Kenan was once a young child living in the town of Greenwater before the incident that resulted in his drowning in a lake at just twelve years of age. However, he didn't stay dead; before long his spirit returned to haunt the town with his unsettling presence. He stood over the beds of townspeople as they slept at night, sometimes turning on the water and leaving it running while plugging the drain in a deliberate effort to flood their homes.
When he first meets Jacob in ALWAYS HUNTING - Jacob's Story, he seems insulted by Jacob's appearance in the town, asking him, "Why did you do it, Jacob?"; suggesting that Jacob did something to him as a child, even though Jacob is certain that he had never met Kenan before.