The Slender Man (or Slenderman) is a fictional creature from an Internet meme. It appears as a tall and thin man, wearing a black suit and tie. The man's face is usually blank, without any features. It is said to stalk, abduct, or scare people, especially children.
Description[change | change source]
The Slender Man is described as very tall and thin with unnaturally long arms. It can extend its arms to scare people or capture them. It has a white, featureless head and appears to be wearing a dark suit. In images, the figure is often out of focus and blurry. The Slender Man is associated with the forest and has the ability to teleport.
Origins[change | change source]
The Slender Man was created during a contest on the Something Awful forums in June 2009. The goal was to change photographs using digital manipulation so that the pictures showed something supernatural. On 10 June, a forum poster with the user name "Victor Surge" uploaded two images in black and white. They were photographs of groups of children, to which had been added an obscured figure in the background: a tall, thin man with a blank face. Surge included short stories to go with the images, describing the disappearance of the children in the images. It gave the character the name, "The Slender Man":
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 stories made it a work of fiction. Other users on the forum developed the character further, adding their own images or stories about "The Slender Man". However, is it possible to find supposed records of the monster dating back to the 14th century, a notable example is a medieval German folktale entitled Der Ritter ("The Knight" in German), it tells the history of a brave knight appointed by the church to slay a great evil entity who had been stealing children from a local village from around the Black Forest, Württemberg, in Southern Germany, by which some people claim the existence of the entity. 
Development[change | change source]
The Slender Man soon became very popular on the Internet. Many works of fanart, cosplay and fiction were created and spread from website to website. The first video series involving the Slender Man was published on YouTube. It is called Marble Hornets, and is now one of the most popular Slender Man creations. Other YouTube serials about the Slender Man followed, including EverymanHYBRID and Tribe Twelve. In 2011, Markus "Notch" Persson, creator of the sandbox indie game Minecraft, added a new character to the game. He named it the "Enderman" when many users on Reddit and Google+ commented on how similar it was to the Slender Man. A video game based on the Slender Man was released in 2012, named Slender: The Eight Pages. Several popular variants of the game followed, including Slenderman's Shadow and Slender Man for iOS, which became the second most-popular app download. The sequel to Slender: The Eight Pages, Slender: The Arrival, was released in 2013.
A horror movie about the Slender Man, Entity, was released in 2013. Another, The Slender Man, was released free online. On August 10, 2018, another movie about the character, Slender Man, directed by Sylvain White, was released. Marble Hornets is also being made into a movie.
The Slender Man was called "the first great myth of the web" by the BBC. The success of the idea has been ascribed to the Internet's ability to connect people with one another. It has allowed anybody to build on the story and develop the character, and also shape it into whatever frightens them most.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Gail Arlene De Vos (2012). What Happens Next?. ABC-CLIO. p. 162. ISBN 9781598846348.
- Tye Van Horn (2013). "Behind You: The Cultural Relevance of Slender Man". Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Digital Human: Tales". bbc.co.uk. 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- Kristin Tillotsin (2011). "Tall, skinny, scary - and all in your head". startribune.com. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- Shira Chess (2012). "Open-Sourcing Horror: The Slender Man, Marble Hornets, and genre negotiations". Information, Communication & Society. 15 (3): 374–393. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2011.642889.
- Patrick Dane (2013). "Why Slenderman Works: The Internet Meme That Proves Our Need To Believe". whatculture.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- Aja Romano (2012). "The definitive guide to creepypasta—the Internet's urban legends". Daily Dot. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- Peters, Lucia (14 May 2011). "Creepy Things That Seem Real But Aren't: The Marble Hornets Project". Crushable. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Dave McNary (2013). "'Marble Hornets' flying to bigscreen". Variety. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "Notch reveals new mob, dubs them Endermen in reference to Slender Man". igx.com. 2011. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
- Gary Marston (2012). "Slender review". Explosion.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- Lana Polansky (August 20, 2012). "Slenderman's Shadow "Sanatorium" Map Released". Gameranx. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Tom Senior (July 26, 2012). "Slender Man Source mod will let you scare the hell out of yourself for free, with friends". PC Gamer. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Jeffrey Matulef (February 11, 2013). "Pre-orders for Slender: The Arrival are half-off, come with instant beta access". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
- "First Trailer & Poster For The Jadallah Brothers' Horror Movie ENTITY!". FilmoFilia. 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Slender Man Movie Producer Steven Belcher Wants to Create True Terror with the Faceless Figure". GameTrailers. 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
Other websites[change | change source]
- The Something Awful forum thread in which the Slender Man was created
- Slender Man on KnowYourMeme.com