Slenderman is a ghostly figure that blew up on the internet in the 2000s. If you ask any millennial if they have heard of Slenderman, they are more than likely to say yes. Slenderman is a creation of online media. He is recognisable by his tall and slim figure, with no facial features and wearing a black suit. Slenderman can be found creeping in dark woodlands behind trees and in abandoned buildings.
Slenderman is not told to be a murderer himself, the tales describe his ghoulish behaviour involving influencing others to commit such crimes, in an attempt to be rewarded by him.
Many young people became obsessed with this demonic figure, which some people saw as potentially damaging considering young minds are easily influenced. There was one disturbing case whereby two girls stabbed someone whilst they were supposedly under the influence of Slenderman’s commands. This shows the potential dark impact of Slenderman.
There is evidently a lot of history behind this internet phenomenon. Here’s an insight into how Slenderman became the first online monster of a generation.
The Creation of Slenderman
The image of Slenderman first appeared on an online forum. The forum was made for people to post their paranormal creations which would be commented on and critiqued. Those who posted an image were likely hoping for it to blow up and perhaps eventually inspire a future horror game.
The creator of the image was Victor Surge, although many other users added to the back story of Slenderman and his surroundings. The definition of Slenderman details the character as “appearing as a normal human being” but he is in fact a “supernatural creature”. Slenderman is also explained to be an extension of the infamous boogeyman.
Sadly, for the horror fanatics, the sites at which Slenderman is claimed to roam are no longer around. This means there is no real evidence of his existence at all.
The image of Slenderman evolved and was later developed into a video game. The game is based in dark woodland with plenty of abandoned sites, players can walk through the woods and explore whilst collecting notes attached to trees. Each note collected brings you closer to facing Slenderman, the aim of the game is to not let Slenderman reach you.
From Slenderman to Slendy
In more recent years, the creature has adapted from Slenderman to now being known as Slendy. The figure has been used across many media platforms, some supporters have even created fan fiction based on Slendy. He is still the source of fear for many.
The darker side to the Slendy phenomenon is that there have been cases of violence related to the figure. One very sad case was reported in Waukesha, whereby two young girls were accused of stabbing another girl. They claimed the stabbing was driven by a need for Slenderman’s approval. The girls were allegedly overcome with fear and believed that they were under threat from Slenderman.
Unfortunately, there have been more than one case of Slendy-associated violence. This happened within weeks of the Waukesha case. In the city of Cincinnati, a teen was driven to madness and attacked her own mother. The teen was completely crazed by the Slenderman, which is thought to be the reason for her manic behaviour. Although, it is important to consider the fact that she did have a history of mental illness.
These traumatic and incredibly sad events have led to Slenderman being known as a controversial figure which should be seen with caution. There are no further reports of any attacks leading back to Slenderman. The creators have put out a statement in response to these events, they express their disapproval of the actions that took place. Those involved in the making of Slenderman have made it clear that they never had any negative intentions when creating the figure and we’re not teaching children “to be violent”.
The victim of the Wisconsin attack has thankfully made a strong recovery and she is moving on from the incident the best she can do.
What the future will hold for Slenderman is unclear. He started on the internet and will likely stay on this platform. He has made a huge impact in the world of online monsters, he was the first to become famous and will most definitely not be the last. From the first image posted on a forum, the demonic character has progressed over time and has become the face of a hit horror game and many websites.