Dave Stancliff About Slender Man: a modern boogeyman blamed for a vicious attack blogarama.com

Thursday, June 5, 2014

About Slender Man: a modern boogeyman blamed for a vicious attack

 Good Day World!

About a month ago, I put together a learning board about urban legends. Little did I know that one of those legends would cross the line from being a internet meme to a real-life boogeyman.

On May 31, 2014, two 12-year-old girls in Waukesha, Wisconsin allegedly held down and stabbed a 12-year-old classmate 19 times; when questioned later by authorities, they reportedly claimed that they wished to commit a murder as a first step to becoming "proxies" (acolytes) of the Slender Man, having read about it online.

Thanks to the intervention of a passing cyclist, the friend survived the attack. The attackers were charged as adults and are each facing up to 65 years in prison.

Have you ever heard of the Slender Man prior to this vicious attack? Most adults haven’t.

He might be a mystery to adults, but to many kids, Slender Man is as recognizable as Dracula. He is often found lurking, an eerie Where’s Waldo?, in the back of blurry photos online. He has long, spider-like limbs, no face, and stories say he can hypnotize children into walking into his embrace.

The Slender Man is a fictional character that originated as an Internet meme created by Something Awful forums user Eric Knudsen (a.k.a "Victor Surge") in 2009. It is depicted as resembling a thin, unnaturally tall man with a blank and usually featureless face, wearing a black suit.

The Slender Man is commonly said to stalk, abduct, or traumatize people, particularly children. The Slender Man is not tied to any particular story, but appears in many disparate works of fiction, mostly composed online.

The Slender Man soon went viral, spawning numerous works of fanart, cosplay and online fiction known as "creepypasta": scary stories told in short snatches of easily copyable text that spread from site to site. Divorced from its original creator, the Slender Man became the subject of myriad stories by multiple authors within an overarching mythos.

Just five months later, callers into George Noory's Coast to Coast AM, a radio call-in show devoted to the paranormal and conspiracy theories, began receiving callers asking about the Slender Man.

He might be a mystery to adults, but to many kids, Slender Man is as recognizable as Dracula. He is often found lurking, an eerie Where’s Waldo?, in the back of blurry photos online. He has long, spider-like limbs, no face, and stories say he can hypnotize children into walking into his embrace.

It seems likely to me that we’ll see more examples of the virtual reality colliding with reality, resulting in action – of some kind or another.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

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