July 9, 2012

Hello Again, My Friends!
Wow, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Too fucking long, everyone. Too fucking long!
First off, I owe everyone an apology for this massive break I just had. It wasn’t intentional, at first. There have been some big changes in my life over this last, what, year and a half? Jesus! You can blame my brother for a lot of it, though. His last year of med school, he got his PhD, we no longer live together as a brother-sister crime fighting duo. It’s been weird living without him, so a lot of my free time has been with best friend Lily.
That pretty much explains the first year. The rest of it? You can blame that shit on me.
Slenderman, as many of you have heard it said, has gotten “too popular”. At least, in the opinion of most. I’ve never felt that way, personally- I mean, He still scares the bejesus out of me sometimes. But it has affected my drive to continue this blog. I worried that it would be passed over as “just another”. That has never been what this is about for me, and I didn’t want it to be taken any other way. However, now one could say we’re all standing at the Slenderman Endgame, yeah? This shit’s almost over- the craze that is. I find myself getting more drawn to my old post ideas and little essays.
Because really, what could serve as a better denouement than a final look at The Monster himself at the end of the day?
As the dusk fades, and we wait for the dawn to rise on this beautiful Mythos.

January 11, 2011

Why Hello

Greetings, friends.
Bet you're wondering where I've been, and why I am buying time with halfassed side-posts. Well I think I owe you the fairness of truth. It's not very exciting, however. I'm indeed buying time to write ahead of myself, to create a cache before continuing, and have successfully stockpiled a handful of very large, very in depth entries and there they are a' standing in the road, bum-bum-bum etc.
Or on my flash drive.
The point is, trying to write consistantly and quickly was sort of becoming a distraction. Even more importantly, I've been rounding up little chats of sorts with primary sources, and while a somewhat arduous task (especially the dickholes <3 who don't have any contact information whatsoever listed), it has turned up some wonderful information to give to you all! Nonetheless, I'm trying my best to get everything situated in a way that there should be no future interruptions in the entries! I want you all to get back to enjoying one of the weirder intellectual pursuits the world offers, and while this may be a hack intellectual pursuit, I hope you guys like it, anyways. It seems you do, and thank you all for the subscriptions, comments, and emails. They bring me more joy than I ever expected.
So, not quite back to your regularly scheduled programming (I'm looking at you again, missing interview), but soon, friends. Soon.

EDIT: Jesus H Christ, you're never going to contact me, are you.

EDIT 2: Almost there, guys.

January 2, 2011

Analogies II: House of Leaves

“And here by the ocean the sky’s full of leaves,
And what they can tell you depends on what you believe.”[i]

On a rare (sarcasm) side-quest here, I’d like to bring up the popular connection of the Slender Man mythos to the rather remarkable book, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I say popular connection because there is essentially no reason to link them aside from the unique cores they have. They’re really very different things, yet House of Leaves commonly crops up in Slender Man discussion and provides a solid comparison point for us; a sounding board with which to observe Slender Man once more without having to stare directly at Him. This helpful thread between them is based in their uniquely objective and simultaneously subjective natures. On one end, you have a published work(s), a chaotic, ergodic[ii] fiction that is incredibly interwoven in reality, non-reality, and the search of truth and in some cases, the ability to detect untruth. On the other end, you have a chaotic, endlessly changing thing that is both physical (like a book), but also resides almost entirely in perception, and certainly entirely within the confines of the mind’s ability to “see[iii]” It (like House of Leaves). Much like House of Leaves, with Slender Man we gain our understanding of something seemingly impossible to understand by our personal perceptions, almost to the level that the book, like the Slender Man, IS what you think it is. This is of course a highly debatable subject, but for the purpose of my argument, I’m going to assume you at least agree the logic is sound.
Carrying on, while pondering this pairing and how to explain it sufficiently, I stumbled upon a middle ground. Danielewski’s sister, Anne Danielewski (also known as singer/songwriter “Poe[iv]”), created a companion album to the book under the same title. On it are songs like “5 ½ Minute Hallway” and “Exploration B”, and even further, the book itself not only mentions an interview with someone mysteriously known only as “Poe t”, but later Johnny mentions a female led band singing a song that includes the real lyrics “I live at the end of a five and a half minute hallway”. So, clearly this album is to be taken as canon, and so I have a sort of connection point with which I can now illustrate some of the core similarities between the book, and our Slender Man.
The songs on House of Leaves all deal with the house, the characters, and the story itself. Nearly every song has some descriptive lyric on the house and its incomprehensible meaning. The house, in these lyrics, becomes a perfect analog for Slender Man. For example:

I can’t forget I’m a sole architect
I built the shadows here
I built the growl in the voice I fear

True, Slender Man doesn’t make much noise, but as you can see, the artistic freedom and creative nature of the lyrics creates a space in which we can easier observe these strange entities. In this example, Poe asserts a popular theory that the house is subjective to the mind of the viewer. This continues:

What minds have you shredded
I bet they regretted
Having ever thought you up

This is almost unusual in regards to the house, but suggests the level at which this house escapes the physical and exists instead in the mind. A perfect analogy that I don’t think I need to explain.

Again, this was just a side entry to hold over until unleashing the larger entries coming ahead. At any rate, if you’ve never read House of Leaves or just haven’t listened to the album by Poe, I highly recommend doing so. It’s a fun, spooky way to get your mental exercise, and reduce the amount of sleep you get, and make you fear hallways. Because it wasn’t enough to fear trees, business suits, and second story windows.

[i] all lyrics in this entry written by Anne and Mark Danielewski, and performed by Poe (Anne): “Amazed”, “Hey pretty”, “Terrible Thought”
[ii] the very text itself, or rather the way it is presented and/or visually laid out, prompts the audience to understand or search through far larger meaning and reality than can be contained in the literature- often a book
[iii] we’ll go with the Avatar explanation on this one, and for the lucky folk who haven’t watched that, it means to see the essence of a person as opposed to the visual, physical self
[iv] funny enough, I’ve been listening to Poe since around 2000, and only recently became aware of and read House of Leaves- the songs suddenly made so much more sense

December 13, 2010

Behavior Part II: Reality

Today we begin with me covering my ass. Because we all know I took a long time on this entry, and after reading it, you may think there’s not much to show for it. However, let’s face the facts:
Of what I’m about to discuss, there is very little material to work with.
In the previous “Behavior” entry, we tried to decipher the general core of what Slender Man “does”, and we emerged with this- He makes his intentions known. Still, there are physical things He does, and more, to constitute a “behavior”. This is what we’ll be going over in this entry.

Marble Hornets: Entry#12


Thompson: It came. It came to us.
Witmoore: It approached and attacked?
Thompson: It appeared. No movement. Never saw it move. It was in one place, then another place. No movement.
Witmoore: Did it have any weapons? The bodies of the soldiers showed no marks that would resemble that of a knife or wounds of a gun.
Thompson: It came and they died as it did. They couldn’t fire at it.
Witmoore: Did it touch them?
Thompson: I don’t know. I heard them fall down. Heard them die.
-BashIronfist, MonkeyMaker, SA

Pushing aside initial responses discussed previously, Slender Man does extremely little upon first encounter. Usually, He is known to merely be there. Standing quietly, watching eyelessly. He shows Himself seemingly only on His own volition, yet there is much talk that we can somehow “call” Him to us; whether with our knowledge of Him or by some other means. (Mogadishu wrote, “The tulpa is manifest. All it takes is that split second of fear when the tree outside your window casts a shadow just right, and He knows.”)
From here, it gets less nebulous.

Rodzby, Rodzby, sittin' in a tree
First goes your nerves, then goes your mind
Then comes the Slenderman to stick you in a pine
-Phy, teasing an SA peer

Stalking is across the boards a Slender Man behavior. While in many cases closely linked to canon Slender Man merely arrives and chooses His victims (survivors tell us the story later of course), in vast accounts more and making up most of the canon, He instead makes Himself perfectly known, and begins to appear to His intended victims repeatedly. In many ARG cases, this causes the victim to go on the run[i] to no avail, and in most canon stories, the victims unanimously die rather than go missing. There is very little to this stalking pattern, it seems. Slender Man is simply there when He chooses to be. The style also seems consistent. He may appear outside a window every night, or in the tree-line, or in the very room, or just wherever the victim happens to go. But He does it consistently.
An aspect of this “stalking” stage (which seems to be the only stage really) is the idea that He can “call” to us. We know what supposedly happens to His direct victims, and while looking this over on the original Something Awful thread, user Phy made an interesting connection:

In reading this thread, I'm struck by one behaviour[…] in particular, that of… impaling… victims in a tree, while removing and reinserting their internal organs. It's remarkably akin to the feeding habits of shrikes, also known as butcherbirds.
See, what a shrike will do is capture a smaller animal - anything from a cricket to a smaller bird or mouse - and kill it. Shrikes are songbirds, and their musculature is pretty lacking compared to a straight-up raptor like a hawk or owl, so their kill is messy and inefficient, consisting of many pecks and bites to the head and neck. This continues until the prey animal is either dead or too tired to fight. But that's not the worst part. The worst part is that as weak as their jaws are, their claws are weaker, and they wholly lack talons. They're built to perch. So… it will take its prey to a thorny tree, or bush, or even barbed wire, and it will ram its prey down on a spike so that it won't move when the shrike tears it apart. It's a songbird that's learned to kill, and it does so far more cruelly than any raptor.
Anyone ever hear the Slender Man sing?
Wikipedia on Lanius excubitor, the Great Gray Shrike: ‘This species will lure birds closer by mimicking their calls.’

This idea of Slender Man “luring” us or “calling” to us is reflection of a natural phenomenon. While whether this function is used to the same ends as the songbird or not is uncertain, there is pathos intentionally and inextricably linked to it.
“But this is Slender Man,” you may think. “Surely He doesn’t have to resort to this- He could just appear[ii] wherever and whenever!” As always, I agree with you. While His intentions[iii] remain utterly unfathomable, they are as we know, “known”, and have lead many to speculate that fear itself (remember the magic words, golom, tulpa, and anima?) is a major vehicle for what He does.
For now we must move around this obstacle of thought, and return to our planned discussion.

A Preferred Victim

We’ve already gone over Slender Man’s apparent link to children. So let me explain with impressions instead.

According to witness statements, over the past several weeks a man had been coming to the girls' bedroom window at night, where he would tap on the glass, 'make faces', and watch the girls.
Police investigators initially dismissed the account as a dream, as the bedroom window is on the second story, with no support beneath it. "[Alice] Elkins reported that, on the night of her sisters disappearance, they were again awakened by a tapping at the glass," Sergeant Hohne explained, "She heard her sister get out of bed, and have a short conversation. When she didn't hear her sister get back in bed after several minutes, she got up and went to the window, where she saw her sister in the side yard, 'hugging the tall man'. According to the witness, the man looked up at her, grinned, and indicated that she was to come down as well with a 'snaky arm'. It was at this point that Miss Elkins became extremely frightened, and returned to bed. The tapping continued for some minutes, but finally ceased."
–Mr. 47, SA

“The second photo is of an elementary school fire in 1978. No official cause was ever found. Seven students and a teacher became trapped and died before firefighters could respond. Many of the students and teachers from the time have a history of anxiety disorders and panic attacks, even those who weren't at the school on that day. At least one has since committed suicide, and several others legally changed their names once they reached adulthood and have disappeared.”

What does it mean for Him to appear so widely to children? Fans of the Candle Cove creepypasta, the novel “It”, or the countless horror films of the same vein already understand the differentiation of a nightmare creature[vi] within the mind of an adult and the mind of a child. Children more openly accept or fall into a situation an adult would flee from, which from an adult perspective garners even greater terror. A child may not even respond the way and adult does when confronted with Slender Man. It’s true that He has the unique quality of drawing His victims in if He chooses, but as evidenced above, a simple variation of personality between two children can make one fall into His “embrace”, and the other shy away. Since we observe the Slender Man mythos from the adult perspective, this is a critical reaction- and is due to a natural instinct to protect our children, and by “our” children I don’t mean our own personal spawn but any child we perceive to be in danger.


"I've had this dream before
A thousand times or maybe more
In the dream I see you there
And feel your breath upon the air”[vii]

This often mentioned piece of fear has very similar roots to the one mentioned above. An embrace is recognized throughout the animal kingdom as a sign of affection, love, and/or comfort. It expresses alliance with other mammals and personalities, is a form of physical intimacy engaging a statement of physical trust, and psychophysiologically creates an “affection bond” in the mind, whether we like it or not. (You know how someone you despise may hug you without your permission, but you suck it up and take the hit for the sake of peace, only to feel kind of dirty later? Yeah, no matter who it is with, an embrace creates a psychologically tangible bond without your permission- thus, the irreversible feeling that you got “too close”.) Furthermore, as humans, we heavily associate an embrace with family, specifically mother and father who cradled us from infancy, and also good friends and lovers.
It’s no wonder the idea of this “embrace” causes fear in us. To be physically close to Slender Man alone is enough, and physical touch would be met with a very carnal sense of resistance, but this is nothing to say of receiving this intimate gesture. It could very easily have played out that Slender Man only had whatever “embrace” it took to crush us or kill us in some way. That is the top level of fear in an embrace from Slender Man- that to be in his grasp equals death. But it didn’t happen like that. It happened on the level below the surface, in which He draws us into His embrace, and lets us live.


But there is still a level beyond the stalking. One that draw clues on His intentions, or puts a name to what He does.

I had another dream about the Slender Man.
The first involved me and a bunch of kids that for some reason I was in charge of. I decided to take them down to the park so they could run around, play on the swings and stuff like that, but as we got closer to the park gates, a thick fog started to creep its way over the ground and soon our vision was pretty bad due to how thick the mist had become. I could see the park's trees vaguely in front of us and then I had a horrible thought. "This is when he comes," I thought to myself, looking around at the fog. I wasn't scared, though. I knew he was out there somewhere, but I felt no fear about it, as if it were just natural that he would be.
I turned to the children and told them that we wouldn't be going to the park today because of the Slender Man hiding in the fog. That was it. Last night
, in my dream, I woke up in bed. (I may have actually woken up, but that thought is a little too creepy, so I'm going to say I only 'fake' woke up in my dream, for my own comfort). My room was dark, obviously, and I couldn't see anything clearly. My eyelids were heavy and my eyes were burning with tiredness. I was looking towards my computer desk which is beside the bottom of my bed when I suddenly realized there was someone else in the room, just out of my field of vision, standing right beside the bed head and just beside my pillow, if that makes sense. I knew that if I raised my eyes, I would see him. I knew it was The Slender Man without even looking, something just told me that it was him. I moved my eyes a fraction upwards, but was compelled to stop at a sudden surge of bizarre panic that told me I really did not want to see him. He was staring at me, I knew that much, and even though I felt nervous about not being able to see him, any time I moved my eyes I felt this stab of intense fear that made me stop. So, fully aware of this other presence in my room, so close and watching me so silently, I closed my eyes and hoped to fall asleep soon, expecting to feel his hands on me at any moment. I fell back asleep and that was that. –TheRiffie, SA

You really want to know? How would you feel if you found out he does it not to live... but for fun? He doesn't need to do this... he wants to. As for witnesses, some times they are targets, and some times, just being imprinted with the real image of the Slenderman or what he does is enough to drive a person to the deepest paths of despair. I link it to some one who witness first hand a terrible crime (say for example a rape/murder at a young age) How some people, after awhile it goes away, where as others, if chews away at them, always popping up, as a reminder of seeing the horror again and again. That's what he does, don't try to reason the whys and hows. Because there will never be an answer that will make you understand or happy... or make you sleep again.
-BooDoug187, SA

And I fell asleep to the sound of wet leaves brushing against my window. And I dreamed of a thin man who looked at me, even though he had no eyes, and tried to touch me, even though he had no hands. I dream. About the sound of wet leaves sliding softly across a window, and the way he is still watching me, even though he has no eyes. – Irisi, SA


[i] known as a “runner”, to be discussed fully in a later entry
[ii] to be (you guessed it) discussed fully in a later entry
[iii] gonna be all over this one in a later entry
[iv] always looks like the kid is giving Him the finger, to me
[v] does not get more canon than the original post
[vi] an excellent video game
[vii] “Damage In the Dream” by Anti-M

December 9, 2010

Here I Am!

Don't worry guys! Another entry on its way! I've got another fighter on my hands.

November 22, 2010


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. :< 


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.

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.


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].

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.


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.


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.


(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.


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.


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