Top 10 places you're most likely to see the Hat Man

Everybody hears the stories of the Hat Man during O-Week, and many Carnegie Mellon freshmen are excited to have their first encounter. For the intrepid readers, I've compiled a list of the top 10 places you're most likely to find him!

1. The Steam Tunnels
This is the number one place you're likely to come across the Hat Man. There are many entrances to these tunnels. If you climb into them and root around for a while, you might notice a tall silhouette in the distance wearing a hat. To be certain it's him, turn off your flashlight and listen for the sound of a gentle scraping on the floor. Those are his long fingernails dragging against the floor! He is almost completely harmless in the steam tunnels, as that is his happy place.

2. Construction sites at dark
We all know the Hat Man loves nothing more than concrete and steel. If you're brave, you can hop the fence of any construction site on campus where you might find him gnawing away at an I-beam, or perhaps gleefully licking at the exposed foundation of a new structure. If you head over to the Skibo construction site, scratch the beams ever so gently, and you just might get his attention!

3. Wean Hall, first floor
Many people say that Wean was built to act a bomb shelter. This is not true! It was not designed to keep threats out, but rather to keep them in. Sometimes, the Hat Man misbehaves, and special members of the University staff are equipped to imprison him in the deepest basements of Wean during such episodes. But his time-outs never last! The Hat Man gets quite feisty when he can't see the moon for too many days, and the concrete can only withstand him for so long. He always gets free eventually. But hopefully, his prolonged period in the dark has taught him his lesson.

4. Behind the counter at the Exchange
He loves their sandwiches. Every so often, the employees of the Exchange will hurl a piece of deli ham at the floor to keep him sated. They keep him around because he eats the desiccated corpses of the mice from their mouse traps. Yummy!

5. Doherty basements
Ever wonder why the B, C and D levels of Doherty are so confusing? It's because this is where the Hat Man likes to sleep at night. So if you've ever been walking the basement, and you could swear that this hallway didn't go that way last time, just know that it might be because the Hat Man feels like being a tricky little boy. He loves to confuse the naïve freshmen who don't know their way around. Be careful though! If you spot a sign that points to the Doherty E level, WALK AWAY IMMEDIATELY. There is no E level to Doherty. If you see any such sign, you might spot a mysterious growth on the opposite wall. If this is the case, it is too late. You may try running, but it will likely not help. God save you.

6. Behind the walls of any Gates bathroom
This is how he travels. He slinks through the walls of Gates like a serpent, ducking amongst the wires and plumbing as easily a rabbit navigates the warrens of his burrow. If you hear a funny little scritch-scratching behind the walls, it means he's right there! Break through the walls and meet him. Break through the walls. Punch the drywall until he is free.

7. Walking To The Sky
There are seven human figures on Walking to the Sky. On a clear night, when the moon is full, you might spot an eighth. That's him! He likes to stand at the top, basking in the silvery light of the heavens. But be careful! If you make too much noise, you might interrupt his meditation. If you do that, sideways will suddenly become down and you'll fall all topsy-turvy across the cut until you run smack dab into a building. The Hat Man needs his moonlight like a fire needs fuel, and he doesn't take kindly to disturbances.

8. Jahanian Hall
What's that? You've never heard of Jahanian Hall? Of course you haven't, it doesn't exist yet! But the Hat Man isn't quite like the rest of us, so that doesn't stop him. Jahanian Hall is a Humanities building located approximately at the current site of Donner that will finish construction in 2037. If you're unlucky enough to live in Donner, you might notice some days that your hallway seems just a little too long, and you never quite reach your door. If this happens, you're about to enter Jahanian Hall! Don't fight it, just enjoy the ride. The walls of this yet-to-be structure will flicker in and out of existence, and if you try to speak, your mouth will fill with worms. So zip it, and listen for what the Hat Man has to tell you!

9. The Tartan Offices
Every Monday at 5 p.m., the staff of The Tartan meets in UC 314, because that is when the Hat Man comes. We turn off all the lights, save a single lone candle, and recite an incantation in a language that never existed. When we do that, the Hat Man arrives and whispers — oh how he whispers ever so gently — to tell us what we need to write about. Sometimes, he tells us to write something strange, and what we write ends up becoming true! One must always have faith that the Hat Man knows best. You too can join us, but only if your ears are sharp enough to perceive his message.

10. Your room! Right now!
He's there! Go check!!!!! Oh what, you don't see him? It must be because your eyes aren't allowing you to see him. Not everybody is ready to meet the Hat Man. But if you do, make sure to firmly shake his long, spindly hand and make direct eye contact with him. Any sign of cowardice will be catastrophic for you.