. Black Hat .


by Philip Wallace

A short burst of ghostly visitation checked and verified

IIt was near the 4th of July in 1976. The actual date has been forgotten, but the Bicentennial fervor was at fever pitch. Red, white, and blue was everywhere. Missy’s overalls bore those colors. Her mother had even made a matching pair for the doll she liked to play with every afternoon. The sun was going down and the slanting rays revealed dust shadows in Missy’s room. Her doll was just about to decide it was time to take a nap when the room suddenly went darker. Four-year-old Missy looked up from the doll’s bed and only saw black.

It was the black trousers of a man. She looked up and it was a very tall man. He was dressed completely in black. He even had a black hat. His head was turned to one side and Missy could not see his face. She was startled, but not afraid. The man could be somebody visiting her parents. Maybe he was some relative she had never met. Then he turned his face to her and Missy screamed and ran. The man in the black hat was missing his face and instead of feet, he had horse’s hooves!

Missy’s mother was in the kitchen when Missy ran up to her and buried her face in her lap. Her mother asked her what was wrong and finally figured out that Missy had seen a man with no face in her bedroom. Missy’s mother grabbed a pistol from her purse and began to walk down the hall. She peeked into her daughter’s room to find it empty. She sighed with relief and was about to chalk the whole incident down to her daughter’s imagination when Missy screamed again. Missy’s mother turned around and saw what looked like a black coattail vanishing into the living room.

The summer of 2003 in Tennessee was starting to heat up to its usual state. There are highs in the 90’s with a chance of a thunderstorm every afternoon. It has been that way for eternity. Every year as a boy I would visit my grandmother during the summer and the tradition has remained with my daughter visiting her grandmother. We pulled into Grammy’s driveway and my 4-year-old daughter Emma grabbed my sleeve and told me somebody was on the front porch of Grammy’s house. I hadn’t noticed anybody, but we were at the back of the house parking. I asked Emma if she was sure and she said yes. Anybody visiting Grammy would know to use the back door. The only people who ever used the front door were strangers. We went into the house and asked Grammy if anybody had knocked on the front door. She told us no. Emma went into the living room and said the man was still on the front porch. Maybe there was somebody there. I went to check. I couldn’t see anything from the windows. I started to open the front door and Emma told me not to open it. The man was scaring her. She ran to her bedroom and brought back her tee ball bat. I asked her if the man was still there and she shook her head yes. I tried to open the door, but it wouldn’t budge. Grammy told me that the door hadn’t been opened in years, but that it tended to stick.

I decided to go out the backdoor and try to catch the guy. When I made it around front, the man was gone. I asked Emma what he looked like. She told me that he was very tall and he was dressed in black. He even wore a black hat. It was strange, but not completely odd that some guy might be trying to sell Grammy something, or maybe he was looking for directions. What was strange was when Emma told me the man did not have any face and that his feet looked like horse’s hooves. It was just like the story my wife, Missy, had once told me.



We told Missy and Grammy about the man in the black hat making his encore appearance. Grammy went to praying again. Emma said she’d hit him with a stick if he showed up again. We asked some occultist friends what they thought about the situation. We were told that it must not be a malevolent spirit since he’s only appeared twice in 27 years and that it looks like Grammy had prayed him out of the house back in 1976. We were told not to worry too much about it, but for some reason men wearing black hats now scare me and I don’t even want to listen to Johnny Cash.

The above story is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and the man in the black hat.




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