In recent years, the Internet has produced many strange new creatures that expand the pantheon of horror, and created new brilliant (and scary) tales. These are creatures of the mind, which are horrific in a sense not seen since the Old Ones and Cthulhu came from the mind of H.P Lovecraft. Hopefully if circumstance allows it (and if I stop being lazy), I will talk about some of these eldritch abominations further, and expand upon them. But the one I shall tell you about today is the creature known as “The Slender Man”…
First, history is necessary. Originating from the bowls of the Something Awful forums, the Slender Man was created by a user called ‘Victor Surge’ for a paranormal Photoshop contest (the archived thread of which can be found here). Most of the pictures in the thread were of ghosts, or in your face horrors, but with the posting of two pictures, this changed.
"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.
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.
Quite rapidly, the thread was taken over with pictures of the Slender Man. More pictures, from Surge and others came in, as well as stories surrounding the ‘Slender Man’.
A few weeks later, on June 20th 2009, the first Entry of Marble Hornets was uploaded to YouTube for an unsuspecting audience. The videos were apparently from an old documentary that was shot as a student film by Alex Kralie, when filming abruptly stops. A friend of Alex, Jay, is given the tapes, and told to by Alex to ‘Burn them’. Jay however, doesn’t and finds them in his cupboard two years later, and notices strange occurrences. Mainly a tall man in the background shots. And Jay soon discovers that he himself isn’t safe…
From here the vlogs expanded, with two of the most popular being EverymanHYBRID and Tribe Twelve. EverymanHYBRID started out as a health and fitness series before the introduction of Slender Man. It has continued over the past year, and is known for its complex story involving many different mediums, as well as ARG elements. Tribe Twelve follows Noah Maxwell, who originally set up the page for a school project on the Twelve Tribes of Israel, but later uses it a tribute page to his cousin Milo when he finds out that Milo had died. He begins to put up video from the last time he saw Milo, and notices something strange in the videos. Something that terrifies him.
At around the same time as Marble Hornets, the first Slenderman blog began. Titled “Just Another Fool“, it followed Logan, who finds out a friend of his, Matt, has died after returning from a tour of duty in Iraq. He then comes into possession of Matt’s journal, and discovers the unsettling contents inside that pertain to a tall, slender figure. This blog set the tone for future Slender Man blogs, and whilst it is now considered quite simple in comparison, it is worth the read to see how it began.
The blogs, like the vlogs, also grew, with two of the most notable being Seeking Truth and Dreams in Darkness. Seeking Truth follows Zeke Strahm, a cop who is on a case of finding some missing teenage girls. The deeper he gets however, the more he discovers, esspicailly details surrounding a tall, slender man. Dreams in Darkness follows Damien O’Connor, who lives a normal life. That is, until his friend Ted introduces him to Marble Hornets, and begins to act strange. From there everything falls down around him, in a continuing downward spiral.
All the blogs and vlogs I’ve mentioned are just a starting point for what is the Slender Man Mythos. With hundreds of blogs and vlogs, as well as a large fanbase, it is a thriving community, trying to create something of pure terror. Other similar endeavors, such as the Fear Mythos, have also sprung up because of these terrifying tales. I would recommend turning the lights out and reading/watching the tales I’ve put before you. Hopefully, you’ll then also understand the terrible creature that is the Slender Man…