Monster Hunting: H is for Hat Man
Content warning: some explicit language is used below.
September 15th, 2018
Seeing the unexplainable is normal in this job. But this is the first time I’ve actually run away from a hunt. It didn’t feel good, but I don’t possess the skills to get the kill here. And I can’t shake the feeling that my presence in Enfield was provoking that… god… to do more harmful things while I was around.
And I havn’t exactly looked back since. It doesn’t feel good. In fact it feels like something rotten sitting in the pit of my stomach that just won’t move. I don’t exactly fear death (helps knowing there’s an actual afterlife), but I know I’m not done here and there’s people I can continue to help.
I just need to make sure I’m doing more good than causing harm as rubbing salt in any wound isn’t helpful.
This went off the rails and is probably better for my private (hah) diary. I think the shadow I’ve seen lurking in the corner of my vision is a symptom of my recent failure and guilt I’ve got coursing through me.
I probably need a good night’s sleep and that’ll fix things. I haven’t, precisely, gotten a decent one since Enfield. I don’t think its following me, but, y’know, this job weighs on you. Monsters don’t need to chase a hunter down.
His or her mind will do that all by itself.
September 16th, 2018
Something is following me. I chalked the slinking shadow at the edge of my vision up to a psychotic break before, but I’ve had a solid 12 hours of sleep since then.
I keep catching glimpses out of the corner of my eye. It’s some shadow creature stalking me. Seems content to hide in plain view at the edges of vision. But things that attach to people rarely stay passively benign. This creature, whatever it is, will likely become malignant at some point and it’ll be better to figure out what it is well before then.
What I know so far:
It’s a shadow. Light bends around it and doesn’t pass through it.
Humanoid in shape (ain’t seen it well enough to discern more).
It’s big. At the distances I’ve seen its fleeting form, I’d guess it’s well over 9 feet tall.
What I don’t know:
How dangerous is it?
Does it possess a corporeal form?
Can it exist in bright daylight?
September 17th, 2018
I’m not going mad. I caught a better look at the thing following me (and it is following me as I’ve changed up where I’m staying). It’s a tall shadow of a person wearing either a fedora or cowboy hat. Something with a wide brim. It was standing out in the open and I asked a passerby if they also saw it.
They did, but only for a moment. They said that it was gone in a blink.
When I looked back, it was gone.
I know I’ve been feeling a sense of dread since leaving Enfield, but looking at this pit of light left me feeling uneasy. That’s also putting it lightly. I’ve felt despair before, the ghost that was my introduction to the supernatural world certainly needled that particular button, but this was different.
It’s like when I looked at it, all I could feel was a foreboding dread. And it was something that I can’t shake.
September 18th, 2018
Did some digging into the forums last night when I found I couldn’t sleep. Shadows are far from a new thing. They’ve been around for centuries and seeing one is usually the end of it. My case is slightly more harrowing as its attached itself to me and is getting closer. I changed motels again, though I’m hesitant to leave town entirely incase it is a spirit.
Weirder things’ve happened.
Things I’ve learned from my distant friends and prowling the internet:
Shadows are often harmless.
There’s a number of classifications of shadow people.
The Hat Man, the type stalking me, is the least prevalent and most likely to do something other than creeping jump scares.
There’s a running, and popular, theory that shadows, and Hat Man specifically, are a type of specter or ghost. That means searching into the local lore and finding what’s haunting me.
Preferably before this dreadful spirit gets too close to me. It started down the street, but now that I’m spotting it more often and more directly, it’s getting closer.
September 20th, 2018
Jamesville, Colorado might be the most boring town to exist this side of the Atlantic. I pulled information from the local library, went down every Wikipedia rabbit hole, and even tried to find useful reviews of the place.
It’s big enough to have two stop signs and a town square with a couple lights, but nothing has happened in the last 60 years. Even then, the death was ruled an accident.
And now I’ve dug that poor guy up (no easy feat in rocky soil), salted, and burned his bones just to be thorough and wasted a night’s rest to try and put an end to this Hat Man.
AND IT DIDN’T FUCKING WORK.
Hope the nap doesn’t kill me.
September 21st, 2018
Still here. Nap turned into an early, super early, night. Must’ve been more exhausted than I thought. I’m stumped and the Hat Man has migrated to standing, menacingly, a couple dozen feet from me. Its not even masking its presence any longer, like some weird, foreboding storm front.
Other people can’t see it any more so maybe my mind’s finally fractured.
September 24th, 2018
Here’s the good news: it’s gone. I spent a day just driving around town in an aimless attempt to find something I hadn’t already found. Then, when I started seeing it in my rearview, I got out of town. I ran. For a second time.
I got the hell out of Jamesville and moved on down the road. I didn’t stop for anything other than bio and fuel for near on… two days. Once I hit the point of not being able to go any longer, I pulled off the road and crashed.
When I woke it was right outside my window. This hovering, looming, heavy, dark shadow. I felt pinned to my seat as it leaned forward (don’t ask me how I knew a flat, black shadow was leaning forward) and a moment later it passed through my window and touched me.
I’d read where sometimes Hat Man is a purveyor of future events and I’d dismissed that. I’m not sure I can dismiss it any longer.
It pushed its head(?) to mine and I had a flash. I was somewhere I didn’t recognize, some motel with crappy carpet and a red numbered digital clock, and Colby called. He asked me to go to Arcadia. I said “no.” During the conversation, the clock ticked from 2:43 to 2:44 and then to 2:45. I hung up and Colby called again. The conversation started over.
It took me a couple times through to notice that the clock snapped back to 2:43 at the start of the conversation. I’m not sure what witchcraft that guy is playing at, but it seems like time wasn’t outside of his realm of control.
And that scares me.
If this comes up, as a true preview of the future, I’ll say “no.” again.