In 2009 the internet forum known as, “Something Awful” launched an online contest. The objective of the contest was to generate the ultimate creepy photo. Many of the photos submitted were of a familiar fictional character known as “Slender Man”. The Slender Man is abnormally tall and very thin with no facial features. Often, he is depicted with extended and reaching tentacle-like appendages and is said to take and torture children. The urban legend recently took an alarming twist when several murders and attempted murders took place that were associated with Slender Man.
In early June 2014, two girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, both age 12, from Waukesha, Wisconsin, lured a classmate into a wooded area during a sleep over and stabbed her almost 20 times. According to the report, the girls were both heavily involved in the legend of Slender Man and were allegedly Proxies of the dark entity. According to the website, theslenderman.wikia.com, “A Proxy is the term given by the DarkHarvest00 ARG to their Unknown Proxy. The theory behind the name is that Proxies are entities or people who are under the influence or control of Slender Man (or the same force that influences Slender Man), and act based on its wants/needs- hence, Proxies serve as an in-between- a proxy- for Slender Man.”
The Wisconsin victim did survive and is reportedly making a full recovery. However, a second attack, also involving Slender Man, happened just a few weeks after that in Hamilton, Ohio. A 13 year old girl, dressed as Slender Man, attacked her mother in their kitchen. The mother only received a few superficial wounds from the attack but was ultimately very traumatized by the ordeal.
A 3rd case of Slender Man attacks happened again, just a short time after the Hamilton event. Jerad and Amanda Miller of Nevada, dressed as Harley Quinn and Slender Man, entered a food court in LasVegas where they shot two police officers while they were having lunch. The couple then fled and hid out in a local Wal Mart for several hours before they finally committed suicide together.
Just as UFO’s evolved from the 60’s and Cryptids from the 70’s, the Slender Man events have sent the urban legend surging into the paranormal mainstream; growing substantially into an actual entity who may oppress and possess the living. Reports similar to the Slender Man can be associated with beings like shadow people and even extraterrestrials and aliens. Websites like 4Channel.com, CreepyPasta.com and hundreds of paranormal forums all over the web have been reporting Slender Man as more of an actual entity rather than a myth and the paranormal community has definitely started to look at the legend more openly and appropriately with the recent attacks.
However, the establishment of Slender Man only stems from the internet source that conjured it. A simple fictional ghost based on entertainment and lucid imagination. As the paranormal community continues to look for answers regarding the origins of Slender Man, it divides us into groups; those of us who are satisfied with having an answer and those who will always be looking for some supernatural significance. It also serves as an example of what gets posted to the internet, isn’t always the truth.