November 22, 2010

Analogies

Hello all! A short post for today. I had plenty of time to pontificate on Slender Man yesterday as I waited for a tweet from Tribe Twelve, cursed Green Feathers for hanging out with the EverymanHYBRID crew, and anxiously speculated on whether that mysterious twitpic from Marble Hornets indeed translates to their return as soon as tomorrow, the 23rd. There is plenty of excitement to go around today, and so here is a brief adventure into one of many thoughts I had on the Slender Man mythos.
Enjoy, everyone!
Except you, Green Feathers. :< 

Analogies


Observe the image above, and try not to think of a spider.

Try not to think of a tree.
  
A demon.

A shadow.

We cannot assume to know what the Slender Man is.

All these conceptual designs of Slender Man have proven that we’ve grasped something larger than our imaginations. Each one obviously takes a different inspiration, but they are all unequivocally Slender Man. Admit it, it’s one of our favorite things about Him- getting to critique how “close” an artist has gotten to the “real Him”[i]. We unanimously agree that whatever it is- it’s not perfect even though we couldn’t do any better. It’s never enough, and though we don’t know what He is, we sort of know what he isn’t. Whatever is it, it’s always off and we are never satisfied.
And I believe you all to be intelligent folk, so I don’t need to explain why we enjoy this little “game”.
Even farther than that, this clear and universal knowledge of Slender Man which can never be truly defined unites our understanding, creating no “groups” or “factions” of the Slender Man mythos. What is true for one may not be true for all, but it is still regarded as truth. You take my meaning;
Slender Man is everything and nothing.


A Little Something More

While pondering this, I also came to wonder on the origin of fear. Slender Man, as Himself visually, does not exactly pose any reason to incur such terror in us. I know, right now you’re saying, “You just explained this last entry!” and yeah, I did. But I merely covered the fight, flight, or fright response, which inherently assumes clear understanding of the origin of fear.
That being said, a simple statement derived from the previous entry: though visually there is little to fear, per se, in Slender Man upon encounter, His presence is so powerful that his malevolence is instantly perceivable.
But let’s get into natural human fear and what usually causes it. Time to crack open our friendly Wikipedia for the simplest form of explanation.

“Fear can be widely classified into two general types: external fear and internal fear. External fear is caused by something outside of you which you are strongly motivated to avoid… Internal fear is something outside of you that you link to a negative emotion… [Fear] varies from mild caution[ii] to extreme phobia and paranoia[iii]… The experience of distrust can be explained as a feeling of mild fear or caution, usually in response to an unfamiliar or possibly dangerous person. Distrust may occur as a feeling of warning towards someone or something that is questionable or unknown. For example, one may distrust a stranger who acts in a way that is perceived as odd or unusual… Distrust may serve as an adaptive, early warning signal for situations that could lead to greater fear and danger…”

This does go nicely with the previous post.



[i] a whole other subject entirely, and the indirect quest of this blog
[ii] chronologically early encounters in Marble Hornets
[iii] everything eventually in the SM ARGs

November 19, 2010

Behavior Part I

Before we get onto the sexy topic of armed resistance[i]- which constitutes a greater part of the Slender Man mythos activity- one often overlooked subject is that of Slender Man’s behavior. What has He done to prompt these reactions?
The fact that this question is almost always passed over is in itself the means of our answer.


Common Fear


Let us use basic examples to start.
With a typical monster like a werewolf or zombie, one does not generally wish to be eaten. Screaming and running away is perfunctory.
A slightly more intriguing thought: though it’s generally agreed that vampires have a certain amount of charisma or appeal to them, almost in the way Slender Man can draw our attention and dare we say, pique our curiosity[ii], there are just as many people who would rather face a zombie than a vampire.
Further still, let’s consider a common murderer, even a mass-murderer or serial killer. The concept of real, actual evil does not need emphasis to be frightening to us on the deepest levels. However, place Slender Man on that list, and who would you rather be placed in a locked room with?
Let’s first take Slender Man back off the list.
Most people would rather be stuck with a serial killer or vampire than a zombie or werewolf. So let’s take killer and vampire out. Now, a lot of us have seen zombie movies, and maybe we think we could take a zombie easier than a werewolf with a good stomp to the head. So this leaves us with the werewolf as the last option preferable.
Let’s put Slendy back on the list.
Suddenly the werewolf isn’t looking too bad, is it?[iii]
Why do we think this way? You may say, “Well a baseball bat for the zombie, a silver bullet for the werewolf, a wooden stake for the vampire, and you can reuse that baseball bat for the murderer.” This is a fair point. Even if supplied with none of these useful items in that locked room, there is something to be said for the power of knowing that these things could be killed with the right materials. Perhaps Slendy is the least preferable locked-room-mate because we have no idea how to kill Him- it almost seems ridiculous to suggest. Goodness knows that baseball bat isn’t going to do it. But why the hell do we want to kill Him in the first place?
What has Slender Man done to incur more fear than the others?
We have no idea.


Back at the Gates of Canon


He strikes and He cuts
Your skin flays open
Your soul too weak to resist
This should not have happened
If only you had listened
Never go into His forest.
-JossiRossi, Something Awful Forums

The original Something Awful forum thread has given more material reason to fear Slender Man than anything occurring after it. Within it are tales of various times and places and invariable horror. Victor Surge, the creator of Slender Man, had a handful of stories prepared for those interested in the Slender Man in his “natural habitat”, describing:

“A constant murmuring sound accompanied by a low hum eventually became apparent… An object falling out of [a] tree struck one of the men in [sic] the left shoulder, causing him to discharge his weapon. Object said to be body of man of unknown age. It was very precisely dissected, with major internal organs still contained within the ribcage in what looked to be clear bags… Attack followed several minutes after a ‘low children’s laugh, like a giggle’…
“Investigation team discovered twenty-two bodies of both genders and various ages impaled on broken tree branches in a radiating circle pattern with chest mutilation…”

Material for nightmares. Inherent in all Slender Man mythos is the incomprehensibility, as we have discussed. There is no rhyme or reason to be applied here, only the feeling of knowing without actually knowing. For example, the broken tree branches can suggest something as basic as His level of strength, a natural fear-creating detail. Yet more commonly our mind turns to His “tentacles”, His association with the trees, and we get an altogether more terrifying image that those broken branches were once part of Him. There is nothing to suggest which notion is right, yet we are all sure we know. A low child’s laugh tends to blow our minds even further. Such a sinister creature that does not speak or even have a face shouldn’t have any laugh at all, much less one that can be harkened to that of a child’s. Still there is no explanation of why this is, and there never will be. Because the more we think we know about Slender Man, the further we are from the truth.
Bash Ironfist of the Something Awful forums went with this “typical” Slender Victim- the intestines wrapped and kept in their proper place within the ribcage, impaled upon trees, a strange pattern of bodies. Though generally associated with the much less popular “spider-like” Slender Man idea, it’s a duly noted consequence of getting too close to His grasp (which, arguably, has a rather wide reach). Still, as mentioned in the introduction, it hardly even has been acknowledged since it was mentioned at the beginning. SA Forum go-er kith_groupie submitted a much more intuitive take on this scenario:

“I ran back to the tent and I hid there under all four of our sleeping bags, crying and trying not to listen to the horrible sounds I could hear. No screaming, there was never any human voices. Sounds of crunching and tearing and popping… what was left of our sister, high up in the trees, skewerd…”

We know how and why we respond to monsters the way we do. Zombies moan for brains and we run, vampires laugh wickedly about their own diabolical natures and we dive for the holy water- and yet here’s a tall, faceless thing with tentacles, in a business suit messing about in people’s intestines and laughing like a baritone child, and we just gawk like a fucking clueless kid.


And the Gates of Cannon


Let’s have a slight detour of thought.
In kith_groupie’s story, before running to the tent, there was a passage particularly resonant in the Slender Man mythos:

“I was just about to ask her what she was doing when I heard this…noise calling my name. It wasn’t a voice, it was like the sound of nails on a chalkboard. I don’t know if it was real or if it was in my own head, but it called me and I was too terrified to move or run or even call out…”

The Fight or Flight mechanism in the animal instinct is what causes a rabbit to freeze in the middle of the night when greeted with the headlights of an oncoming car. It can also prompt one to grab the baseball bat.[iv]
Dr. Walter B. Cannon of Harvard coined fight or flight, which deals with the mental and physical response to perceived threat or imminent danger. This reaction corresponds to the two basic instinctual choices: to run away to escape the danger, or in some cases when this is too dangerous itself or as an act of protecting others, to try to fight the danger off. In the moment of encountering the potential threat, the body responds by placing all energy into the muscles and processes that are necessary to fight or flight, shutting down nearly all else. This adaptation of the nervous system provides one of the greatest and most perplexing clues about Slender Man.

Flight
Many an ARG have made a point of this instinctual response. As stoic as many of the characters may be, running away as fast as possible is a popular response. Though it can be noted there seems to be little use in this decision, the overwhelming fear of seeing Slender Man proves too strong to deny, and this still continues even now in the ARG realm.

Fight

I've been struck
I will fight
I’ve been struck
I will fight
- “I Know Them”, Ektomorph

While there is a great number of average personalities who can be placed within the fight response group mentioned in the lyrics above, the numbers are lessened in response to the threat of Slender Man (see endnote iv) so considerably that the fight mechanism is seen as suicidal or a result of possible madness. One of the major compelling factors also at hand can be ascribed to the fact that no means of killing Slender Man is immediately found, nor has any been found in hindsight[v].

Fright
Herein lies the mystery. There is a third, less common name for this instinctual process; fight, flight or fright.

A threat from another animal does not always result in immediate fight or flight. There may be a period of heightened awareness, during which each animal interprets behavioral signals from the other. Signs such as paling, piloerection, immobility, sounds, and body language communicate the status and intentions of each animal. There may be a sort of negotiation, after which fight or flight may ensue, but which might also result in… nothing at all.”

While this represents a more common animal scenario, it is a basic form of fear overload- when the fight or flight decision cannot be made due to the panic or distress of the encounter.
Detour over.


The Unsent Laugh

“I always went with the assumption that His arms, and to a much lesser degree, His legs would change periodically. The Slender Man wants to maintain human-like proportions, but try as It might, It’s always off to the point where you know something is very, very wrong.” –Victor Surge

“It was nearly bright as noon when the found The Tall Man. The Tall Man stood in a clearing, dressed as a nibleman, all in black. Shadows lay over Him, dark as a cloudy midnight. He had many arms, all long and boneless as snakes, all sharp as swords, and they writhed like worms on nails. He did not speak, but made his intentions known.” -TombsGrave


What is imminently clear in the Slender Man mythos is that it does not matter what we believe He will do to us, what we’ve read about His victims, or that we fear we will become one of those victims. His presence, itself, is the true fear. It can easily be said that more than His physical threat, the mental threat He presents is the worse of the torments. Throughout the original forum thread, the cerebral terror (the fright response) took extreme precedence over the small handful of attempts to describe what He could do to a person. From this common reaction, the idea of “hallowing out” (or otherwise mentally breaking under the influence of Slender Man[vi]) formed and has since been used extensively in the ARGs.
This is the main point- inexplicable and overwhelming. What does Slender Man do to trigger these responses? He is. We don’t know what He is but sense He is to be feared. We don’t know what He wants but know it’s us. We don’t know what He’ll do but know it is worse than our imaginations can comprehend. We don’t know anything, from the first encounter and beyond- but he makes “his intentions known.”
But we’ve gone too far today, and must back away. Quickly is preferable.

“Und wenn Sie lang in den Abgrund starren, starrt der Abgrund auch in Sie.”



Sorry about the wait, guys! This one was a fighter. Hope you enjoy.

.


[i] here having the meaning of “with a camera”
[ii] to be discussed fully in a later entry
[iii] this is all relative, of course- personally I’d rather take on all four of those monsters than Slender Man
[iv] SPOILERS: the above reference is only one of two known ARG responses of this kind- Zeke Strahm of Seeking Truth is the first known character to attack Slender Man- by shooting Him in a moment of terror and rage, while Evan aggressively goes after Slender Man with the baseball bat he’d been carrying in the EverymanHYBRID episode “Ashen Waste”- both characters exhibit unusually strong “fight” and “protector” personalities
[v] to be discussed fully in a later entry
[vi] to be discussed fully in a later entry

November 12, 2010

Fire and Water


While we’re at it, let’s get two other basic concepts in the open, as they too constitute an ever-present force of Slender Man.[i]


"Feuer und Wasser kommt nie zussamen
Kann man nicht binden sind nicht verwandt
In Funken versunken steh ich in Flammen
Und bin im Wasser verbrannt”[ii]


We all know what fire and water are. We know how they’re created, more or less, how they’re dangerous, etc. We know they represent core instincts and fears in the human being, and that they spiritually can represent cleansing, punishment, purity, life, creativity, and other such things.
However, they take on a unique and not at all common effect in their pairing with Slender Man.

Fire


Natural Arson

There’s no need to cite the many occasions Slender Man has been associated with a destructive fire. It should also be common agreement that these fires are a result of Slender Man’s presence, and (often) even prior involvement. As in, there is nothing exactly to suggest Slender Man is the one setting them, but rather it is an effect of his objective involvement. For example, the original “Sterling Library” fire, to the later apartment fire in Marble Hornets. (Whether you believe totheark began that is irrelevant, as totheark himself is a result of Slender Man’s presence just the same.) In many cases, the places burned down also only housed evidence of Slender Man. In fact, fire follows Slender Man in whatever form or means possible, as though nature is attempting to purify itself of his presence. The physics of Slender Man has long been speculated as an anomaly at the least, and even more so evident than this is that Slender Man has often been associated with a “burning embrace”.

Burning Embrace

Furthering this idea of purification through fire, to physically touch Slender Man is almost unanimously described as “burning”. The imagination can fulfill so little in regards to Him, that the closest agony it can analogize with is the sensation of touching fire. Most people would agree this is on the top of the list of things we instinctually do not want to touch. And yet that His embrace[iii] should be associated with fire also effects the context described above- as if He is perpetually burning for His presence in our world, yet made of something too strong for the natural order of this world to turn to ash. A reminder that our rules are “like toys” to him.


Water


Religious Representation

The water/flood aspect of Slender Man is not, strictly speaking, canon. However, it has been so prevalent since the beginning, it’s not easy to separate the idea from Him.
There has been strong Old Testament leaning in the ARG circle, and so the relationship with floods is easy enough to understand, and even easier to see as it has the same symbolic meaning as the fire aspect may have. Yet there is more to the water relation when examined.

Fire and Water

Water, again, symbolizes many things in common with fire: purity, creation, life, and others. While the destructive forces of both elements are well known, water has a subtlety which fire does not.
Water can spend eternities underground, hidden where fire is instantaneous and temporary. Water can slowly, patiently, force its way through vast lengths of stone while fire must stop. Unlike fire, water survives as a thing in itself, needing no other element. A flood can cause a thousand more ways to die than the worst fire. Water has no need to hurry, yet has “liquid” speed and nothing to fear. It can boil or freeze. Deep waters can hide death of a thousand forms, it mutes out light, and the conscious clarity of drowning is said to be one of the worst kinds of death a human can suffer. This all makes an excellent representation of our tall, mysterious friend whom can never be fathomed any better than an entire ocean, and cannot be stopped, it seems, any easier.




Yes, a short post today. And I am sorry about the “fathom” joke but I couldn’t resist.
The pageviews are a-climbing! It looks like I’ve been suggested for the official listing at Unfiction! My views today have been excellent! Thank you all so much for reading! If I’m entertaining or managing to intrigue anyone, I am beyond flattered, and can hope for no more. Thanks again everyone, and stay tuned because I have a lot of excellent stuff in store! I’m just getting started.
.


EDIT: Holy hell the pageviews are skyrocketting! This is pretty bitchin to see, people. I wanted to say again that I am very stoked about this, and I can only hope you are enjoying the blog. Don't be afraid to comment either. Now that the basic concepts are complete, the real fun begins next post! Enjoy, you fear loving bastards![iv]


[i] Personally, I prefer “Slenderman”. It’s smoother to type and looks a bit more fancy, but “Slender Man” is canon so for the sake of the blog, that’s how I’m writing it. Just incase it was irritating someone else too.
[ii]Feuer Und Wasser”, Rammstein. 2005
[iii] the “embrace” to be discussed in a later entry
[iv] to be discussed in a later entry

November 10, 2010

Golom Tulpa Anima

“Step into
Mass delusion
Creep inside
And crawl around it
The one within
Is the one who found it
Cease to exist
Your mind is breaking [i]


Many of you have probably wondered at this point what the hell is with the stupid title of this blog. We’ll I’ll tell you.
Yes, it’s ridiculous. But it represents the closest thing I have to a thesis on the Slender Man. Three words with three different meanings, and one major connection between them, none of them alone able to communicate Slender Man, yet together create his defining crux.
Keep in mind I am not an expert in any of these subjects or fields of study.
Before getting into the basic definitions of golom, tulpa, and anima, let’s acknowledge a word that is also appropriate to Slender Man: phenomenon.

"The horror of Madness
The terminal Sadness
The cool air of mourning
Gave me the warning”

A phenomenon is an abnormal or exceptional event that is observable and/or conceivable by the human senses. (In turn this produces the noumenon, or mental/cognizant event as its mirror, not to be confused with the processing or reception of the phenomenon.) In current usage, a phenomenon is an extraordinary event, and furthermore can scientifically signify features of matter, energy, and spacetime.[ii]
Keep this in mind.


Golom

(also spelled “golem”)

Though a predominantly Jewish term, a golom is widely understood as an anthropomorphized being of inanimate and non-sentient material. For example, a man made of sand, rock, wood and classically, mud. In the Jewish incarnation, the word emet (“truth”) is written upon the being’s forehead to make it animate. In lore, it was common for the golom to become uncontrollable or dangerous, in which case half of the word could be erased, the remaining writ spelling met (“death” or “dead”) and thus de-animating the being back to its material state.
The golom had many purposed for being. It was often called upon to protect a village by the local religious figure, sometimes it was used as a servant. It was clumsy, stupid, and could not speak. However, it was unanimously sentient and had the capability to decide for itself whether it would cooperate. Because of this, more often than not the golom was or became violent, causing disruption and acting far beyond its original and usually peaceful purpose.
In regards to Slender Man, there are a few resonant ideas present. Firstly, the concept of “creating something from nothing”. Certainly goloms were literally formed in material and animated, and in that way cannot be analogous for our Slender friend. However, Slender Man was indeed put together and formed by us, and though we can never know what His material is if indeed He is made of anything at all physically normal, He is an observable and conceivable (sensually speaking) being. We have created Him, with our own energies to form Him, and animated Him with our will.
Which brings us to Tulpa.


Tulpa[iii]


A tulpa is, simply put, something made physical and real in our plane of existence through “thoughtforms”, or the willpower of the mind. It is a manifestation of a cerebral concept through focused attention and visualization.

A tulpa is usually produced by a skilled magician or yogi, although in some cases it is said to arise from the collective imagination of superstitious villagers, say, or of travelers passing through some sinister tract of country.”Mysteries of the Unexplained[iv]

I’m sure you all can see where I’m going with this.
To explain it even more simply, it can very effectively be created from a mass consciousness (Something Awful)- an image created by the power of thought.

“It is contended that a meme-” Yes, meme, “-is not a thoughtform [tulpa] unless it is sentient.[v] Though memetic theory may be deemed an informative correlation to thoughtform phenomena.”

Immediately, this creation is taken out of our hands. When an idea is formed, it is taken, used, changed, and further created and altered in individual minds. It is natural that as a tulpa is made of thought, it is forever in flux as our perception takes it further out of our control.
Still with me?

“Could the worship or occult use of an area over hundreds of years create a sort of artificial life form? Something that fed on the worship. When the worship is taken away the thing still needs to feed. It now feeds by creating fear with paranormal manifestations. Another idea is that they are a massive, collective, sub-conscious, thought form. The thought form or tulpa is said to be a …semi solid image created by the power of the mind. Perhaps a… thought form emanating from our innermost fears. ” –R. Freeman[vi]

This clearly illustrates the “tulpa” at hand, and a second illusion to the relation between the tulpa concept and fear, mind you.
Another aspect in this vast subject worth mentioning here in this basic summary is the physical effects of thoughtforms:

“A thought form can also act as a poisoning agent… may act so potently that the entire life is spoilt and service is rendered futile. The entire life is embittered and devitalized the embodied worry, hatred, or desire… and is held back by the poison in his [sic] mental system. His vision becomes distorted, his nature corroded, and all his relationships impeded by… thoughts which he himself embodies in form and which have a life so powerful that they can poison him.” –A. Bailey[vii]

Slender Man has both met these requirements and inspired the above mental/physical response in the unfortunate people who have encountered Him. However, Slender Man, according to the mythos, is not merely an “image” or “representation”. Though He exists in no state we can understand and doesn’t seem to adhere to our physics, it has been evidenced that this merely makes His physical realness and presence more disturbing and painful to encounter.
Overall, the implication that we created Slender Man ourselves has been echoed since His inception. Though the concept of the tulpa does not cover all the unique aspects, it has the greatest and most profound definition thereof.


Anima


Scientifically, it is the unconscious self (also known as animus), a genderless internal consciousness. On the mystic route- defined in many ways: as air, wind, or the spirit of the Earth as a whole. Latin for ‘soul’ or ‘breath’, “that which empowers or gives life to something.” Something that lives in everything, and is devoid of natural explanation.

“Every personification of the unconscious- the shadow, the anima, the animus, and the self- has both a light and a dark aspect. ...The anima and animus have dual aspects: they can bring life-giving development and creativeness to the personality, or they can cause petrification and physical death.” –L. von Franz

“A kind of psychological short-circuit, to identify the animus at least provisionally with wholeness… the animus seeks to usurp the self... This identification is a regular occurrence when the shadow, the dark side, has not been sufficiently realized.” –C. Jung


Think about that one for awhile.



Hey again guys. Hope you’re enjoying the blog so far! This entry isn’t the most thrilling one, but I needed to go over those three important ideas because they pretty much trickle through everything I’ll be saying after this! So, sorry for the lame post! But I must do what I must do.
Look, I did try to spice it up with some lyrics! And it was nice and sunny outside today. What do you want from me?! .3.




[i] all lyrics in this entry by Rob Zombie; “Cease to Exist”, “Demonoid Phenomenon
[ii] I stole that specific list from Wikipedia.
[iii] the “Tulpa Effect” to be discussed in a later entry.
[iv] Mysteries of the Unexplained, 1990, Reader’s Digest Association Inc. pg. 176
[v] an unusually intelligent excerpt from Wikipedia
[vi] Freeman, Richard. In Search of British Dragons. 2007. http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/cryptozoology/in-search-of-british-dragons.html
[vii] Bailey, Alice. A Treatise on White Magic. 1934. Lucis Publishing Co. NY

November 8, 2010

The Beginning


 
“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.




On Jun 10, 2009, Victor Surge added this contribution to the Something Awful thread “Create Paranormal Images”, which intended to spark fake accounts of monsters and ghosts, and maybe pester some paranormal websites and radio shows [i]. What you see above appears on page three of the thread, about one third down. From this post on, the forty-six page, one thousand eight hundred and forty+ response thread is almost exclusively about Slender Man.
There are fifty-two known ARGs spread across blogs, twitter, youtube, and other media, thirty-seven of them active (one preparing for its second installment), thirteen of unknown ending, and two just beginning but showing very strong signs of Slender Man relation [ii]. This explosion of enthusiasm begins on the very same page as Victor Surge’s original post, when cowboythreespeech innocently makes the comment that can be said to have killed us all:

“I wish the ‘Slender Man’ one was legit.”


“The Slender Man”

In the second image of Victor Surge’s post, we get a confirmation of the three circumstances presented in the first one: 1.) Slender Man almost innocuously stands in the back of the image, 2.) in a circle of children, and 3.) the description suggests the photographer of the image, Mary Thomas, immediately went missing. Two more aspects were included: Slender Man appears to have multiple appendages (referred to commonly as His “tentacles”), and the photo’s description goes beyond merely connecting Him to the children’s disappearance, but also to the subsequent fire at the library in which the photograph was being kept. Furthermore, it makes it clear He has no fear of broad daylight, public, or cameras- a rare and dangerous quirk in a monster.
Victor Surge was not done with his creation, and the tentacles make a reappearance. Though with slightly more hint of a face, this post goes on to describe one of the only instances of sound being associated with Slender Man: “a sound like a watermelon being [unintelligible].” In a vague description of the results after the photo was taken, the first mention of “losing time” and electrical disturbance of any kind is made, along with one of very few descriptions of Slender Man’s victims. In this case, there was little to be described other than “blood and human tissue”.


The Children and the Forest

From here, it began to develop rather quickly and more details were added to Slender Man’s mythos with each post by the creator. One image he posts depicts Slender Man with clear multiple appendages, one of a police report with classic SM paranoia scribbles all over it, Leechcode5 adds a photo of a school fire with multi-appendaged SM in the flames, and in one of the most recognizable incarnations of SM, Victor Surge fabricated an entire child’s birthday party and subsequent missing child report, including a photo from the party with the harrowing tall figure of Slender Man hidden just behind a tree.
Not long later, Bluedeanie selected the original two photos- of the kidnapped children and dapper Slender Man, the playground and the tentacle Slender Man- and the later photo of the children’s birthday party, and made the first declaration of what Slender Man sums up to.
Victor Surge still wasn’t finished yet. Soon came two photos of foggy woods concealing the Slender Man of the trees, with long tentacled arms buried in the ground like roots, hoisting the already elongated figure into the air. A story describes the dissection and organ displacement of a victim among the sound of “a children’s laugh, like a giggle.” Another bit of information reveals more of what is later dubbed the Tulpa effect[1][iii], suggesting the photographs be burned immediately.


Alternate Reality

On page five of the thread, Victor Surge said he’s “done with this Slender Man stuff,” due to giving himself an uneasy feeling, and was glad his friend was coming over.
In the very next post, there is an extreme close up of Slender Man, with something of a face, followed by a slightly incomprehensible message stating:

“My friend is herejus camein barely made up staairs got pictur locked door but it s right there inthe hall dont look at its pictures it dosent want to be known about dont loo”

The first example of storytelling in the Slender Man mythos. Doedipus comments:

“Ditto that the whole 'Slender Man' thing is fantastic. I actually thought it was a real photo at first that was a bit blurry and someone just came up with a story to make it ‘paranormal.’”

Slender Man began to bleed into reality.

It begins to get farther from the core as the pages go on, but He is continuing to be created in the mind of the forum. There are several mentions of “embraces”, “burning embraces”, and the ability to attract His victims to Him. Mentions of people forced to act against their will, against their friends.

“Every time I walk past the window at the top of the stairs, I always look out it, even if just for a moment. It's a habit I've had since I was tall enough to peek over the sill. But tonight, as I stepped out into the hall, my head refused to turn; even my eyes remained fixed on the other end of the corridor. It was as if my body was trying to tell me something... Not the frantic 'Don't look, don't look, dear god please walk faster,' but instead the eerily calm 'There's no need to look. You already know He's there.' –KatWithHands

‘An observer’ begins what can be called the first Slender Man ARG, detailing a story of a weird nighttime walk experience with photos that contain clear examples of a stalking Slender Man. It resonates through the forum.
User ‘Wonder Bra’ seemed to see what was happening.:

“It's because He lives in our primal, ancient, subconscious mind that He appears more often when people begin to think of Him. He changes because He plays on our fears. He lives in a nebulous, timeless twilight that constantly shifts.”


The Beginning

There He was. A very tall man with no face, wearing a suit of some kind, with a propensity to stand silently behind lamp-posts.
And yet no one could sleep that night. Did you sleep on that first night?
Uncanny Valley is as perfect a definition for this visual effect as anything could be. Yet, it just doesn’t seem to cut it. Slender Man was clearly more than uncanny valley even then.

“I'm not usually one to get all bandwagony but Slender Man is honestly one of the most inspiring and sinister things I've seen lately. Something about It seems to strike some sort of primal 'wrong' chord.” –TheRiffie

There was something innately disquieting, unspeakable- as Evan of EverymanHYBRID said,

“Clearly this is not just some dickhole messing with us, clearly this is not just some man in a suit. This is something soooo much worse.”


[i] which they successfully did with the Slender Man Mythos
[ii] Unfiction has a more or less complete list available
[iii] to be discussed fully in a later entry

November 7, 2010

Introduction

Hello husks Internets!

Welcome to Golom Tulpa Anima, the blog dedicated to our tall, well-dressed friend, the mindraping, gut tearing, heart stopping Slender Man. Most of you by this time are familiar with Him. Some of you are not. For those in the second category:

Stop reading now if you want to live.

The rest of you already realize it’s too late, of course, and perhaps look to this blog for some help. But this is not M here. I am not the brave Zeke, or the calm and collected Jay.
My name’s Ashley. I go by Ash. And this is not an ARG.
No, this isn’t even an attempt to solidify Slender Man canon (though, to be fair, I will be a stickler for canon). This blog is a loving, meticulous journey into what makes the Slender Man what He is. What, in reality, makes us so fear Him, and yet crave His terror.
Looking at my previous post, you may wonder, “How is she going to do that? She clearly knows that the Slender Man can not be understood!” And you would be right.
While observing the first wave of the Slender Man Mythos in the Something Awful Forums, Mr. Gibbycrumbles commented,

“What comes naturally from this thread is actually one of the greatest things about Slender Man; that is the fact that there is no true, definitive interpretation of what He looks like. Slender Man is vague, unclear, and this probably is the most important thing about Him that needs to be preserved.”

This fact has been proven again and again through the various ARGs, forums, and other creative media that Slender Man has inhabited. The more one tries to clarify Him, the more the reader resists, knows that it’s wrong, loses touch with the terror. Through explanation Slender Man becomes more incomprehensible; in the end, the only way He can be understood is through the pure, abject fear that comes with Him. He can only be felt, witnessed, or experienced to be known.
In those moments of horror, He is understood perfectly.

“Yes, that is all good and well,” you may say, “but this still doesn’t explain how she intends to blog about what makes the Slender Man so batshit scary!”
You’re right again! This is how I intend to do it:
By all of us taking hands and observing what we can observe without our eyes being blinded or our minds breaking. We will feel, witness, and experience Slender Man, but never define. This, I believe, will be the key to seeing the fear clearly.
In the next few posts, I will go over the original Something Awful forum thread that gave birth to Slender Man, as many people aren’t familiar with the canon. From there, the real fun begins.

Now, before you think I’m batshit scary, let me introduce myself just a little better! .3.
As I said, my name is Ash. I have a very silly sense of humor (that’s more of a warning than anything else; for when I break the mood by making a very stupid joke out of something), I have a weird writing style, oh, and I get very irritated by corniness and clich├ęs, I like me some good rock and metal, I make tons of really bad analogies (I can’t help it), and Slender Man is the only thing that has ever scared me. I am constantly assumed to be a man (I’m a lady, blast you!) (also don’t get excited cause I do like my ice cream and it shows), I’m over drinking age but younger than twenty-five, yes, I have read House of Leaves (even the house doesn’t have anything on Slendy), and I thoroughly enjoy the Pacific Ocean, where I live.

Now, back to the Slender Man. Here goes!
Thank you for joining me on this journey and enjoy the ride.

"The Slender Man came to me in a dream and told me that he existed between everything and nothing, and that time and matter are like toys. Then he broke into tiny jellyfish-like things that swam away into my radiator." -LemOHnade, Something Awful Forums

November 6, 2010

“…Its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time."

“People are too swift to apportion human reasoning or human sentiments to this Thing when in fact It is [so] vastly alien in every manner that it would make more sense to apportion features of a force of nature to It.” –jonnymanic, Unfiction

"The closer you think you are to understanding the Slender Man, the more incorrect you really are." -JossiRossi, Something Awful Forums

“And the more stories you post, the more images you find, the more you think about Him, the more He feeds and the stronger He grows. He isn't coming. He is already here, and He always has been, and always will be.” - Wonder Bra, Something Awful Forums

“The Slender Man. He exists because you thought of Him. Now try and not think of Him.” – I, Something Awful Forums

“Slender Man is scaring the crap out of me for some reason.” –Noobicide, Something Awful Forums