Alan Wake Wiki

As Alan Wake 2 has now launched, be wary of major spoilers of the game. It is recommended you play the game before browsing the wiki.


Alan Wake Wiki
Alan Wake Wiki

Quote1 It's my life! IT'S MY LIFE! Quote2
― Scratch

Scratch (or Mr. Scratch) is a major character in the Alan Wake franchise and Remedy Connected Universe, and the main antagonist in Alan Wake's American Nightmare and Alan Wake 2. Created by Thomas Zane in 2010, Scratch was the doppelgänger of novelist Alan Wake, made to take Alan's place in the real world while he was trapped in the Dark Place. However, the rumors of Alan being a serial killer who murdered his wife, Alice, caused Scratch to become corrupted due to the power of Cauldron Lake. Scratch was possessed by the Dark Presence and transformed into a psychotic serial killer, known as the "Herald of Darkness".

Scratch's body was destroyed by Alan in 2012, but his presence remained with Alan and continued to haunt Alice as a much more animalistic, demonic entity bent on unleashing the Dark Presence while keeping Alan trapped in a loop, unable to escape the Dark Place. In 2023, FBI Agent Saga Anderson managed to free Alan from the Dark Place, but he had been possessed by Scratch after learning of Alice's supposed suicide. Scratch was then killed when Saga shot Alan in the head with the Bullet of Light. Alan survived, and Scratch's essence was finally destroyed.


Alan Wake[]

In Alan Wake, Scratch first appears alongside Alan Wake, who entered the Dark Place in order to free his wife, Alice, from the Dark Presence in 2010. Thomas Zane, who knew Alan was going to trade places with Alice and be trapped in the Dark Place, created Scratch as Alan's doppelgänger to take his place in the real world. Thomas introduced him to Alan as "Mr. Scratch" and explains that Alan's friends would meet Scratch after he's gone. Scratch's name, when said aloud, would only sound like a muffled, scratching sound.

The Writer[]

In The Writer, Zane tries explaining to Alan what is happening in the Dark Place. During the conversation, Alan asks Zane if there are two of him, as there is a version of Alan in the Bird Leg Cabin going crazy, to which Zane replies "Yes." Alan then asks if Mr. Scratch is him as well, which Zane very bluntly replies "No." Alan does not know what to make of this.

The Alan Wake Files[]

In the The Alan Wake Files, Clay Steward sees a man who looks very similar to Alan Wake. When Steward chases after him, the man looks at him and smiles very secretively. The man then turns around a corner and disappears.

Alan Wake's American Nightmare[]

Mr Scratch TV

Mr. Scratch taunting Alan through the use of TV's

Scratch is the main antagonist in Alan Wake's American Nightmare. During the following two years after Alan's disappearance, people began spreading rumors that Alan was a serial killer who murdered his wife and the other missing people of Bright Falls, Washington. The power of Cauldron Lake shaped reality based on these rumors and corrupted Scratch into becoming the "Herald of Darkness", possessed by the Dark Presence and bent on unleashing it upon the world. Scratch became the serial killer that wore Alan's face, and was determined to take everything that Alan held dear.


Scratch's demise

In 2012, Alice and Alan's friend Barry Wheeler both came to Night Springs, Arizona. With Scratch determined to kill both of them, Alan manages to escape the Dark Place for one night hoping to both stop Scratch and send a message to his friends. Scratch uses the time-spiral of the Dark Place to keep Alan, and Night Springs, in a perpetual night of darkness. With each loop, Alan and his companions become more knowledgeable of Scratch's obstacles. Alan is able to obtain a manuscript with instructions on how to defeat Scratch. Using Alice's film Sunrise at the Drive-In Theater, the sunlight in the film manages to destroy Scratch's body. While Alan is still trapped in the Dark Place, Alice and Barry are safe from Scratch's physical presence. However, his spiritual essence remains.


In the AWE expansion of Control, Alan tells Thomas Zane that Scratch is "out there", and Zane responds that he is "dealing with him." A photograph of Scratch is found in the files of the Federal Bureau of Control, taken by Alice in 2017.

Alan Wake 2[]

Scratch once again appears as the main antagonist in Alan Wake 2.

He is first mentioned when Mr. Door describes the synopsis to the novel "Initiation", who talks about an "evil doppelganger" who haunts Alan Wake inside the story. He is later mentioned again by Alan himself, as he incoherently rambles about Scratch after he emerges from Cauldron Lake, implying he does not remember the events of American Nightmare. Alan later continues to insist that Scratch is out there, haunting his wife Alice Wake, and that he seeks the Clicker in order to bring about a horrific ending to the horror story they're trapped in. He also speculates that Scratch created or is the leader of the Cult of the Tree.

The Cult of the Tree attacks the lodge that Alex Casey and Alan Wake had been staying in. Alan continues to sense the presence of Scratch, feeling him getting closer to him. Scratch seemingly attacks Alex Casey and vanishes with him, while Alan is captured by the Federal Bureau of Control.

Alan discovers that Alice seemingly committed suicide after seeing horrifying visions of Scratch in her home, believing it to be her dead husband. He then finds the manuscript to Return - a horror story where the Dark Presence consumes the town of Bright Fall. Believing it to be the work of Scratch, he "scratches" out the page denoting the author as Alan Wake, and begins editing the work, ultimately adding Saga Anderson in as the hero of the story. However, Scratch interrupts Alan and shoots him in the head.

In the real world, just as Saga Anderson is about to give Alan the Clicker in the prison cell, Alan is consumed by the Dark Presence, transforming him into Scratch. Saga speculates that Scratch had been pretending to be Alan all along. It is later revealed that the "Scratch" who shot Alan in the head previously was another version of Alan from the future, believing that the Alan inside the Writer's Room was Scratch creating the Return manuscript. In reality, there was no evil double of Alan Wake. Alice was seeing visions of Alan Wake from the Dark Place. Consumed by despair, Alan lets himself be taken by the Dark Presence.

Saga realizes that the Scratch they had been fighting was the same being as Alan Wake from the beginning, consumed and manipulated by the Dark Presence. After being defeated, the Dark Presence moves its host to the wounded Alex Casey, assuming a new form of Scratch. Holding the Clicker, he manifests a new reality in which everyone in Bright Falls is celebrating Alan Wake and his new novel Return in an endless Deerfest.

Saga Anderson and Alan Wake co-author a new ending to Return. In this new ending, it is specified that Alex Casey is a bystander and has no relations to the works of art created around Cauldron Lake. With this contradiction, the Dark Presence is unable to sustain itself inside Alex Casey. The Dark Presence moves hosts again into Alan Wake; but Saga Anderson neutralizes the darkness with the Bullet of Light. In a post-credits scene, it is revealed that Alice never committed suicide.


In an interview with Sam Lake, he says the reason he is named Mr. Scratch is because his name is unpronounceable by humans as it sounds just like a bunch of scratching noises. He is the main antagonist in Alan Wake's American Nightmare and is the most sadistic and twisted character in the franchise.


  • In old folklore, when death is upon someone, that person will see a doppelgänger of themselves.
  • Old Scratch or Mr. Scratch is a folk name for the Devil in the local legends of New England and pre-Civil War America.
  • Mr. Scratch is another name for the Devil, most commonly used around the time the American Civil War.
  • Some speculate that Mr. Scratch is inspired by the folktale "Old Scratch" and/or "The Devil and Daniel Webster"
  • Doppelgängers play a huge part in the final episode of Twin Peaks, a series Alan Wake is influenced by.
  • It would seem that Mr. Scratch plays a similar role to the character "BOB" from the television show, Twin Peaks.
  • Mr. Scratch was hinted at in the Night Springs episode "The Man In The Mirror" which features an evil doppelgänger.
  • In American Nightmare, whenever Alan narrates manuscript page with Mr. Scratch's name, a weird distorted scratch noise could always be heard replacing the voice over Alan saying his name.
    • In Alan Wake, when Thomas Zane first said "Mr. Scratch", a scratching played on top of his name. This did not happen when Alan mentioned his name in The Writer.
    • Also, in Nightmare when the Night Springs host said "Mr. Scratch", the same weird distorted scratch noise could be heard replacing the "Scratch".
  • Zane's explanation of Mr. Scratch's name is similar to the explanation given by H.P. Lovecraft for why he pronounced "Cthulhu" several different ways.
  • Mr. Scratch's hints that he is a 'messenger' of sorts for the otherworldly beings that live in The Dark Place is similar to the Lovecraftian entity Nyarlathotep; a sadistic agent of the Outer Gods, who could taken on human form to cause chaos on Earth.
  • Mr. Scratch shares quite a few similarities with Randall Flagg, a major player in the Stephen King universe. His similarities to Nyarlathotep are just one. His characteristics and demeanor are another huge connection to Flagg. Constantly being amused by his own antics. He is seen as a man, but is quite clearly so much more than that and can seem to travel between worlds effortlessly. All this and the fact that the whole Alan Wake/Control universe skirts so close to being part of Stephen King's universe.
  • Zane says "your friends will meet him when you're gone" is hinting to the fact that Mr. Scratch can enter reality and the dark place as he chooses, in American Nightmare we discover he has shown himself to Alice on several occasions but disappears before she can get a good look at him, making her think that its all in her head.
  • Early footage from an alpha build of Alan Wake shows that Mr. Scratch's name and concept existed early on, as it was mentioned by Alice that he was searching for the Manuscript pages. It is unknown whether it was part of an early rendition of the story or simply a test mission.
  • In Alan Wake, Mr. Scratch is not mentioned in any of the Manuscript pages.



Alan Wake[]

Alan Wake's American Nightmare[]


Alan Wake II[]