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The Man in The Fedora Hat and Other Stories

Rebecca Lawson, TX, USA
November 2000

I have many ghost stories, some you may not believe, others you may believe totally. Some are not even scary at all. Let me explain my reasonings:

My family has always been plagued with ghosts. It's no big deal for us. You've seen one, then you've seen one. If not, well, you're one of the lucky ones...

My family is a conglomeration of Blacks, Mexicans, and Native Americans. A lot of our past has tragedy. We are known from time to time in our history to be accused of being witches, which in some cases is not true...

What I'm saying is, YOU be the judge of the validity of my stories.

(The following stories are about me mostly; if you need more I can tell you ones from my sister and mother and father, as well as other family members whose spiritual relation is much more-- pliable than ours...)

When my mother was pregnant with me, a horrible wreck happened outside of our house. My parents tried to save them, using up every towel and sheet in the house. It was a drunk driver. "I don't want to die!" he was shouting. My father thought he was talking to him. "S'okay, man. You're not going to die. We won't let you." The man looked at my father. "I'm so sorry!," he said. "Are the other people alright?" My father looked over to the other car. "Yeah, man. They're fine.", he lied. The man began to get weaker. "I don't want to die," he kept repeating. "I don't want to die." My father looked at the towel in his hands and found that it was soaked with blood. HE knew there was no hope.
The man looked into the sky, and became quiet, as if he was listening to someone. "Oh, okay," he said,"Alright." The man died. The man had on a fedora hat...
(If you're wondering where the police are, well honestly, the police don't seem to come too fast when you're Black...or any other minority for that matter.)

I was born that spring. We had moved because by then the spirits had gotten quite out of hand. But I wasn't at speaking age yet. 1983--I was 3 years old, and was still in my crib. My crib was in my parent's room; we were poor and only had a two bedroom apartment. My mother worked nights and would come in at midnight. Before she got into bed, she would always do exercises. I would wake up in the process and watch her.

One night, I woke up to her doing some aerobic exercises. I was a little confused, because right next to her was a man...and he was mocking my mother, doing the same exercises my mom was doing! My daddy was in bed, I could see that from the crib.
Let me say now that it wasn't quite a man--that is, I saw the outline of a man. Inside the outline was what looked to be the static from the T.V. screen...

"Mommy, who's that?" I asked. She continued her exercises. "Who's who, honey?" I pointed over my crib bar. "Who's that man next to you? He's making fun of you." She stopped her exercises and looked next to her. I could tell she could see something, but not *really* something...get it? "Go back to bed, honey." "But mommy, who--" "Don't look at him. Pretend he's not there. Go to sleep." I laid back down. From then on in that apartment, I saw that man at my crib, watching me. I'd close my eyes tight so as not to see him...

We moved when I was 6 to another house. Things would happen to me there...


When I was 7, I had my hair braided straight back. I thought it was fun to take my braids and drop them down behind my bed off the pillow. So that's how I slept.

One night, I was awakened by something tugging my hair. I got scared and tried to jump up, but that something jerked my braids and I laid back down. This time the something had my hair so tight that I couldn't get my head off the pillow! I started screaming bloody murder and my parents came running. It didn't let go till they got into the room.

"What's wrong?! What's wrong?!" My dad asked. Since it had let me go I jumped into my dad's arms. "Daddy, something's under my bed! Something grabbed my hair and pulled it!" I was in hysterics. He gave me to my mother and dropped to his hands and knees to look under the bed. Nothing There. "BUT THERE *WAS* SOMETHING!" I said. "It's okay, baby I believe you," my daddy said. "You can sleep in our room tonight."

I had alot of problems in this house because there was a 6ft (I swear) Cabbage Patch kid that used to chase me at 1 in the morning. I *never* got any sleep in my own room. My parent's room was way on the other side of the house and I would have to sprint through the livingroom, diningroom & kitchen to get there. No one's ever seen this one but me.


We moved from that house to the house my mother currently still stays in, over in a neighbourhood called Redbird. I was 12 then. Our house wasn't old--It was built in 1968. The previous owner was a well-known drug dealer who owned clubs all around town. The house was beautiful--4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths. Livingroom, Den and Diningroom.

My first experience was when I was 16. Blessedly, the last 4 years had been uneventful for me.

My sister had divorced her second husband and was living back at home (She was 31 at the time). My parents decided to go out of town for 3 weeks, leaving us in the house alone. My sister--also being a scaredy cat like myself--took it upon herself to sleep in my parent's room. My room was directly across the hall from there.

Being two young ladies at the time, we were paranoid of rapists and murderers, so the truce was "If you lock your door, I'll lock my door" kind of thing. Okay, on with this...

I was sleeping peacefully when I felt someone's hands under me. When I finally came to, I had been lifted up in the air over my bed (I have a metal canopy--I was pretty high off the bed because I could see the top of the canopy under me.). This thing dropped me when I saw I was awake, and I hit the bed hard. Then it slapped me as hard as it could in my face. I got up (after about 4 seconds of shock--how DARE you hit me?! Oh wait yeah that's right you're a ghost!) and ran to my door, which I had to unlock, then I ran across the hall to where my sister was sleeping. I started banging on the door with both fists. "LET ME IN!" I shouted. "URSI, please!!!" She opened the door. "Whatwhatwhatwhat WHAT!" "I can't sleep in there... please let me sleep in here with you!!!" She sighed and rolled her eyes. "WHY must you do this?! I have to get up in the morning!" "Please, Ursi. Go in my room and tell me something's *not* going on." I asked her to do this because, as I've said before, we have a habit of being witches in my family. That blood has rubbed into being a little psychic...
"Okay okay." She went into my room. "Hmph...something *does* feel a little off in here..." Then it (the feeling) hit her hard. She dropped to her knees and started saying the Lord's prayer. She said it over and over till she didn't feel anything anymore. I slept with her in our parent's room till they came back home...

When I was 19, I went to go see the Sixth Sense. Well, this movie scared the beejebers out of me and my boyfriend. I went home and started sleeping with my light on. I slept with my light on for two weeks--that is, until the lights woke me up at 3:10am. I heard this loud buzzing and felt heat so I woke up. When I opened my eyes, my lights--regular white lights--were slowing changing from green to blue, blue to green. I was paralysed in fear, and was sweating (not from fear--I don't usually sweat, I perspire.). Then I jumped up and ran out of the room, and got my mother. She came in and said out loud "The only spirits welcome in this house are God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ!"
My stepfather (ewww) said that immediately when she said that, something black and cold came into their room, and sat upon him in the bed. The power of the name Jesus Christ worked. That evil thing couldn't stay in the same room where the name had been invoked!

It was mainly the lamp that was doing it. It did it about 3 or 4 more times that month, so I unplugged it.

My boyfriend spent the night with me later on that week. At 3:10am (It always seems to happen at 3:10am...something about the witching hour?? Go figure.) My boyfriend wakes me up. "Baby, can I sleep by the wall????" "Huh? No. Go back to sleep." He's shaking me again, frantically. "Baby, let me sleep near the wall." "NO! Go back to sleep." He ignored me and climbed over me and got real close to the wall. He grabbed me and pulled me close to him. I had never even opened my eyes.

When we moved in together I told him the story of the lights and he told me "That's why I was trying to get by the wall that night!!! I didn't want to tell you cause I didn't want to scare you!!!"

I told you my stories weren't really that scary. There are many others that I have that are about my other family members--like how everyone says I got my name, and the bull-monster thing that chased my aunt and her kids down the street--that are tons and tons more eerie. I plan on putting them on here soon, but I just wanted to give you the ones about me. One more, and then I'll go, honest. This one's recent, like 6 months ago kind of recent--

I'm not Catholic. I don't know Latin. My choir sings gospel music. I had a dream. In the dream there was a choir there, and they were saying "Salve pre' gina" (I can't spell Latin, either). I woke up the next morning, and, since I wasn't going to school that morning, went into my mother's room to watch her get ready for work. "Mom, I had a dream where a choir was singing and they said 'Salve pre gina'. I wonder what that means." She turned and looked at me and smiled. She was in the closet getting her clothes ready. "That means 'Pray for your salvation.'" I kind of cocked my head to the side. "You sure?" I asked. I never knew my mom knew Latin. She winked. "Look it up. Find out for yourself."

Two weeks later after going to my school's library and looking it up, I came to her again in the morning. "You remember I told you about that Latin dream and you said it meant 'Pray for your salvation'? Well I looked it up and you were right. How'd you know that?" My mom stopped putting on her make up. "What are you talking about?" I re-told the dream. I re-told our conversation that other morning. But my mother looked very confused. "You must be mistaken," she said "Because I don't know Latin." I became faint. I sat down on her bed. I could feel my heart beating in my ears. "But you told me--" I started. She came and sat next to me and shook her head. "Honey I couldn't have told you. I've never taken a Latin course in my entire life. There's no *way* I could have told you that."

I hate that story because I keep thinking back "Did I *really* talk to her?" and what gives me a headache is that I WAS talking to her! Why then does she not remember? Is this a sign from God? Do I need to "pray for my salvation (salve pre gina)"? AM I IN SOME TYPE OF SPIRITUAL TROUBLE?!

Then again, maybe I'm insane and I need to head to the crazy farm. Eh, well.


When I was 2 months old, my parents decided to cut off the lights in the room as it was time to go to bed. Every time they'd turn them off, they'd be turned back on! They figured it had something to do with me.

"No no, now," my mother would say. "Time for bed." And cut off the lights.

I am now 20 years old. I really began to turn off lights without touching them when I began puberty.
It just so happens that on my mother's side everyone has a sixth-sense--that is, they are clairvoyant. Everyone has a trick they can do. On my father's side there is a great Voodoo Priest who is my great-grandfather. But I stray from the point of this story.

The light thing is very hard for me to control. If I get too excited, they flicker and/or cut off. If I'm sad and crying, they turn off. If I'm angry they do the same.

No one but my family believed me--until my boyfriend came to live with me. ..

We were having a huge argument. What we were arguing about escaped me. But my anger came to it's peak, and I shouted a curse word loudly. Suddenly, his lamp shut off. He looked at me. "YOU and your stupid ghosts!" And he ran out of the room. "I'm sorry!" I called out after him.

The lamp didn't work for days. It wasn't the bulb--that was in fine and working order. There was no short--his father tried to fix it and found nothing wrong with it. It started back working a few days later.

It has begun to happen less and less, but every once in a it comes!!!!

My boyfriend's baby cousin can do it too! She's 2 years old, and when she wants her daddy really bad and she's crying, the lights go out! They make her start crying when they do that.


An online friend emailed and asked about my family. As I said in The Man With The Fedora Hat story my entire family sees spirits and have been accused for being witches and such in the past.

This friend inquired as to whether or not we had a common spirit we all saw (such as the Lasher spirit character created by Anne Rice). The following is my answer to this friend, as well as a story, as promised, about other members of my family...

I hope it is enjoyed. As I also stated in the previous story, feel free to email me with any questions or comments or whatever you'd like. I enjoy receiving emails and I do in fact reply to all...

There's not a common spirit that my entire family has seen, no. The reason for this is probably because #1, we all have different levels of "sight" and #2, we all live in different cities.

We're pretty sure that the hereditary gene that causes this "sight" is strongly linked to this weird insanity gene we seem to think I'm joking?

My family is filled to the brim with geniuses, people who can make their own pc games, people who write sci-fi novels, people who can tell you off the top of their head the square root of 925874632.
But there seems to be a thin line between being a genius, and being committed to the nut-house.

For example, my uncle is an agoraphobic who writes pretty neat sci-fi books. He's got a Ph.D. in some kind of science and in Trigonometry. But there's a problem. My uncle is also a paranoid schizophrenic. He hears voices, and they tell him to do bad things. He's always in and out of psychiatric wards. He can't work, and it's doubtful that he will ever marry.

It doesn't pay to be a genius in this family. I'm no genius. I mean, I'm smart, but my IQ isn't over 175...

Anyway, so these are the same people that are seeing things. Sometimes you have to wonder about their credibility--was it the meds that maybe made him see that? But I'm rambling. Here's a story. It's kind of lame, but...

It is said that the uncle I just mentioned used to do magic tricks and play with the occult. This was before I was born, so I've never seen what he can do personally. Anyway, my sister and my older cousin swear that when they were 12 and 13, he would sit them in his bedroom on his bed, facing the closet door. The closet door was one of those sliding types-- you know, not a hinged open-shut type. He would tell one of them to come and look in the closet. One of them would look all in the closet, even on the top shelf. Empty. Nothing there. Then he'd tell them to sit on the bed again. "Pick a hat," he'd say. "Any hat at all, any style, from any time, and I'll pull it out of this closet. Someone would pick a derby. Out would come a derby. Someone would pick a top hat. Out would come a top hat. WWII helmets, baseball caps, sombreros, ANYTHING they'd pick, he'd pull out of there! How's he doing that?? Finally, they got so scared they asked him to stop.

I know I know, not too scary, but my older cousins believe that this is the kind of stuff that made him go crazy. The closet was empty--where were the hats coming from?!
(By the way, we do not think that he's totally insane. We believe that, him being so smart and all, he's using more than the designated %10 of his brain, and is able to communicate with those in the spirit world...of course, we could be all insane, in which case whether or not to question his credibility becomes quite irrelevant, now, doesn't it?).


Okay, first let me say that Nun stories give me the creeps. I hated this story when first told to me, but I still laughed so hard that I had to let you guys in on it...

A distant cousin of mine recounted the following tale to me after my grandmother's funeral.

He was working the 3rd shift (graveyard shift) as a security guard at a retirement home in his city. He knew that the building was very old, but had been renovated to keep the tenants.

Every night he would make his rounds the same way, going into hall 'A', hall 'B' and then halls 'C' and 'D'.

Whenever he would go into hall 'C', he would go all the way to the end and turn back. On his way out of the hall, though, he'd feel someone staring at him and would turn around.

In one of the doorways at the far end of the hall, he would see a nun. Being cordial (as southerners here usually are), he'd say "Kinda' late to be up and about, isn't it, sister?" The nun wouldn't answer him back. After about a month of this anti-social behaviour, he shrugged her off to just being weird, and quit trying to speak to her.

Every night for six months, he and she would go through this!

Finally, he went to one of the orderlies there."Y'know, that nun on Hall 'C' sure does get on my nerves! Every night, she's peeking out of her room, looking at me!"

The orderly looked up from his paperwork."Huh? What nun??" "That nun, the one on Hall 'C'!" "But," the orderly said, "there are no nuns here. There haven't ever been nuns here since I've been here, and I've been here for 6 years!" My cousin quit the next day.

Curious about the original business in that building, turned out that it used to be a convent next to a church...

After THAT, my cousin no longer works the 3rd shift, nor is he a security guard any longer. THE PRIEST

My father just told me this story about a month or two ago...

There is a street in San Antonio (where the majority of my family is located) where there is an old Catholic church. It has a convent and a grave yard and is very big.

A cousin of ours lives across the street from that church. Many others who live in that neighborhood have experienced the same situation, which I will hence describe:

It was about 3am. My cousin was awakened by a figure standing at the end of the bed. It was a priest. His head was a ball of flames. In his hand he held a staff; the top of the staff was a crucifix (priests carry these all the time, but this particular staff's crucifix was UPSIDE DOWN!).

"Do not be afraid and do not speak," the figure said. "If you will follow me over to the church, "I will show you where my great treasure is buried."

My cousin inhaled and emitted a great scream, which immediately awoke her husband. The figure at the end of the bed disappeared from sight.

Now, if a priest with a fireball for a head came to you and told you he knew where some treasure was buried, would you follow him???


This story is from my father's mother.

When she was a young girl, my grandmother-- Ethel-- and her sister had piano lessons every afternoon. They would not get home until after dark, and even then they had to walk home.

They lived on a farm on a large bit of land, and far at the front of the land there was a gate you had to walk through, in order to get ON the land, and then out to the house.

They walked along the dirt road toward the farm, as they did every day. They were used to seeing people also along this road, although not many, as it was a tiny town.

Behind them they heard footsteps. They turned to see who it was and it was an old woman, barefoot and with long white hair.

They paid her no mind, and continued their walk in the same direction.

When they got to the gate, Ethel began to open the gate, with her sister still looking out to the road. Suddenly, Ethel's sister began screaming.


Not knowing why she was screaming, Ethel shoved the gate open and her sister ran past her, through it.


My grandmother sprinted towards the house with her sister. They did not stop until they made it into the house.

"What was all that about?" Ethel asked. "You didn't SEE that?" her sister replied.

Turns out the woman who was following them, had also followed them off the road towards the gate. When she got closer to the gate, her feet left the ground and she began walking on the air, towards my grandmother and her sister. When her sister began screaming, the woman was right over head. They never saw the apparition again.

Rebecca Lawson, TX, USA
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