The young man lived in a rental house a few doors from the home where H.W.* grew up in southern Brazil. A few years later, the young man moved out, a husband and wife moved in.
Although these people didn’t, and don’t, know one another, they had something in common – they knew something dark often walked the halls of that house.
“The male was a young lawyer starting out, while the female was an architect/homemaker,” H.W. said. “They both knocked on my mother’s door a bit distraught.”
There were years between the knocks – one in the mid-1990s, the other in early 2000, but the people behind the knocks told the same story.
“They described how a dark shadow wearing a fedora hat would frequently walk by them and disappear through the walls,” H.W. said. “Both residents described the black Shadow figure as being in the shape of an old man.”
This Shadow figure, a paranormal entity called the Hat Man, is usually an ominous figure. People often report feeling the entity is somehow feeding from their fear. However, H.W. doesn’t think this Hat Man was threatening.
“As far as I know, the Hat Man wasn’t a menace to them,” H.W. said. “He would just walk by and go right through the walls, in a silent manner, without ever acknowledging their presence.”
The witnesses came to H.W.’s mother’s door, he feels, because she was the oldest person living on the street. As such, she knew the person who built the house. The man, who died in the late 1950s, often wore a fedora, although that style was common in Brazil at the time.
“It was customary for Brazilians to wear those hats up to mid-’60s, as their style was highly influenced by Hollywood,” H.W. said. “My late father used to wear those hats as any young professional.”
These shadowy, fedora-wearing figures have been reported worldwide, from North America to Europe, South Africa and Australia. Although Hollywood’s images are far-reaching, the presence of this entity on multiple continents has H.W. curious.
“It’s an intriguing story indeed, especially since other sightings of the same type (are) happening all over the world,” H.W. said. “I wouldn’t be sharing this story if it wasn’t because of the fedora hat detail, which immediately called my attention. Why the hat?”
Although H.W.’s mother is now deceased, his family still owns their home and when he visits, he walks past the old house where the Hat Man wanders the halls. The building is now a day care center.
“It’s full of little kids who spend most of the day in there,” H.W. said. “I sometimes feel the urge to ask the teachers or caretakers, without specifics, if they ever see anything unusual in that place. But I feel reluctant, considering the nature of their business and potential legal implications for unproven rumors.”
The last report H.W. heard from that house was from the couple in 2000, but remembers all the witnesses to be sincere.
“My family believed both witnesses for describing the same exactly scenario years apart from each other, also because both had stable backgrounds,” H.W. said. “What are the odds that two different tenants would describe, many years apart, the same peculiar event, without ever knowing each other?”
*Name withheld by request.
Copyright 2009 by Jason Offutt
Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”
Jason’s books on the paranormal, “Darkness Walks: The Shadow People Among Us,” and “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.