This took place roughly 10 years ago at my parents' house. My fiancee' at the time was out of town and my daughter and I had planned on spending the night with my parents. It was a Saturday, and being a typical Saturday for us it included dinner and a night of paranormal investigation on the Gettysburg Battlefield. I remember that we were in the area of the Peace Light Memorial located on the 1st day's Battle are of the park.
Here I need to add a little background information to explain some of my thoughts later on. During the time frame, my group was having regular communication with a spirit we dubbed "Ed". He showed up each week like clockwork and "talked" to us through EVP. He followed me home on at least one occasion where I was also able to record EVP. Around the same time I had an experience with a mirror in my room- I had seen a face (not my own) in the mirror and it terrified me to the point where I removed it from the wall. To this day I still refuse to look into the mirror directly. Back to the story...
So, after a night of investigation, I headed back to the house to hit the hay. Sometime during the middle of the night, I woke up to see a shadowy figure at the foot of my bed. There were no facial features visible at all, just the black silhouette. It was a male figure, roughly 6ft tall and wearing a wide brimmed hat. I had the impression he was wearing some type of jacket or coat as I was able to discern cuffs of some sort and a collar. He had his left arm hanging by his side and the right was holding onto the post of the 4-poster bed. I distinctly remember seeing his fingers curled around the post. The post was white so there was a lot of contrast. He terrified me. I can not explain where the sudden fear came from. Afterall, I go searching for ghosts and while they make me edgey and slightly spooked, I have never had a feeling of total terror before. I was so terrified that I immediately closed my eyes tight, held onto my celtic cross necklace and said the Lord's Prayer over and over again. At some point I fell asleep, but it wasn't for at least 2 hours and when I woke up I was still holding the cross in my fist.
The next morning there was no sign that anything had happened except that my glasses were nowhere to be found. I place them in the same spot each night as I have my own personal (nearly OCD) bedtime rituals. They weren't there. My mother and I tore the house apart but found nothing. I need my glasses to see- I wear them all day until bedtime. So I went off to work (15 minutes late) without my glasses. At the time, my manager was also a paranormal enthusiast and often accompanied me on investigations. I told her what had happened the night before and how I lost my glasses. She looked down at my bag of clothes and sitting on top neatly folded were the glasses in question. I personally checked that bag- dumping everything out and going through all the pockets and repacked the bag myself too. There were no glasses.
Around the same time frame I was also seeing a "shadow boy" of sorts peeking at me from around corners in my parents' house. One day I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and I ignored it for a minute and then suddenly turned my head to see what was there. I was able to distinguish head and shoulders of someone small/short pull back around the corner. Thinking it was my brother playing tricks, I searched the house- I was alone.
My daughter was not immune to the paranormal at my parents' house either. In fact, she told one person who stayed in her room that if they felt like someone was leaning over them staring at them it was just her guardian angel and if they heard tapping it was just Ed and tell him to stop. She never spoke of seeing shadow figures.
I always chalked the experience up to something following me home from an investigation. Ed often came home with us (this sounds absolutely crazy I know- but he seemed to have attached himself to me)
So today I read something about this "Hat Man". I can honestly say that I have never heard of him before at all and never assumed that my experience had anything to do with something other than the typical ghost haunting. However, here is some info on Hat Man:
*He is a shadow person who wears a trenchcoat and a large hat. One person described
the hat as being like a witch's hat with the pointy part cut off. (same as mine)
*He is accompanied by dread or overwhelming fear. (check- had that)
*While there is rarely any discernable facial features, eyes, when seen, are described as
red and glowing. (No eyes on mine- Thank goodness)
*Shadow people are also seen in reflections, i.e., mirrors and TV screens. (had that- I still don't
look in that mirror)
*With the exception of the Hat Man, most shadow figures are seen only out of the corner
of the eye before quickly disappearing. (Had that happen too)
I would have to say that I definitely had an encounter with the infamous Hat Man and his band of merry shadow people. But what is most disturbing to me is the speculation over what or who the Hat Man is. Some say that it's possible that the Hat Man and these shadow people are merely guardian angle type creatures, something along the lines of Mothman- in a loose way. While that is a nice thought, and my daughter certainly described something that watches her as her guardian angel, that opinion is shared by the least amount of people. Others claim that the Hat Man is somehow related to aliens- especially those with darker or more sinister intent- specifically lizard men and greys. I don't hold much stock in lizard men (who supposedly live in the earth's core and come out and feed on humans- which explains all the missing people in the world) and while I won't say aliens don't exist (I think it's arrogant to assume humans are the superior race and the only one) I don't necessarily think the Hat Man is an alien. The 3rd and most common explanation is that this Hat Man has some relation to the devil or a demon. Do you know how terrifying it is to know you might have been watched by a demon?? And while I am not Saying that I was visited by a demon, I’m not even sure that I believe wholeheartedly in them (in all my years of paranormal investigation I have yet to come across something like that) I am also not saying that they don’t exist either. Demons are just one of those things that are tangled up in religion and personal beliefs- which in itself is a touchy subject. What I know is that I have never know such instant fear- to the point of reciting the first prayer I could think of over and over until exhaustion hit. I also know that if I were to share this story with my very devout Catholic aunt, I would receive another coffee can of Holy Water (I am not joking- had one can in the fridge so long it rusted).
So, anyway, just wanted to put this story out there. I welcome questions or comments or even a story you might have about the Hat Man