Slenderman’s Coming For You

Howdy, folks. This is the first post I’ve written expressly for misterio press blog, and I’m excited to share it.

Today, we’re going to be talking about an Urban Myth called Slenderman. The unique thing about Slenderman is that he got his start online. Every evolution of him can be traced back to something that originally appeared in cyberspace.

Before we start, let me make one thing clear. This article is not intended as a definitive post on this topic. It’s merely a starting point for those brave enough to venture into the world of Slenderman.

Firsthand Experience

The best way to introduce y’all to Slenderman is to share the experience of someone who saw him:

As to personal stories, when I was four or five, we were driving home from my grandparents’ house through a dark part of the city. I saw a tall, slender man walking toward the car as we rolled slowly by. He looked eerie to me so caught my attention. As we came parallel to him, he happened to enter the glow of a streetcorner light and I saw that his face was like ashes. It looked as if it would crumble at a touch, all dark grey, wrinkled, and papery. I was startled and said, “Mummy, look at that man.” She craned around and said, “What man?” He was gone. No sign of him. Had he merely turned the corner we would still have seen him. No idea what that was but it fits the meme.

~By Gene Stewart

Find Gene online: Facebook, Website

Who is Slenderman?

This is a list of Slenderman descriptions I’ve collected:

  • Unnaturally tall and thin figure who wears a suit and has no facial features
  • A fairy from the Black Forest
  • A boogeyman who lives in the woods
  • A shapeshifter who assumes the form of trusted adults to lure his victims (usually children)

What Does He Do?

The following is a list of Slenderman’s interactions with his victims:

  • Can extend his arms (tendrils, tentacles) to trap his victims
  • Able to appear and disappear at will (teleport)
  • Has the ability to brainwash his victims and control their actions
  • Kidnaps children
  • Starts fires
  • Causes sickness
  • Mutilates victims

First Mentions

Slenderman began on The Something Awful Forms in this 2009 thread as “paranormal pictures” contest. Forum users posted photos to which they had added supernatural images. A user named Victor Surge posted the following two images with accompanying captions.

The Pictures

Picture Number One:

Licensed on Creative Commons

 

Click here to see Senderman Picture Number Two

The Captions:

Caption 1:

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.

Caption 2:

One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as The Slender Man. Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence.

~1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13th, 1986.

These two images and their accompanying captions spawned all sorts of discussion and stories. The idea of Slenderman later morphed into fiction, videos, and video games.

The Fiction

Creepypasta, a website where readers are invited to contribute creepy, shocking stories, has a whole sub-genre of scary stories which center on Slenderman. Click here for the Creepypasta Slenderman Tag.

The Games

Slender: The Eight Pages and Slender: The Arrival

Slenderman’s Shadow

Slenderman for IOS(The linked game is one of several. Go to the iTunes Store and do a search on “Slenderman” to see what I mean.)

The Videos

Marble Hornets

The Slenderman phenomenon/story morphed into a You Tube Video series called Marble Hornet.

The story on which the You Tube videos is based is that of Alex Kralie. A film student, Alex stumbled on “something troubling” while shooting his first full length project Marble Hornets. Click here to read a longer version of this story.

If you just want to watch the videos, go to the You Tube Channel for Marble Hornets.

The Documentary

There is an Irish Slenderman Documentary on You Tube. Click here for Part 1 of 5.Look for subsequent installments in the “recommended videos” section.

Slenderman’s Origins

Mythology from all over the world seems to support the existence of Slenderman (or something like him). Here are two of my favorites:

Der Ritter or “The Knight” — Germany

418px-Der_Ritter

This is a 16th century woodcut by Hans Freckenberg. The woodcut was re-discovered inÊHalstberg Castle in 1883.

“The Faceless One” — Wales

Hush, thy childe, do not stray far from the path,
or The Faceless One shall steal you away to Fairieland.
He preys on sinful and defiant souls,
and lurks within the woods.
He has hands of ebony branches,
and a touch as soft as silk.
Fear The Faceless One thy childe,
for he shall take you to a dark place.
And what shall become of thou?
Noone knows, so be good, thy little one-
Alas! He is here to take thou away!

This lullaby dates back to the 18th century. Like many lullabies of the time, it was didactic in nature, intended to teach children not to go near the forest.

Have you ever heard of Slenderman? Ever seen him? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Sources:

Special thanks goes to Gene Colwell. He gave me more information on Slenderman than I dreamed possible.

Special thanks to Gene Stewart for providing an “up close and personal” experience with Slenderman.

Slenderman on Know Your Meme

Slenderman in Mythology and Culture

The Abilities of Slenderman

“Why Slenderman Works: The Meme That Proves Our Need to Believe” by Patrick Dane

Posted by Catie Rhodes. Catie is the gal your mama warned you about, the one who cusses a lot and never washes her hands after petting the dog. She’s the author of Forever Road, Book 1 in the Peri Jean Mace paranormal mystery series. Peri Jean sees ghosts, a talent she often wishes she did NOT possess.

We blog here at misterio press once (sometimes twice) a week,  usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.

Please follow us so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun! (We do not harvest, lend, sell or otherwise bend, spindle or mutilate followers’ e-mail addresses.)

12 thoughts on “Slenderman’s Coming For You

    1. Catie Rhodes

      Kirsten, I operate on the (probably incorrect) theory that stuff like this somehow in our collective unconscious. And that’s the reason people latch onto it and keep it “living.”

      Reply
  1. Pingback: Slenderman’s Coming for You | Catie Rhodes

  2. shannon esposito

    I just love these urban legends. Just shows how much we love to be scared. Or maybe creating our own monsters is a way of trying to have some sense of control over our fear. Either way, what the heck happened to those children?

    Reply
  3. K.B. Owen

    Slenderman is a super-creepy bogeyman, Catie! Thanks for giving us the run-down on it. There’s something about a creature without a face that really creeps people out, you know?

    Reply
    1. Catie Rhodes

      Glad you enjoyed this, Kathy. I think part of it what’s frightening is that Slenderman doesn’t have a face. Not knowing the true identity of someone or something is a source of deep, instinctive fear for most of us.

      Reply
    1. Catie Rhodes

      I didn’t know about Slenderman until about six months ago. I got this weird email from a stranger asking me if I’d ever written an article on Slenderman. I got curious and started researching.

      Reply
  4. Pingback: The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Bacon-Wrapped Ford Fiesta « Bayard & Holmes

  5. Donna Coe-Velleman

    I’ve never heard of him before. I’m coming to rely on you, Catie, to bring the strange and creepy to my attention. 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *