Aww hell no
Today I am writing to you about one of my personal favourite Creepypasta creatures. I say creature as opposed to the story because while there is a story-ish element to this Creepypasta, its more about the creature than anything else. It puts me in mind of a less formal and less structured SCP log entry.
The reason this one is one of my favourites is that it creeped me out massively the first time I heard it. The combination of story craft (aka the use of less is more) and the images associated with the creature work very well to get right under the skin and cemented this creature as one that I will treasure.
I am, of course, talking about The Rake.
The Story (spoilers)
The Rake is a creature that is human-ish in form, in the sense that it’s bipedal, and has arms and a head. But it’s proportioned are different to ours and closer resemble ‘slender man’, with elongated limbs and a very thin appearance. Its facial features are never explained other than the black eyes. It seems to move faster than a human might and, as the ‘story’ around it states is prone to episodes of violence, though its motives are anyone’s guess.
The first recorded sighting comes from 2003, in the northeast of the USA, a strange human-like creature was spotted roaming the rural areas, however, the majority of records of this sighting were ‘mysteriously’ destroyed.
Despite this destruction, witnesses started to come forth, detailing their encounters with this strange, creature. Some would describe a feeling of fear on sighting the creature, others talked about getting a curious and almost playful vibe from the creature. But all it did was watch them.
By 2006, there numbered nearly two dozen accounts of encounters with the Rake, all the stories were near-identical, regarding how the creature behaved when seen.
A suicide note blamed the Rake, explaining that every night they would wake up and see the Rake at the foot of the bed staring at them. It never seemed to do anything, it just watched them. It was never there when they went to bed but always, they would wake up during the night and it would be there. They chose death rather than continue to wake up seeing the Rake.
Still, in 2006 another witness gave a detailed account about waking during the night and rousing her husband who then freaked out upon seeing the Rake at the foot of the bed The creature was facing away from them. The witness does not panic, instead, they describe a feeling of needing to help the creature.
They describe the creature a little more than other accounts, talking about it as if it’s deformed, or injured in some way. While the witness is watching their husband is freaking out and the Rake responds by coming uncomfortably close to the husband. It is silent during the encounter, just watching and invading his personal space.
It suddenly flees towards children’s bedrooms. The witness follows, worried for their children, she chases the Rake out of the house, but it’s too late for the children who have been fatally injured by the creature. The daughter says the creatures name before dying.
The witness explains that they left the home after this but returned and began trying to find out more about the creature. After four years they manage to find some of the accounts mentioned above, but nothing explaining history etc.
They do notice the pattern, that it tends to visit many times. The witness sets up recording equipment and unsurprisingly manages to record the Rake which is still visiting them while they sleep. The story ends with the witness admitting that she has recorded it speaking but has been too afraid to listen to what it has to say.
This works because of a point I made in a recent blog, less is more when it comes to horror.
We know next to nothing about this creature, we don’t even get a proper description of it. All we know is that it turns up and watches you during the night and in one instance, it tore a child to bits. Why does it do this? How can it visit so many people? Is there a whole herd of these things? Is it a person? What does it get from watching sleeping people? Does it need help but cannot communicate this?
We know next to nothing.
Secondly, it plays on a fear many of us had when we were children. That being that there was something scary in the bedroom while we slept. We are at our most vulnerable when we sleep, it’s pretty unsurprising that having something unknown and possibly predatory near us while we rest is unsettling. Have you ever put your foot outside the blanket only to tug it back in as your anxiety spikes The story of the Rake plays on that same fear.
The image that usually accompanies this story is blurry and very dark, it’s difficult to make out and deeply unsettling. An unknown creature in a place where we should be at our safest.
I recommend finding one of the many readings of this story on YouTube, it’s a great way to experience the horror of the Rake.