The Grinning Man


Detroit has a bad rap when it comes to crime, violence and drugs. But nothing is worse than having an arsonist plaguing the streets, destroying homes and neighborhoods with a single match.

In 2006 an arsonist managed to destroy a library, a school, an apartment complex and a nursing home within an eight week period. The police were using every resource available to locate this sick ‘firebug’ but they never found any clues or suspects in the devastating crimes.

Two months after the last fire there was a 911 call that made the news, as the call claimed that the arsonist in question was about to strike and sure enough, he did. In the call you can hear the panicked screams as the residents of yet another apartment complex fled for their lives and tried desperately to put out the flames. But the most startling moment came when the caller began crying out in pain as he had become trapped in the burning building, the flames scorching his entire body.

No one knew what became of the mystery caller and it was believed that he had perished in the fire. The building was burned to the ground, leaving almost a hundred people homeless. A small memorial was constructed at the ruins of the building in honor of the unknown man who called 911 and save many lives.

The police knew that arsonists love to return to the scene of their crimes, to admire their work and the destruction. Setting up a few surveillance cameras at the memorial the police painstakingly awaited any suspicious individuals who might stop by. It only took them about three weeks to finally locate a suspect.

In the footage of the camera a tall man, wearing a black hoodie and a bandanna with a skeletal depiction of the human jaw over his mouth, approached the memorial and just stared at the charred ruins of the apartment building. He stared for hours, barely moving and never turning his gaze. When another person began approaching the memorial he suddenly turned away and walked down the sidewalk out of sight.

The man returned night after night for almost a week. Each time he did the same thing, stared at the ruins in awe and shied away from anyone who approached. Except on the seventh night. A woman was walking her dog and passed by the man. He turned and smiled at her and frightened her to no end! She reported the strange man to the police, claiming that he was grinning wickedly and smelled of gasoline and smoke.

Two nights later another building was torched by the arsonist. An abandoned warehouse, which still had surveillance cameras running. The same man from the memorial appeared at the scene wearing the same hoodie and bandanna.

Witnesses to the fire claim to have seen a man running from the warehouse wearing a dark hoodie, and the weird thing was he seemed to be smiling. A twisted, almost impossible huge grin on his face.

The police were able to pick up a trail using scent tracking hounds. The dogs led the police to a small, rundown house on the outskirts of the city. Inside was a lone occupant wearing that same hoodie. Aside from the arsonist there were gallons of gasoline, butane, matches, lighters and a newspaper clippings talking about the series of arson-set fires.

When the police corned the man and order him to the ground, they were horrified by the man’s face. He had never been wearing a bandanna. His actual jaw had been exposed, leaving him with a perpetual grin burned onto his face. This man had been the one who called 911 and seemingly died in the blaze. He had been horrifically burned but survived, his face nothing more than a monument to the sickness that is arson.

The man laughed a little and looked at the police as he struggled to speak, his lipless grin mocking everyone who dared to look at him. “It’s about time you found me,” he arrogantly replied with a hoarse, raspy voice. “I was going to give you guys another call, but what’s the fun in that?”

The ‘grinning man’ was arrested but died from a severe infection before he could even stand trial. Even though he’s gone his actions and crimes will forever haunt the city, leaving scars that will never heal.

Original Author: Anonymous

36 Comments on 'The Grinning Man'

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  • Commented on August 16, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Pretty decent. There isn’t enough buildup, but its hard to get that right in a short pasta. 4/5.

  • Commented on August 17, 2017 at 1:34 am

    Haha. Faced

  • Commented on August 17, 2017 at 2:29 am

    Okay so um, did he just like get an infection from the burn wound or what???

  • Commented on August 17, 2017 at 7:30 am

    hey I really love your creepypasta and İ a runıng wıth my frıend 5co a small youtube channel called the nightmare reader
    and ı am askıng permıssıon to use thıs creepypasta and ı wıll gıve you 100% credıt =]

  • Commented on August 18, 2017 at 1:22 am

    Yeah, i suppose that was alright. i was kinda expecting more though…

  • Commented on August 18, 2017 at 5:52 am

    So many unanswered questions…but it was good for a short pasta

  • Whatever
    Commented on August 18, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Cool Story.

  • Commented on August 21, 2017 at 3:28 am

    overnight this became first. WHAT? i’m not hating but WHO IS AWAKE RN????

  • Commented on August 21, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    1/5 Big mommas house 3 scared me more then this shit

  • Commented on August 22, 2017 at 4:40 am

    there is a small grammatical error

  • xii
    Commented on August 23, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    i like the part when it says he whole jaw was exposed!! thats so creepy and disturbing!!

  • Commented on August 24, 2017 at 3:26 am

    It’s alright, but hardly creepy.

  • Commented on August 26, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Weak. For a short story this needed to have a much stronger creep factor. 1/5

  • Commented on August 30, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Wasn’t that great. No build up. 1/10

  • Commented on September 5, 2017 at 10:11 am

    check out my pasta in my profile, if you can,…….. my reflection lives

  • Commented on September 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    why my creepypasta has not reviewed yet ?
    2 month

  • Commented on September 7, 2017 at 6:55 am

    meh. This was OK. A couple of misspellings at the end and I’m also having a hard time with the fact that this guy loved for over three weeks without medical treatment and half a face.

  • obskenobs
    Commented on September 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    It was alright. I liked the basic layout of the story, but it didn’t really make sense to me about how he got off to calling 911 to save lives, instead of taking them.

  • Commented on September 12, 2017 at 3:32 pm


  • Commented on September 13, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    not bad)

  • Commented on September 22, 2017 at 3:33 am

    Scary movie 1 scared me more than this *insert yawning emoji here*

  • Commented on October 4, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    The Beginning turned me right off, the use of the same old horror cliche gave me a spine tickling chill down my throat and spine.

  • Commented on October 15, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    really cool, but not all that creepy…

  • Commented on October 20, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    The idea was great, it just could have been creepier. I still love it though.

  • Commented on October 27, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    good, pasta tasty. scary and loved at the same time.

  • Commented on November 30, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    I think im going to have nightmares now .-.

  • Commented on December 4, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    I like how it ended, that he died of the infections of his own cause, it serves him right. It’s a nice ending.

  • Commented on January 3, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    How did he eat?

  • Commented on January 3, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    I LOVE THIS.. over night sensatiion. Check out my creepy pasta. It’s original and I want to know what you think. :3

  • Commented on January 13, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    Pretty good story! There were a few misspelled words and a couple grammar issues, but overall I liked it!

  • Commented on January 19, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    I don’t get the hate going towards this, but I would give it a 4/5

  • Commented on January 24, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    This had some good elements but I had trouble moving past some plot questions. The initial 911 call warned the arsonist was about to strike, the fire started, the man got burned, all in the call’s duration? The man stood for hours staring at the ruins while under surveillance but nobody approached him? The last warehouse was under surveillance, yet it was witnesses that saw Grinning Man? I think filling in some holes would really make this a good story.

  • Commented on February 26, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    I don’t think that you can get a burn wound infected.

  • ITH
    Commented on March 23, 2018 at 7:23 am

    It may not be necessarily be a scary story, but it left this one weird feeling in the end. That’s what makes this story stand out among other serial killer/arsonist stories.

  • Commented on April 9, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    This was reposted, originally it was a story on a show called ubran legends, NOT AT ALL A CREEPYPASTA IT IS PLAGIARISM

  • Commented on May 2, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    They’re always smiling

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