Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard the stories about a creature known as The Slender Man.
He looks like a man, but he’s very tall – some say up to 8 feet – with elongated, stick-thin arms and legs. Some art depicts him with black tentacles that protrude from his back which he can retract at will. His face is blank and featureless, almost as though it is covered by a thin veil, and he’s always wearing a black or pinstripe suit with coattails and sometimes a bowler or top hat. He appears to float around rather than walk, which suggests the possibility of him being an ethereal being rather than a creature or a man, and it’s said that he can materialize in any place. According to the stories, he lives in the woods and stalks children, although what his motives are remain a mystery.
The elusive Slender Man might not be real, but his influence on popular culture can’t be ignored – he’s an extremely popular figure especially with children and impressionable teenagers. But where does he come from? Here are 15 creepy facts about Slender Man that you might not want to read right before bedtime…
15. We Don’t Know What Happens To His Victims
Very few stories about Slender Man end with graphic violence or real body horror, it’s always preferable that the fate of his so-called victims is left unknown. This works because we fill in the gaps in the story with the things that scare us most and all the obscurity means that no one ever has a true picture of him. Once the Slender Man has you it’s an absolute mystery what happens to you. Whatever your worst nightmare is – that’s what it will be. Whether he absorbs, kills, or simply takes his victims to an undisclosed location or dimension is always unknown as there are never any bodies or evidence left behind in his wake to reach any definite conclusions. According to the folklore that is.
14. The Inspiration For The Slender Man
Artist Eric Knudsen says that he was inspired to create Slender Man mainly by Zack Parsons’ “That Insidious Beast”, Stephen King‘s The Mist, reports of shadow people, Mothman and the Mad Gasser of Mattoon. He also drew inspiration from the character known as the Tall Man in the 1979 movie Phantasm, survival horror games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil and the literary work of H.P Lovecraft and William S. Burroughs. He said that his intention was “to formulate something whose motivations can barely be comprehended, and [which caused] unease and terror in a general population.” Judging by the way that people have become so attached to this blank-faced suited character we think it’s safe to say that he achieved his objective on this one!
13. He’s Been Compared To A Fairy (No, Really)
Okay we know that sounds a little weird, but maybe that’s because fairies in ancient folklore were not the cute sparkly creatures we picture them as today. They were sometimes thought to have evil spirits and like Slender Man there were stories of fairies luring children into the woods to hurt them or even kill them. Professor Shira Chess of the University of Georgia made the connection between Slender Man and ancient folklore about fairies in her book, Folklore, Horror Stories, and the Slender Man: The Development of an Internet Mythology, explaining that they are both have motives that are difficult to grasp, they are both otherworldly, and like fairies, Slender Man is also able to change his appearance to reflect what the viewer fears.
12. Is It Dangerous To Research The Slender Man?
Will researching the Slender Man entice him to come after you? This writer hopes not! But given that he is a fictional character we’re pretty sure the answer is no but according to his fans trying to learn more about him is a bad idea. It’s often thought that he enjoys stalking those who become paranoid about his existence and those who research him might find themselves suddenly afraid of shadows and will be constantly looking for him in the woods. But that’s the power of our own minds – when we put an idea into our head, our brain will try to understand it and link it to our everyday world. So it’s easy to see why an obsession with Slender Man could be easy to fall into. But it’s safe to find out more – we promise.
11. What He Wants From His Victims
Part of the appeal of Slender Man is the shroud of mystery that surrounds him. We don’t know what he is, where he comes from, what he truly looks like, and worst of all, we have no idea what he wants. Slender Man is a character who has evolved because of the internet, because of people adding more and more details about him with stories, games, and photo’s, to the point where the line between reality and fiction has become blurred. Is it any wonder then that children are so afraid, yet so taken, with this creation? According to the Slender Man lore, it’s rumored that he kidnaps and kills children almost exclusively, but it’s hard to say whether or not his sole objective is murder, or something far, far darker.
10. Some People Believe He’s 100% Real
Here’s the thing about urban legends: some people are always going to believe that they are real and it’s no different when it comes to the Slender Man. There are people who don’t believe that he was only created in 2009, they believe that he has been around for centuries, watching, waiting, and scaring the life out of us. Because his appearance seems to tie in with other legends from around the world, such as The Dark Man (Scotland), Branch Man (Holland), and Der Grosse Mann (“The Tall Man” in German) these folks believe that he is anything but a myth. Some people have even reported seeing him, mainly at night, staring blankly into open windows and walking along secluded roads, looking for victims. What do you believe?
9. The Slender Man Stabbing
As adults, we can differentiate between fantasy and reality, but for kids and teens, it’s not always so easy.
On the 31st of May 2014, two twelve-year-old girls, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, lured their friend Payton Leutner into the woods and stabbed her multiple times with a kitchen knife before leaving her for dead. Thankfully she managed to crawl to a nearby road and was rescued by a passing cyclist. When police found the girls they said that they had tried to kill her in an attempt to appease the Slender Man, adding that they needed to make a sacrifice to him in order to keep themselves and their families safe. They had become obsessed with the story of Slender Man after reading stories about him on the Creepypasta website. Payton managed to make a full recovery and Geyser and Weier were both found not guilty by reason of mental disease and ordered to receive treatment in a mental hospital.
8. Who Created The Slender Man?
While the origins of most urban legends are hard to trace that’s not the case with The Slender Man. He was created by an artist called Eric Knudsen, under the pseudonym “Victor Surge” during a Photoshop contest in June 2009. The contest challenged users to edit everyday photos and make them appear paranormal and Knudsen contributed two black and white photos of groups of children and added a thin figure in a black suit into the background. He also added the following text to the first photo: “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.” This was the start of the Slender Man story.
7. Sony Is Planning A Slender Man Movie
As more and more fans add Slendy stories and art online, the legend continues to expand and his influence on popular culture is clearly evident. He’s been referenced in Minecraft and even generated his own video games, the first of which was titled Slender: The Eight Pages in 2012. In its first month after release, the game was downloaded over 2 million times and a number of variants of the game soon followed, including Slender: The Arrival, Slender Man’s Shadow, and Slender Man for iOS.
There have already been several independent films made about Slender Man and in 2016 Sony Pictures subsidiary Screen Gems announced that they had partnered with Mythology Entertainment to bring a Slender Man film into theatres within the next few years.
6. The Teenager Who Tried To Burn Her Family After Becoming Obsessed With Slender Man
In 2014, a Florida teen attempted to burn down her house with her mother and 9-year-old brother inside after becoming obsessed with the Slender Man character. She soaked towels in a mixture of bleach and rum and set them on fire in the garage, fleeing to a nearby park when the flames started to spread. Thankfully her family managed to escape unharmed and she was arrested and charged with attempted murder. She was 14 years old at the time. The police found bottled water, cookies, knives, lighters and flashlights in her backpack which indicated that she had planned the attack and said that she had visited a Slender Man website in the weeks leading up to the attack. “She had visited the website that contains a lot of the Slender Man information and stories,” a police spokesperson said. “It would be safe to say there is a connection to that.”
5. Is Slender Man The Suicide Spirit?
During a 6-month period in 2015, the small community on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was devastated by a suicide epidemic. During this time nine young people between the ages of 12 and 24 committed suicide and dozens more attempted to end their own lives. The Oglala Sioux tribe president noted that many Native Americans traditionally believe in a “suicide spirit” similar to the Slender Man and several insiders confirmed that at least one of the youths was influenced by Slender Man storytelling websites. A minister who worked with some of the young people affected by the string of suicides in the reservation said that they called him The Tall Man spirit and said that he appears to people and tells them to kill themselves.
4. Slender Man As A Modern Urban Legend
Urban legends have always been spread via the media and used for entertainment purposes. But they also have another purpose. These stories, which are always presented as true, are also meant to serve as cautionary tales. They are designed to make people, especially children, be more cautious and influence them to act in a moral way.
The Slender Man, also known as Slendy to his fans, is, at his core, a modern urban legend. The message is that a child should take care when walking alone in the woods because the Slender Man could steal them away. In today’s world, we barely let children out of our sight for fear of real human predators, so it’s no wonder that Slender Man caught our attention. He’s a manifestation of our real fears.
3. There Might Be Evidence Of Slender Man In Ancient Stories
Many people have cited ancient myths similar to that of Slender Man as evidence that he might be more than just a scary story. For example, in the Romanian legend of the Tall Man, a description of the apparition reads: “The tall man stood in a clearing, dressed as a nobleman, all in black. Shadows lay over him, dark as a cloudy midnight. He had many arms, all long and boneless as snakes, all sharp as swords, and they writhed like worms on nails. He did not speak but made his intentions known,” which does sound similar to descriptions of Slender Man. There is also the English myth of a creature known as Tree Man who was said to have a slim body with limbs that looked like tree branches.
2. Is Slender Man Stalking YOU? Here Are The Signs:
The Slender Man based web series Marble Hornets introduced the idea of the Slender Sickness also known simply as The Sickness. This fictional sickness consists mostly of coughing fits and coughing up blood, along with occasional nausea, paranoia, prolonged vomiting, and extreme exhaustion and it’s said to be brought on due to an encounter with the Slender Man. Many “victims” have also had bloody noses, fever, and sometimes amnesia and these all begin when they were stalked by Slender Man. They are said to intensify as the person has more and more sightings and some fans theorize that it might have to do with radiation, as these do mimic the signs of radiation poisoning. But if you’re coughing up blood or having major convulsions we suggest you go to a hospital before you blame Slendy!
1. Marble Hornets’ Influence On Slender Man Mythos
The video series Marble Hornets was the first YouTube series to feature Slender Man. It’s a found footage style series which forms an alternate reality game describing the filmers’ fictional experiences with the Slender Man and as of this year, the channel has around 463,000 subscribers and around 93 million views. This web series has established many different narratives about Slender Man including the disturbing idea of proxies – humans who fall under his influence and carry out violent acts for him. It’s believed he can drive people completely insane once he gained control of them. They also introduced the idea that he could interfere with video and audio recordings and presented the “Slender Man symbol”. Many other similar Slender Man themed YouTube channels have followed, including EverymanHYBRID and TribeTwelve.
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