Growing up your entire life, you have undoubtedly heard the line "It was a dark and stormy night..." before being followed up by some sort of children's tale that would now seem to be little more than cheesy horror. These were usually stories of things like the boogeyman and simple things like that.
But as you read more and more into CreepyPastas, you will hear of far worse boogeymen, like the demonic husky in Smile.Dog, the chupacabra-like Rake, or possibly the most famous, Slenderman. These figures have struck fear in the hearts of many people making them watch for signs, a distant, otherworldly murmur, electrical interference, and unnatural, yet biological, shapes. All of these are perfectly reasonable signs to look for.
But what if there was only one sign; the pitter-patter of rain on your roof?
A while back, I was in an outback Australian pub. At this time, Australia was experiencing a drought, and heatwaves were common out in the more arid territories, usually followed by flood-like rains. I was at this pub as part of some rural travel around my home state. I was sitting in a booth, having just ordered my chicken schnitzel before I heard a story that intrigued me beyond any normal scary story. It was told by a father, most likely a local in the area, with his son, who looked to be about 6 years old. The old man began telling his story to which I'll make the best attempt to recall:
"There's a man that lives out there, a man that moves with the rain. Supposedly back in the ooga-booga times (likely referring to pre-colonial times, when Aborigines roamed the land) they used to do rain dances to talk to their rain gods and get it to rain, but when white people came, the Aborigines were enslaved, and they couldn't do their rain dances, anymore. That caused a really long drought, much like this one, but this drought had plague with it, the Aborigines had cursed the settlers behind their backs, and the children would die, their flesh would rot and crops would wither. The settlers got right on top of this and started tracking down and stopping the secretive rituals.
But there was one occasion, down in Adelaide, where the governor came up to one of his friend's houses to deal with the problem officially. Now this friend of his had lost his leg because of gangrene (at this point the father briefly explains gangrene in the context of 'a body part rotting as if it's already dead') and he really wanted the Aborigines to stop this "nonsense" so he went into their little outhouse and said to them "I know what you're up to, with your heathen rituals and curses, by order of the state, I demand you stop this curse at once!"
And then one young lad stood up, he was pretty thin, but he said something that shocked the governor.
[imitating the man's voice] "You think we cursed you mistah govnah, we'er trying to help you, we were trying to bring back the Rain Man, but now he is mad, and you'd better not make him more angry."
Of course, the entire group and the young man were executed for treason soon after, but strange things really started to happen afterwards.
First off, it started raining, and I mean Noah's Ark style raining. It was pouring down and it wouldn't stop for three days. Back in those days it wasn't as easy, they didn't have things like fridges, so their food went off, and the rain started washing things away, and the humidity only made the sick more ill.
But the governor was just fine in his nice mansion, until he looked outside... For there, out in the middle of the road, knee deep in water was a figure. His hair was black and covering his face, and he was wearing a shirt and pants, but he was just standing there, doing nothing in the rain.
The governor dismissed it as just a madman in the streets and went to sleep, the next day, he woke up, and it was perfectly sunny. The funny thing was, when he woke up, one of his servants said that he was now terrified of that same figure he'd seen the night before. He was always paranoid and locked the mansion every time it rained, especially the windows."
"The Rain Man..." the son uttered distantly, a blinding glimpse of the blatantly obvious.
"Yep, but that's not all. Two months later, the governor went out to his holiday home, which had no blinds or curtains. On the first night he was there, it began to rain again. Being paranoid, he went for the curtains, but since there were none, he had to sleep with them open. It wasn't too much trouble, until the clock struck twelve. The governor woke up in a cold sweat, he thought he heard thunder, but it wasn't stormy, and when he looked out his window, he was scared out of his wits. Standing there, on the windowsill, was the very same man he had seen during that three day flood. He wrote in his journal 'I could see his face now, the man was clearly sick, his lips were blue and his skin was pale and incredibly cold-looking, his hair was wispy and black, like someone had upturned an ink bottle over his face, but his eyes, that was what terrified me the most, they were like two lanterns, perfect circles, far too wide open for normal eyes, I looked at them and they seemed to make everything go dark'.
The governor hid in the study for the rest of that night and left soon after. He died naturally, but was still haunted by his fear of the rain man..."
The child looked like death, scared out of his wits.
"...And that's why you never messed with the Ooga-Booga men."
I found the ending quite funny, a nice way to finish off a story, but I was still intrigued somewhat.
I'm not gullible, but I do like the odd scary story, so I decided to look in my Psychic Encyclopedia's for anything relating to the story of the "rain man." Surely enough, I found a story.
Rain man (Sightings)
In the 1870's there were reports all around central Europe of a man in the rain. Usually, this would be considered fairly normal, if not for his unmoving stature. He wears drab clothes that are usually hard to identify beyond a long dust coat and pants. He is described to have the appearance of a balding man with dark coloured hair, white skin and distinct eyes. Most reports claim them to be unnaturally large, like headlights with cat-like pupils or no pupils and irises at all. In occult history, the rain man is said to move with the rainclouds, giving them feeling, like an Avatar.
During World War I, a German infantry division was in the midst of a muddy firefight. In the chaos, a captain was writing a message to send back to Berlin about the division’s progress. The firefight had been intermittent, lasting several days, rain had been pouring down frequently, filling the trenches. The soldier wrote in his journal:
- "I was writing my letter; requesting for reinforcements two days ago, when all of a sudden, the gunshots stopped, complete silence, as if a droning record skipped a beat. For a moment I thought the firefight had ended, but it was far too abrupt. The rain was the only sound I could hear, I was tempted to fall asleep, but not once I saw him. I noticed, as the gunfire stopped, that there was more light behind me, as if someone had walked in with a torch, but when I turned around to see the soldier, I saw no such thing, only two yellow eyes and ash black coat. I pulled out my bayonet and challenged him, the only sound I heard was the rain intensifying, and the man turned and left, gliding out into the trenches. I followed, but as soon as I went out, I was greeted with deafening gunfire once again, and no ash-black man."
[At this point I had been getting images of the main theme of The Darkness series in my head.]
Finally, there is one last report made during the 1970's. It was a police report as below.
- "It was nighttime, raining, it would have been the perfect time for a crook to jump out and mug someone, and it was about 5 feet visibility. We were searching for a guy that supposedly robbed shops at this time. Me and Harrison were patrolling around, walking towards a corner on the block with no-one in sight, when suddenly, as if by magic, the crook ran from straight behind us. we were about to chase him when he landed on his back, he had run into a strong man wearing a tank top, leather jacket and long hair. We assumed he was just a random man wandering the streets, until we saw his eyes, they were blank, white. White as a sheet of paper. He just stood there as the criminal was throwing insults at him, which gave us time to cuff him and head back to the car. When I looked back, the guy was gone. I still have no idea where he could have gone; there were no doors or alleys for at least 50 meters, and he was nowhere to be seen running off or anything. He just vanished."
In the same encyclopedia, I found the other article, on his details.
:Rain man, The
- The Rain man is said to be a myth of a personification of the rain, or of a rain god. His appearances are few and far between. Not much is known about the rain man, since the reports of him generally only explain him standing still, staring idly at the writer. One feature is certain about him; his eyes, they appear to be over-sized or inhumanly wide, like headlights, they also lack pupils or irises. Some reports say that they have the ability to light up an area, like a lantern. he also has a theme of long dark (usually black) hair draped over his face in a similar manner to Ju-On [Ju-On is The Grudge, just like the Japanese horror movie]. The rain man does not seem to attack the people it meets, nor does it seem to be a bad omen. However, there is only one sign of his coming; excessive rain. In every single report and sighting, there has been continuous rain and small flooding for a minimum of three days before sightings occurred.
More recently, the Rain Man has been sighted in North America, England, France, and Australia.
Usually, I'd think that that was pretty neat, how that father managed to make an interesting story off of that information. But there was no mention of the governor story, so I assumed it was fabricated.
I decided to research the Rain Man further, on the Internet. I got little more than a movie starring Tom Cruise of the same name (which I had watched previously) and a paragraph-long story on Tumblr which had hardly any relevance, and even less grammar, than the Rain Man I was researching.
I went on to search for some images or videos of the Rain Man, again, with only results of the Tom Cruise movie or raincoats. But one article struck my interest.
The article itself, in its original context, is here.
The article was named Ame-Onna, from my knowledge of a very popular Japanese legend, I knew that Onna meant woman, and upon reading, I learned that Ame meant rain. The name summed up to be Rain-Woman. Upon reading the article, I learned that there were masculine equivalents as well. The article is as follows:
- "Fans of traditional Japanese monsters might be familiar with the Ame-onna, a creepy yokai (or demon) “rain woman” who is said to be able to summon the watery elements at will. But in recent years, the term (or its masculine equivalent, ame-otoko) has come to refer to those unlucky individuals who never get invited to the beach because it always seems to rain when they show up. And now that tsuyu season is in full swing, those benighted folks are getting more flack than ever. According to the annual Ame Project survey by online site Weather News,
- 39 percent of respondents said they’d been accused of being an ame-onna/ame-otoko, though only 33 percent said they considered themselves to be one. Sounds pretty rough, right? Well, not necessarily. When asked what their reactions would be if called a rainmaker, 36 percent said they would be upset, but a full 41 percent claimed they wouldn’t pay it any mind."
Even though this article explains regular people not being invited to the beach, the more disturbing thing was the accompanying image.
Once again, the same theme of wispy black hair and the appearance of sickness comes through.
Aside from this Japanese myth, I could find nothing in relation to the rain man.
I returned to my research on the Rain Man. I began looking at videos, and besides the aforementioned badly worded Tumblr story, I found very little. So instead, I went back to my supernatural books, of which I have an extensive amount of. Besides, very much the same stories and records, I began to feel like I was going in circles again.
But I did find one note that was interesting: it was placed at the end of a description of his appearance, which was similar to what I found in my other books.
- First you will hear rain. Intense rain. Then you will hear footsteps, boot steps. Your home will creak and moan, even if it is brand new, as the drenched man enters your house he will open the door, as if it was unlocked you will hear the water drip from his coat to the floor. The footsteps will get closer as he approaches you, but stay in bed, pretend you're asleep, listen to the rain. And if you dare look at The Rain Man in the eyes, you are already done for.
That note scared the pants off me, not only did it go against the previous reference of a completely harmless rain man, but it also claims that he's a house-enterer too. Those things terrify me, which is why I am so infatuated with the Slenderman and the like. This now described him as a boogeyman, that took you away, never to be seen again, and your only warning was the rain.
As I looked further in my other books, the appendices listed the rain man in the same categories as other man-killers and child-snatchers of the paranormal world, regardless of any notes otherwise in the books. I figured this couldn't be bad organization or editing, since it occurred in at least 5 different books. It seemed the Rain Man made people disappear, despite his stalwart appearance. I began formulating a picture of what the Rain Man would look like, and one image struck me as more like him than anything else.
Even though it is an image of The Rake, the eyes seem too much like the descriptions of the rain man to ignore. the eyes creep me out, and worse yet, it's started raining, funnily enough. From here, I'm not entirely sure what my research will do on the rain man, hopefully it will be able to help anyone who encounters this lantern-eyed creature. Terrifying and paranormal as The Rake, stiff and ominous as the Slenderman and of course; a boogeyman whose only entrance is warned by the pitter-patter of rain on your roof.