Hi, I'd like to share my experience with you.
The first time I encountered this phenomenon was when I was around 22 years old. I'd experienced sleep paralysis only once before this and I didn't
see any 'shadow people' that time.
I was sat on my bed after eating twice the prescribed dose of sleeping pills I'd been given for insomnia at the time, with the intention to keep
myself awake, as I'd read somewhere online that the particular drug I was taking could cause hallucinations if you fight the urge to sleep.
After a while, the pattern on the curtain started to 'drip off' so I knew I was having some mild hallucinations. I didn't realise, but I must have
succumbed to the pills and fallen asleep, because the next moment I heard the sound of a strong wind start to build outside my bedroom door (it was
closed) - all of a sudden, the door burst open and with it came this almighty wind blowing in my direction, pinning me to where I was sat, and in the
doorway stood the figure of a man, entirely black and featureless, without a solid outline. It was motionless apart from a wavey or smokey looking
outline, and it had a red glow in the center of its chest.
I couldn't move, and this thing wasn't moving either - I was terrified, and somehow knew that there were more elsewhere in the house that I couldn't
I never forgot that experience but it wasn't until three years later that I had my second encounter with them. This time, I wasn't under the influence
of any drugs or alcohol or whatever.
It must have been the morning and an episode of sleep paralysis during waking - all I remember is waking up in my bed where I was, lying on my front
and the moment I tried to move and realised I couldn't, I heard that strong wind building up again. The door flew open and the wind came roaring in.
The figure stood in the doorway again, not doing anything - I was trying to scream to wake myself up (and because I was terrified!) but all I could
muster was a weak groan. The next thing I knew my friend was waking me up shaking me, saying I was staring at the door lying on my front, groaning
over and over again. Ha!
Fast forward to a few months ago, I'm discussing these experiences with my partner and she tells me there's a cool-looking documentary/film she'd seen
a trailer for, about sleep paralysis, which we should watch. I believe it was called 'The Nightmare' - we watched it and, despite being cheesey and
over-produced to enhance whatever feeling and story they're putting across, it was interesting to see quite similar recreations and, notably a few
people mention a figure wearing a rimmed hat as you describe. I've not witnessed the man in the hat, but it seems several people claim to have.
In fact, I think they say in the documentary that this hat-wearing figure seen by many during sleep paralysis, is what the character Freddie Kruger's
look was based on.
There's some interesting threads on this stuff already over ATS, and plenty of good research you can do online - but it seems most are divided on what
the phenomenon could be - a representation of certain feelings at the time? drug induced hallucinations? astral projection?
It's more fascinating than it is scary but somehow, when you experience it, you just want it to end right then and there because it's literally