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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Decemystery (2021) 22: Pale Crawlers


Hm… I don’t really know how to properly construct an introduction to today’s story. Call it laziness, call it brain fog, but I find it hard to properly introduce something like Pale Crawlers to someone. A lot of younger folks—or people from my generation—would likely immediately recognize them based on their appearance since they resemble the creepypasta character “The Rake”. However, truth is, the two aren’t anything alike—as far as we know at least. Though I’m getting ahead of myself. Rather than sit here and dilly-dally, I want to jump right into the story because these creatures are some of my favorites to talk about with my friends. So let’s get started… NOW!

The Story

I have no idea where and when stories of Pale Crawlers began—unless you want to believe that the story of the Rake is non-fiction. In that case, these things have been seen for hundreds upon hundreds of years. Otherwise, I’m going to gauge that they’ve been seen since at least the mid-20th century (though I am not marking this write-up with anything related to time because that’s strictly my guess).

Appearance wise, Pale Crawlers resemble the aforementioned Rake. If you don’t know what it looks like, or you didn’t look at the header image for the write-up, allow me to describe in gleeful detail what these things look like.

They’re tall—somewhere between 6 feet and 10 feet (1.8 meters to 3 meters) in height. They’re extremely lanky, generally appearing emaciated to the point it looks like their skin is wrapping directly around their bones. They have no hair whatsoever; I’ve never heard a single story where anyone reports they have hair. I’ve also never heard of a story where they appear to sport genitalia, in spite of how they’re generally said to be naked. While that may seem pointless, this is very important to remember for one theory later on.

The facial features of these creatures are rather weird. They’re said to either not have a nose, or they have a very small one (this is rather reminiscent of Greys). Their mouths are usually described as appearing like “slits”, and their eyes are large, black, and sunken in. It’s also sometimes reported that they can reflect light very well. They also have very long arms—generally extending down to their knees. They also weirdly don’t have ears, which makes me wonder how on Earth they can tell where their prey is. Maybe they go based on vibrations?

Arguably the scariest part about Pale Crawlers are their claws. Just like the Rake, their fingers extend out to roughly 6 inches (15 centimeters). This allows them to presumably rip and tear their prey until it is done.

Then there’s their agility. These things are said to be unbelievably fast; clearing 100+ feet in a matter of seconds. Yes, in spite of the fact they appear to have not eaten since they were birthed, Pale Crawlers are said to be so fast, they can keep up with a speeding car going about 70 mph (112 kmh). This isn’t hyperbole, I swear to God. They also get their name because they, you guessed it, crawl on all-fours. However, they’ve also been said to move bipedally with ease.

All things considered, these creatures look like malnourished humans, but also not quite humans. It’s hard to really word because I feel like it falls into some level of uncanny valley, but let’s save that rambling for the theories section. For now, let’s discuss where they’re seen. More often than not, they’re seen in forests—or at least heavily wooded areas around the globe. Deserts are another favorite for the Pale Crawler, though I’ve never heard of them being seen anywhere besides the States of Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. I also believe they’ve been seen in caves, but it’s possible this is where they reside during the day because they’re typically said to be nocturnal. There are also a few reports of them in residential areas (you can read about them here on Mysterious Universe).

Last, but not least, there’s their temperament. If anyone’s read “The Rake”, they know that the titular Rake isn’t exactly Santa Claus. Rather, it’s a pretty malevolent entity that isn’t afraid to kill you because you said he sucks big time at Rake of Duty: Modern Lawncare. In contrast, Pale Crawlers are said to be curious creatures that observe from afar, though there are also stories of them chasing after humans. What their intentions are is unknown because the storyteller naturally survived.

Now for the sightings. Well, I linked an article above for “Mysterious Universe”, but there’s a second article they wrote. There are also a fair number of YouTube videos dedicated to these creatures. I contemplated going over the various sightings, or compiling a few, but I ultimately decided against it. The simple reason was: most of the sightings are very uneventful and are extremely similar. Although I went over the Tyrannosaurus Rex article, I thought that was fantastical. For Pale Crawlers, the general encounter with them is more or less: someone sees a tall, pale humanoid in the forest and they flee like a bat out of hell.

The few who stay and fight land a shot with a gun have mixed responses on how it reacts to the bullet. Sometimes, they say it just runs away and isn’t fazed by the fact it just got shot. Others say it lets out a hellish screech and runs off like a child who just got punched by the kindergarten bully. Either way, it’s at this point that the shooter retreats out of fear. It’s all very by-the-book and formulaic.

Though wait, what about the residential area stories? Those are unique, no?

Well, yes, but also no. While it is rare to see these things lurking around White suburbia where everyone knows everyone (and also talks crap about everyone), those stories also tend to be very similar. Basically: someone either hears something at the window or their dog/cat/farm animals freak out, the person goes to check, and one of three things happens:

1. The Pale Crawler has slaughtered some chickens because it hates chicken (which greatly offends me because chicken > all other meat).

2. Peeping Pale Tom is at the window looking in because it wants to play Xbox and say that it had sexual intercourse with some random person’s mom.

3. The Pale Sneeder is at the forest’s edge looking at the house and bolts away when the hasguns goes outside to investigate. This is because it’s shy and can’t ask Stacy out to the prom.

Look, my point is: when most of the stories are all the same, sharing even one doesn’t really feel justified. The bare bones are within each story: someone sees the creature and runs away. I’ve never heard of anyone staying around to take a picture, record any footage, or even try to converse with one (it’s worth noting it isn’t known if these things have any level of intelligence to them).

The only truly noteworthy thing is that some who see Pale Crawlers in national parks claim that forest rangers are well-aware of them and treat sightings as no different than a bear. Heck, some outright claim that the person actually saw a bear standing upright and their panic made them think it was something else. This may sound really interesting, and it is, but I want to save it for the day I cover Missing 411.

Until that day, I ultimately decided it simply wasn’t worth the effort of combing through to share any. Feel free to hate me for this, but I simply don’t want to share what amounts to the same story 5 or 6 times over. As such, I want to end the story portion of this write-up here. While it may seem lazy of me, I firmly believe most of the fun comes in the form of the theories surrounding these freaks of nature. So come along, I’m sure we’ll have lots of fun there.


1. They’re some unknown type of human/humanoid

The first and most popular theory in our cavalcade of theories today is that these creatures are some sort of human/humanoid unknown to science. This seems like a no-brainer given that the creatures look, well, human. They lack a whole bunch of things that make us, well, human. You know, like hair, regular eyes, a proper mouth, nose, ears, and everything else.

My snark aside, this theory is exceedingly popular for a variety of reasons. A few paragraphs above, I mentioned Missing 411. Spoiler alert: I think David Paulides—the author and progenitor to that theory—is kinda full of it, but it does raise some very interesting points and theories, one of which involves the Pale Crawlers.

You see, areas where these things are seen tend to have caves and cave systems. There’s a very popular theory that these things are some sort of subterranean humanoid species that sometimes comes to the surface to eat/hunt. Whether or not they consider us humans as food is up for debate, but given the mysterious disappearances of some folks, one can safely assume that yes, they do think of us as brunch.

I digress though: what evidence is there to prove this? Well, as you might’ve surmised by me not getting to this right away: there really isn’t any. There has never been a photograph of a Pale Crawler that’s been snapped—and no, as stated earlier this month, the infamous “trail cam photo” doesn’t count as that was used as a promotional image for the video game Resistance 3. I mentioned this back when we discussed the Enfield Horror; go read that as there is a link to an article that proves this.

Anyways, this theory has a lot more to it that I don’t want to get into because we’d be here for another 10,000 words or so. So I’ll end it off with this: the idea of the cave system aspect extends into reports of Bigfoot-type creatures too, among some other things. It’s all very complicated and if you want to know more, read into Missing 411. There’s some circumstantial evidence for that concept, but in the way of Pale Crawlers, you may come up empty handed. Of course, I could also be once more failing at research.

2. They’re feral humans

This theory is really… hard to swallow, but it’s also not the most far-fetched thing out there. There have been instances where humans have gone feral and lived in forests, and it can easily explain some sightings (genitalia notwithstanding). However, this doesn’t quite explain the incredible agility Pale Crawlers exhibit—nor does it explain their ridiculously long arms. In spite of that, some people do believe them to be examples of feral humans. Lord help us if they ever decide to try and take over society.

3. They’re escaped government experiments

Remember how I mentioned these creatures are said to never be sporting anything down in the nether regions? This is why; a very popular theory is that these things are actually escaped government experiments.

Stories of governments—especially the United States government—experimenting on their citizens are as common as blades of grass in the suburbs. The idea goes that homeless people, runaways, or migrants are sent off to secret military bases and used in heinous, unspeakable experiments (think about the Hallway of Nightmares in Dulce Base). Some of those experiments created the likes of Pale Crawlers, which were meant to be used as weapons that could be dropped behind enemy lines and could rapidly take out tangos in the dead of night.

Some also posit that the reason being shot sometimes doesn’t faze Pale Crawlers is because they’re made to be bullet sponges. Of course, this doesn’t explain why some treat being blasted like any other animal, but one can assume that not every creation is perfect.

Whatever the case may be, this theory is relatively popular among most truth seekers/conspiracy theorists, especially since some of the desert sightings are near military bases. Of course, that could just be a coincidence. After all, a lot of the desert states in the US have those bases because they’re remote and weapons testing won’t risk the lives of the country’s citizens.

At least, that’s what Big Bro—I’m actually not going to continue that. Let’s move on!

4. They’re ghouls

This is a very popular theory, and with good reason. I didn’t mention this during the story section, but I will now. Like with Fleshgaits and Wendigos, the presence of a Pale Crawler is accompanied by a putrid smell—sometimes said to be akin to a rotting corpse. It’s because of this that a fair number of people believe them to be ghouls: a demon that feeds on human flesh and the bodies of the recently deceased. As such, ghouls are often said to reside near graveyards, disrupting various graves

That said, they aren’t exclusively seen there. Some claim to see them elsewhere, and it’s because of this that some believe Ghouls and Pale Crawlers to be one-in-the-same. Your mileage on this theory is going to vary on whether or not you believe in such stories—and I have no idea if Ghouls have ever been said to eat forest animals. If someone can inform me on this, I’d love to know. Until then, let’s continue onward.

5. They’re interdimensional entities

There’s a decent amount of people who are ardent believers in the idea that creatures like Pale Crawlers and Bigfoot are from another dimension. The theory posits that the reason these creatures appear and vanish so suddenly is that they “slip” back into their dimension.

The concept of multiple dimensions isn’t something novel and actually has a sizable following. Of course, one would have to prove that before we can prove that something like Pale Crawlers are real. Though for those who already subscribe to the multiple dimension theory, odds are the idea of Pale Crawlers being from them wouldn’t be the hardest pill to swallow.

6. They’re spirits

I’m going to keep this one short because, well, there isn’t much to it. Some are of the opinion that Pale Crawlers are actually Native American/Indigenous spirits; guardians or malevolent entities that claim the forests/deserts as their home. Some also think they’re related to the Wendigo or Skinwalkers. I’m very uneducated in Native American/Indigenous lore, so I have no idea if there are any spirits that resemble Pale Crawlers, but this is a relatively popular theory from what I know.

7. It doesn’t exist, and it’s a case of mistaken identity

Skeptics of this cryptid believe that Pale Crawlers could be hairless bears, deer, or sloths. There’s a Reddit post that has a series of images of various hairless animals—such as bears, baboons, and even owls without their feathers. I won’t lie, a lot of them do resemble Pale Crawlers, and it would absolutely help to explain a large majority of these sightings. Though many remain unconvinced—especially with the case of sloths.

This is an extremely popular theory for a lot of people. When sloths crawl, their arms tend to be elongated and they can move at a pace that one wouldn’t expect a sloth to move at. That said, I’d like to point out that a creature that’s said to move at a ridiculously fast pace isn’t like to be a, well, sloth.

Some have also theorized that those who claim to only “hear” a Pale Crawler is that they’re hearing the cry of a mountain lion. These creatures—sometimes referred to as “cougars”—are notorious for having a cry that’s been compared to a woman screaming. If you want to hear it for yourself, click here. It’s really unsettling and it could very easily explain a fair number of supposed “sightings”.

On one final note: if you want to know more about this theory from a skeptical perspective, I recommend watching Debunk File’s episode on Pale Crawlers. Click here to view it; it’s pretty dang good.

8. It’s the Rake, and it came to life via the collective belief of people (it’s a tulpa)

A tulpa is, to put it really dang simply: something that’s come to life because someone believes in it enough to where it gains sentience. I probably got that really wrong, but I digress. This theory posits that Pale Crawlers are actually the Rake (or Rakes) and it now roams our Earth. Some have used this theory to explain supposed Slender Man sightings. This theory seriously relies on whether or not you believe in various types of mysticism, which are inherently tied to the concept of tulpas.

9. They’re aliens

At the time of this writing, I’d like to say that I spent the entire morning crying and have a really big urge to play Watch_Dogs 2. So when I realized I hadn’t written this theory, one thing went through my mind.


Then I realized the answer to that question is surprisingly simple.

“When in doubt: aliens are behind it.”

Sasquatch fingers on a porcupine’s needles, I really hate that aliens are always a theory whenever I write about anything.

I’ve mentioned in the past that there is a theory surrounding Bigfoot; the idea is that it’s an alien of some sort that’s either been left on Earth for some unknown purpose, or it’s intentionally here to study us. Whatever version you believe, there’s a theory that Pale Crawlers are more or less the same. Either they’re here to observe us for their overlords, or they themselves are aliens that are here to study us.

This theory is something I desperately want to look more into because it’s surprisingly very popular. The only thing that’s held me back is my bipolar and lack of will to read about how Bigfoot can pilot a UFO. That image just makes it hard to take seriously, and I’m deeply sorry if that offends anyone who subscribes to the theory. Especially when you consider that their mating call sounds like a mountain lion mixed with Pauly Shore.

10. Ur mum

Lol xd

My Take

Right off the bat, I want to say that I do believe these things exist. I’ve heard many stories about them and I’m a firm believer that the forests of the world hold many secrets we’ve yet to uncover. As such, I think that it’s perfectly reasonable to believe these things exist. I know that’ll probably get me flak from a lot of biologists and zoologists, but that’s just me.

Now with that said, I sadly don’t exactly know what they are. Although the story segment of this write-up took on a very tongue-in-cheek tone and I didn’t go over any specific stories, I have to stress that I cannot name one that stands out to me. For the most part, it’s always the same song and dance: someone sees them and gets the heck out of dodge. I can’t name one where a Pale Crawler directly interacts with someone verbally, physically, or even plays some sort of weird game with them (like attempting to play catch before eating the ball).

For all intents and purposes: Pale Crawlers don’t really fit into any category beyond being humanoid, but even then: I have to wonder exactly how they survive the harshness of winter or reproduce. It’s possible they’re like snakes and the male’s genitalia recedes into the body until intercourse is going to happen. Though I’d question why they appear to have skin and not scales.

I digress though. If I had to hazard a guess, I would assume they are of this Earth and they’re just some sort of weird offshoot of humans. I have no idea if they’re friend or foe, and I have zero intention of finding out for myself. I leave that up to the /k/ommandos of 4chan.


If you hear a shrill screech at night, lock your doors, hide under the covers, and count to ten. Tell yourself it’s just your imagination, and ignore the large shadow by your bed.

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