Most people in the internet age have heard of Slenderman. The terrifying paranormal creature takes the shape of an unusually tall man who wears a black and white business suit. This man supposedly has no face (though others say that his face is different for each person), long, bony hands and stands between 7 and 10 feet tall, depending on the account. Some say he has tentacles that emerge from his back, but most accounts state he looks like a human man.
What’s the story?
Slenderman has connections to mythology dating back to the 1600s.
There was a figure in German myth called The Tall Man. The Tall Man was a fairy who lived in the forest and would chase any children who snuck into the woods until he caught them or they confessed to their parents what they had done.
Romania is home to a fairy tale about a similar creature. In the story, The Tall Man, dressed as a nobleman all in black, convinced a woman to kill her husband and child before kidnapping and killing her.
In England, the legend most similar is that of the Tree Man. The Tree Man is supposedly an unusually tall man with appendages like tree branches. Many disappearances in the forests of England have been attributed to the Tree Man. Parents used him as a cautionary tale to control their children’s behavior.
Today, Slenderman is acknowledged as a strange creature who stalks his victims until they have what is known as Slender Sickness. The symptoms of this “sickness” are extreme paranoia, hallucinations, nose bleeds and nightmares. Once he feels his victims have had enough psychological torture, it is said that Slenderman captures his prey, transports them to another plane of existence and kills them, leaving behind no trace.
Many believe that Slenderman stalks his victims for years. He shows himself to his targets when they are children, then hides for years – sometimes decades – before he begins his gruesome routine.
In my research, I have not come across one suggestion as to how one can ward off Slenderman. Once you’re in his sights, you’re done for.
What’s it based on?
The Slenderman Myth is just that: a myth. The creature was created on a forum called Something Awful, where one user called for others to create paranormal creatures in 2009. A user by the name of Victor Surge photoshopped a number of old pictures and created the myth. The other users loved the myth so much that they began to expand on it, linking it to the historical mythological creatures I mentioned above. The story leaked out of the forum on to the rest of the internet. It was picked up by Creepypasta and spread like wildfire.
How’s it used today?
Slenderman still has a huge presence on the internet, despite the knowledge that it’s fake. The legend turned into several horror video games, such as Slender: The Eight Pages and Slender: The Arrival. The creature is also the focus of several horror stories and films.
While Slenderman’s origin can be traced back to a challenge on a forum post, the story is still pretty terrifying. Just the idea of a creature who can’t be avoided and can’t be stopped is frightening in and of itself.
Let us know what you think in the comments!