A terrifying monster named the Rake initially gained momentum and notoriety as a Creepypasta. Similarly to Slenderman, the Rake may have begun in an author’s imagination but like pesky tulpas tend to do, it appears to have broken through into our reality because enough people believed. Like so many paranormal oddities, the Rake found its way to Wellesley. But before I tell you that hot mess, I thought it might be fun to go back to the Rake’s origin story – the CreepyPasta that unleashed this particularly scary monster into the world. So that we may all land on the same page before our next neighbor shares her harrowing encounter with the Rake, I’m going to read you the CreepyPasta that started it all – with a little side commentary because, as you’ve probably noticed, I have a hard time not interrupting. The link is in the show notes. So without further ado, here is, The Rake, first posted to Reddit almost exactly 12 years ago on April 27th 2009.
During the summer of 2003, events in the northeastern United States involving a strange, human-like creature sparked brief local media interest before an apparent blackout was enacted. Little or no information was left intact, as most online and written accounts of the creature were mysteriously destroyed.
Primarily focused in rural New York state and once found in Idaho, self proclaimed witnesses told stories of their encounters with a creature of unknown origin. Emotions ranged from extremely traumatic levels of fright and discomfort, to an almost childlike sense of playfulness and curiosity. While their published versions are no longer on record, the memories remain powerful. Several of the involved parties began looking for answers that year.
In early 2006, the collaboration had accumulated nearly two dozen documents dating between the 12th century and present day, spanning 4 continents. In almost all cases, the stories were identical. I’ve been in contact with a member of this group and was able to get some excerpts from their upcoming book. [Okay, so then they just jump right into the excerpts here – ]
[and first one is called] A Suicide Note: 1964
“As I prepare to take my life, I feel it necessary to assuage any guilt or pain I have introduced through this act. It is not the fault of anyone other than him. For once I awoke and felt his presence. And once I awoke and saw his form. Once again I awoke and heard his voice, and looked into his eyes. I cannot sleep without fear of what I might next awake to experience. I cannot ever wake. Goodbye.”
Found in the same wooden box were two empty envelopes addressed to William and Rose, and one loose personal letter with no envelope:
I have prayed for you. He spoke your name.”
[the second excerpt] A Journal Entry (translated from Spanish): 1880
“I have experienced the greatest terror. I have experienced the greatest terror. I have experienced the greatest terror. I see his eyes when I close mine. They are hollow. Black. They saw me and pierced me. His wet hand. I will not sleep. His voice (unintelligible text).” [shiver’s “wet hand” yikes]
[third] A Mariner’s Log: 1691
“He came to me in my sleep. From the foot of my bed I felt a sensation. He took everything. We must return to England. We shall not return here again at the request of the Rake.”
[and the final and most chilling excerpt] From a Witness: 2006
“Three years ago, I had just returned from a trip from Niagara Falls with my family for the 4th of July. We were all very exhausted after a long day of driving, so my husband and I put the kids right to bed and called it a night.
At about 4am, I woke up thinking my husband had gotten up to use the restroom. I used the moment to steal back the sheets, only to wake him in the process. I apologized and told him I thought he got out of bed. When he turned to face me, he gasped and pulled his feet up from the end of the bed so quickly his knee almost knocked me out of the bed. He then grabbed me and said nothing.
After adjusting to the dark for a half second, I was able to see what caused the strange reaction. At the foot of the bed, sitting and facing away from us, there was what appeared to be a naked man, or a large hairless dog of some sort. Its body position was disturbing and unnatural, as if it had been hit by a car or something. For some reason, I was not instantly frightened by it, but more concerned as to its condition. At this point I was somewhat under the assumption that we were supposed to help him. [yeah…. no…]
My husband was peering over his arm and knee, tucked into the fetal position, occasionally glancing at me before returning to the creature. [what the hell, right? That’s quite the useless reaction]
In a flurry of motion, the creature scrambled around the side of the bed, and then crawled quickly in a flailing sort of motion right along the bed until it was less than a foot from my husband’s face. The creature was completely silent for about 30 seconds (or probably closer to 5, it just seemed like a while) just looking at my husband. The creature then placed its hand on his knee and ran into the hallway, leading to the kids’ rooms. I screamed and ran for the lightswitch, planning to stop him before he hurt my children. When I got to the hallway, the light from the bedroom was enough to see it crouching and hunched over about 20 feet away. He turned around and looked directly at me, covered in blood. I flipped the switch on the wall and saw my daughter Clara.
The creature ran down the stairs while my husband and I rushed to help our daughter. She was very badly injured and spoke only once more in her short life. She said “he is the Rake”.
My husband drove his car into a lake that night, while rushing our daughter to the hospital. They did not survive.
Being a small town, news got around pretty quickly. The police were helpful at first, and the local newspaper took a lot of interest as well. However, the story was never published and the local television news never followed up either.
For several months, my son Justin and I stayed in a hotel near my parent’s house. After we decided to return home, I began looking for answers myself. I eventually located a man in the next town over who had a similar story. We got in contact and began talking about our experiences. He knew of two other people in New York who had seen the creature we now referred to as the Rake.
It took the four of us about two solid years of hunting on the internet and writing letters to come up with a small collection of what we believe to be accounts of the Rake. None of them gave any details, history or follow up. One journal had an entry involving the creature in its first 3 pages, and never mentioned it again. A ship’s log explained nothing of the encounter, saying only that they were told to leave by the Rake. That was the last entry in the log.
There were, however, many instances where the creature’s visit was one of a series of visits with the same person. Multiple people also mentioned being spoken to, my daughter included. This led us to wonder if the Rake had visited any of us before our last encounter.
I set up a digital recorder near my bed and left it running all night, every night, for two weeks. I would tediously scan through the sounds of me rolling around in my bed each day when I woke up. By the end of the second week, I was quite used to the occasional sound of sleep while blurring through the recording at 8 times the normal speed. (This still took almost an hour every day)
On the first day of the third week, I thought I heard something different. What I found was a shrill voice. It was the Rake. I can’t listen to it long enough to even begin to transcribe it. I haven’t let anyone listen to it yet. All I know is that I’ve heard it before, and I now believe that it spoke when it was sitting in front of my husband. I don’t remember hearing anything at the time, but for some reason, the voice on the recorder immediately brings me back to that moment.
The thoughts that must have gone through my daughter’s head make me very upset.
I have not seen the Rake since he ruined my life, but I know that he has been in my room while I slept. I know and fear that one night I’ll wake up to see him staring at me.”
Properly spooky little monster story, huh? I definitely don’t like the idea of something crawling “quickly in a flailing sort of motion along the side of the bed.” Yeesh. The description of this thing brings the Windigo to mind, who (in the folklore of some northern Algonquian peoples) is a cannibalistic giant; a person who has been transformed into a monster by the consumption of human flesh. The Algonquin originally lived in the dense forest regions of the valley of the Ottawa River and its tributaries in present-day Quebec and Ontario, Canada. That’s not too far from northern New York, though it is incredibly far from Idaho. But I Googled it and northern Idaho and upstate New York kinda have similar climates.
Come to think of it, Wellesley has hot humid summers and bitterly cold winters too. Maybe that’s why one of those awful creatures made it so far south. Or maybe they have nothing to do with one another and a Rake is just a Rake. A Windigo a Windigo. I’ve shared a few images of the Rake on my instagram account so you could take a look for yourself.
Of course, I gotta mention that it kinda sorta totally looks like an alien, but I will refrain from commenting further.
Anyhow. Let’s meet a Wellesleyan who can give us their own account of this creature, whatever the hell it is.
Luna Bellamy. Hmmm… how to describe her? Well there’s no doubt she’s from the north east. Chilly. Intelligent, I bet she went to a really good really expensive college. Great short layered haircut, no haircolor. Rich skin, she’s definitely been fraxeled and injected. Slow to laugh, too serious for my taste. Opinionated as all get out but somehow reserved at the same time. Like, getting her full story out was like pulling teeth, but she shared her take on the covid vaccine without hesitation.
“It’s great we have it but I don’t believe their storyline for a second. Either ‘they’ already knew something like this was coming and had the vaccine in the works, or ‘they’ have the ability to create any vaccine this quickly and they’re not sharing that fact because it would cost them too much money. Say bye bye to Cancer or HIV and they say bye bye to a lot of money.”
Hmm. Well, that made me feel frightened and sad and if it were true, incredibly angry and well, right back to frightened.
“I’m not a conspiracy theorist or some Q person,” she assured me. “I just don’t see how anyone could take the mixed bag of messages we’ve been force fed the past year at face value. There’s more to the story. For one thing, that’s no natural virus. That thing was man-made. Which is fine, we all know they’re doing it. I just don’t care for having smoke blown up my ass about handwashing and Clorox wipes when we’re dealing with a biological weapon.”
You should have heard her opinion on Megan and Harry. But we don’t have time for that. We want to hear about the Rake.
Luna lives in a heavily forested part of town that borders Dover. Yup, that Dover, the one with the infamous Demon. High strangeness all around indeed.
Her house is located on my favorite street in town. I personally wouldn’t want to live there, but it is the coolest. It is a winding tree-lined spooktacular road that weaves it’s way past a farm (whose cows hang in the freaking woods you guys), then meanders along Lake Waban for a titch, before entering dense forest. Only a handful of driveways pop off this glorious road leading to utter fortresses. If I may share a ridiculously nerdy thing I like to do when I need inspiration or to get in a spooky mood for writing, I drive up and down this road blasting Peer Gynt Suite No.1, Op. 46: In the Hall of the Mountain King. I don’t know why it works, but it does. It’s like this weird hack. When I do it, not always, but most of the time I will see flashes of a story from start to finish as if I’m watching the trailer for it. I can’t recognize faces worth a damn and directions might as well be in another language, but give me a made up name and about fifteen minutes in the car to imagine with that song playing in the background and I have a spooky story to show for it. Brains are so weird.
Anyways… I’ve always wondered about the people who live on that creepfest of a road. Luna and her family have lived there for about fourteen years and nothing of note happened aside from the occasional coyote sighting. Until this past March.
“A good portion of the siding was ripped off the side of the house. We didn’t hear it happening and we don’t often go in that portion of the yard in the winter. I didn’t notice it until we had that warm snap in March and was cleaning up the yard, so who knows when it actually happened. But it was unsettling. At the time we believed it was something only a person could accomplish.
“I have a fifteen year old and a twelve year old. Boy and girl in that order. They swore up and down that they didn’t do it, I never really thought they had, but I had to ask even though it would have been out of character for either of them to be that destructive. My husband John and I were left with the unsettling idea that someone came up the driveway, which is about seventy five feet long mind you, or they’d come from the woods, which I don’t have to tell you are very heavy in that part of town.
“I reported it to the police, a nice young man came out and took a look around but he didn’t find anything of note. He reminded us to keep the alarm system armed and suggested it might be some girls from the college screwing around.
“Wellesley College girls never struck me as the sort who get a kick out of vandalism, but what do I know,” Luna said dryly. “The visit from the police left us with zero sense of relief, but I was glad that the incident was on record. We used our alarm system absolutely religiously, mostly for peace of mind, but in all those years that we lived there we’d never needed it until that thing began coming around.
“One thing I found odd, something that I believe proves that this thing, whatever it is, has intelligence is that until we discovered the vandalism to our home, we had no problems whatsoever with our security system. But the week following the discovery of the ruined siding the alarm company called three separate nights because the system kept indicating that the sliding doors in our sunroom had been compromised.
“The doors held firm but we did find streaks of mud on them indicating it had been trying like hell to get inside. We were told that it was probably several raccoons causing trouble even though the marks were far too large to be made by such small animals. The police suggested we install cameras for peace of mind, which we did.
“Whatever that thing is, it is not an animal. It has… powers.”
“What kind of powers?”
The seconds ticked by as Luna considered the question. Finally, she said, “I apologize. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks. I’m sorry if I am scattered, but it’s happened so fast and there are things that, in hindsight, I see were connected.”
“You’re not scattered at all,” I told her.
She laughed and rubbed her eyes. “Trust me. I’m scattered. Sorry. Okay. So the thing ripped off the siding and then tried to get in through the sliding glass doors. It was all very unnerving, but we are practical people. Naive as it may have been, I still felt safe in our house. The alarm system was doing its job and the police showed up quickly when they were alerted by our security company.
“And then… one morning I was upstairs getting ready for the day. John and the kids were out running errands so I was home alone. I’d just turned off my hair dryer when I heard the alarm panel in our bedroom alert. It wasn’t it’s usual, beep beep, that it makes when a door opens or even the crazed beeping it does when the alarm trips. It sounded different – glitchy. So I went to check.
“When I opened the bathroom door, it was freezing. I could feel a breeze just streaming through the bedroom. The alarm panel was going nuts so I attempted to enter in our code but it wouldn’t accept it. My cell phone rang and I knew it was the alarm company letting me know they were sending someone out. I stepped out into the upstairs landing as I answered the call and I could see that the front door was wide open – that’s why it was so damn cold. I told the dispatcher to send the police right away and I holed up in my bedroom until they arrived.”
“Oof, that is really scary. How long did it take them to get there?”
“Not that long but far too long, if you know what I mean. I finally got the alarm to stop that incessant beeping and dragged an armchair in front of the door because I could hear the thing stalking through the first floor. It shuffled around in the foyer for a time and came halfway up the stairs. The poor woman on the phone with me from the alarm company, she must have thought I lost my mind.”
“Holy shit. What did you think was out there?”
“Honestly, I thought it might be a bear. I know how absurd that sounds but it was large and the way it’s footsteps sounded… big paws and big claws. That’s all I could think.
“The police – three of them – checked the house top to bottom. They didn’t find a thing. But what truly threw me off kilter was the fact that someone – or whatever that thing was – had opened every single door and window on the first floor. The policemen were on high alert. In fact, at first I don’t think they believed me that there was anyone in the house. I don’t fault them for it, the situation was ludicrous. But I insisted they speak with the alarm company dispatcher so she could provide her take on the situation. Once she weighed in they understood that it wasn’t some sick bid for attention.”
“Did they find any sign of the intruder?”
“Mud had been tracked into the foyer. It was assumed that was its means of entrance, but there were no marks on the windows or the mudroom or sliding glass doors. The damn thing just came in, opened the house then disappeared into thin air.”
“What did they tell you to do?”
Luna smirked. “Keep the alarm set.”
“It gets worse. I was backing out of my garage one night and was about to put it in drive when something in the backup camera caught my attention. Something ran behind the car. I looked behind me and couldn’t see anything, the back up lights weren’t bright enough, so I looked at the screen again and saw eyes reflected in the car’s lights.”
“There are bushes beside the driveway so I couldn’t see the thing, just the eyes. I thought it might be a coyote until it moved forward out of the bushes,” Luna shifted in her seat, distinctly uncomfortable at the memory. “You are familiar with the idea that a car’s night camera display is black and white, yes.? Well, when it came out of those bushes… Jesus. It almost glowed.”
“What did it look like?”
“It looks like a person with a long misshapen head. It has a smooth body and moves like a person walking on their hands and feet, but the head,” she shivered, “The neck looks hyperextended so that the creature can look straight forward. I couldn’t really see it’s feet, but it has a sloped back, like a sway back horse.
“I should have thrown the car in reverse and hit the damn thing, but I was so shocked by it all I could think of was getting the hell away so I tore out of the driveway.”
“The Rake,” Claire whispered. She’d been silent for a time and I assumed she’d been just as enthralled as I was by Luna’s story.
“What’s a Rake?” I asked.
“Are you getting something from the spirits?” Luna asked nervously.
“My guide just mentioned a name, um, just one second, okay?”
“It’s a monster,” Claire continued.
“What does it do?”
“How do you know it’s a Rake?”
“I saw one inbetween a long time ago and her description sounds like the thing I saw. It shouldn’t be down here though.”
“What do you mean ‘down here?’”
“What is the ghost saying?” Luna asked impatiently.
“She knows that the monster on your property is called a Rake and she just said it doesn’t belong here, one more second, okay?”
“They are ancient and there aren’t many of them. They come from up north.”
“No. Powerful like an elemental and ancient like one. But it has no actual tie to the earth, it’s self-serving. It’s like a demon mixed with an earth spirit.”
“Well?” Luna insisted.
“It sounds as though the thing stalking your house is a mix between an earth spirit and a demon.”
“But what does it want? No. How do I get rid of it?”
I paused and listened to Claire’s advice.
“You’re probably not going to like this,” I said after a long moment. “But you basically have to move. At least across town, if not further. These things claim a territory for themselves and stay within certain boundaries. And they like the woods, so if you were to move to a more populated area you’d be much better off.”
“I hate neighborhoods,” Luna complained.
I shrugged. “Sorry.”
“I suppose that isn’t the worst thing. But I just have to be sure – if we move, will it still be able to get in my head.”
I blinked. “Wait, what?”
“It’s not just stalking our home, it communicates. I thought the ghost would know that.”
“What exactly does it communicate?”
Luna looked uncomfortable. “I’m sure it’s just trying to scare me.”
I raised my eyebrows but remained silent and waited.
Luna crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m going to be completely honest with you, I am afraid that if I tell you everything you will think I am either lying or delusional.”
“I promise I won’t think that,” I said simply.
She studied my face briefly then looked away. “I don’t want these images in my mind any longer. They are so vibrant that it’s as if the tragedy’s have already happened. I have no proof, but I know it is getting into the house and putting things into my mind as I sleep. John and the kids aren’t affected by it – thank God – I am the one it wants to torment.”
“Hold on, so it’s showing you things? Like psychically?”
“I suppose that’s what you would call it. I hate to use the word premonition, but I believe that’s what it’s transmitting to me.”
“A harbinger,” Claire said quietly.
“Harbinger… that’s bad, right?”
“Very. Think Mothman.”
Claire remained silent.
“I don’t know all of these terms,” Luna said, obviously frustrated.
“Sorry. The Mothman was a creature that showed itself to a bunch of people in this town called Point Pleasant, West Virginia.”
“I saw the movie, I meant the other word you used – harbinger.”
“Oh, right. It’s something that does just what you are describing. It alerts people to future events. Like the Mothman with the bridge collapse or like hearing a Banshee signals death is coming.
“Of course, it doesn’t mean what they show you will actually happen. This thing could be a trickster,” I went on noting the shade of green Luna’s face had taken on. “That bridge collapse might have had nothing to do with Mothman, and Banshees are just a folktale.”
“No they’re not,” Claire chided.
“What exactly is it showing you?” I asked, ignoring her.
“Tsunamis. In extremely vivid and painful detail.”
“Can you tell where it happens?”
“Not it. There’s more than one. Two on the east coast and one on the west. Simultaneously.”
“But how could that-”
“I keep seeing these things that look like small submarines hit the ocean floor and it causes shockwaves that trigger the tsunamis.”
“No one makes it. New York… my God, so many people die, they drown right in the buildings. And Florida, I mean, it simply disappears. It’s just not there anymore the force of the water is too great. And California – the tsunami is only the beginning, earthquakes get triggered and they fan out halfway across the country.”
“Maybe it’s just trying to scare you,”
“If what it’s showing you is coming – I’m not saying that it is – but if it is showing you the future then it can’t be all bad if it’s trying to warn you. Maybe it wants you to tell people.”
“I didn’t say it was warning us.”
I blinked. “But you said-”
“I misspoke. I should have said threatening, rather than warning. There is malice behind these premonitions, or whatever you want to call them. Besides, who could I tell? Who would believe me? What use is a warning like this” Even if I could get someone in our government to believe me, how could anyone stop someone from using such a weapon against us? It might even trigger us to take the first shot.”
“I don’t know that’s why I got in touch with you.”
“It’s excited about the negative energy created by what’s to come. That’s how harbingers feed, and they extend the energy source back by creating fear before the actual event,” Claire explained.
“So you’re saying this is actually going to happen?” I screeched.
“Oh my God, is that what the ghost just said?”
“Don’t play dumb,” Claire admonished, “You’ve sensed something big coming for a while now.”
“Well, sure, but I thought it would be another nightmare virus stain or terrorist attack.”
“But that’s what she just described to you – an attack on our country.”
“So it’s real. This is really going to happen,” Luna’s voice was shaky.
“Maybe it’s just trying to scare you,” I suggested uselessly for the second time.
“We have to move,” Luna said, more to herself than to me.
“Yeah, you probably should before that thing can show you anything else.”
“No, I mean yes of course, but we need to get away from the coast.”
“Tsunamis can’t reach this far inland, can they? We’re like, what, sixteen, seventeen miles from Boston?”
“The water doesn’t make it this far, but the survivors do. There’s more, afterwards, I mean. It will be awful.” Luna grabbed her purse off the picnic bench and slung it over her shoulder. “You should think about leaving too. The earthquakes make it about halfway across the country, but maybe Illinois or Missouri will be safe. Safer. Once the survivors fan out though…” She stood. “You should think about moving too.”
Swinging her leg over the bench to stand she turned to go. Almost as an afterthought she looked back at me. “Thank you. I needed confirmation. Tell your ghost that I appreciate her.”
Then she walked to her car and drove away.
“Oh my God,” I groaned.
“So that’s all going to happen. Why didn’t we think to ask her when?”
Claire sniffed. “Eh, it’s probably only 50/50.”
“What? You made it sound like a sure thing.”
“Nothing’s a sure thing.”
“Claire, that woman is going to move to Missouri!” “Meh, it’ll be good for her.”