by her bed, watching intently. She grabbed her phone and took a quick photo but realised there was no one in the room. When she looked at the photo, she couldn’t believe what she saw. Indeed there was a solid black entity standing in the room wearing what looked like a top hat.
The entity seems to be attracted to specific people. According to Heidi Hollis, a Hat Man expert, one night she was sound asleep when the quiet of the night was shattered by a blood-curdling scream. She awoke suddenly, realizing it was her roommate calling out in terror. She opened the door to her roommate’s bedroom and found her curled up in the corner of her room having a full-on panic attack. When her panic eventually subsided, she told Hollis that she had been visited by a shadowy figure in a black hat. Hollis never saw the figure but could feel a lingering sense of evil.
One aspect of the Hat Man phenomenon, other than the entity’s distinctive appearance, that separates it from shadow people is how it moves. Those who have encountered shadow people typically state that the figures seem to dissolve into the dark after a certain period of time. However, the Hat Man appears to move more like a human. Witnesses often describe him walking away after a while. One witness and founder of The Hat Man Project, Tim Brown, stated, “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.” This suggests that the Hat Man is not a spirit, but something entirely different and far more malevolent.
Some believe that even if that Hat Man himself is not a ghost, he sometimes brings ghosts with him. One Reddit user, “TheirEyesUponYou,” describes waking up one night to discover her bed surrounded by shadowy figures. One of them, which looked vaguely like a young girl, leaned forward and began speaking in some other language. The witness states that they were inexplicably able to reply in the same language. The witness then heard laughter coming from another corner of the room. They looked toward the sound and saw a shadowy figure in a hat with glowing red eyes. Each time the victim replied to the young ghost in a foreign language, the entity in the hat seemed delighted and let out an eerie laugh.
Another witness named Greg Newkirk believes that the entity in the dark hat brought along unwanted guests. He claims that for months after moving into a new house, he heard terrifying noises while in his bedroom at night. He described them as muffled conversations coming from inside his closet. One night, unable to stand the sounds any longer, he left the room and tried to sleep in a guest bedroom. As he tried to fall asleep, a shadowy entity in a large hat appeared at the foot of the bed. He let out a terrified scream, and when his family ran into the room and turned on the lights, the entity disappeared.
While some people are fortunate enough to only encounter the terrifying entity once, others have repeated run-ins. One witness, whose name was not identified, claims that the Hat Man visited him at least three times when he was a child. Once, he saw the entity standing in a corner of his bedroom after he had been fighting with his parents. A few years later, the same being appeared floating outside of a second-story window. The man came to him one final time in a dream.
Some even claim that the man runs in families. According to Tim Brown, after he described his experience to his family, he was told that his grandmother and great-grandmother had also encountered the entity.
Is the Hat Man Real?
There have been many explanations for the Hat Man phenomenon. One of the most common theories is that those who have encountered shadow people are actually suffering from sleep paralysis: a condition in which the person wakes from sleep completely unable to move and typically in a complete panic. Often, the neurological condition causes the sufferer to hallucinate, which could explain the appearance of figures in the shadows. However, not all witnesses who have encountered shadow people or the Hat Man report accompanying paralysis.
Others believe that the heightened feelings of fear that we often feel in the dark could lead us to perceive entities in the shadows. When we’re alone at night, we often fear what could be lurking nearby. In this way, the Hat Man could be a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. However, according to experts, this is an unlikely explanation. When we imagine that something is lurking in the shadows stalking us, we typically examine it closely to determine what it is that we are seeing. If the shadow is actually the result of something benign, we usually figure that out relatively quickly as our eyes adjust to the dark. Those who have encountered actual entities in the shadows don’t have this comfort. The longer they stare at the entity, the more real and terrifying it becomes.
The most striking aspect about this phenomenon is that the reports are all so congruent, they all describe almost the exact same thing – a dark, ominous figure that likes to watch people sleep. The Hat Man is the most troubling of all because it’s such an oddly specific sighting. How is it that thousands of people around the world all characterise the Hat Man exactly the same?
To those who have spotted these shadowy entities, the experience can’t be explained away. For them, the Hat Man is a very real and very frightening entity that defies logical explanation.
Is the Hat Man real? You’ll have to look for him in the shadows and find out for yourself.