The first modern day stories either appeared on CreepyPasta.com or SomethingAwful.com The story was of a humanoid type creature that kind of resembles Gollum from the Lord of the Rings movies except this creature has glowing eyes. Anyway the stories began and they started to take lives of their own altering the mythology and entering peoples minds enough so that eye-witnesses began seeing this creature.
Videos started to spring up on Youtube and even some news stations picked up the story. The Rake was attached to numerous other unexplained phenomena from being labeled a “Grey Alien” an invader from a far off planet that came to Earth to feed; to a new cryptid. Some stories even labeled the Rake as a paranormal specter. Here is the description from the wiki.hybridman/rake page:
“The Rake (referred to as the "Feral Other" in Jeff's twitter diagram) is a creature from Creepy Pasta that originated from the website "Something Awful." When it first appeared in EMH viewers well-versed in creepypasta lore recognized The Rake due to its distinct appearance: human in form, but with canine movements, fitting the description from the original creepypasta. In EverymanHYBRID, its presence is usually accompanied by heavy breathing, whispering noises, and loud growls. The Rake is exceedingly strong, with sharp claws. Unlike Slenderman, it doesn't seem to affect electronic equipment. However, footage seems to blur when The Rake is caught on camera, or nearby. It has been concluded in Consensus that this was not The Rake's presence, but of technical failure. The Rake is implied to be connected to HABIT somehow, as evidenced by its attack on Ryan. It has attacked Alex, Evan, and Vince. It has killed Jessie, Ryan, and possibly others. It has been speculated to have been involved in attacks on Jeff and Alex's parents, Lexi, Linnie, and Jessie's granddmother Rose.”
I’m using this story more so as an example of how something can be talked about so much that it influences peoples thoughts. If you look back through this blog you’ll see subjects such as The Slenderman and The Mothman. Now it becomes a little easier to see how suggestion can influence these “sightings.”
On the other hand some of the staunchest believers will say that the human mind is so powerful that it could actually manifest a strange and dangerous being through this kind of thought. Perhaps a demon from a dark place would take on the persona of a story like this and that could explain the sightings.
Now I don’t believe any of that, but it’s interesting to look at this as a study of how the internet has played a huge part in the number of strange and bizarre sightings. I think that the Rake is a really cool trope or meme to use in fiction, but I think that’s where it ends. To claim that this creature has somehow become an actual thing is a little silly. The idea to group think a horror story and act like it’s real is also pretty cool.