William Blackwell

Dark Fiction Author

The Hat Man: Guardian Angel or Devil?

Who is the Hat Man? A guardian angel or the devil in disguise?

According to numerous reports, he’s a mysterious spirit entity who often visits people in their bedrooms at night while they’re sleeping. Sometimes he terrifies them. Other times he leaves them with a sense of peace and calm.

What does he look like? He’s a black, shadowy apparition, darkly cloaked, wearing a wide-rimmed black hat resembling a fedora.

What does the Hat Man want? To some he’s the devil in disguise, a grim reaper of sorts, and a harvester of souls.

Some believe he preys on fear, striking you when your defenses are low and you’re down and out.

Many people report seeing him in their waking lives. Some even claim he’s trashed their houses and tried to strangle them to death in the middle of the night.

According to Heidi Hollis, author of The Hat Man, The True Story of Evil Encounters, he’s not only real, but he is the devil. She writes, “Victims worldwide have reported seeing this man peering into their homes, their bedrooms, their baby cribs, their cars and even—their souls.”

Some have been able to defeat him by calling out the name of Jesus, or having their homes blessed, while others, according to reports, just beat the crap out of him. Some simply order him out of their homes.

But others claim the Hat Man is a guardian angel, whose purpose is to protect them from harm.

The Hat Man is often seen with his band of followers, the Shadow People.

Where did the Hat Man come from? Where did the Shadow People come from?

According to Wikipedia, shadowy entities are “the perception of a patch of shadow as a living, humanoid figure, particularly as interpreted by believers in the paranormal or supernatural as the presence of a spirit of other entity.”

Researchers say shadowy entities date as far back as 300 AD. Wikipedia says, “A number of religions, legends, and belief systems describe shadowy spiritual beings or supernatural entities such as shades of the underworld, and various shadowy creatures have long been a staple of folklore and ghost stories.”

There are other theories about the origins of the Hat Man and the Shadow People.

A neurological theory: Shadow People and Hat Man images occur during sleep paralysis, a mysterious sleeping disorder occurring in that transitional stage between waking and falling asleep during which a person becomes completely immobilized and often sees frightening images. According to the neurological theory, these shadowy entities are merely the manifestation of a sleeping disorder and by extension nothing more than a product of the subconscious mind.

A religious theory: Shadow People and the Hat Man are the evil minions of the devil, sent to snatch our souls and drag us down into the bowels of hell.

Another religious theory: Shadow People are guardian angels, sent from heaven to protect our souls and shield us from evil.

The scientific theory: Some physicists believe that unexplained forces are causing other dimensions to merge with ours. This merging of different dimensions would explain why we can only see the Shadow People and the Hat Man as shadowy figures who have the ability to transcend our laws of gravity, float through walls, fly, and change shapes at random.

According to this theory, the Hat Man and the Shadow People are the extra-dimensional inhabitants of another universe or another dimension. That’s why they can disappear and reappear in the drop of a hat. Or maybe in the drop of the Hat Man.

Regardless of what theory you subscribe to, one thing is certain. The Hat Man and the Shadow people drive terror and fear into the hearts of some, and peace and calm into the hearts of others.

Doing research recently on my soon-to-be-released supernatural thriller, The Dark Menace, I posted a blog asking people to tell me their experiences with the Hat Man and the Shadow People.

Needless to say, I received a lot of responses—some terrifying, others heartwarming. Here are some excerpts:

  • Rather frightening:

When I was around four, I think at the time my parents were going through a divorce. I was sleeping on my mom’s bed one night and had to go to the bathroom, so I got up and went to use the bathroom and she was still sleeping. I came back and fell back to sleep. I woke up to a pitch black shadow of a man staring at me at the edge of the bed. It felt like an eternity, he was staring. My whole body was frozen with fear. He started growing in height, almost reaching the ceiling. At this point I turned my body and fell back to sleep. The next night I woke up and felt the urge to walk to the living room. I walked to the living room to see a shadow man at my front door. My dad was sleeping on the couch. I tried waking him up. I tried pushing at him, and to no avail. He wasn’t waking up. I walked back to my mom’s room to sleep, hoping it would go away. I looked back to see the shadow person staring at my dad.

  • On a more positive note:

The Hat Man visits me nearly every week in lucid dreaming. And I have only good experiences with him. We just talk normally and I often ask him questions. For example, I ask how he comes to my dreams, who he is, and so on. Once he showed me his tarot cards. That was funny. I always try to look in his face, and he looks like an Arabian type of man. But I want to mention, that he’s not the only Hat Man. He has a brother, too. They are very different.

  • Somewhere in that mysterious twilight zone between black and white:

Hey, I have seen the Hat Man. He was on the left side of my bed but when I awoke and saw him. I did feel an intense sense of fear. I began to think that fear was created by myself over time. I was sleeping next to my partner and we were going through a troubling time, when I saw the Hat Man I saw it wasn’t me he had interest in but my partner. It’s very strange because I couldn’t see his eyes but I knew he was looking at him. He was there until I managed to panic and turned on the light. I have never seen him again but on occasion I think about him and wonder if he will reappear and why he did. I was scared at first but now I feel he is of some good. I am unsure. This was in maybe 2011. I was sexually attacked by a man that year. I put him behind bars for seven years but I felt strong, like I knew I could do it, but then suffered a year with anxiety and depression. Did he cause this? Or was it a warning? I am unsure. I am mentioning this due to other related aftermaths.

  • Now that’s downright chilling:

He’s from the Void/VALE of DARKNESS. I saw the hooded man/grim reaper. I saw two of them when I was 6 years old and I was shaking and heard whispers and voices and I had a severe high fever. I was hallucinating with nightmares and night terrors. This happened back in 2004 and after that the next day I was blacking out in the morning. I had to go to the doctor. I almost died in that experience.

  • And on the flip side:

I’ve seen the Hat Man four times in my life. The first time I was about 6 years old, and the sighting snapped me awake from a dead sleep. The next two visits followed that night closely (maybe within 4-7 days apart from the first visit). Seeing him the first time, the tall, dark shadow figure, wearing a fancy top hat, absolutely petrified me. The next two times he woke me from a dead sleep, dressed the same (trench coat, top hat, beard, kind features) and wasn’t in shadow form. I wasn’t afraid of him at all, and actually rather drawn to him. I felt like he was an old friend in this form. I won’t go into much detail but these two accounts are drilled into my memory as something spiritual and friendly. Now, the fourth time I saw him was a few days ago (some 30 years later), back in shadow form, just watching me sleep. I wasn’t afraid and felt oddly comforted. My research the past few days has been really surprising because I’m not finding any other stories of people with good experiences with the Hat Man. Surely, I can’t be the only one?

No, you’re not. Researching the strange Hat Man phenomenon for The Dark Menace, two things became abundantly clear. Some view him as evil, others as good.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, but have you ever thought about this: Maybe it depends on your perspective. Are you glass half full? Or glass half empty?

In The Dark Menace, I take a deep dive into these questions and many more. The culmination of over six months of research, this supernatural thriller endeavors to find answers to a strange and mysterious real-life phenomenon that has haunted and terrorized thousands of people around the world for centuries.

The Dark Menace short synopsis:

Mysterious and terrifying attacks by the Shadow People and the Hat Man lead a nightmare-plagued man to suspect an enigmatic doctor has accidentally opened a portal to Hell.




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  1. Miyonna Cooper

    As a kid, I saw the Hat Man constantly. Sometimes I wasn’t even sleep or laying down. I told my mom and she put me in therapy because I repeated it daily. I remember going to sleep in class one day in the 4th grade only to wake up outside myself. My first time experiencing astral projection and as I looked over to the class door he was there with a few other kids I didn’t recognize. I decided to sit back down and I woke up with an involuntary jerk. My whole desk flipped and all eyes were on me. Long story short, I experienced this type of thing for years. I still astral project on the regular and came into some other abilities that I don’t quite understand yet. I hope to make sense of it one day.

  2. Leslie B.

    My husband seems to be an “antenna” for this activity. In our first apartment together, we had a “hat man”. We never saw anything, but the feeling was so intense and specific, we both independently described the same feeling and the same man in black with a hat–watching, waiting. We have also seen shadow cats quite frequently in most places we have lived. These have all been benign.

    There was a dramatic increase in activity during the summer of 2018. My husband told me the presence was bothering him a lot, even waking him up at night, either standing in the room or touching him. Sometimes it called him by name, which was unnerving. Then, something unprecedented happened.

    It was very early morning. Our bedroom faces east, so there was light coming in the bedroom windows and from the living room windows adjacent our bedroom, also facing east. I got up to use the bathroom. I am on the side of the bed farthest from the bathroom, so I often lean down to make sure I don’t stub my toes on the blanket chest on my way around the bed. After going to the bathroom, I was coming back, leaned down to avoid the chest, and then stood up and saw a shadow in front of me, between me and the doorway facing the living room. I startled, and then put my hand to my chest and said “(husband’s name), you scared the hell out of me…” and then I saw that he was still in the bed, asleep. This shadow was 6-7 feet tall, and so dark it was like negative space. Even with the light coming through our room and the room behind it, it was completely black–not see-through at all. It was shaped like a person. I stood there looking at it for a while, about a foot away. I thought about touching it, but the sensation was so odd, I felt if I reached out and touched it, my hand would not come out the other side. It radiated a feeling of safety, protection and gave me the sense that everything was going to be alright. I made my way back to the bed, watching it. I laid down, and closed my eyes for a bit. When I opened them again, it was gone. At the time, I didn’t know what he was trying to tell us. I didn’t think to ask. I think I know now…

    About a month after that, I was having dinner with some friends when I felt a little lightheaded. That’s not unusual for me, so I told them not to worry–I was going to put my head down until it passed. Luckily I was with friends who are concerned about me and not afraid to take charge. Right away, my girlfriend sitting next to me put her hand on my shoulder to see how I was and realized I was not breathing. Then she checked my pulse in my neck…and found nothing. Luckily I was right next door to the local EMT’s. After about 6 minutes and a few zaps with an AED, they were able to bring me back from cardiac arrest. I spent a few nights in the hospital and had LOTS of tests, but they could find no underlying cause.

    I believe the Shadow Man was telling me this would happen, but that it would be okay. I didn’t have the traditional NDE, but the experience was an overwhelming feeling of calm, peace, and of being loved. I now have no fear of death. While I don’t want to die again any time soon, I hope he comes to visit us again.

  3. Derek Rolfe

    I had a serious asthma attack 3 years ago and nearly died and from that day I have been plagued with bad luck. Anything and everything that could go wrong did; divorce, people dying, just every day something bad happened. I was in a really depressed state and I kept seeing this guy in my sleep. Yesterday after my tools had been stolen for the 3rd time this year I felt him again but I’ve never felt scared. Anyway, seeing him last night made me Google it and I couldn’t believe how many stories and pictures of this guy I saw. I had thought I was going mad! Strangely I have felt better since last night, like something has lifted.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Derek, and sorry to hear about all the bad news. Maybe your bad luck streak has ended and the Hat Man is providing a positive influence in your life. It still seems split almost 50-50 between those who report bad experiences with the Hat Man and others who report uplifting experiences.

  4. Monica Frost

    I saw this man two days ago, he was standing in the door opening between my bedroom and living room. I couldn’t understand what it was, but later when I went to my bedroom to sleep I felt nervous and afraid. Felt like something touched my elbow. Didn’t dare to open my eyes. At 11.30 pm my boyfriend came home and I felt safe again. But today an old friend from my past died. He was only 34 years old. That’s why I’m Googling about this black man with a hat and coat.

    • Sorry to hear about the passing of your friend, Monica. My deepest condolences. Thanks for sharing your story and I hope that in the future you don’t have any bad experiences with the Hat Man.

  5. johnny

    I usually do my divination after waking up and before sleeping. That morning when I saw the Hat Man I didn’t do any divination nor regular prayer. To me, he did not appear to be a shadowy figure but as a man with a hat and cane and trench coat, a full featured old man who was looking at me and was just observing. It did not do anything but the presence that it is giving me made me do a cleansing in my house and made a protection for myself. I also did try to attack spiritually which made him vanish.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Johnny, and I apologize for the delay in responding. I got caught up with work-related tasks. It sounds like you’ve got the Hat Man issue under control. Well done. WB

  6. marc

    I had an experience with the hat man . It happened in 1998. I was 31 years old. One evening, I was dreaming quietly and I felt something going through my head. There was a black entity that slowly put his head from left to right in mine. And there, I came out of my quiet dream and at the bedside of my wife, I saw a clear entity, an old lady whom I could perceive a kind of white energetic aura who was praying for her. My wife was hiding her face with her blanket. Then black female entities approached me because they saw that I saw them. They gave me a sign with their hands. They came to see me three nights in a row. The third evening, it was scary, I saw for the first time the Hat Man with his two companions; the female entities at her approach fled. He spoke about me to his two companions, saying: “Persecute him!” And I told him to go away. After the experience, I thought I was crazy. For five years, I lived the worst time of my life. A good medium helped me out. In December 2017, I watched a documentary about him by chance (hazard). And then, everything was rocked. Other people have seen the same man that I saw. My daughter saw the black lady of the documentary when she was 16 years old. She was very scared. Now we sleep with a nightlight in the room. I bought a month later the DVD of the documentary. One month after my daughter went to the hospital for a serious accident and me two weeks later for a vertebral collapse. About us, I still do not know how to take it. I saw him in the United States in California in 2017 when I was sleeping in a mountain hut outside the house. I thought he was going to speak to me in English because I am french. I still don’t know why this entity is the only one who wears a long black raincoat (sorry for the language).

  7. Crystal

    I have a mixed review. My first memory of him was when I was a baby…only able to crawl. He picked me up from the crib while I screamed and then gently put me on the floor. It’s a memory I will never forget. But then there have been other occasions where I have been attacked and even had a seizure because of him. He violently attacked me in my dream as well, quite a few times. I later found out it’s because he doesnt like when I ignore him or fear him. He does test me constantly. But I’m less afraid now since I have a better understanding of him. I think it was the worst for me when I tried turning my gifts off and completely turning my back to that entire world. This is something that’s been a huge part of me since birth. The second I shunned all of it….my life fell apart. Now that I’m nowhere near as afraid and am embracing that side of me again, things have vastly improved. He just watches my kids and I now. In particular, my youngest (also since birth). My oldest used to see him regularly too when he was a baby until about 8yrs old. It’s like he is my family. As long as I’m not an asshole to him and ignore him
    ….he’s not an asshole to me. 😊

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Crystal. There is indeed something to be said for confronting and embracing your fears. I’m happy to hear you’ve been able to do that and it’s changed your life for the better. WB

  8. Hi there. It was 22 years ago that I had my first experience of the “Man in the Amish Hat”..and his friends. I was 29yrs old at the time. I got up to feed (nurse) my little one, and ended up falling asleep with her. I woke to being paralysed, but there was a tall man with an old Amish type hat, with 2 other people, in the corner of the room, near the bed. They were holding what I thought was a folder or something. ..and talking, but I couldn’t understand. I wasn’t scared…I was ticked off I couldn’t move. Within a few days, I made a huge mistake that changed the whole course of my life, very abruptly.

    The last time was when I was 45 (7yrs ago). I woke up to discover the man in the hat standing close to my bed (and 2 others), and I was petrified. Absolutely terrified, even though nothing was done to me. They were looking at the folder again…which I think was a device of some kind, now, lol. I was filled with fear, and just prayed over and over “I command you to leave, in Jesus Name”. Eventually I could move, and they faded away. Pretty much a couple of days later was another terribly life changing event, which once again…changed the course of my life.

    My believe now, is that they were from another dimension…maybe there to give comfort for tough times ahead. My fear was because at that time I was filled with fear anyway. Always afraid to stand up for myself…had been in a DV relationship.. and even though had been out of it for 9yrs..I just had that spirit of fear looming over me. The first time I was visited, I had never experienced anything overly fearful, so I was just curious and interested. My state of mind determined what experience I had…is my belief now.

    I had hoped they might come back now that I’m a power house and know myself and am spiritually awakened. Haha. But alas…hasn’t happened.

    Thank you so much for this page by the way…I’ve wondered for so many years if anyone every experienced what I did. Nice to know I’m not alone.😊

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Kelly. Fascinating story. You’re not alone in your belief that the Hat Man is from another dimension. In my soon-to-be released supernatural thriller, The Dark Menace, I explore this possibility in great detail. What I’ve found in my research thus far is that many people’s interpretations of the Hat Man as good or evil indeed depends on their state of mind at the time he visits them. Some people claim the experience changed their lives for the better, while others insist it was terrifying and at times life threatening. Have a great day, WB

  9. Lisa McCue

    My experience with the Hat Man was entirely positive. I was sleeping on my bed with my head at the foot of the bed and my dog next to me. It was about 2:30 a. m. and my husband wasn’t home because he’d started a night job. Suddenly, from a dead sleep, I woke up and for some reason I looked straight at the partially open door of the bedroom. My dog woke up at the same instant and looked at the door, too. There, leaning around the door, was the silhouette of a man, very tall, in a trench coat and a fedora. I felt very calm, not alarmed at all and my dog, who usually barks hysterically at every little thing, didn’t react at all. Then, in my head, he told me he was just checking up on me to make sure I was okay. In my head, I said, Oh, okay and then went right back to sleep. So did my dog. I felt as if a friend had dropped by for a moment to check in on me. I felt comforted and safe. I’ve actually wished he would come back to see me again. Also, I’ve never felt any fear associated with the numerous shadow people and cats I’ve seen my entire life, either. So, I’m confused about all the stories of utter terror from other people. Why are they afraid when I feel very familiar with these beings and not uncomfortable at all?

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Lisa. Very inspirational and positive. I don’t know why some people are terrified of the Hat Man. One theory claims if you haven’t embraced your dark side, you will forever fear it, but who knows.

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