If you’ve never heard of the Slender Man, count yourself lucky. You might want to think twice before reading this article, because once you know about the Slender Man, you’ll never be able to go back. In a nutshell, he’s one of the creepiest viral sensations to hit the internet in the last decade. Remember when you were a kid and your friends told you what would happen if you said Bloody Mary three times in the dark and you had nightmares for a week? Well, this is worse.
There are plenty of Slender Man stories to keep you up at night if you’re interested in that sort of thing, but if you want a creepy crash course on what he’s all about before you get too involved, you’re in luck. We’ve scoured the internet for the 10 most terrifying facts about Slender Man so you don’t have to. This is your last chance to turn back. No? Read on at your own risk…
10. Beware the “Slender Sickness”
According to the Slender Man Wiki,”The Slender Sickness is the name given to an apparent illness consisting mostly of coughing fits and coughing up blood, along with occasional nausea, paranoia, vomiting, and extreme exhaustion due to an encounter and being stalked by the Slender Man”.
It could be a warning sign that you’re in extreme danger, or it could just be a way for the Slender Man to weaken you before he attacks. It’s mostly seen in potential victims of the Slender Man, but sometimes his proxies suffer from symptoms as well.
9. He Can Teleport
One of Slender Man’s most prominent features is his ability to teleport. That means even if you are running away from him, he could decide to teleport and end up directly in your path. That’s a lot worse than the villains in old school horror movies that just walked towards you at a leisurely pace. This adds to his elusiveness because even if he could be caught (which he can’t), he wouldn’t stay caught for long.
8. You Can Give Yourself Nightmares with a Slender Man Game
If creeping yourself out is something you enjoy, you might like the the free downloadable first-person survival game Slender: The Eight Pages. Players have to search through a dark foggy forest to find eight different pages while avoiding coming into contact with the Slender Man.
They have a flashlight with a dwindling battery and can walk, jog, or sprint. Every once in awhile, you’ll catch a glimpse of the Slender Man at the corner of the screen which is a good indication you should be going in the opposite direction. If you collect all eight pages without looking directly at Slender Man or coming into contact with him, you win the game.
7. He inspired the YouTube series “Marble Hornets”
The YouTube web series created by SomethingAwful forum poster Troy Wagner includes 92 episodes of varying lengths dating back to June 2009 around the time the Slender Man myth was first born.
A man named Jay begins watching tapes his friend Alex gave him three years earlier, and starts to experience weird phenomena related to a mysterious figure known as The Operator (aka The Slender Man).
The series has received positive reviews and was even praised by Roger Ebert. A feature film called Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story was released in select theaters in May 2015.
6. He Lives in the Forest
As if the woods at night weren’t creepy enough, now you have another reason not to want to go camping or sleep in a tent. Maybe he lives in the forest because trees offer a little bit of camouflage because his thin body and long limbs blend in with the branches.
Most likely, however, it’s because he likes to kidnap his victims and take them somewhere secluded where no one will ever find them. Deep in the forest, it’s unlikely anyone will hear you scream and even if they did, they’d never be able to find you in time.
5. His Appearance Can Change Depending on Who is Looking at Him
Generally, the Slender Man is described as unnaturally tall and thin with a white, featureless face. He wears a dark suit, sometimes with a tie, and has up to eight long tentacle-like arms that can reach long distances.
Some stories claim that his face appears different to each person who has the misfortune of seeing him up close. But what it actually looks like can be never be confirmed, because those people vanish without a trace, never to be seen again. He has often been compared to the Gentleman, a silent demon made famous in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer called “Hush”.
4. He Uses Human “Proxies”
According to the Slender Man Wiki, a proxy does “the actual, physical work for Slender Man, such as creating and manipulating objects, destroying and leaving evidence, creating videos and responding on Twitter, and influencing victims as needed.”
In a real life example of a Slender Man proxy story, two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls stabbed their friend 19 times in order to prove their loyalty to the Slender Man. Thankfully, the victim survived. Despite their lawyers arguing that the girls genuinely thought Slender Man would hurt them and their families if they didn’t kill their friend, a judge ruled that they are fit to stand trial as adults.
3. Hundreds of People Contributed to the Legend
Eric Knudsen (using the name Victor Surge) created the very first Slender Man photo on the SomethingAwful forums as a submission to a Photoshop challenge, but it struck a cord with other forum readers.
They started doctoring their own photos in the hopes of making the myth as real as possible, and some people would contribute stories detailing their own supposed experiences with the Slender Man. Even though his origin can be definitively traced back to that one forum post, there are still people out there (like the Wisconsin girls) who believe the Slender Man is real.
2. No One Knows What Happens to the People he Kills
When he doesn’t use proxies, the Slender Man often kidnaps his victims and takes them to some undisclosed location or even another dimension and does who knows what to them. There is never any evidence or a body left behind, so no one is ever sure what really happens.
This is an element that has been present since his not-so-humble beginnings as one of the origin photos was accompanied with the caption, “we didn’t want to go, we didn’t want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time. 1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.”
1. He Has No Motive
Eric Knudsen, the creator of the Slender Man, has stated his intention was “to formulate something whose motivations can barely be comprehended, and [which caused] unease and terror in a general population.”
He’s an otherworldly being who has no obvious motive to his actions. He stalks and kidnaps children, but no one knows why, which makes wondering what happened to kids who vanished at the hands of the Slender Man even more inexplicable. He doesn’t have a type of victim, and he has no reason – that we’re aware of – for hurting them, so logically we have no way to protect ourselves.