If the countless online accounts of paranormal investigators have taught us anything, it’s that there’s no shortage of terrifying supernatural entities to fear. With the internet’s recent obsession with Black Eyed Kids encounters and “Shadow People” visitations, you might not notice another phenomena that’s quickly becoming part of the paranormal pop-culture consciousness: The Hat Man.
Shadow men weren’t really thrown into the paranormal spotlight until around 2001, and that was all thanks to the world’s most prolific paranormal radio personality: Art Bell. Anyone unfamiliar with Art Bell, firstly, should be ashamed of themselves, and secondly, should go listen to every episode of Coast to Coast AM that you can get your hands on.
There are plenty of authors, bloggers, and investigators who would love to take credit for uncovering the mysterious Shadow Man phenomenon, but their first real public mention goes back to April 12, 2001 when Art interviewed Thunder Strikes, First Nation elder, teacher, and co-founder of the Deer Tribe Metis Medicine Society. During that episode, the pair talked at length about the topic of Shadow People, and even encouraged listeners to send in their own drawings of the terrifying phenomenon. As it turns out, way more people than anyone could have anticipated were experiencing these frightening encounters.
Over the years, there’ve been plenty of debates about whether or not these “Shadow People” are good or evil, with many landing on both sides of the fence. Dead Files’ resident physical medium Amy Allen has spoken quite publicly about her belief that Shadow People are inter-dimensional entities that fall on the side of evil time and time again.
Since that fateful episode of Coast to Coast AM aired, there have been countless stories, photos, and videos of Shadow People uploaded, but what most people don’t know is that while many were being tormented by Shadow People, a select group were experiencing something similar, but just a little bit different: the “Hat Man” syndrome.
The Hat Man appears much in the same way that Shadow People do, but unlike the phenomena that was made popular by Art Bell and Thunder Strikes, the Hat Man encounters bear a few striking differences that set it apart. When he appears, often during the night, the Hat Man is always seen wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and though most people are unable to make out any distinct facial features, he is usually described as a solid black mass. Witnesses are often unable to describe the Hat Man’s lower body, as if he seems to float silently above the ground.
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… 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. – Tim Brown (The Hat Man Project)
The phenomena seems to center around basements and, according to the experiencers, appears to manifest in situations of intense negativity and family disfunction. In fact, many times if one person in a household has started experiencing visits by the Hat Man, it’s almost guaranteed that another family member will begin seeing the strange shadow man soon afterwards.
Many who report experiences with the Hat Man believe that the entity has been present with them since their childhoods. I, myself, have a very vivid memory of having a run-in with I can only describe as a Hat Man. As far as my memories go, I would always spot him in the same long hallway in my basement, usually paying me no mind whatsoever. I continued to have these harmless encounters for a year before he disappeared altogether.
All of a sudden this black -two-dimensional being appeared. it just walked right through the door. I was paralyzed with fear. I sat there looking at it and hoping it would not notice me because i was in the dark area. It stood for a moment and I could see the very detailed contours of its form. It wore a derby, carried a briefcase and a cane . It appeared to be dressed like someone on business or a traveler. – The Hat Man Project
At first glance, it’s easy to want to clump the Hat Man into the same category as Shadow People, but once you do enough searching, you quickly discover just how many people are having their own truly unique experiences with this strange entity, to the point where there’s no doubt that the Hat Man is a separate phenomena.
Thanks to the internet age, stories about people’s paranormal experiences get passed around like wildfire, and it’s easy to pass them off as being hoaxes or exaggerations, but I think many of us would agree that there has to be something strange happening if thousands of people are experiencing the same thing. We don’t know exactly who the Hat Man is or what he wants, but one thing is for certain – if you see him, you might want to start examining your relationships with the people in your house.