Warning: This post rates 4.5 out of 5 on the creepy scale.
Have you ever seen the Slender Man?
Perhaps not. But if you examine some of your old photos as a child, you might find something surprising in the background.
The Slender Man, as he is called, is a mysterious figure who often appears around children, though he has been spotted by others.
He is an naturally tall figure with arms that reach down to his knees and fingers like the twigs of a tree that has lost its leaves for the winter. The black suit, white shirt, and thin black tie can’t completely camouflage his oddness, but they allow him to move freely among humans.
Modern sightings of him date from the above photos from 1986, noted for happening the week before the Stirling Library Fire, in which 14 children died. The photographer, Mary Thomas, herself disappeared in June of that year.
His face has never been seen. Some speculate he is featureless, that his face is a blank space of skin.
An additional detail is unclear. Some who have survived an encounter with the Slender Man, or a figure like him, claim that he has additional tentacles that extend from his back during an attack. This has lead researchers to connect the Slender Man with the German legend of Der Großmann (The Tall Man) which dates back to the 16th century. And possibly to this woodcut:
An encounter with the Slender Man, if you’re lucky enough to survive, can leave you with the symptoms of “slendersickness”, memory loss, insomnia, paranoia, coughing fits. The Slender Man also has the power to distort photograph/video and to teleport–though that last one is in debate.
To read more, or if you have an encounter with the Slender Man, you can consult the http://slendernation.forumotion.com/
Some say that the Slender Man legend informed Steven Moffat’s invention of The Silence on Doctor Who (who are possibly just as scary as the Weeping Angels, I can’t decide…). More here:
Here’s a blog by the brother of a man who had to be hospitalized after the rest of his unit disappeared after an encounter with a mysterious figure in Iraq: http://jafool.wordpress.com/
There are also many documentaries and blogs referring to the Slender Man, or something like him. Just google it.
In the end, we only know one thing for certain about the Slender Man. It’s a load of hooey invented on June 11th, 2009, by a guy named Victor Surge on Something Awful (SA) Forums with some clever image manipulation. (Even the Der Großmann stuff is made up, though not by Surge.) You can read more on http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/slender-man
Feel better? I do.