Have you ever seen the Rake? Probably not, as legend says once you see it, it will stalk you until you go insane. Or die, whichever comes first. I’ve collected two terrifying stories about the Rake, just in case you’re sleeping well at night and need something to keep you awake.
Our first story is about a young woman called Kerrie. Her parents sent her to boarding school to ‘bring her out of her shell’. She was a shy timid girl and her parents felt that standing on her own two feet would help build character. She met a boy whilst there and soon they became an item. Though forbidden, Kerrie snuck out of her dorm at night to meet with him on a park bench at the back of the school. It was fairly dark back there and somewhat hidden from view. If the teens were quiet, they probably wouldn’t be caught.
Though it was exciting to be out at night, kissing her boyfriend in the dark, Kerrie couldn’t help feeling a little terrified. If they were caught out here, the punishment would be harsh. Her fear reached a peak when they heard a snuffling noise coming towards them. It was a dog, attached to a leash, which was held in the hand of one of the strictest teachers in the school. The teens sank to the floor, hoping the teacher wouldn’t spot them, and the dog wouldn’t out them. When the dog began to bark in a frenzy, Kerrie thought they were done for. Risking a peek over the bench – perhaps they could make a run for it? – Kerrie quickly realised the dog wasn’t barking at them, but at the dark bushes to the right of the bench they were cowered behind. The teacher regarded the dark bush thoughtfully before giving the leash a quick tug and walking the other way. Too grateful to care what the dog was barking at, Kerrie stood, throwing her arms around her boyfriend as they both laughed quietly.
Kerrie was the one who spotted the Rake as it materialised from the shadows just beyond the faint glow of a street light. She made out the tall slender figure, the long fingers, the glowing eyes…staring right into hers. Just as she grabbed her boyfriend in terror, it melted back into the shadows. He didn’t see anything, but Kerrie had seen enough. She’d experienced enough scares tonight, she just wanted to go back to her room and go to bed.
Later that night, Kerrie awoke in the darkness of her dorm. All the girls slept in bunk beds, and Kerrie slept on the bottom. Disorientated, Kerrie looked around, from side to side. She had the sensation that something had woken her, but she couldn’t figure out what. Raising her eyes, she spotted the girl in the top bunk of the bed beside hers. The girl stared at Kerrie, her eyes wide with shock and terror.
“I saw it,” the girl gasped. “It climbed on top of you. It was suffocating you!”
Kerrie remained awake all night. The next day, she was summoned to the dean’s office. Her roommate had told the dean what happened, stating she wanted to switch rooms. The dean asked Kerrie to describe what she saw. He appeared concerned and requested she tell him absolutely everything. She did, including what she saw when she’d snuck out the night before. The dean was visibly shaken, though he assured Kerrie she would be safe. Later that day, as Kerrie entered her dorm, she found two monks by her bed, performing some kind of ritual.
She never saw the Rake again. Kerrie became convinced that the dean had encountered the Rake before, that it had tormented other students at that school.
Another even more horrifying story about the Rake happened in 2006. A woman awoke in the middle of the night, intending to use the bathroom. She let out a scream when she spotted the figure crouched at the bottom of her bed.
. She scrambled back in terror, her limbs becoming entwined with the bedsheets. The creature crawled up the bed towards her, then turned and stared at her husband and all he could do was stare back, horror-stricken. It stared him out for the longest time before turning suddenly and scuttling out of the room. Seconds later, the couple heard their daughter screaming. They rushed to her room and found her holding herself, rocking back and forth.
“That was the Rake,” she muttered, repeatedly.
Obviously in shock, the husband bundled the daughter up in a blanket and put her in the car to take her to the hospital. The wife stayed behind with their son, the only one in the family who hadn’t seen the Rake. Sadly, they never made it to the hospital. The car sped off the road and into a lake. Both the father and daughter drowned.
Convinced that the Rake was responsible, the grief-stricken wife set up a tape recorder every night while she slept. Three weeks later, she caught some sounds, like the mutterings of an unknown entity, whispered over her sleeping form. Two mornings later, her son found her dead on her bedroom floor.
So, what is the Rake? Supposedly, it’s a humanoid creature that torments the living. Some suggest that, though death seems to follow a sighting of the Rake, the Rake itself does not kill its victims. It simply torments them, fills them with terror so that their death is usually brought about by their own actions. It’s attracted by fear and negative feelings associated with anxiety and depression. Kerrie, the girl from the first story, believes her fear of being caught with her boyfriend after dark is what attracted the Rake to her. The first known account of an encounter with the Rake was a mariner’s log written in 1961.
"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."
Another report happened in the 1800’s, along with a description of ‘hollow black eyes.’ A suicide note left behind in 1964 claimed the author had taken their own life after being tormented by the Rake. Some believe the Rake is nothing but the result of mass hysteria and/or mental health issues. Others believe it’s a demon. Whatever it is, it will remain a legend as long as people believe in it.
Flashes of Darkness