xTwyla Kristine, BC, Canada
It was a rather warm night during the winter of 2002. At the time, I was living in a small town called Comox which is in the on the eastern part of the Vancouver Island coast. It would have been around 01:00am on a Sunday morning (though still Saturday night for those of us out at the beach). At the time I was seventeen years old. Prior to that night, I had some theories that there might be something more to the world than what I could see, but I really didn't "believe" in ghosts, spirits, or anything along those lines.
My parents were disinterested in the supernatural and, thusly, I was also such.
I had no religious background. There had been things that happened to me in my life that were unusual, but up until that point I'd always been able to give them logical explanations based in science, not the occult.
We were at an empty beach just outside of town. It was dark and it was late enough there were no house lights on within our view. The street was lined with trees. Our light came from the fire we had lit on the beach, the moon (which was nearing full), and the lone street light that I had parked my car under on the road.
Everyone was drinking in large quantities, save myself, as I was the designated driver for the night.
As the night wore on, it got progressively colder and I decided I would go back to my car to get a blanket for myself. I stood up from the fire and turned to walk towards the car. I got less than a couple of steps before stopping dead in my tracks. There was a man sitting in the drivers seat of the car. He was a figure that appeared to be created entirely of shadow but was still clearly the form of a man, wearing a fedora, staring out over the ocean. Convinced that my eyes were playing tricks on me I turned away. It was only the shadows, it had to be. But the shadows wouldn't cause the awful sick feeling I had in the pit on my stomach. I wouldn't be that instinctually terrified of shadows. I turned back to my car and the man was still there. I felt myself shaking but I couldn't seem to force myself to look away. Slowly he turned to look at me. When his gaze finally was resting on me, I was too scared to move or breath. I don't know how long I stood there, it might have been seconds, it might have been minutes. The next thing I knew one of my friends was trying to get my attention. I turned away for just a split second to talk to her and when I turned back the man was gone. I could not shake the feeling he had given me though.
The next day I started asking around about the beach and if anyone knew anything about the man. The stories were vague at best but everyone agreed that something bad had happened on that beach. No one knew what it was, but they could feel the emotional residue. Someone told me that the man I saw is a creature known as a shade and a very unpleasant type of spirit. Whatever it was, it made me believe in the supernatural world.
I've never come across anything like the man in the hat again, but I also have refused to ever go back to that beach.