|“||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...||„|
|~ Caption from the original Slender Man post on the Something Awful forums.|
The Slender Man is a widely popular internet urban legend, horror icon, and very commonly the titular main antagonist of many stories involving him. Slender Man is a humanoid creature with a vast array of supernatural powers and abilities, his most common hobbies include kidnapping children and brainwashing innocent people into becoming his proxies. Due to his popularity, Slender Man has been seen as one of the most famous urban legends and horror icons of the internet.
The Slender Man is a supernatural creature with nebulously defined characteristics and abilities. In almost every description of the Slender Man, his attributes will vary, sometimes greatly. However, his basic appearance and traits are relatively consistent across different accounts. He generally appears (in modern times) as a tall humanoid creature in a black or grey suit, red or black tie, and white shirt. His face is totally white, completely devoid of facial features. He has no hair, and generally has normal-looking bare hands, albeit with fingers longer and bonier than a typical human. Slender Man has been depicted in imagery and literature at anywhere between 6 and 10 feet tall, depending on the situation, though in a video he is usually only around 6-7 feet tall.
He behaves in what might be seen as a passive-aggressive manner, often stalking targets for years at a time before ever attacking. It’s understood that he tends to torture his targets mentally, over long periods of time, using fear and paranoia to drive them to insanity. No one has ever satisfactorily explained the reasoning behind his tactics or the way he chooses his victims, and his purposes and/or motivations have yet to be fully ascertained. He is rarely if ever, portrayed in a good or benign light and is generally understood to be a malevolent force.
There are two main descriptions of the Slender Man’s behavior. Originally, he was portrayed as being not only malevolent but also extremely dangerous. He would stalk its targets, impale them on trees, and remove their organs. In comparison, contemporary depictions have turned him into a more passive-aggressive creature. Instead of an active chase, he is more likely to let his prey devolve slowly into madness until they are unable to cope with their situation, often watching from afar as this takes place. If angered, it will charge the aggressor and vanish with its victim to an unknown location. Modern interpretations also show that The Slender Man interacts oddly with electronic equipment and causes massive interference with audio and visual recording devices. Sometimes an individual can determine if the Slender Man is near simply by how certain electronics act. Radios, televisions, and cameras are especially susceptible. How powerful this effect seems to vary, which could be due either to The Slender Man's state of aggression, or other outside factors that he may or may not be controlling (eg: weather, cell phone signals, etc.)
In almost every contemporary description, The Slender Man is associated with stalking, often for extremely long periods. It is not unusual for a person to be trailed by the Slender Man for hours, days, months, or even years. However, he usually appears when least expected and where the victim is alone and the most comfortable (home, school, work, outdoors, along trusted roads, etc), and often times he also strikes when the target's defenses are down, sometimes to the point where they simply have no will to fight him off any further, making for an easier kill.
One of the most common features of The Slender Man, generally accepted among both fans of the mythos and victims, is that he will target those who reach a certain level of understanding about it. These accounts vary from person to person, but it seems that being a victim of the Slender Man is almost contagious or memetic. One can become his prey by encountering someone he is already chasing. Basic research and even collecting images don't appear to incur its notice, someone has to delve into the mythos in an almost obsessive way.
Canon History and Information
Originally he killed its victims by impaling them on the branches of very tall trees and allowing them to bleed to death. The victim’s organs would be individually removed and placed in plastic bags, which were then returned to their original positions in the body. The victims' corpses did not show any sign of a struggle. However, as time has gone on, it would seem that Slender Man has abandoned this practice.
New accounts of the Slender Man's powers, abilities, and attacks show some drastic differences from his original behaviors. Gone is the original desire to impale targets on trees, his overtly aggressive attitude, and the tendency to target mainly children. He now appears to target people who encountered him as children, often stalking them for years. It does so in such a way that the target is often unaware of his presence for months, years, or even decades. the Slender Man’s stalking behavior is remarkably passive. He torments an individual by repeatedly appearing and vanishing – usually without harming the victim in any physical way.
He invades the mental safety of his prey by appearing inside their house, outside their home, on roads they travel, at their place of work when they are alone or ensuring only the victim can see him, or while the target is sleeping. The sporadic and unexpected nature of these manifestations causes fear and unease, which eventually can grow into incredible paranoia. This period of stalking can last anywhere from several minutes to decades. The longer Slender Man stalks a victim, the greater strain on their mental health, which may be one of his goals.
Prolonged stalking causes what has been named “Slender Sickness,” which is both a mental and physical ailment and can cause paranoia, nightmares, coughing and difficulty swallowing, convulsions, exhaustion, vomiting, hallucinations, etc. The physical symptoms naturally affect an individual’s mental health, but it is believed that Slender Man exerts a direct effect on the mind as well. However, this phenomenon and Slender Man’s control over it have yet to be fully explained.
Slender Man's general appearance consists of a tall figure standing from 6 to 14 feet tall wearing a black suit, white shirt, a black or red tie, black trousers, and black shoes. Slender Man's skin is pale white, and he has no facial features of any kind, although some depict him as having somewhat empty visible eye sockets, nose, and mouth. Slender Man is also iconic for having long black tentacles (also seen as extra-long hands) which he usually uses to snag in victims. However, it is possible that this is not his real form, and that he is actually an eldritch being whose true form cannot be comprehended.
Due to Slender Man's history being completely unknown, it is hard to determine just what he is thinking, although he is commonly seen as a cruel, sadistic, manipulative, predatory, misanthropic demon. It is entirely unknown if Slender Man actually cares for his proxies' safety, or if he's just using them in order to get what he wants, showing his controlling and tyrannical personality.
Due to Slender Man being such an enigmatic figure, it is entirely unknown if he is indeed malevolent, or if what he does is true, leading others to portray him in an anti-heroic and benevolent way, and is only taking children in and brainwashing people simply to show them his ways in trying to be better than the current state of humanity.
This leads to another popular variation of the Slender Man, commonly used in AUs, headcanons, and fanfiction, portraying him as a fatherly and typically caring personality to other villainous Creepypasta characters, usually getting irritated by their antics and controlling what goes on, typically in a mansion.
Powers and Abilities
Many stories seem to indicate that The Slender Man can control a person's mind, which became the basis for the Proxies in the video ARG, a trend that later spread to Slenderblogs. The Slender Man also originally had stronger connections to children, and many of the original stories revolved around disappearing children or featured Slender Man sightings in photos with children. This was often attributed to the innocence and morbid curiosity of children, which could lead them down the path of discovering the creature.
As more stories came forth, however, the use of tentacles and tentacle-like appendages became less common, and the invisibility was limited or eliminated depending on the storyteller. (On the other hand, some stories took the invisibility even further and claimed it was entirely invisible without the use of electronic devices.)
EMH, TT, ML, and DH all contain some sort of video and/or audio distortion, indicating that The Slender Man has an effect on modern digital instruments. This does not appear in any of the original accounts, but these also mainly make use of photographs and lower-tech video. EMH has suggested that this distortion is the effect of Sigma Radiation, radiation said to be given off by Slender Man and the Rake. Sigma Radiation is also contagious, as it entered Evan's blood-stream when his arm was brutally maimed by The Rake.
EMH and ML also describe the phenomenon known as "Slender Walking." Slender Walking is a term created to describe Slender Man's apparent teleportation and space-time warping/teleportation between locations. These abilities were seen in early Slender Man accounts and are one of the most recognizable elements of the mythos. Slender Man’s ability to appear – seemingly from nowhere – in a place where he wasn’t mere seconds before is one of his most terrifying traits and EMH mentions the effect of this on a person's mental health.
Certain contemporary views see his movement as either extremely limited or impaired as if he is incapable of moving his body properly. It is rarely seen to actually move and goes from standing still to rapidly teleporting within the blink of an eye. There is no apparent coherency to his movements or position, and he is capable of teleporting several dozen times to various locations in a few seconds. He does not flee and can be just as dangerous standing still as when obviously teleporting. He is capable of – and often will – stay within several dozen feet of his target, no matter how they try to escape. It seems to be part of his psychological attack to stay just within visual range without actually attacking – the fact that he is there, no matter what, is often described as worse than actually being attacked, the psychological effects often deteriorating the mind of the victim as a result.
He appears to be able to follow any and all targets regardless of where they go, or where and how they hide. It isn't certain how he does this, but he seems able to keep a perfect trace on its targets, often speculated to be a part of his supposed existence as a potentially omnipresent being.
- As of now, there have been no ways as to defeating or getting rid of Slender Man in the canon so far.
- On June 8th, 2009, a “paranormal pictures” photoshop contest was launched on the Something Awful (SA) Forums. The contest required participants to turn ordinary photographs into creepy-looking images through digital manipulation and then pass them on as authentic photographs on a number of paranormal forums. Something Awful users soon began sharing their faux-paranormal creations with layered images of ghosts and other anomalies, usually accompanied by a fabricated witness account to make them more convincing. On June 10th, SA user Victor Surge (real name Eric Knudsen) posted two black and white photographs of unnamed children with a short description of “Slender Man” as a mysterious creature who stalked children. On June 11th, 2009, Victor Surge continued to improve upon the myth by adding another picture and a fake doctor’s account
- Slender Man has received a live-action film of him that was released on August 10th, 2018. Being portrayed by actor Javier Botet, written by Victor Surge, and produced by Screen Gems.
- In 2014, two 12-year-old girls were "influenced" by Slender Man into stabbing their friend 19 times in order to "please" him and put the blame on the character, the girl survived and the attackers were apprehended.
- Slender Man is immortal, he cannot be killed through any means and there is presumably no way to get him to leave you alone, no exorcism can get him to leave, and even if he does decide to leave he can still get his proxies to carry out his work. Without a doubt, he is one of the most dangerous Creepypasta characters of all time.