The Slender Man is a thin, unnaturally tall man with a featureless face, wearing a black suit. Dark internet stories are known as “creepypastas” are passed around, with many following the theme of him stalking, abducting or traumatizing people, especially young children.
Here are the five creepy facts everyone needs to know about the legend of Slender Man:
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Slender Man Was First Created For A Photoshop Competition
The Slender Man was first created on June 10th, 2009 by Victor Surge, whose real name is Eric Knudsen, for a photography competition on the Something Awful Internet forum. The competition was to photoshop everyday images to appear paranormal. Victor Surge, inspired by legends of the “shadow people” which appear in work by horror writer Stephen King, edited images of small children stood with the tall faceless man.
He also included the text:
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.
It did not take long for Slender Man to go viral. Online scary stories are known as “creepypasta” would feature terrifying tales of children or young adults being captured by him. There are also many stories online that Slender Man can drive young people to insanity, and according to these urban legends the more you investigate him the madder you become. Graphic violence and gore are not uncommon themes in Slender Man stories. Quite often people write real-life accounts of their experiences with the monster.
An urban legend was born – but nobody knew just how far this would go…
Two 12-year-old Girls Stabbed Their Friend 19 Times Because “Slender Man Would Kill Their Families”
On May 31st, 2014, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the Slender Man legend had gone too far. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, who were aged 12-years-old at the time, lured their friend, 12-year-old Payton Leutner, into the woods and stabbed her 19 times.
Leutner managed to crawl to a road nearby, where a cyclist found her on the sidewalk and immediately called 911. When she was rushed to hospital the doctors declared that she was just seconds away from death. The girls were charged with attempted first-degree homicide. They were both tried as adults, as in the state of Wisconsin all murder charges for those aged older than 10 are tried in adult court.
During the trial, Morgan Geyser revealed that she believed Slender Man would hurt her family if she didn’t kill on his behalf. It was also heard that the murder was to “impress” Slender Man” A psychiatrist testified that Geyser suffered from schizophrenia and was delusional.
Then even more disturbing links to Slender Man were found…
The Evidence Shown During The Trial Was Disturbingly Linked To Slender Man
David Janisch, a private investigator involved in the trial, found a lot of deeply disturbing evidence when he searched through Morgan Geyser’s bedroom.
Geyser had made several drawings of Slender Man including the words “RUN”…
There were also mutilated Barbie Dolls with marks which were made to look stab wounds and a symbol which is commonly used online to depict Slender Man…
A supplies list was also found with details of how to carry out the murder. Items included: “Pepper spray”, “map of forest”, “camera”, “the will to live” and “weapons (kitchen knife)”…
This Was Not The Only Slender Man Inspired Incident
Although the trial of the “Slender Man stabbing” received a huge amount of media attention, this sadly was not the only incident linked to the urban legend.
In June 2014, a woman from Cincinnati, Ohio, who did not want to be identified, told reporters at WLWT TV that her 13-year-old daughter had attempted to attack her with a knife. Her daughter had written Slender Man fiction online before attacking her mother. She claimed, “I came home one night from work and she was in the kitchen waiting for me and she was wearing a mask – a white mask. She had her hood up and had her hands covered with her sleeves and the mask.” The mother suffered from cuts to her face, neck, and back.
Then on September 4th, 2014, a 14-year-old girl in Port Richey, Florida, set her own family home on fire when her mother and 9-year-old brother were sleeping inside. Police discovered that the girl had “visited the website that contains a lot of the Slender Man information and stories. It would be safe to say there is a connection to that.”
There was also an epidemic in 2015, when nine young people between the ages of 12 to 24 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, committed suicide. Chris Carey, a minister of the tribe, who worked closely with the children, cited Slender Man as an influence. He told The Telegraph, “They call him the Tall Man spirit. He’s appearing to these kids and telling them to kill themselves.”
The Crimes Caused Parents To Fear The Slenderman
In 2015, the Slender Man crimes caused a nationwide panic. Many parents became concerned with just how much control these internet myths had over their children’s emotional well-being. Waukesha Police Chief, Russell Jack, said these events should be “a wake-up call for all parents”, before adding that the internet can be “full of dark and wicked things.”
Many counter-arguments were that Slender Man was no more dangerous than stories of vampires or werewolves. From the age of five-years-old children are capable of understanding the difference between fictional characters and real-life people.
Even the founder of Creepypasta Wiki, which hosts the majority of Slender Man stories, expressed his condolences for all of those who have been hurt in the creation and depiction of Slender Man. An administrator on the website, whose username is Sloshedtrain, argued that these events did not represent their website or the Creepypasta community. He also stated that the site does not condone satanism or murder. They held a 24-hour live stream on June 13th, 2014, to help raise money for the victim of the stabbing attack.