The story of the Rake is one of American urban legend and folklore. The creature is said to haunt the areas of upstate New York and the Adirondack mountains, stealing into peoples homes and killing them or terrifying them to the point of breaking their minds and turning them either crazy, suicidal, or both.
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 remained 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.
So essentially there's this creature, creeping around and breaking into peoples homes - killing them in some cases - and the local government and law enforcement agency wants to keep it quiet. All documentation of sightings or interactions with the creature known as "The Rake" is gathered up and destroyed. Then, in 2006, a group of people start searching for and finding other documentation and they start building a case for the Rake. They find a small library of stories and mentions, dating as far back as the 17th century.
So these documents, real or completely fabricated, start circulating the internet. Eventually a local news channel picks up on the story.
This is certainly considered a win for the people trying to bring the story to light. Discussions on the news station's Facebook page eventually bring up the Rake and people start exploring the web on their own. They find dozens of websites telling the same stories, and Google searches for "the rake" peak in 2011 - people a really interested and the story of the Rake goes from a campfire-type story to a bigfoot-esque legend almost overnight.
There are two stories about the Rake which I find particularly creepy. The first is said to come from a journal entry, written in Spanish, dated 1880. It says:
"I have experience 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..."
The creepiest part of this story is a letter found with this letter, presumably written after the suicide note.
"Dearest Linnie, I have prayed for you. It spoke your name."
From a Witness
Another account, much longer and detailed, is probably the most quoted; an eye-witness account from 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 though 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.
My husband was peering over his arm and knee, tucked into the fetal position, occasionally glancing at me before returning to the creature.
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."
Have you encountered the Rake?
If so, leave a comment below and share your story to the growing library of Rake sightings.