They resemble green reptilian creatures, although their heads are white. Their claws make a distinctive clicking noise when they walk on hard surfaces that is easily recognized. Their limbs are extremely long and thin, similar to an insect's.
They are known to attack from the ceiling, or from below. They attack in groups of 2 or 3 and this is when they are most dangerous, as they will surround their prey, making it very difficult for Harry to evade them. This happens quite often, so caution is advised when dealing with them.
Due to the excessive darkness within the sewers, and the fact that Harry Mason's radio doesn't work underground, this often results in panic and surprise in the player when they are confronted. On the ground they can move quite swiftly, especially on higher difficulties, and also apply reach and endurance. They also prove quite diligent in pursuing prey once they've caught sight of it. It is best to use the hammer or a firearm on them.
At one point during Harry's first visit to the sewers, the player is lured towards a key, which is needed to progress; however, upon retrieving it, Harry will be ambushed by three of these creatures, although defeating them is optional. During this section of traversing the sewers, the Hanged Scratchers are quicker than normal.
Hanged Scratchers represent the image of a composite of many insect specimens, due to Alessa Gillespie's fear of insects, the only exception being butterflies. Crickets or locusts have the most prevalent resemblance to the Scratchers. They could also represent the way of the Order, sneaking up on and abducting Alessa. This could also explain their persistence when pursuing Harry and how, when they attack, they seem to screech "Let go of me!".  The fact that they appear and move very reptillian-esque in nature could be akin to dragons, alluding to Alessa's love for fairytales.