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I'm an accountant... in a way.
The Strange Man to John Marston

The Strange Man is a minor character and a stranger featured in Red Dead Redemption and as a cameo in Red Dead Redemption 2.



An enigmatic and otherworldly character, the Strange Man appears to know John Marston very well, including details about his past life in the Van der Linde gang that not even John himself remembers.

Events of Red Dead Redemption 2[]

There is an abandoned shack in Bayall Edge, Lemoyne that seems to belong to the Strange Man. The shack is riddled with cryptic writing alluding to Armadillo, Herbert Moon, and the cholera outbreak of New Austin. If the player visits it as Arthur Morgan, there will be an unfinished painting of the Strange Man. If the player visits the shack as John Marston, the painting will gradually become more and more complete over the next few days, and John will document his thoughts of it in his journal, saying how it makes him feel "fascinating, awful, and seductive, all at once". Once the painting is complete, John can see the Strange Man stalking him in the mirror, but once John turns around, he's gone.

A stranger in New Austin, around Hennigan's Stead, alludes to the Strange Man. He states how a man wearing a "black suit and big top hat," whom he believes to be the Grim Reaper, haunts and curses the town of Armadillo, being the reason for the cholera epidemic. Additionally, Herbert Moon has a portrait of the Strange Man in his general store, similar to the one in Bayall Edge, though much smaller. John will notice and asks about it, claiming he recognizes the man, but Herbert Moon shrugs it off, saying that somebody gave it to him and that he has it in his store because he likes it.

Events of Red Dead Redemption[]

The Strange Man is the focus of the stranger side-mission "I Know You", which is only available for John Marston. John meets the Strange Man in three separate places during the mission, once in each territory of the game.

Each time, the man gives vague answers to John's questions, and twice, asks John to perform errands for strangers. The first is to visit a man about to cheat on his wife, the second is to visit a nun trying to raise money for charity. The player can either make the morally good choices, like stopping the man and donating to the nun respectively, or the morally wrong choices. like encouraging the man to cheat on his wife and robbing the nun.

The Strange Man appears one final time overlooking Beecher's Hope. He is unforthcoming about who he is, and his standoffish demeanor enrages John enough to open fire on him. The Strange Man is completely unaffected and continues to stroll off into the distance.



You kill people so easily, yet you respect the vows of marriage. That's very curious, John.
The Strange Man, after John completes his first task

In his few interactions with John, the Strange Man comes across as purposely enigmatic and ambiguous, but also darkly sarcastic. He speaks in cryptic phrases, and answers John's questions with evasive, occasionally even mocking answers.

Although he constantly presses John on his morality, the Strange Man's own antics seem to be entirely neutral, telling John to solve a situation, but not telling him how, or his implications of employing karmic responses to his unknown affiliations with Herbert Moon and Armadillo.


The Strange Man dresses in a black two-piece suit, with a grey vest, a black tie and top hat. He has a well-maintained mustache and deathly pale skin with dreamy, pensive eyes.


Why would you remember me, friend? You've forgotten far more important people than me.
The Strange Man responding to whether John knows him.
If it isn't my old friend.
The Strange Man upon seeing Marston again.
We have to stop meeting like this John.
The Strange Man before meeting John for the last time.
Marston, what a coincidence!
The Strange Man before the last encounter.
This is a fine spot.
The Strange Man referring to what will later become John's gravesite.
Yes, many have...
The Strange Man's parting words after John shouts "Damn you!"



  • The Strange Man has a similar appearance to Josiah Trelawny.
  • In an issue of GamePro Magazine, a closer look at Red Dead Redemption was given. When asked about the Strange Man quest, and whether the "man in the black top hat" represented God or Satan, Rockstar told the magazine that they could not tell if the Strange Man was God, Satan, or anything else.[citation needed]
  • The Strange Man is referenced by the Fortune Speaker machine "Nazar Speaks" in the Grand Theft Auto Online add-on The Diamond Casino Heist. When reading the player's fortune, Nazar can say, "I see a strange man in a tall hat... he frightens me".

Red Dead Redemption[]

  • During the third encounter with the Strange Man, he says, "This is a fine spot". This location later serves as John, Uncle, and Abigail's gravesites.
  • Near the end of the encounter, John fires three bullets at him, but before he can fire a fourth, his gun jams. The three bullets could represent how John and Uncle die in "The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed", and Abigail's death coming later, while the fourth one jamming represents Jack being spared.
  • During the second encounter, John sarcastically says, "I'll let the appropriate authorities judge my morality, friend," to which the Strange Man replies, "Yes, you will and they shall". This is a foreshadowing of the ending of the game in which John dies to Ross and his squad, being the "appropriate authorities" judging John.
  • It is possible to kill the Strange Man; the player has to shoot him before triggering the cutscene, but doing so will fail the mission. Once the mission is complete, the player will no longer be able to do this.
    • The Strange Man can be "killed" right after the second encounter. He will appear to have died and the body can be looted. Doing so does not affect the "I Know You" side-missions in any way.
  • If the player points a gun at him, he can pull out a Cattleman Revolver and shoot and kill the player. He may also run away while yelling at John.
  • After the first encounter with him, players can point a gun at him, and he will start to run. If he is hogtied, he will keep talking as if the situation were normal. However, pointing a gun at him is considered a crime and civilians will attempt to alert law enforcement.
  • The Strange Man is the only character John meets within all three territories of the map.
  • If the player attacks the Strange Man, he proceeds to say things like, "You always were a nasty little orphan", "Come now, Marston", or "You haven't changed".
  • There's a portrait of the Strange Man in John's bedroom at Beecher's Hope.

Red Dead Redemption 2[]

  • In the epilogue, John can visit the General Store in Armadillo, where he will notice a portrait of the Strange Man owned by the shopkeeper. John will say that he looks familiar, despite not seeing him until the events of Red Dead Redemption which occur four years later.
    • The only other occasions John may indirectly know of the Strange Man in Redemption 2 is through the mirror and painting at his cabin and through dialogue from a man camped outside Armadillo after the epilogue.
  • If the player takes a screenshot of the Strange Man's cabin and uploads it to the Rockstar Social Club, it will list the photo's location as "Serial Killer".
  • It's heavily implied that Herbert Moon is associated with the Strange Man. In the cabin, there is a map of Armadillo with a handwritten note which reads, "I offered you happiness or two generations. You made your choice". This could be in reference to the Cholera outbreak and imply that it was caused by a deal with the Strange Man, which is further lent credence by a letter that can be looted from Moon himself. It details the marriage of Herbert's daughter and that she is pregnant, which is presumably what "two generations" is referencing. In the cabin, one can also find writing on the wall saying, "The Moon Will Shine On In The Darkness". Incidentally, Herbert Moon is one of the only residents of Armadillo not infected or harmed by the Cholera outbreak.
  • The Strange Man may also be associated with the Skinner Brothers, who worship a "Prince of Darkness" they describe as a "gentleman."
  • By using trainers to swap Arthur/John's models, the player may notice that the Strange Man's model is named "cm_mysteriousstranger". This might suggest that the Strange Man was heavily inspired by Satan from Mark Twain's novel, The Mysterious Stranger, as both seem to be enigmatic, supernatural entities, while also frequently questioning humanity's hypocrisy and moral paradoxes.
  • Paintings in the Strange Man's shack change depending on the player's honor level. High honor will display paintings of eagles and bucks. With low honor, the paintings will show vultures and coyotes. A poem about the fate of Jimmy Brooks also changes depending on if Arthur spared him or murdered him.
  • The Strange Man's cabin is located in Bayou Nwa, Lemoyne, a state that combines several Southern States of America in its geography, including Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia. The cabin being located in the south could be a reference to the Charlie Daniels Band song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", which is about the Devil's deal making history down south. Additionally, the Devil in the song went there looking for souls, similar to the stranger's role in the franchise.




Aiding Strangers will contribute toward the following Trophies/Achievements:

10 gamerscoregamerscore
Bronze bronzebronze
Complete a task for a Stranger.

Rdr people still strange icon
25 gamerscoregamerscore
Silver silversilver
Complete 15 tasks for Strangers.