In my never ending quest for paranormal phenomena, I have unexpectedly stumbled upon the Slender Man as I was browsing TV Tropes. I found it interesting, so I decided to make an entry about the Slender Man, just to summarize what he/it is.

The Slender Man, like his name sake, is a tall, faceless humanoid dressed in a business suit. In rare occasions he has normal human proportions; however he is more commonly portrayed as having long multiple arms/tentacles, giving the Slender Man a grotesque appearance. His presence causes visual and audio distortions in video cameras and many people describe feeling cold when he is nearby. Slender Man is often sighted in heavily wooded areas, standing perfectly still as he watches his victims from both far and near. His omnipresence as he continuously stalks his targets often renders his victims into a constant state of paranoia when they finally come to the realization that they are being watched by an unknown entity. Depending on the account, the Slender Man, after days, weeks, months, or even years of stalking his victims, either kills them or drives his victims to such a high degree of fear that they commit suicide. The Slender Man is also known for kidnapping children although lately it seems that he has a preference to terrorize college age adults (See Marble Hornets, Everyman HYBRID, and Tribe Twelve below).

The Slender Man is actually the product of a Photoshop thread on the website Something Awful as a contest to see who could create the creepiest photo image (Victor Surge was the first to have information about Slender). From there, Slender Man has crept from the dark corners of the internet to the real world, starring in several YouTube and blog series. It is not uncommon to see people from all across different web sites and mediums interacting with one another with their own “Slendy” experiences, akin to a massive role playing game.

Lately, I’ve been trying to piece together the appearance of the Slender Man (Warning: Pure speculation from here on out). The business suit, his trademark feature is an interesting piece. Normally we associate business suits with the government or those who work in corporate/white-collared jobs. For something so ordinary to be paired with something monstrous is unnerving to say the least (it also raises the question on why the Slender Man wears a suit. Is he a salesman from hell? An alien trying to emulate humans?) However Slender Man is not the only paranormal entity that wears a suit; so do the Men in Black. Not only do the Men in Black and the Slender Man have a similar taste in clothing but they also have another thing in common: Observing their victims, resulting in paranoia. However Slender’s and the MLB’s sense of paranoia have a different flavors; in MLB’s case, it’s more that the victims have a deep seated fear of the government watching them, while in Slender Man’s case, it is the sense of something unknown stalking them (which in my opinion is far more terrifying).

Although the MLB/Slender Man connection is stretch, I believe that Slender Man’s appearance may be more directly influenced by Anonymous. Both wear suits and although those who belong to Anonymous normally wear Guy Fawkes masks in demonstrations, they have worn (and sometimes are artistically rendered) as having no face, like the Slender Man. Considering that they both have internet origins and that Anonymous is well known, it wouldn’t be impossible that those that created Slender Man’s image may have subconsciously invoked a nightmarish Anonymous member.

One last comparison is of Slender Man and the G-Man from the Half-Life series. G-man, like the Men in Black, also wears a suit. However unlike the MLB, he has (so far) no connections to any government agency and like the Slender Man, his origins are a mystery. Throughout Half-Life 2, G-man can be spotted in hidden locations, giving the feeling that he is observing the player, very much like the Slender Man in various YouTube series. Lastly, if the player tries to investigate where the G-man is hiding, he has disappeared. Many Half-Life fans speculate that the G-man can teleport which is an ability that Slender Man is also said to have, depending on the account.

G-Man

What I find fascinating with the Slender Man is that instead of remaining an obscure internet meme, he has now become his own urban legend. Although entirely fabricated, Slender Man has developed a life of his own due to the bloggers and youtubers that have continued to add to the myth. Perhaps over time, people will forget Slender’s internet origins and when his tale is told to newer generations, they will start to believe that he really is right behind them.

Slender Man related videos/blogs/websites:
A slideshow of Slender Man pictures
Slender Man’s origins video
Everyman HYBRID
WickedStickyAlex (Part of Everyman HYBRID)
Marble Hornets
Tribe Twelve
Jonclubs113
Just Another Fool
Know Your Meme-Slender Man

Advertisements