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Who the heck is “SlenderMan” and why should I care?
My oldest son doesn’t really get scared at all. Not that he is desensitized to violence or anything he just hasn’t been exposed to it so when he hears silly stories or something along those lines he shrugs them off as made up; in fact, he’s more likely to get sad about an animal getting ‘hurt’ in a movie than a character jumping out and saying boo. That’s why when he came into our room late one night asking to sleep with my wife and I – I knew something was up. The next morning when my wife called me at work and we started talking about it and she mentioned Slender Man I got concerned. I got concerned because I remember hearing a story about about some girls killing another girl or something like that and it involved this character Slenderman – a couple of minutes and a google search later I remember why I was concerned.
Get to the point!
Slender Man is an internet legend that came out of one guy’s imagination and other people built on it in any number of internet forums. He’s one scary dude and has, at least in one case, inspired the stabbing murder one one pre-teen girl by two others. According to a Washington Post story about Slenderman he was created (in 2009) on a single web page called Something Awful and grew from there, they write:
In real life, the (Slenderman) story begins in the forums of Something Awful, a humor site for people who enjoy joking about things like Dungeons & Dragons, porn and 3-D printers. But the forums can take trickier turns — they’re well-known for tricky Photoshopping and general prankery. On June 8, 2009, a new forum thread invited users to “create paranormal images through Photoshop,” which many users did. But the creation of one user, Victor Surge, struck a particular chord: He posted two photos of children haunted by a tall, shadowy figure with tentacles for arms, along with blocks of ominous 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.
For weeks, Surge continued posting doctored photos, newspaper clippings and child’s drawings of Slender Man, gradually pulling other users into the myth. They contributed their own Photoshops and stories, drawing parallels to older legends and nudging the story along. By mid-June, the thread was solely devoted to developing the mythos of Slender Man, which now — at least according to one authoritative PDF — runs 194 pages long.
So what’s so scary?
First of how he looks…
He’s a guy without a face…with tentacles (in some photos), who lures children away and presumably kills (if not, eats them based on some of the photos out there) them or inspires other people to kill. He even has his own webpage and game you can download.
Second he’s inspired (at least one murder) .
Third you know how kids expand on story’s – like a giant game of telephone; so by the time this gets down to their level this guy is real, not just real, but probably lives down the street and wants to get them- them specifically.
This internet legend is terrifying. It is a huge flag for me and rated code red in my book. If you hear your kids talking about him or talking about looking it up; squash it fast. Their going to wind up being exposed to something that would terrify adults and not just kids. Make sure they know it’s absolutely fake and redirect them into some kid friendly activities stat!
Have any stories about Slenderman that you want to share or make other people aware of? Submit your comments in the discussion area and lets bring it up.