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It wasn't me. It was you.
~ Duke's infamous quote as the Crooked Man.

Duke McGahan, known as the Crooked Man, is the titular main antagonist of the 2012 video game The Crooked Man. He is the former tenant of David Hoover's room at the unnamed apartment that he once lived. Prior to the events of the game, he committed suicide years ago through hanging, thus his ghost assuming the identity of the Crooked Man. It is revealed that Sissi, D, and Fluffy were the figments of his past that David encountered throughout the respective chapters of the game's story.

Biography

Background

Sissi, D, and Fluffy are facets of his own past life, so their backgrounds told during the course of the story were actually his.

When he was young, he was "abandoned" by his mother. The facts about it are ambiguous, but she apparently died in a hospital when Duke was a kid, leaving him with bitterness and feelings of abandonment. Years later, he decided to become a lawyer, but no matter how much he tried, he never passed the final exam. The last straw for him was that his beloved girlfriend, whom he loved very much to the point of making her gifts and taking her to their "special place" in a hotel, eventually abandoned him. This left him very depressed.

Unable to take it any longer, he left the apartment he lived in and went to his mother’s abandoned house, where he committed suicide by hanging himself. He became a vengeful spirit some time after that.

He generally goes after David Hoover, the game's main protagonist, but if Sissi, D, or Fluffy are around, he prefers going after them and trying to kill them, much to David's confusion. After it is revealed that the three of them are facets of Duke, it makes perfect sense. Sissi has regrets over lost love, D has regrets over failed dreams, and Fluffy has been abandoned by his mother. These are all the aspects of Duke (and David, as they were both so similar) that ultimately led to his eventual suicide.

The Crooked Man

After David moves to the apartment, David deduces the house’s malfunctions when they have something to do with the former tenant and decides to look for him. Duke, as the Crooked Man, starts following David everywhere on his journey to find Duke, and every time tries to kill him.

He is also very resistant to David’s attacks, as during the game he gets shoved into a pit, set on fire, stabbed, locked into a room and shot and still follows David around.

After Paul saves David, he goes to the abandoned house of the former tenant, which actually belonged to Duke's mother, who abandoned him. When looking in the belongings, he finds out the tenant’s real name. Then The Crooked Man cries and realizes that David is watching him and screams. After shooting him enough times, David tells him to disappear, since he won’t take the same path as him. With these words, the creature disappears. David later enters the attic of the house, where he finds Duke's hanged corpse. David realizes that all the situations Duke put him in were in order to help him move on with his life and he thanks him before leaving.

Duke's corpse is later retrieved and put to rest in a cemetery, presumably by David. In the final scene of the game, David visits Duke's grave, puts some Marlboro cigarettes next to the grave and he says that they would see each other again.

In the second replay, when David enters to the attic, he has a conversation with Duke's spirit (who is recalling the moment he is about to commit suicide) before Duke passes on. His spirit is later seen after David and Shirley are back into their relationship, so it is implied he will continue looking after David.

The Boogie Man

He doesn't appear, but it's revealed that his case brought David trouble with the police. Since they didn't believe about the supernatural forced that lead to David finding Duke's corpse, they suspected David. However, they didn't have any proof about Duke's death, so the police let him free. Because of this, the detective Keith Baring is a little wary of David at first.

Trivia

  • The Crooked Man represents Duke's resentment and despair. However, during Stage 3 there is a note from an otherwise-unrelated man who killed himself in order to get away from an unknown figure. David also says that he's been hearing "voices" in his head, long before the Crooked Man started coming for him. The Crooked Man in the game is Duke's, but David apparently had one of his own for some time, which is part of the reason Duke decided to step in. It's even possible that the creature who tries to make David shoot himself in Stage 4 was David's own Crooked Man, and not Duke's.
  • The Crooked Man's immensely bent neck was a result of his neck snapping after he hanged himself.
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