The Grinning Man
The Grinning Man, as he hunts.
The Grinning Man
Hair color
Eye color
The Grinning Man
This article is about the character. For the comic about him, please see The Grinning Man
Sheee-it! You're one ornery motherfucker, now ain't ya? That's okay, kinda puts a smile on my face.
—The Grinning Man, taunting a target.

The Grinning Man was a mysterious, gun-toting individual who hunted people in the hopes of being challenged by the hunt. He eventually runs afoul of Robert Tower, and his replacement, Mayberry.


Skilled in the execution of magic and adept in the use of firearms, the figure known only as the Grinning Man uses his skills to find and hunt those individuals that he believes will offer him a challenge. His extent of magical knowledge is unknown, but he has demonstrated the use of spells of illusion, binding and protection.

He speaks with a southern drawl and has an interest in Silent Hill.

The Grinning Man

Chasing a young man who is also skilled in magic through a mining complex, the Grinning Man, having gained what he wanted from his prey, kills his quarry by tossing a cigarette into a pile of explosive ordinance crates. Walking away from the inferno unscathed, the Grinning Man takes notice of an approaching sports car and casts an illusion over himself before it slows to a stop. The female occupants offer him a ride, which he gratefully accepts. He assures the pair he won't be going far, as he has business in the town of Silent Hill.

Before reaching Silent Hill, the Grinning Man is able to abduct several passengers from a shuttle van, fabricating the scene of the accident to resemble a murder. He then takes his prisoners, including the women in the sports car, to Silent Hill, specifically to the Lakeview Hotel. It is revealed by Mayberry, the intended replacement of officer Robert Tower, that the Lakeview Hotel is said to be temporally and spatially challenged, allowing anyone with the ability to manipulate that kind of environment to hide untold numbers of people inside.

Placing his victims in different locations throughout the hotel, the Grinning Man brands them with his sign, the Mark of the Serpent, and begins to draw off the vitality of his victims. Doing so allows him to power his magic, while also aggravating the monsters that roam the town. Those branded by the Grinning Man slowly die from the effects, but are fully protected from any harm of the town. The ultimate goal of the Grinning Man is to take complete control of the town of Silent Hill and make it his own.

Interfering with his plans is Robert Tower, who had brought Mayberry into the town in an effort to terrify the man so that he would vacate Tower's position. When Tower finds and rescues the women who originally offered the Grinning Man a lift, the hunter confronts Tower and demands the officer "hand over what's his". Tower asks the Grinning Man what it is he's up to, to which the stranger simply replies "I hunt". Tower shoots him, though the Grinning Man takes the shot in stride. He is then set upon by monsters, while Tower goes to find the others the hunter kidnapped and Mayberry tries to get the women out of the hotel.

Tracking the officer to a hospital, the Grinning Man takes Mayberry hostage. Lamenting the turn things have taken, the hunter regrets not meeting Tower under other circumstances, believing he would have made a challenging hunt. However, he intends to stop Tower before the man can liberate any more of his hostages. Robert, unimpressed with the hunter, shoots the Grinning Man, who stands dumbfounded at being able to have felt the shot, as his spells should have protected him.

Tower gives the Grinning Man no time to recover and continues to fire shot after shot into the madman, all the while contemplating why it was he had never seen Silent Hill for what it really was.

The Grinning Man appears to die from his wounds.


  • The characterization of the Grinning Man may be based on Stephen King's arch-villain Randall Flagg. Both present western overtones, magical knowledge, a characteristic smile, and a psychotic streak.
  • The Grinning Man can be seen as a spiritual successor of Walter Sullivan. Both are psychopathic killers that seek to achieve a certain goal with their murders. Both wield firearms and supernatural abilities. The biggest similarity between the two is that both of them leave marks on their victims. Another similarity of note, is that Walter's victims, after being murdered, come back as ghosts, and The Grinning Man's victims become undead creatures of sorts, as well. It is also interesting to note that the Grinning Man has a very similar hair style to Walter's.
v · e · d
The Grinning Man - Robert Tower - May Tower - Mayberry - Whately
Lakeview Hotel - Silent Hill
Fog World - Monster - Otherworld - Real World - Mark of the Serpent
Scott Ciencin - Nick Stakal - IDW Publishing