For most of us, the world of the occult and the “strange” is something that we simply avoid. Lots of humanity tend to stick to the idea that things outside of the ordinary are best saved for movies and for scaring children at Halloween. Unfortunately, not everything that we hear or read about that seems a bit out there is out there – sometimes, it’s more authentic than you could ever have feared.
One such story that seems to have grown an incredible amount of legs in the last few years is that of the Slender Man. Whilst the mythology of Slendermen has been around for many years and is built into just about every generation as a scare story, the actual development of what the Slender Man is to modern people has changed dramatically and, now, we are left with something that is absolutely terrifying.
We want to delve deeper into the monster itself, and try to look at stories about him and their validity, or lack of.
What is Slender Man?
First off, though, it helps to know a bit about the creature itself. The name Slender Man has been around for a few years now and has created something that can only be described as terrifying. With rather terrifying characteristics and unique abilities that set him apart from anything we’ve seen before on this planet, the Slender Man is set apart from any mortal that walks this planet. The actual idea of the Slender Man itself was coined by the internet forum Something Awful. They created a competition to invent a paranormal creature of some repute, and Slender Man was created.
However, the actual mythology and the power behind the character is something far more direct and far more challenging to understand for people. The idea of what Slender Man is based upon is, as we mentioned above, many different mythologies and scare stories from across time. This combination of different ideas and mythologies has led to the creation of one of the most fearsome and terrifying characters ever made – but is he just the work of some literary fiction, or is there something a little bit more to the story of the Slender Man? Could he actually be real?
Well, if you’ve ever seen a man walking around at anything from 6-15ft in height, wearing a suit, shirt and a black tie then you might have. He’s normally spotted as being bald, for a start, and he also has no defined facial features. It looks like a man wearing a white bag over his face, essentially. His extremely bony features make him stand out from the crowd as well. His hands are the most normal attribute he has, although they are much larger than the hands of a normal person, and this is something that’s easily spotted by people.
However, the most terrifying aspect of this character is that he tends to look so different and varied depending on who you are asking. However, the typical inclusion of long hands, huge legs, a faceless nature and a suit are the most commonly spotted attributes. The character of the being, though, is unknown except for one thing; it is not our friend. The Slender Man is not known if it follows any kind of social tone or has an understanding of such a thing. It might not even understand what we are saying or why we do certain things – the fact is that it does not seem to care too much!
One of its main powers and its strengths, apparently, is being able to more or less lock someone in a trance whilst it does whatever it intends to do. Whether it’s through fear or something a bit more occult, the Slender Man has the power to stop a person in their tracks and leave them to his whims. His disgusting appearance and he fact that he brings such a terrifying range of problems to the fore means that, for those who have encountered him before, they usually never return.
His terrifying nature and the fact that he seems to be almost impossible to interact with or to try and negotiate with. It’s reasons or its requirements are not known and therefore being able to understand what the Slender Man wants is nearly impossible – this stems from the fact that he, most likely, comes from somewhere other than our own world.
Considering that we live in a third-dimensional world, it’s estimated by some that he might becoming from somewhere else instead; perhaps a fourth dimension or something similar. A mysterious, terrifying creature – the Slender Man carries many unique, haunting attributes.
One of his most petrifying attributes, though, is the way that he emulates the fear a child feels of a full adult. By towering over even the tallest of grown men, the Slender Man makes it easy for himself with regard to terrifying pray and making them unable to respond. His sheer size and the horrible visage that is his face makes it incredibly simple and is a very easy tool for stopping even the bravest humans in their tracks.
Another hugely powerful tool he uses to promote himself and to have the best chance of success is to blend in so well with his surroundings, making him the perfect hunter. His ability to only be spotted when he wants to makes him a very terrifying prospect to be involved with, given that his ranging speed and his ability to move around and act out his terrible deeds with ease make him more or less impossible to escape from.
He likes to stalk his pray and has a rather gruesome habit of either storing organs or even impaling them to trees – it’s this brutal and relentless nature, mixed with his gruesome appearance that makes the Slender Man a true villain.
The mythology of the Slender Man, naturally, relies upon the artistic thinking and the hard work of others. The problem is that, once something is written about often enough, does it not tend to actually occur? The story and the myth of the Slender Man may be a new phenomenon that has been coined by an online forum, but the actual idea of a Slender Man is far older than the internet, and indeed anyone who still walks this earth. Its undefined timeline and the rather ambiguous nature of the story might work well with forums, but not with us.
The earliest “sightings” of something so terrifying and so inherently evil go back as far as the mid-1600s, in Germany. Many Germanic fairytales refer to something akin to the Slender Man roaming the woods and outside cities, wearing the dress of a knight or even a Royal to attempt to fit in with the locals. However, photography and other imagery of the Slender Man have become apparent ever since the early 1900s, where “confirmed” reports of its sighting have led to people trying to capture images using sepia imagery and old black and white camera work. Everywhere from Russia to the UK has a Slender Man story, ensuring that this is not just stuck to one region.
One of the main myths about the Slender Man, though, was his enjoyment of mid-40s war. With plenty of soldiers to target and lots of mischief to be caused, the Slender Man went about dealing with many soldier units throughout battlefields. The mythology, though is built around sightings and discussions of witnesses of this creature – especially its involvement in burning down homes regularly. It was discovered by many people who spend time investigating this unique myth that it typically followed a pattern like;
- Its victims were chosen for no real apparent reason – almost at random, with victims being taken as an interesting source by the Slender Man itself
- If the victim it has discovered is young enough not to realize what is going on, it will try and contact them posing as a friendly character
- Each victim, though, tends to have gone through some kind of pain or tragedy in life (even if he caused the tragedy himself)
- Victims of his stalking suffer from paranoia, from nightmares and hallucinations as well as various other illnesses and problems that seem only to be apparent to themselves
- Eventually, victims are kidnapped and brought to a forest – his natural habitat – to be slaughtered
The victim is typically impaled on high branches of trees, before organs are removed slowly and put into plastic bags. Then, they are replaced into the body in their normal position within the plastic bags. This brutal ritual has been noted on more than one again, and the actual collection and development of the creature has managed to capture something far more terrifying about it – it adapts over time, and has changed tack as the years have gone by and it has remained.
As the 1990s grew and more people started to pay attention to the story of the Slender Man, it became apparent that technology had caught more than they had originally thought. Recordings of stalking and attacks have been put up onto the web in the past, being able to capture the Slender Man chasing victims and stalking his “prey”.
However, the change of technology has not just affected us and our ability to see the Slender Man – it has changed him. Old-school methods of impaling people on trees has been left behind in favor or more terrifying, modern approaches. His stalking tends to take place over a period of years, even if the person is not aware that it is going on until, normally, it is too late.
The Slender Man tends to take a lot of time out of its day to more or less chase people around and torment them; both inside their homes, on roads they frequent and even in the office when they are alone. This passive aggressive nature can take place for many years or it can be dispersed with quickly; it all depends on the creature itself and what it intends to do.
The “modern” Slender Man also tends to take care of things far more silently than he once did. His lack of impaling of people any longer means that he can’t just be tracked or followed in the same way he could have in the past, instead making it easy for him to hide away. People are removed from their homes and places of work without a sight or sound, and are more or less eviscerated without ever being discovered.
The actual trail of evidence surrounding the Slender Man in modern times relates to photograph and video footage, with nothing more concrete to go on at present.
Is He Real?
The actual reality of the Slender Man is hard to define; many people say it’s a hoax and was just built up by Something Awful. However, plenty of testimonies from people who claim to have dealt with him exist and exist all across the globe; this isn’t a small phenomenon, this is like the new UFO! Plenty of people spend their time talking about the Slender Man and their own experiences, as well as the experiences of people that they know. Naturally, this makes life a whole lot more challenging than it once was!
However, these people are devoted to trying to get the Slender Man story dealt with once and for all, making sure that it can be maintained and understood by as many people as it possibly can. The entire thing can feel like nothing more than a really good ghost story, sure, but if you spend enough time looking into the circumstances of what it causes you should be able to – fairly quickly – understand what is going on here: there appears to be more than meets the eye when it comes to what was, at one stage, a basic online hoax.
Sightings in Britain
In the UK, it would appear to be that the Midlands is his favorite haunt as, in 2014, FOUR sightings were made in the one location. Investigated by senior X-Files investigator Lee Brickley at the time, nothing was really found to explain its presence and understand just what is going on.
However, the main thing to remember is that each sighting in Britain seemed to have a lot running on it and being settled down upon it. This included things such as the people who supposedly met the creature heading over to the Daily Mirror to try and explain further;
- The first sighting in the area was by a Cannock Chase resident, who was awoken at 2AM by the sound of scratching within her bedroom. Naturally, this would terrify you, right? She says that she noticed a sphere-like object in the corner of the room, and as she went to investigate it grew to the size of the ceiling. Roughly eight feet tall and – seemingly – with razor sharp fangs, it merely gazed at her before leaving the premises. The person involved was merely frozen in place with utter fear, as you would probably expect if you witnessed something like this!
- Another sighting in the Midlands, this time in Rugeley, reported that he saw a man floating above him as he awoke from a sleep. He says that it was looking right into his face and that it genuine shook him to the very core. Eventually, the creature floated higher up into the air before it hit the ceiling; there, it then vanished into nothingness. This terrifying encounter tallies well with what others claim to have seen in recent years, given the rather subtle nature of his stalking as well as the fact he left without doing damage – on this occasion
- The next sighting, though, is one of the most intriguing ever recorded in the UK. The Slender Man is known for his rather dramatic nature and the fact he likes to stalk people, but nothing like this. Noticing a strange figure far off into the distance during a night time walk around Castle Ring in the Midlands, the individual noticed it lifting out from the streets until it was just hovering above the path. The lights from Rugeley made it easy to spot for the person, before it simply made its way back into the trees after scaring him enough!
The stories that you read here, though, are just one of the many accounts of sightings within the UK. However, these are some of the more believable ones as others are quite ridiculous in their nature. Whilst we are still somewhat skeptical about the reality of the creature or indeed what powers it can use, we are certain that these stories have a fair amount of credibility behind them. None of the stories come from sources that could openly be shot down or discredited, and nothing seems to occur that goes against the typical idea of what the Slender Man can do.
Many stories exist that point to his existence in various ways the problem is that many of these are either not backed up by the right evidence or they have been downright discredited by others. Given the growth of the Slender Man topic in the last 5-6 years, it is hard for people to know what a picture that was taken for real is and what is nothing more than a good Photoshop. To avoid this from becoming a problem, it’s important that you understand just what the Slender Man can bring to the table in terms of what he actually offers.
The sightings elsewhere, though, offers something a bit disappointing about the whole thing – they all follow the same story;
- Someone sees the Slender Man
- He stalks them for a while
- They go nuts but are able to post online coherently about it
Something does not add about that chain of events – many of the discussions about the Slender Man and indeed the sightings themselves are either doctored, fiction or just the ramblings of a mad man. The real stories that are worth listening to are a little bit more unique, and read less like a scrapped Slender Man book.
The main story that we came across was the story of the Slender Man and how it managed to fit into the rather terrifying story coming out of Cannock Chase. It’s a really weird area to begin with as many can attest to, and this naturally makes it quite tough to understand just how realistic this story is. Given that it’s known for things like flying humanoids, giant snakes and even more weird things like Bigfoot, you can tell that this is a place that is naturally very scary to actually go and visit in the first place!
However, the main think that makes this sighting so interesting is that came before the “meme” itself was ever born; in 2008. Published in the Anornalist Books publishing “There’s Something in the Woods”, this book speaks to a man who claims he saw something far more evil and dramatic in those woods than any giant snake or Bigfoot type.
In the book, the person causing the aggravation is described as ““This character was tall, with very thin arms and legs, dressed in what I presumed were grey trousers and a tight long sleeved shirt of the same color. His hairless head was elongated and neck spindly, and his arms reached practically past his knees; I could not discern a facial feature. I realized he was around three meters tall.”
Does this not sound like the Slender Man we all know and *ahem* love? It certainly does to me. Just about everything he mentions sounds like the Slender Man and unless the character was built on this very testimony, the actual similarities are just too similar to put aside. Was the creation of the Slender Man in 2009 itself actually the creation of the creature itself? Or was it the other way around? Either way, it apparently exists.
The 12-Year Old Incident
Of course, one of the most chilling Slender Man related topics in recent years has been the story of the two 12-year olds who plunged their friend seemingly on his orders. Whilst the majority of the world believe he is nothing more than an SA meme – we aren’t so sure now – these two young girls certainly mistook all of that. Instead, they committed a heinous crime and murdered a friend into the woods, using a knife to stab her 19 times.
Miraculously, the victim survived and is now back at school but it’s safe to say that the incident itself is one of the most famous in recent years due to its connection to the Slender Man. The girls chillingly claimed that they wanted to “prove the skeptics wrong” by stabbing their friend to near-death. However, the myth itself – if it is a myth – has led to the serious harming of a young girl. For that alone, there should be serious repercussions and it certainly caused the press about the myth itself to die down for a while after the incident.
Given the internets propensity for being the deliverer of darkness, there is no surprise to see that something so brutal has occurred in the aftermath of something like this being generated. With so many millions of hits towards the story and the character, it’s very easy to see how this could have gotten out of hand and delivered such terrible responses.
The Verdict on Slender Man
Really, the verdict is impossible to reach. Many stories exist, and many of them lack credibility. Others, though, simply carry the right amount of information for us to take a second glance and see just what is being said. As a rule of thumb, we have decided to stop looking at any of the stories that either seem far too similar to the original or far too different – something in-between seems to be the perfect way to understand. Outside of the stories and the nonsense spouted on the web, we are deeply interested in the actual reality of Slender Man; even as a concept. If it’s not some massive, stick-thin monster terrorizing people then what is it?
For many, the Slender Man is the perfect concept of fear itself. We always feel as if people are watching us, as if things are going on around us an as if the world wants to know more about us. Constantly. This means that things like the Slender Man can be the perfect metaphor for that kind of paranoia and even that delusion of self-importance. Whether you believe in the creature or not as a symbol or a genuine evil entity, one thing has to be thought of here; given the depth of tragedy that goes on in this world, totally unproved, why is it impossible that something of immense evil and power was capable of doing this?
If we can believe in the supernatural as in things out of this world, then why can’t we believe in the chances that, on this planet, the natural is not the only way?