Nothing is known about the Clutching Hands' life or how it died.
Following its death, the Clutching Hands' spirit remained on earth and unable to move on, due to unresolved issues. During Dr. Zorba's travels around the world, he met and captured the Clutching Hands and imprisoned it in his mansion.
When Dr. Zorba was murdered and became the twelfth ghost, Cyrus Zorba and his family moved into the mansion. One night, when Cyrus investigates the cellar and puts on the spectral viewers, the Clutching Hands and three of the other ghosts appear to him.
The Clutching Hands and the other eleven ghosts presumably crossed over when Benjamin Rush died and became the thirteenth ghost.