The urban legend of The Slender man

The urban legend of The Slender man

A Story by HadesRising
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The urban legend of The Slender man

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There are legends and myths that have been around for centuries and have seared themselves into our minds and culture. Then there are those that have been brought to life by way of modern technologies reminding us of nightmares that should have been buried and forgotten. One such legend is known through internet popularity as Slender man.

The creature known as Slender man is said to have the appearance of a tall, lanky man in a black suit. Not so scary, right? Just wait.



slenderman
He towers at six to seven feet with unusually thin limbs. His face, if you can call it that, is featureless and white, though some say that it can morph into whatever you fear the most. His arms, however, can stretch out to grab his victims and bend in unnatural ways with long, talon-like fingers used to scratch at the windows of children. Yes that’s right. While he haunts everyone who has the misfortune to see him, he prefers to devour those that are 16 and younger. He is also said to have multiple arms sometimes seen as long tentacles used to ensnare whomever catches his eye, or should I say, the void where his face should be.

The Silent Stalker, Slender Man
Slender man is a silent stalker that likes to hide in plain sight and is usually spotted in wooded areas where he could blend in amongst the trees and dark corners of the forest. When he finds his victim of choice, he follows them home and upon being seen through the window, can use a form of hypnosis that compels you to walk right into his spindly arms. Usually glimpsed at a distance, once he’s close enough to get a good look at, that’s when he slinks into your home appearing in dark hallways or blank t.v. screens.

American legend says that he was once a man who was tortured viciously, first being beaten with a log, then impaled with a 2 foot stick and hung from a tree with his arms and legs pulled from their sockets.

When captured, you will wake to find Slender man standing above you. He will ask one question and if you’re lucky and get it right, he breaks both your arms and legs. But if you are wrong, then he slowly sticks his fingers down your throat pulling out the heart. In circles on the internet Slender man is claimed to be the creation of a website called Somethingawful.com. Many say that this alone debunks the mysterious legend and closes the case on the creature’s fictitious existence. Well, not quite.

It appears that the Slender man myth goes back a lot farther than is claimed. He is based on something called Der Grossman, meaning “tall man”, which is the Germanic version. Legend says that children would site him in the Black Forest days before their disappearance. All that was left behind would be the mutilated remains of livestock and in a few cases, village inhabitants would be found several miles from their homes impaled on the higher branches of the trees.

Romanian Tale of Der Grossman
slenderman
A Romanian folktale tells of twin sisters Sorina and Stela that were led out into the woods one day by their mother. They could see Der Grossman close by, waiting dressed as a nobleman, his arms boneless as snakes and sharp as swords. The mother, under the order of the creature, told her daughter Stela to cut a circle in the ground with a knife and have Sorina lay down in the middle to be cut open. Stela refused and ran home to hide under her bed. When their father returned home, his terrified daughter told him what had transpired and he then went into the forest to track down the twins’ mother. The girl fell asleep to be awakened by a knock on the door. “Open the door, it’s your father,” a voice said. The girl refused. “Open the door it’s your mother,” the voice continued. Upon refusing once again, the door flew open to reveal the horrible sight of her mother holding the severed head of her sister Sorina in one hand and the head of her father in the other. “Why?” cried Stela. “Because,” said her mother, “there is no reward for goodness in this world, nothing but cold steel teeth and scourging fire for all of us. And it’s coming for you now.” At that moment, Der Grossman, or Slender man, slid from the fireplace clenching the surviving twin in his burning embrace. And that was the end of her.

Internet fiction or not, Slender man indeed has horrifying origins and lore from the old world. What makes this myth so fearful is the fact that to this day, people are still questioning the existence of this humanoid creature. Websites flooded with people claiming to have had sightings of him especially those that live near wooded areas. Even more terrifying is that he has been known to imitate the voice of a human calling out your name in the dark. And it seems that the more you talk about or research Slender man, the more likely you are to encounter him bringing life to a supposed legend.

All I can say is, now I have a new reason to be afraid of the dark.

With his eerie blank face, tentacle-like arms and stark black suit, internet urban legend Slender Man has become a modern cultural phenomenon.

A forest-dwelling, child-stalking bogeyman for the digital age.

The sinister, supernatural phantom, conceived by a blogger in 2009, has gone on to inspire widespread fan art, a cult web-series, and a number of video games.

He has also inspired, if reports are to be believed, a particularly shocking crime.

In the summer of 2014, two 12-year-old girls from Wisconsin were arrested after stabbing their friend 19 times during a game of hide-and-seek in the woods.

Their motive was allegedly to ‘earn favour’ with the Slender Man.

An HBO documentary exploring this disturbing case, Beware The Slenderman, is now about to be broadcast.


That a creepy figure created eight years ago via a Photoshop contest could still be haunting the web, and the wider public consciousness, may seem bizarre.

The origins of Slender Man

In 2009, a thread appeared on comedy site Something Awful inviting users to create supernatural creatures in Photoshop.

Eric Knudsen, under the alias ‘Victor Surge’, came up with two striking, supposedly historical images, depicting a mysterious and sinister figure haunting groups of children.

The pictures were soon being widely circulated around the web. This in turn inspired further images, and an in-depth mythology behind Slender Man began to emerge through internet fan fiction.

But urban legends can exert a powerful pull.



“There is something inherently creepy about Slender Man,” she says. “He looks human, but he is not human.

“His appearance is uncanny in many ways. Everything about him highlights both his sameness and difference from us.”

A compelling urban legend
Urban legends have impact because they often speak to a widespread fear in society. And there are usually stark consequences for breaking social norms too.



“Legends allow us to talk about our fears without actually talking specifically about those fears.”

In the case of Slender Man, what this ghoulish onlooker represents is open to interpretation. But he seems especially compelling.

“He certainly reaffirms the idea that the woods are a dangerous place and that we should fear strangers,” explains Kitta. “But he may also represent other things as well.

“I’ve theorised that to some people, the idea that he is a faceless white man in a suit watching you on the internet might show our fear about the internet itself. Specifically being spied on by large organisations or corporations.

“Conversely, to a different group of people, he might mean something else.”


A convenient scapegoat?
HBO’s true crime documentary Beware The Slenderman examines the case of the two girls accused of attempting to murder a friend in the woods.

The film features interviews with the families of the defendants, whose ongoing prosecution has been a complicated and sometimes controversial affair.

The children spoke of their belief that killing their victim would be a sacrifice to Slender Man, would prove their loyalty to him, and would prevent him from harming their families.


“Sometimes people use folklore as a scapegoat, perhaps most famously in the Satanic Panic of the 1980s.

“But we would be remiss to assume that folklore is safe or benign.”

“Slender Man demonstrates some of the fears of modern society, in many different forms. Some of us are afraid of faceless men in suits. Others are afraid of things found on the internet. And some are afraid of the forest.”


“The only difference in some cases is that people may include a picture with the story, which adds to its believability.

“But all of these forms of folklore share many similarities. They tend to be set in the local or historic past, they are believable, and they contain variation.”



“I think Slender Man demonstrates some of the fears of modern society, in many different forms,” says Kitta.

“Some of us are afraid of faceless men in suits. Others are afraid of things found on the internet. And some are afraid of the forest.

“I am currently working on research that links Slender Man to cyberbullying, which has been fascinating and frightening.

“Slender Man has grown beyond his original intentions. There’s something there that both fascinates and horrifies us.”

© 2019 HadesRising


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Ahh slender man - dude I actually believe he is real been sightings were I live.

Posted 10 Months Ago


This is so well written. I had to do a cheeky google to see if he got a mention. Only did that because I hadn't heard of him before. I was surprised to find so much there. Your legend of this character is so chilling. He shows no mercy and I wouldn't want to meet him on a dark night or find him standing over my bed either. I am sure that your school kids will lap this up. Will be right up their street. Great entertainment.

Chris

Posted 10 Months Ago


HadesRising

10 Months Ago

Thank you chris, there are many urban legends, some are true, yet some are brought to life through t.. read more

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Added on July 10, 2019
Last Updated on July 10, 2019
Tags: Horror, urban legend

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HadesRising
HadesRising

London, United Kingdom



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