This is an article detailing a rather interesting entity spotted all around the globe known simply as The Hat Man. He is tall, imposing, and frightening to look upon, but harmless in nature (mostly). He appears in the realms of dreams and drug induced-hallucination, tormenting his prey with his terrifying presence alone as there always something “off” about him. No one knows who is he, if he is an alien or demon, or what his origins entirely are, but what is certain is he likes to observe and he observes many a person he does for reasons rather uncertain. If he chooses to give you a visit or you force it with the use of drugs rest assured he will make sure being in his presence won’t be pleasant.
No one is sure when exactly The Hat Man started showing up in the dreams and hallucinations of humans, but most reports I’ve seen is that he has been spotted as the early to mid 20th century and occurrences of his visits have only increased by the year since the beginning of the 21st century. I guess it makes sense considering his most reported attire is a fedora and a trenchcoat, a fashion style that didn’t pop off until the beginning of the 20th century, which makes one wonder if this entity is a ghost or ascended individual that was formerly a human during that period of history. Whatever the occurence, this being appears everywhere, all it takes is a Google search to find stories of people who have met this strange being and have been taken aback.
Stories such as these are not uncommon on the web, with even earlier stories dating back to the 90s and even before that. The Hat Man Project does a good effort of reporting and archiving these encounters and they are interesting to read through, and it’s amazing to witness just how many encounters there are (https://thehatmanproject.com/). The presence of the Hat Man isn’t restricted to the English speaking world either, as stated earlier, because he has been documented worldwide and his most significant mention from a non-western country I can find is his inclusion in a 1998 Japanese PS1 videogame named LSD Dream Emulator, which is based off the dream journal of one of the developers of the game which had been written in for over a 10 year period daily, being known famously in this game as The Gray Man.
It’s quite haunting just how many people report seeing him across the globe year after year so it does make one beg the question: what is he exactly and what does he want from humanity?
Who is He & What Does He Want?
Many remarks have been thrown about him being a demon, alien, time traveler, etc, one thing is certain though: that he does definitely fall into the classification of being a Shadow Person, a type of malevolent being that has been documented throughout history who have been known to observe humans from afar and their true motives rather unclear. While The Hat Man does definitely reflect that of a shadow person in appearance, shadow people generally try to stay in the shadows while the Hat Man likes to acknowledged, making his behavior rather different than that of your average Shadow Person.
A common theory of what attracts the Hat Man to you personally is negative emotions which some believe he feeds off of so it’s not surprising to hear stories of those in emotional distress to see him as a sort of visual hallucination; moreover to add onto the negativity theory, it’s believed for him to be more commonly encountered in places with negative auras attached to them also, ie places where someone might have been murdered or an ouija board has been recently used, and etc. Others claim for him to be a harbinger of tragedy, with claims if you see him something bad is about to happen within your personal life, kinda like the Mothman but he chooses to tell you more personally: A fascinating example of this is this eerie photo of where he has his hand placed on a woman who would go on to die in a car crash a few days after this photo was taken.
Apparently if you know someone who has met the Hat Man or are related to a victim he is more likely to give a visit too apparently. A few people even speak of him talking in their encounters or bringing along fellow shadowy guests, there seems to be little rhyme or reason in how he chooses to show up. For he most part though he is rather indiscriminate with those who he chooses to stalk, some people only getting visited once while others tell of multiple run-ins with this man. The actual odds of you bumping into him though, for the most part, are relatively unknown but there are well-known methods that when, intentionally or unintentionally done, can increase your likelihood of an encounter. Before continuing though I want to make something very clear in bright red text to avoid claims of encouragement down the line:
THE FOLLOWING METHODS SHOULD NOT BE FOLLOWED INTENTIONALLY AND IS ONLY TO DOCUMENT HOW THE HAT MAN IS MOST FREQUENTLY ENCOUNTERED. THE HAT MAN IS WIDELY AGREED ON TO BE A MALICIOUS ENTITY AND SHOULD NOT BE PURPOSELY CONTACTED BY ANY MEANS. THIS SECTION OF THIS ARTICLE ALSO DISCUSSES DRUG USE WHICH I IN NO WAY CONDONE.
Most Common Ways to Encounter the Hat Man
Though the Hat Man has been reported to appear in dreams, he is more commonly associated, and most infamous for, appearing in a state of sleep known as “Sleep Paraylsis”. Sleep Paralysis has a long history with humanity, with it’s first recorded account being jotted down by a Dutch Physician in 1664 who described it as the “Incubus or the Night-Mare” of one of his patients. Across cultures different peoples have had different explanations of the phenomena, with those in the Arab world blaming it on Jinn (Islamic demons) while those on the southern tip of Africa casting the blame onto water spirits. Everyone had their own reasoning behind it but it was all usually through a religious or mystical lenses and not a scientific one, and humanity wouldn’t get a scientific deduction until the early 20th century when it was realized that when the human body reaches a stage of REM sleep, which is when your body purposely paralysis itself to stop you falling off your bed or walking about in your sleep, rarely a mental glitch can occur where you go to wake up and open your eyes but your brain believes itself to be in a state of REM sleep, causing you to be stuck to your bed and can cause very terrifying hallucinations to happen. People have claimed to have seen demons, ghost children, monsters, etc, but the most common of all is the appearance of The Hat Man, usually to the far corner of their rooms watching and observing.
One could chalk to this up to just being societal hysteria, a similar case to the “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?” incident where over 3000 people had apparently claimed to see a face of a strange man in their dreams, only for it to be a hoax and most cases outside of the prank being induced by those who saw the image and unintentionally dreamed of the man afterward; except reports of the Hat Man aren’t isolated, have been reported all over the world even without hearing of sightings of the man beforehand, and has no distinguishable origin unlike “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?” which turned out to be a gureilla ad campaign for an advertisement agency. The Hat Man is so ominous as unlike his hoax counterpart he appears in the subconsciousness of so many, and what’s even more unnerving is him appearing isn’t exclusive to dreams or sleep paralysis neither, as in our following section we will discuss how drugs that can induce an encounter.
Benadryl is a drug that is mostly harmless in the correct doses and is usually used to treat things like allergies, the common cold, insomnia and motion sickness. However, through abuse it can be one of the powerful legal hallucinogens out there. It should be stated that benadryl isn’t a psychedelic akin to shroom and marijuana so to speak but an uncommon class of hallucinogen known as deliriant, which for context falls into the same group as Datura and Brugmansia, so yeah some serious shit, as too much of an deliriant can cause delirium (shocking, right?) which causes very realistic hallucinations that can last hours to even a day depending on dosage. Individuals on the drug have reported having conversations with people who weren’t even there, smoking phantom cigarettes, being attacked by spiders and snakes, and of course, meeting the Hat Man.
There is a whole subreddit called r/DPH (https://www.reddit.com/r/DPH/) detailing how to take benadryl safely and what to expect at different doses of, the drug though I should say the subreddit advises not to use benadryl at all due to the effects it can have on your well-being. Anyways, there’s seven generally accepted levels to a benadryl “high”: Therapeutic level AKA Level 0 (1-4 benadryl pills), Level 1 (4-8 benadryl pills), Level 2 (8-12 benadryl pills), Level 2.5 (12-20 benadryl pills), Level 3, also known as the full-blown delirium level (20-28 benadryl pills), Level 4 (28-48 benadryl pills) and then you have Level 5 or what they like to call the Eiriel stage of a benadryl high which is 1.2 to 2 grams of the drug. Now, I’m not going to go into what you’ll see at each stage and I STRONGLY encourage you don’t even try this as no drug is worth fucking your brain over, but general consensus is from 2.5 and after is where seeing The Hat Man is very likely as that’s the level where you’re most definitely gonna start seeing things that aren’t even there. What’s worth noting is The Hat Man has been reported to appear at all levels and there seems to be definitely a strong tie between deliriant drugs and Hat Man encounters, which I guess makes sense as after all benadryl is a drug used to help sleep related issues. Due to how prevalent The Hat Man is for benadryl users he has become somewhat of a meme in this community and people will take large doses just for a chance to meet the fabled being, which is concerning to say the least. Overall, it’s interesting to see how an entity usually associated with dreams is now popping up for users of a corner shop drug and now has a whole community joking about him and trying to figure out what he exactly wants.
Off topic, but there have been reports of The Hat Man appearing during the use of other drugs too such as Ayahuasca, with American Footballer Quarterback Aaron Rodgers stating he had an encounter whilst using the drug, but in general an encounter with The Hat Man on any other substance that’s not a deliriant is extremely rare (and Ayahuasca concoctions are said to be mixed in with deliriants anyways). Only reason why The Hat Man is so heavily associated with bendaryl is because it’s the most inexpensive and easy to get hold of deliriant there is but I’m pretty much if you had say a Datura trip you’d have a very high chance of meeting The Hat Man too. I’ve heard stories of users of LSD seeing The Hat Man however, but likewise with claims of weed and shroom users coming into contact with him, there is not loads of material to go off on and it’s safe to say The Hat Man is most common to appear for those who abuse deliriants.
Photography & Other Rare Encounters
I left this one for last as it’s not even common at all to happen and I’m only including this section as I felt it was worthy enough to talk about, but yes there has also been reports of the The Hat Man being sighted even in photos which we briefly touched on earlier in this article. If he does appear it’s usually seen as a sign of bad luck and you should expect the worse, but reports of this happening are so few and in-between that it’s really not worth covering too in-depth as most “evidence” is blurry and there’s not loads to really talk about other than, “Look! He looks to be there!”.
The Hat Man without a doubt has had an influence on the media we know and love, with his intimidating glare and tendency to stalk people from shadows probably helping conjure up many a character. One could argue that the characters of Herobrine from Minecraft (despite being an unofficial one) and the G-Man from Half Life have taken a bit of inspiration from him as they act very similar in how they are always watching and fill you with dread, however this is just speculative. One character from media people do largely associate taking inspiration from The Hat Man though is Freddy Kruger which does make a bit of sense considering the hat and appearing in nightmares and what not, however this is not thought to be the actual or at least main inspiration as Wes Craven, Freddy Kruger’s creator, said he was inspired to create Freddy after reading about a case from LA in which a Cambodian family had moved there to escape the Cambodian genocide and their son had horrific night terrors (most likely caused by what he saw and a reaction from having been exposed to nerve gas) that he tried hard to escape by staying constantly awake as he felt they would kill him, but eventually would mysteriously die in his sleep after failing to do so, so while this is the actual inspiration, who knows if The Hat Man had a part in Freddy Kruger’s creation also?
Now at the beginning of this article I mentioned how The Hat Man makes a bizarre appearance in an obscure 1998 Japanese game called LSD Dream Emulator and how it’s notable example of him being mentioned outside the English speaking world; well I’d say it’s one of the most notable examples of his appearance in media too also BUT it’s far from the first as believe it or not there’s an even older feature of The Hat Man in media and that is an episode about him in a 1985 episode of The Twilight Zone named “The Shadow Man”
This is the earliest example of The Hat Man in media I could find and the latest example I came across being a 2019 documentary film called “The Hat Man: Documented Cases of Pure Evil” which goes over many a persons encounter with the man of the hour.
The Hat Man is a fascinating case of shared terror that I had a lot of fun researching and writing about. The sheer mystery of how so many people globally can report seeing this same disturbing figure with no discernible answer as to why made it a fascinating rabbit hole to go down and I hope in the comments of this article to invite even more discussion of this topic and come across research posted by users that I may have missed about The Hat Man which might give more clues as to how this monster operates and why. Thanks to those who checked out this article and if you enjoyed it please share as I’d love to hear more opinions about The Hat Man on here from those who may choose to join in on the discussion. Sources will be linked below and I hope to have more articles coming soon.
Originally posted on the Mariana Bay Forum by Khastle on 22/05/2023 (https://forum.marianabay.com/threads/the-hat-man-have-you-seen-him.101/)