The San Antonio Hat Man


Dressed in a trench coat and fedora, a shadowy figure known as the Hat Man has frightened San Antonio residents for decades, but who is he and what does he want?

Last week, a San Antonio resident mentioned the Hat Man legend in the Paranormal section of He writes:

“I used to work at a McDonald’s on the west side of San Antonio. We were rolling out a new layout on the drive-thru menu board. Our supervisor wanted all her store managers to take a pic of the menu board and send it to her. So my store manager goes out there early in the morning and snaps the pic. After looking at it, she realized that in the pic there’s a dark figure with a hat on in the background. She says there were no cars in the drive-thru and definitely no one in a hat walking around while she was out there. We’re convinced it was the hat man.”

Here’s the pic in question:

san antonio hat man

Though the photo isn’t that impressive (at least in my opinion), the McDonald’s manager is one of many San Antonio residents who claim to have spotted the mysterious, hat-wearing figure.

Stacy’s Story

An article in the San Antonio Current, describes one woman’s childhood encounter with the Hat Man.

“According to Stacy, she was awoken one night by an uncomfortable sensation and felt eerily compelled to look out her bedroom window,” the Current reports. “As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, Stacy could clearly make out the outline of a humanoid figure standing behind the white picket fence that surrounded her yard. Though she couldn’t make out much in the way of features, she could clearly discern what she interpreted to be a pork pie hat atop the figure’s head.”

Stacy was naturally terrified, especially when the man began to sidle towards the house “in a strange sideways motion.” The child tried to rouse her sleeping aunt, but the woman wouldn’t stir. In fact, the aunt slept so deeply that Stacy wondered if she was in a trace. The shadow man eventually slinked away, but Stacy never forgot the terrifying experience. A few years later, she was shocked to discover a neighbor had also seen the Hat Man prowling around.

Visitor in the Night

Yet another San Antonio woman encountered the Hat Man in her childhood home. This woman was a teen when the figure appeared in her room in the middle of the night.

“I woke up and I saw a shadow figure standing in the middle of my room,” she writes. “It was facing me, staring at me, yet I could see no face. I do remember he was wearing a trench coat and a fedora hat. I remember thinking it was my father for some reason, although my father didn’t own a trench coat or a fedora.”

Convinced the man was her father, the woman repeatedly called out. The figure didn’t respond, but instead turned and walked away before eventually vanishing in the hallway.

“At that point I started yelling ‘DAD, DAD!’ and both my parents ran in to ask what happened,” the woman recalls. “I was sweating profusely and shaking, and I told them there was a man in my room with a coat and hat on and he was staring at me. This was a very real episode and thankfully I never had another encounter with the shadow figure.”

Several other people commented on the Current article, writing about their own encounter with the infamous Hat Man. Intriguingly, most were children at the time of the sightings. A coincidence or a clue?

Hat Man on Tour

Though the stories listed above occur in or around San Antonio, a Hat Man-like figure has appeared in other places as well. I’ve found at least three photos showing a shadowy figure meeting the Hat Man’s description: one at The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, AR, another in Tombstone, AZ, and a third in Australia. Is the Hat Man also a traveling man?

See also: Shadow People Photos

Have you encountered the Hat Man or something like him? Send your story to!

5 thoughts on “The San Antonio Hat Man

  1. Hat Men are more powerful versions of Shadow people. Some Occult Theorists think they’re the corrupted souls of people who died and went to Hell.

    They were recruited into Satan’s army as a type of demon-ghost hybrid. A Ghost with near demonic power. Stronger than a normal ghost but weaker than an actual full blooded demon.

    At least that’s the understanding of it in some circles. In Ancient Rome they classified malevolent, demon-like ghosts as Lemuers and grew stronger on the festival of Lemueria in May (note not all Lemuers are considered evil some are just angry spirits or tormented souls who did not receive the proper burial. The Dybbuks of Jewish lore are similar.

  2. Hmm this is interesting… Last winter my family and I went over to San Antonio for the holidays. It was my first time in Texas so I had little to no history of this kind of supernatural occurrences there. Going straight to the point, one night while we were staying at our relatives home I was in bed ready to sleep when I noticed something peeping through a window right next to the bed. It was a silhouette much like the figure above in the article. I could only see this figure from around the neck up due to the blinds of the window. At first I decided to ignore it not really wanting to question what it was be it normal or paranormal but then I realized we were in a bedroom on the second floor of our relatives house! At that moment I really became agitated… My heart began to beat faster, I was getting scared as I tried to make sense of how tall this figure had to be to reach that far up! Other thoughts inhabited me, maybe it was floating there, or maybe it was larger and resting on the rooftop of the house in front. Now I could have lied to you and invented some other ending to this story but I decided to keep it real hehe. Eventually I figured out what was what I was looking at. It turns out that window was right on top of the house main door/entrance which also had a small roofed porch and from it a roof lamp was hanged with a similar silhouette of a head with a hat, much like the image above. With that said after months from that clumsy scare I found this article and so it struck me the incredible resemblance of what I saw that night in contrast to the images above. Now I’ve seen and read info about inanimate objects becoming some sort of vessels for ghosts that might change form at point of contact but change back to normal after the ghost leaves. I am not saying that was what happened but it is interesting to think it might have been and that I was face to face with the infamous San Antonio hat man.

    • That’s funny. Objects cast all sorts of weird shadows. I think the picture at McDonalds is a normal object distorted by the drive-thru menu. However, if I ever go to San Antonio, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for The Hat Man. 🙂

  3. this is crazy!..cuz i too seen sumthing similar when i was a young boy in my childhood cousin was staying the nite..for sum reason i woke and turned over..when i looked towards the restroom i saw this figure standing there..and yelled my cousins name..armondo!!..armondo!!…iand he woke and saw it too..he started crying..and i just told him cover your head..we both did..and feel back to sister who was in the next bed never woke..and i was screaming from the top of my lungs..

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