What Is the Grim Reaper?

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The Grim Reaper is the personification of death in folklore. He is typically depicted in a black hooded cloak with a scythe. It is said that he comes for every person when that person dies.

The idea of the Grim Reaper began in ancient Greek mythology. The Greeks gave death the name "Thanatos," and he was a young, pleasant man who accompanied the dead to the Greek underworld, Hades. In Norse mythology, the messengers of death were beautiful young women called valkyries. The concept of the messenger of death changed to something more gruesome in the 14th century when the Black Plague killed more than 25 million people.