Urban Legends

The Rake Urban Legend

Urban legends circulate through communities. Many date back centuries. While they may or may not be true, they are compelling. One of those fire-side-must Urban Legends is that of The Rake. In this blog, we explore this Urban legend, its origins, and why it has captured the imagination of so many.

From this blog forward the terms Urban Legends and Creepy Pastas will be interchangeable.(ProbeNote: Creepy Pastas refer to those stories created and/or told over the web. Different from Urban Legends in that many of the creepy stories available on the internet are user generated not shared by word-of-mouth)

The Story

This is known as the Berwick Monster, but the image is often used to illustrate The Rake’s appearance.

The Rake is a creature said to be about six feet tall, with pale, smooth, hairless skin, and long  sharp claws. Individual eye-witness accounts describe it as having a humanoid shape, with a hunched back, dagger-like teeth, and glowing eyes. Some versions of the legend also suggest The Rake can shape-shift. Others say it can read people’s thoughts and communicate with them telepathically. 

The origins of the Rake legend are murky, and there is no consensus on where or when the story first began. Some people believe the legend has its roots in ancient folklore, while others think it is a modern creation via the web. Whatever its origins, The Rake has become a popular urban legend, with countless people sharing stories and sightings of the creature world-wide.

Eye Witness Account

One such sighting sent chills up and down my spine. 

In 2000, a woman and her family, returning from a trip over Labor Day reported seeing The Rake. She and her husband had put their young daughter to bed after an exhausting day. In the early morning hours, the woman woke, sensing a strangeness. She reached for her husband. He turned toward her, gasped, and backpedaled to the farthest corner of the bed.

The Rake watches you sleep.

He yanked her to his chest. Behind her, sitting on her side of the bed, hunched a hairless, faceless, white creature. It’s body movements were not those of a human. It stared at them. They stared at it. It shrieked, crawled off the bed like a disjointed apparition, and ran toward their daughter’s room.

Fearing for her child, the woman ran after it and found it squatted over her daughter. It was covered in blood, as was the daughter. “The Rake,” the daughter murmured and closed her eyes. The women screamed. 

She and the husband were racing to the hospital when their car went out of control, plunged off a bridge and into the nearby lake. The wife survived. Her husband did not. There is no other mention of the daughter. 

The Question

Was The Rake trying to warn the mother to the daughter’s danger, or had it inflicted harm to the young girl? It didn’t try to harm the wife or husband.  


A screenshot from “The Host,” an episode of The X-Files. Fair Use Copyright Fox.

Perhaps, one reason the Rake has captured the imagination of so many is its versatility. A person, a writer, or film-maker can adapt The Rake to fit many scenarios, from a creature that stalks people in the woods to a monster that attacks people in their homes. This adaptability has allowed the legend to spread throughout the world, with people from all walks of life, and different countries, sharing their own personal experiences about the creature.

The Rake bears some resemblance to Flukeman created by Chris Carter for season 2, episode 2 of the X Files, titled “The Host.”

While there is no evidence to suggest such a creature actually exists, the stories and sightings of the Rake continue to proliferate. Whether the Rake is a product of our collective imaginations or something more sinister, this Urban Legend nudges the fringes of prime time creepiness.

My Encounter

When I was a child, I woke one night to find this creature perched on my chest.

After researching, The Rake, I realized the creature I’d seen as a child—who I thought was an Elemental—was actually The Rake. Read the full account by clicking here.

You stand at one of them doors thinking something’s behind it — nothing’s behind it. It’s waiting for you upstairs, it’s waiting for you downstairs. It’s standing behind you.” From Michael McDowell’s classic supernatural tale, The Elementals,

Clara Bush
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7 replies on “The Rake Urban Legend”

I encountered the rake at 1:30 while smoking a cigarette it literally hid behind a tree and watched me for a sec then made a loud screech like nothing I’ve ever heard before in my life definitely not a fox nor anything else that describes a animal whatsoever I thought my eyes were messing with me but I took my headphones off and heard the creature and instantly ran back inside i was shaking scared as hell and definitely not going back outside at night ever.

That is so creepy, Dwayne! Thank you for sharing your story. Gave me the chills. It’s scary to imagine what creatures watch us from their shadowy hide-outs. —Clara

Hi Clara. I’ve been searching all over and finally I found someone who’s actually witnessed the monstrous nightmare that is The Rake. I’ve read your account and the creature might resemble an elemental, but then again so does The Rake, doesn’t he?
All I can say is that people’s fears are well justified. The testimonies were right, they had been correct to worry that he would reappear, because that’s just what he does (or what It does, more appropriately). First It lets you feel that uneasy feeling of bot being alone when you thought you in fact were, or of someone watching you, stalking you, haunting you. That is the first stage, and it could take anywhere between a few hours to years and years. Then, if you’re unlucky enough, It takes an interest in you. I don’t know if It’s intelligent, if whatever captured Its attention had been the result of some aware and conscious cognitive process, or if It’s just like a predator beast and does what it does without actual self-consciousness. I only onow that once it happens – you start seeing It. It doesn’t always choose the edge of your bed, for me It was sitting right beside me, drilling into my very sould with Its nightmarish eyes. I woke up to give my baby daughter her nightly bottle, and instead of the darkness of my bedroom and the steady rhythm of blinking lights coming from the baby monitor – I saw those two eyes staring at me. I don’t even even know if calling them eyes is right, I mean they say eyes are is the window to the soul and I can promise you that hideous tormentor has no soul. My first reaction was pure instinct, I screamed and jumped from my bed, my back against the wall. I couldn’t move. I managed to close my eyes, cowering like a frightened child, but I could still feel Its gaze on me, in me, through me… the next thing I heard was my frustrated wife asking why I wasn’t doing anything about the crying baby. I opened my eyes and It was gone. I don’t know if it disappeared into thin air (fan It even do that?) or if it walked away, perfectly silent, when I was closing my eyes trying to will myself away from there. I didn’t say anything ofc, I wouldn’t want my wife to think I went crazy…
That was all a couple of years back. Since then we’d relocated to another country and our daughter started daycare. One day the nice guy caring for the kids there gave me a bag with some of her drawings. When we got home I took them out to have a look. Ine of them was It, I swear to god it was. The defirmed shape, the head, those two accursed eyes… I asked her where had she seen that thing, but all she kept doing wqs giggling and saying “silly daddy!”. I lost it. I started yelling, kicking furniture, I took out a lighter and burnt that drawing. When I came out of my trans-like state I saw my wife spilling water buckets on the curtains, then frantically checking our daughter for burns. I almost burnt my house down with my family in it and I didn’t even realize it, I was too busy being completely and utterly horrified of that thing.
I am now in a cheap motel, which is all I can afford. My wife is suing for full custody, as well she should. My daughter is afraid of me, and the police have warned that the next time I call to report a wide-black-eyed creature sitting at me bed, watching and menacing me, I’ll be arrested for harrassment and interfering with the work of police officers. I don’t know if It knows what It’s doing to me, if Its behaviour is deliberate or just “natural”. I do know that It’s been “visiting” me every night since my wife and daughter left. And it might just be the sleep deprivation and anxiety pills, but I’m almost certain It’s taunting me, mocking me and the pain and misery It has caused me. But I’m not going to wait for it to kill me one night, oh now. I’m tired of all this and I ain’t going to make life easy for it. Today I’ve bought some weapons. Tonight I’m going to take it down or die trying. Wish me luck.

Hello Nitzah, your story blew my mind. I read it and had to wait a couple days to let it sink in. Questions came to me. (1) Did this really happen to you? (2) Or, are you just a great storyteller. In either case, thank you for sharing. It’s truly horrifying. And please be careful and keep those close to you safe. At this point, we don’t know if The Rake is evil or an elemental, sent to warn us of things to come. I’m sorry for the misfortunes the Rake has caused you. —Clara

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