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The Man In The Top Hat


In the summer of 2012, my family took a holiday to Brittany, in the north of France, and rented a caravan in a local site. Frankly, the site was beautiful, a nearby beach, nice sports facilities, a large pool and a brilliant restaurant. For the first few nights things were great. I slept well, had a good time during the day and was truly beginning to relax.

Then my younger brother, who was 6 at the time, began to say things that particularly unnerved us. One night we went to the bar for dinner, and began to watch the Euro 2012 final, a football match. Over dinner, conversation was flowing, and we began to debate whether death was really "it", or if you could carry on afterwards. My younger brother then told us that he believed you could go on after death. We all shot him a funny look, he rarely offered his opinion on anything, and on a subject like this we expected him to be terrified. But he sat in his chair, resolute as ever, and told us that he believed that.

When asked why he told us about the man he talked to last night. He said that the man had told him he was already dead, but he was not gone. My dad, quite a spiritual man by all accounts, probed him further. All my brother would say was that the man wore a top hat and a trench coat.

The next day we didn't mention it, and had all but forgotten. We had dinner outside the caravan, and my little brother got himself grounded, and my mum ordered him to his room. He refused. He told us he would go to any other room but his. My dad looked worried. He escorted my brother into the caravan and put him in my room. He looked uncomfortable coming back outside. It was a warm day, but Dad said he definitely felt a chill.

Being a fathers boy, when dad said he was sleeping in my brothers room, I jumped at the chance to join him. I took top bunk, he took bottom, and both of us fell asleep almost instantly. No man in the top hat.

When waking up in the morning, we noticed nothing askew. Over breakfast however, we became unnerved. Dad told me he dreamed he was drowning, as if he was deep under the water and he was folded up, limbs pinned to his chest. I had the same dream. It was at this stage we were unwilling to carry on in that caravan.

That day my gran, who is a devout Irish catholic, and had come on holiday with us and her husband, came for lunch. She reported a cold feeling from my brothers room, and told us to stay away from it. She knew nothing about our experiences in the caravan.

Although not particularly scary, this experience deeply unnerved us all, and I felt I had to share it.


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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, r0ss7, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

alexreed (4 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-27)
i hear stories like these all the time and the apparition seems to only affect children look it up on google
tinohoang (13 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-21)
a 6 year old just can't come up and fabricate a story like that unless he was actually seeing the figure.
r0ss7 (1 stories) (2 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-19)
icec0rpse, if it is a sign as you say it is, I certainly hope we escaped it. The man in the top hat has not been sighted by any of us since, so here's hoping.
r0ss7 (1 stories) (2 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-19)
I should perhaps mention that our trip to Brittany was preceded by a three-day stay in Ypres, a major First World War battlefield, and then an overnight stop in Cherbourg, the main French stop for the Ocean liners, like the Titanic. Perhaps there's a link? My Grandmother has always believed in another life after death: maybe she can sense them. As for the conversation at dinner, drowning was never mentioned. I agree, six year olds can be impressionable, but children are though to be sensitive to the paranormal, as such it cannot be dismissed as a figment of his imagination. Hope this helps!
icec0rpse (1 stories) (2 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-18)
The man in the Top Hat is a story I've heard before from a close friend. He said he'd seen him many times for many years. Says that the shadow figure follows people wherever they go. As of late (last 3 years) hes made no mention of seeing him. He has made peace with his life recently... Maybe he has rid himself of the entity. One thing is for sure, seeing that entity is a sign. My friend was hit by a car one night when he was going home from drinking at a bar in the winter. He died twice but was brought back, he currently lives with brain trauma and PTSD. He wakes up screaming or gasping for air just about every night. But... He doesn't see the black figure anymore.
zetafornow (4 stories) (447 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-17)
elfstone: never thought that you were contradicting me but rather stating your experience with that as a child that of which I totally appreciate. The only way we learn different ideas and concepts is by reading someone elses experiences; part of the reason I come to this site. I was also curious as a child but I was more drawn to being frightened and would rather not discuss it particularly at the mere age of six. Thank you for your response and different opinion about this. PS... Never have I been considered "normal" either. 😉
elfstone810 (227 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-17)
Zeta, I wasn't contradicting you.:) I just personally, as a small child, never even considered the idea that there was nothing beyond death. I actually remember when it hit me that we don't actually KNOW what happens to us when we die. That revelation didn't so much scare me,though, as make me curious.

I've never been accused of being normal, though.;)
zetafornow (4 stories) (447 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-17)
elfstone...interesting concept. I speak only from my own experiences and I know that although I experienced paranormal at a young age, I did not want to think about or discuss death. It was very frightening to me and to most kids that I have known to be six-years-old. With that being said, I do appreciate your views and experience.

elfstone810 (227 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-17)
Little kids can have some surprisingly sophisticated ideas about life and death. I was maybe four when I got into my first theological debate. The (6y/o) neighbor girl and I were having a funeral for a dead baby chick when she said that now God could take it up to heaven. Being a very pragmatic child, I countered that God might take its soul, but its body was going to lay in the ground and rot. We wound up digging it back up and burying it in a taped-up shoe box. A week later we dug it back up and the body was completely decayed. I said, "see? It rotted." She said, "see? God took it!" We never did settle the argument.

Just saying...
zetafornow (4 stories) (447 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-17)
I think your younger brother may have been influenced by the conversation that took place. You state that your family was discussing whether or not death was just it or if we carried on. Now to adults that may be an appropriate conversation but to a six-year-old he may have really been influenced by that and tried to tell a story to make himself feel better. Just an idea. I mean who at six wants to believe death is it... In fact, who at any age wants to believe that. As far as the dreams go... Could be something paranormal could be a coincidence. Were you all discussing anything that had to do with drowning? But I do believe you had something paranormal going on with the coldness and strange vibes that were coming from the house and even the grandma noticed. Sometimes we don't always have to "see" paranormal but merely the feeling alone is enough.

Good luck,zeta.
sds (14 stories) (1436 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-17)
Hello r0ss7, I feel that the caravan might have been haunted. That is quite strange that you and your dad had the same dream the same night. But did you ask anyone, the person who rented you the caravan whether it is haunted.

Thanks for sharing.

Regards and respects to you.

crf1997 (2 stories) (44 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-16)
Woah that's pretty cool (and terrifying), that you and your father had the same dream. I have never heard of that happening before. Also, can your grandma sense paranormal activity?
Thanks for sharing! ❤

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