The Smiling Man


About five years ago I lived downtown in a major city in the US. I’ve always been a night person, so I would often find myself bored after my roommate, who was decidedly not a night person, went to sleep. To pass the time, I used to go for long walks and spend the time thinking.

I spent four years like that, walking alone at night, and never once had a reason to feel afraid. I always used to joke with my roommate that even the drug dealers in the city were polite. But all of that changed in just a few minutes of one evening.

It was a Wednesday, somewhere between one and two in the morning, and I was walking near a police patrolled park quite a ways from my apartment. It was a quiet night, even for a week night, with very little traffic and almost no one on foot. The park, as it was most nights, was completely empty.

I turned down a short side street in order to loop back to my apartment when I first noticed him. At the far end of the street, on my side, was the silhouette of a man, dancing. It was a strange dance, similar to a waltz, but he finished each “box” with an odd forward stride. I guess you could say he was dance-walking, headed straight for me.

Deciding he was probably drunk, I stepped as close as I could to the road to give him the majority of the sidewalk to pass me by. The closer he got, the more I realized how gracefully he was moving. He was very tall and lanky, and wearing an old suit. He danced closer still, until I could make out his face. His eyes were open wide and wild, head tilted back slightly, looking off at the sky. His mouth was formed in a painfully wide cartoon of a smile. Between the eyes and the smile, I decided to cross the street before he danced any closer.

I took my eyes off of him to cross the empty street. As I reached the other side, I glanced back… and then stopped dead in my tracks. He had stopped dancing and was standing with one foot in the street, perfectly parallel to me. He was facing me but still looking skyward. Smile still wide on his lips.

I was completely and utterly unnerved by this. I started walking again, but kept my eyes on the man. He didn’t move. Once I had put about half a block between us, I turned away from him for a moment to watch the sidewalk in front of me. The street and sidewalk ahead of me were completely empty. Still unnerved, I looked back to where he had been standing to find him gone. For the briefest of moments I felt relieved, until I noticed him. He had crossed the street, and was now slightly crouched down. I couldn’t tell for sure due to the distance and the shadows, but I was certain he was facing me. I had looked away from him for no more than 10 seconds, so it was clear that he had moved fast.

I was so shocked that I stood there for some time, staring at him. And then he started moving toward me again. He took giant, exaggerated tip toed steps, as if he were a cartoon character sneaking up on someone. Except he was moving very, very quickly.

I’d like to say at this point I ran away or pulled out my pepper spray or my cellphone or anything at all, but I didn’t. I just stood there, completely frozen as the smiling man crept toward me.

And then he stopped again, about a car length away from me. Still smiling his smile, still looking to the sky.

When I finally found my voice, I blurted out the first thing that came to mind. What I meant to ask was, “What do you want?!” in an angry, commanding tone. What came out was a whimper: “Whaaat…?”

Regardless of whether or not humans can smell fear, they can certainly hear it. I heard it in my own voice, and that only made me more afraid. But he didn’t react to it at all. He just stood there, smiling.

And then, after what felt like forever, he turned around, very slowly, and started dance-walking away. Just like that. Not wanting to turn my back to him again, I just watched him go, until he was far enough away to almost be out of sight. And then I realized something. He wasn’t moving away anymore, nor was he dancing. I watched in horror as the distant shape of him grew larger and larger. He was coming back my way. And this time he was running.

I ran as well

I ran until I was off of the side road and back onto a better lit road with sparse traffic. Looking behind me then, he was nowhere to be found. The rest of the way home, I kept glancing over my shoulder, always expecting to see his stupid smile, but he was never there.

I lived in that city for six months after that night, and I never went out for another walk. There was something about his face that always haunted me. He didn’t look drunk, he didn’t look high. He looked completely and utterly insane. And that’s a very, very scary thing to see.

The Smiling Man
Original Author: Unknown

29 Comments on 'The Smiling Man'

Click Here to Display Comments
  • Commented on October 22, 2013 at 12:37 am

    That’s exactly what you made my insides do with this pasta. Very nice!

  • Commented on October 22, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Gah, fuck!!
    I wasn’t expecting the picture!

    A great pasta, by the way. My compliments to the chef 🙂

  • Commented on October 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I literally just shat myself I wasn’t expecting that to pop up at all.
    10/10 boss, great work. 😀

  • Commented on November 2, 2013 at 1:25 am

    O n 0)

    That is my face right now.

  • Commented on March 28, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    RAPE FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)!!

  • Commented on May 5, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Really creepy.. loved it, the picture was a huge plus

  • Commented on July 6, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    “I’m not gonna shit myself,I’m not gonna shit myself..” *Picture shows up* GAHAGIYFSKWID XGFWQFN9GM;9UEW9P O^O

  • Commented on August 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I loved the story. Very nice. But the picture instantly made me think of the joker played by Jack Nicholson.

  • Commented on September 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I’m not gonna lie this is a good pasta but i’ve read it multiple times… but well done 😀

  • Commented on November 18, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Thank you for giving me an idea >:D

  • Commented on May 1, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Awesome creepypasta dude

  • Lexii
    Commented on June 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    This was posted on my birthday… Holy fuck…

  • Commented on June 19, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    I could not see the picture on my mobile device, but it seems to not be your fault. Creepy one also, gave me the chills! 9/10 breads.

  • Commented on June 20, 2015 at 11:16 am

    It’s too bad i can’t see picture on my lumia,but i bet i already k how it looks like,any way,good job 4 inserting a pic.god dayum,tht was my first creepypasta tht sucked me in wanting 4more :p this is scary 4 a thot & it is accurate for ppl working the night shifts&ppl tht r like me loving the dark or just ppl tht by any circumstances r now in a black alley or awareness . Madness in humans is by far most scariest thing humanity&all living earth creatures ever secretly lurks in the mind of a person waiting to get out n tht can b caused by various tragedies ,so it is unpredictable. Madness drives ppl do scary,unhuman,barbaristic things tht healthy human mind would never enter,making hurt others around them n themselves.

  • Commented on June 28, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Awesome, it gain me that panicked feeling I love to get when reading a good pasta.

  • Commented on November 28, 2015 at 2:55 am

    Amazing story! Quite well written as well,and that picture gave me the creeps O_O

  • Commented on December 2, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    That is incredibly creepy. Loved it!

  • Commented on April 2, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Weirdly I seem to remember reading this in school when I was like 9 // Tasty pasta!

  • pau
    Commented on April 20, 2016 at 6:01 am

    I love walking alone at night, i just find the emptiness of streets really peaceful. But after reading this what i once found peaceful is now really very creepy.

  • Commented on May 6, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    The picture seems to be missing… Opening it’s URL brings up a 404 eroor page.
    Nevertheless, this was quite unnerving….

  • Commented on October 11, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Picture? What picture? Oh well. The story has a creepy feeling. I can’t stop thinking about how the smile looks >.>

  • Vad92
    Commented on January 31, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Shiiiit! The photo!
    I was in the dark.

  • Hugh
    Commented on February 4, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    This one gave me motherfucking nightmares

  • Punk Elf
    Commented on February 13, 2017 at 2:23 am

    this is a very interesting story! very well done… to bad i can’t see the picture…

  • Commented on February 23, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Well I think a gun is now coming with me everywhere I walk. Thank you sir for never again letting me walk at night in peace. Jokes aside, this is a great read. Its simply creepy. A very creepy and classic feel to it. Wish I could see the dude to make it that much creepier…

  • Commented on February 27, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    i imagined everything while reading it .. i actually felt like if i was in his place .. its an amazing pasta

  • Commented on October 9, 2017 at 12:40 am

    I couldn’t see a picture on my phone but based on these comments I’m not really sure if I want to see it…

  • Commented on November 7, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    omd i watched the youtube vid of this. i think i have a fetish for the smiling man now lol XD

  • Commented on February 21, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    ooo creepy (i really wish pictures still worked on this site lol)

Leave a Comment

6 − five =

Leave Feedback / Report Glitch