Try to run, but he will get you in the end... another missing person.
Confused Between Fact or Fiction
Surely these manipulated images were not what people were on at me about?
Well, it turns out they were. Every now and then I will receive an image, or a link to a story about this character, and since I recieved one recently, I thought I might take a closer look into it, and the history of how this modern piece of folklore/urban legend came to be.
He is very thin (hence the name 'slender man') and is quite tall, at times unnaturally so. He has a pretty much featureless face, though you can see shadow where he features should lie. His attire appears to be that of a dark suit, though his tailor must have nightmares, as sometimes Slender Man is seen with many arms/tentacles.
Slender Man likes to stalk people, particularly children, driving them to fear and insanity. Many missing people, supposedly his victims, seem to have Slender Man appear in photos with them. Of course, the victim is not quite aware of this, but he can sometimes be found there in the background, watching the victim, or looking directly at the camera.
His stalking can go on for months or years, slowly tormenting his chosen prey. As the stalking continues, the victim will begin to suffer from memory loss, insomnia and paranoia. This is referred to as 'slender-sickness'.
When Slender Man decides the time is right, he will start to get closer to the victim, following them and forcing them into a situation where he can be alone with them, (though he has been known to take multiple victims at once). From this point on, the prey is doomed... They will know he is close, as Slender Man can cause distortions in electronic equipment.
Run all you can, but he will generally get you in the end, as it would seem he can teleport at will. When he gets you, you are gone...
There is more to it than that, but thats the general gist. A thing of pure horror, and nothing worse than being stalked by an unknown entity.
There have been many reported sightings, many missing people attributed to Slender Man, and all official law and protective services treat evidence for Slender‘s existance as paranoia‘s, photos as anomolies in the technology or processing of the images themselves etc etc.
However, it is all an elaborate story, created for a online contest, from which it went viral.
Origins and Spread
However, that was not creepy enough on its own, so Knudsen went one step further. To add to the creep factor, and to form a background of 'legitimacy' to the photos, he added some text to go along with the images:
"We didn’t want to go, we didn’t want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time… 1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.
"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."
It was the text that really added to the photos and formed a basis for the fiction. The idea of this 'Slender Man' had gone from a few creepy photos, to having the starts of a background story.
Over the weeks, months, then years, Slender Man became one of the internets most popular pieces of modern folklore. His background story grew, as did the collections of photographs. People began to create 'found video' short films, The incredibly popular 'Marble Hornets' series began and games were created where you were to avoid Slender Man at all costs.
Those games proved to be so popular that 'reaction' videos of people playing the game, filmed and posted online, became incredibly popular.
Stories surrounding Slender Man continue to pop up, along with new images and videos. Elaborate stories and websites have been created as the mythos, this 'fakelore' evolves and becomes more 'real' in the eyes of those who read it.
The mythos has even incorporated elements from other cultures and from history such as 'The Tall Man' the German 'Great Man' and some Australian Aborigine legends.
Woe to those who stumble upon a decently realised website on Slender Man, as to not know of the origins, it can all seem to be too real. Real to the point that some people question whether Slender Man is a work of fact or fiction.