It's the early 1980's and I'm in grade 10. I play in the concert band and we do a performance at the school one evening in the late fall. It all goes well and I'm walking home by myself afterwards - I would say it's around 10:00pm. The town that I grew up in has a bunch of walking paths - it's dark out but the paths are well lit and perfectly safe. I was not on "high alert" at all - just happily moseying my way home like any other day.
I'm almost there...just one more gradual slope up a hill, over the bridge, turn right and I'm home. I reach the beginning of the long uphill slope to the bridge and I look up and stop dead in my tracks with an eerie sense of dread. It takes a few seconds to process why...there is a man standing at the top of the hill - probably 50 yards away just before the bridge...and he's looking at me.
It's not unusual to see other people along this path...it's fairly well traveled during the day. But it's night and there's no one else around...just me and this guy. Then I realize what made me stop so suddenly...I can only see his silhouette as the lights from the road behind him outline his shape. But he's standing there akimbo (hands on his hips) and...HE'S WEARING A FUCKING TOP HAT!
So all of this takes about a second to process and I realize I'm just standing there at the base of the hill looking up at him. I can sense something that can only be described as pure evil...I know he's looking right at me and, for a brief moment, I'm paralyzed. I can FEEL him looking at me.
My rational brain takes over and I'm able to step off the path and move behind some trees that block his view of me. I quickly go though my options...keep walking up the path because obviously my mind is playing tricks? Either I saw something that wasn't there or it's just some guy walking his dog, right? OK, so I slowly peek out from behind the tree and there he is...in the exact same spot, in the exact same stance, still looking directly at me and still wearing that goddamn top hat. Oh, and did I mention the sense of pure evil piercing though my very core? Yup, still there.
Option #2: Run like hell...which is what I did.
To this day, I still regret running away. It bothers me that I'll never know exactly who or what that was - waiting for me at the top of the hill, right before the bridge. Did it really happen? In my mind, absolutely. But I can't be sure. If it happened today, I would RUN up the hill towards him just so I could find out what it really was. If I ever see him again, I will. But it's been over 30 years and still no sign of him.
TL;DR: Walking home one night by myself, I saw Pure Evil in a Top Hat. I ran away like a bitch.