With the concept of creating an animation based on the Creepypasta, The Rake. I realize that it's only a story, developed in a chain of Chinese-whispers-style rumors and opinions.
To develop my idea further I plan on crowd sourcing parts of the story as well as design elements of the animation. I will create multiple beginnings middles and ends to my adaptation using references to popular stories that I've found around the digital campfire. I will provide these options to my crowd-source group asking them what they believe would be the scariest story to pass on to scare their friends. I'm doing this to replicate the way in which the story originally developed online in the first place.
One source describes that "In early 2006, a 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". Which gives a bit of constancy to the story at least.
A bit of digging around the subject has shown me that in almost all encounters, the Rake begins by teasing it's victims in their dreams and telling them to move away or sometimes even out of the country. However, most people wouldn't move away just because of a dream they had, so they often end up feeling the wrath of the Rake. This tells me that it's a territorial creature that prowls it's land in search of victims.
Out of the encounters that I've read, there was one that has stood out. It's an account from a diary entry of an 1880's man that apparently reads "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 (unintelligible text)".
The repetition of text would suggest to me that he's experienced some form of mental distress, lack of sleep and constant torment. I could adapt what happens after the text becomes unreadable.