"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"
- Caption from the original Slender Man post on Something Awful
The Slender Man is the titular main antagonist from the game of the same name who was made popular on the internet, who first gained stardom in the Something Awful forums and branching out across the web as a figure that has established his own mythos. He is popularly believed to be some sort of malevolent fairy or demon that abducts and psychologically traumatizes people, particularly children. He is widely recognized as a sort of pop culture icon and also a very controversial figure, and is a prime example of a creepypasta villain at its best, being featured in many fictional stories around the web.
"I mean, let's just be honest here: he's a tall, white guy"
One of the main issues facing Slender Man investigators in the fact that "his" appearance seems to be subjective, with reports varying largely from area to area. This is often put down to cultural bias, with the observer projecting his fears into the sighting and recollections being blurred. However, it is generally agreed that its appearance is that of a pale, emaciated male figure, with an apparent height of between 7 and 9 feet tall, along with having no facial features, though he is sometimes portrayed with seemingly incomplete facial features, such as empty eye sockets or mouth, as if the face is molded. Some believe he can actually change his height. In addition, some say his face is difficult to focus on, documented that it is "ever changing." The figure is often described as wearing a black suit, although it seems to be a relatively recent addition to the mythology.
One of the more unusual aspects of the Slender Man's appearance is the description of additional appendages or limbs in reported sightings. Witnesses have described these as being "a snaky arm," to rope-like in appearance. These appendages are apparently only visible under certain conditions; and can be used for mobility as well as, perhaps, weapons.
Slenderman was created on the Something Awful forums in response to a monster contest. It draws heavily from several mythologies and integrates modern Men in Black influences into its design. Believers in the Slender Man tie his appearances in with many other legends around the world, including; Fear Dubh (or, The Dark Man) in Scotland, the Dutch Takkenmann (Branch Man), the minor Egyptian death god Gorr' Rylaehotep, and the German legend of Der Großmann or Der Grosse Mann (the Tall Man). The earliest argued reference to the legend is within the cave paintings found in the Serr da Capivara National Park in the Northeast of Brazil, which are believed to date from as far back as 9000 BC. These paintings show a strangely elongated character leading a child by the hand, but make no reference to the extra appendages. The next known possible reference to the Slender Man comes from around 3100 BC in lower Egypt, with references to the "Thief of the Gods" or the "Thief of Kuk" becoming common place during the reign of Pharaoh Wazner. Hieroglyphic carvings representing the Thief were found in the pharaoh's tomb, who was rumored to have had some kind of encounter with the entity. The carvings resemble a strange figure with multiple upper limbs, one that has never been found in any other hieroglyph language. Slender Man's most infamous historical connection is that of the art piece known as "Der Ritter," made in 1540. It puzzled historians in the 1880s due to the being on the right hardly resembling anything in nature, odd for such a realistic carving for it's time. Stranger yet, "Der Ritter" stands for "The Knight." While the focus is clearly on the bizarre being, some speculate that the human character is the real monster and the creature is attacking merely in self-defense. The true symbolism of the artwork has never been discovered. The picture is highly associated with Slender Man due to the similarities.
Stirling City, Butte County, CA has been an apparent hot spot for Slender Man activity during the mid 1980s. Perhaps there is photographic evidence of Slender Man. It is rumored that the day this photo was taken, fourteen children were reported missing. Following the 1986 Stirling City Library fire, a small number of photographs were recovered, including one that had been taken only a week earlier on June 1, 1986. On this date 14 children disappeared, followed less than two weeks later by the disappearance of the photographer, Mary Thomas. Some theorists claim that the figure on the left in the photo is the Slender Man, although officials have stated that the apparent extra appendages on the character can be dismissed as film defects. Five months later, the body of one of the children, four-year-old Joseph Pertman, was found in the Great Swamp Nature Preserve in Kingston Falls, NJ. Deputy Sheriff Jim Stolz told reporters from the Associated Press that the body was still in early stages of decay, indicating that he was alive for at least four months after his disappearance. It was also reported that the body was found in a state of "bizarre contortion," although the cause of death was never officially established. On April 21, 1987, the Stirling City Post ran a story regarding a rash of animal mutilations in Stirling City, that the Butte County Animal Control Department were attributing to coyotes. As many as nine dogs and a cat had gone missing since January, and had been found in various states of decay. Many of the pets had been disemboweled, or otherwise seriously mutilated. Animal Control Officer Joel Driscol was quoted as saying that the wounds were "unusually precise" and that it was "rare that a wild animal would leave so much of the carcass uneaten." Also quoted in the story was a local man, David Elkins, who was the owner of the latest victim - a cat that had been disemboweled and mutilated. On July 12, 1987, police were called to the Elkins' residence in Stirling by David Elkins, who had reported that his eight-year-old daughter Katrina had gone missing. The only possible witness to the disappearance was Katrina's ten-year-old sister Alice, with whom she shared a bedroom. SCPD Sergeant William Hohne reported that the last time Alice saw her sister, she was outside the window "hugging the tall man." According to further statements by Alice, over the previous weeks a man had been coming to the girls' bedroom window at night, where he would tap on the glass, "make faces," and watch the girls. However, police investigators initially dismisses the account as a dream, as the bedroom window was on their house's second story with no support beneath it.
Alberta disappearances, 2009
On January 10, 2009, three skiers - Amanda Fischer, Douglas Bellanger, and Natasha Pierce - disappeared leaving their cabin in Mica Mountains Resort of Jasper, Alberta. A day earlier, another friend, Thomas Chambers, left the party to return to Calgary, apparently due to health concerns. He was questioned by RCMP following the disappearances and allegedly informed them that he had left due to recurring nightmares featuring a tall man in black peering into the cabin windows at night. Investigators confirmed they had ruled Chambers out as a possible suspect, but considered him a key witness. A source within RCMP, who spoke on condition of anonymity, revealed to the Calgary Sun that officers had confiscated a digital camera and a camcorder at the time of the interview, which were never returned. RCMP were, however, unable to question Chambers further, as he vanished on January 21. His home was found ransacked that morning, but he was never found. Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Park Officials commenced a month-long search, culminating in the discovery of Amanda Fischer's remains high in a tree, in a severely contorted condition. The bodies of Bellanger and Pierce have yet to be recovered.
In popular culture
The Slender Man fame originally stated from Something Awful Forums, in a Photo Manipulation contest by a man name Victor Surge. Every since the contest, Victor Surge started to create mini stories based on the character in which would later be known as "The Slenderman". After creating these stories, lots of people over the internet has created the likes of stories, ARGs (Vlogs and Blogs), Video Games and Short movies. MarbleHornets is another influence to The Slender Man's stardom on the internet. In 2009, MarbleHornets became the first Alternative Reality Game to feature The Slender Man along with establishing and creating Proxies. Although this is the first Slender Man Vlog as well as ARG series, MarbleHornets does not feature The Slender Man, but a entity similar in appearance and abilities known as "The Operator". After the rise and popularity of the series, many other ARG series (E.g. TribeTwelve, EveryManHybrid, DarkHarvest00, MLAndersen0 and CaughtNotSleeping) have been spawned ever since, and the Slender Man is featured in almost all of them. Slender Man has also inspired the Endermen of the Minecraft series, having many similarities such as impressive height and lanky arms, but act differently in-game, like moving blocks with their elongated appendages. Slender Man has many online games inspired and based around him - however, the most notable (and recent) one is known as Slender, which has become extremely popular and some gamers are claiming it is "the scariest game ever." The 2012 horror film The Tall Man is loosely based on Slender Man. A movie named Entity was in development, but was cancelled. Slender Man also appears as a Team Fortress 2 monster known as Slender Mann. Slender Man was in the Rap Battle By Unwanted House Guest in the ANIMEME RAP BATTLE. Creatures named the Gentlemen appear in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: they are a possible influence on the Slender Man mythos. Slender Man appears in Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged series: he appears in the special episodes "Concrete Giraffes" and "An Ishtar Family Christmas". He also appears in "Marik plays Slender". Slender Man is very humorous, not acting scary at all and always saying "HAAAAY GUUUUUYS" in a strange voice. The Thin Guy set and Slendermog from AdventureQuest Worlds are based on Slender Man. In Total Drama All-Stars, Slender man is seen in the episode "Moon Madness". Slenderman appears in Youtube Minecraft Video's. He also makes an appearance in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, in the episode "Pinkie Apple Pie."