TABE OF CONTENTS
- CHAPTER 1 “THE BEST, NEW MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURE”
- CHAPTER 2 “IT TENDS TO FREE ITSELF FROM ITS MAKERS’ CONTROL”
- CHAPTER 3 “MAGIC AND FICTION WERE STARTING TO HAVE A CONVERSATION”
- CHAPTER 4 “IS ALL THAT WE SEE OR SEEM BUT A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM?”
- CHAPTER 5 “FEAR OF THE GAS MAN”
- CHAPTER 6 “CONSUMED BY THE SLENDERMAN”
- CHAPTER 7 “WAUKESHA REMINDS ME OF A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET “
- CHAPTER 8 “THERE WILL BE NO SAFETY IN THIS HOUSE”
- CHAPTER 9 “DEMON-POSSESSED”
- CHAPTER 10 “EVIL LIES IN WAIT FOR AN EXCUSE TO BLOOM”
- CHAPTER 11 “SLENDERMAN IS A PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION OF OUR FEAR OF DEATH”
- CHAPTER 12 “AND IN DID COME THE STRANGEST FIGURE”
- CHAPTER 13 “A SLIM MAN IN A DARK SUIT”
- CHAPTER 14 “I KNEW IT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO KILL HER”
- CHAPTER 15 “A TALL, DARK, AND TERRIFYING ENTITY”
- CHAPTER 16 “HIS ARMS ARE IMPOSSIBLY LONG”
- CHAPTER 17 “THERE’S NO STRUCTURE TO THE FACE”
- ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Imagine the scene: It’s the dead of night and you are fast asleep. Suddenly, things change radically and you find yourself far from asleep; you are now wide awake but unable to move. You are completely paralyzed. You try to cry out but it’s no use. Your heart pounds and your head spins chaotically. Worse still, you see hunched over in the shadows of the bedroom an eight-to-nine-foot-tall skinny and emaciated creature. It is dressed in an old-style black suit, and has a pale face that lacks eyes, a nose, ears, and a mouth. As for its arms and legs, they are almost like those of a spider: long, thin, and spindly. Rubbery, octopus-like tentacles protrude from its torso; they wave and flicker ominously in your direction. To your horror, the night-fiend slowly moves toward you and leans over. Its foul breath makes you wretch. It whispers that you are about to die or that it is coming to take your soul. Maybe you will be its eternal slave in its forested, ancient abode. Now in a state of complete terror, you finally manage to cry out and wake up in a cold sweat. The terrible thing is suddenly gone. You have just had a trauma- and fear-filled encounter with the Slenderman. But, mark my word, he will be back. He always comes back eventually.
The Slenderman has curious origins. He began “life” purely as an Internet creation, specifically the work of a man named Eric Knudsen. In June 2009, Knudsen, via the pseudonym of “Victor Surge,” uploaded a couple of doctored photos of the Slenderman to the Something Awful website forum. In no time at all, others began writing and posting their very own tales of the Slenderman. Short stories, blogs, novels, online games, chat-rooms, and more soon followed. Then, something menacing and sinister happened: People all across the world began to see the Slenderman. Not just on the Internet, not in novels or in the pages of comic-books, but in their homes. In their bedrooms. In mysterious woods. In dreams that rapidly escalated into full-blown nightmares.
The Slenderman had come to life.
Since 2009, countless numbers of people claim to have seen, and been attacked, plagued, and terrified by this skeletal, pale giant in black. But how could such a thing have happened? Is the creature a Tulpa, a Buddhist word that means “thought-form”? When enough people believe in something, the theory goes, that same something can stride out of our darkest imaginations and right into the heart of our own reality. By accepting without question the idea that the Slenderman is more than just a piece of Internet fiction are we also giving him some degree of life? Maybe even independent life? If so, can we extinguish that life? If not, does that mean the Slenderman is here to stay?
Another theory suggests that the Internet is slowly becoming self-aware. Could the online world into which all of us are hooked be the culprit? In September 2012, the Sydney Morning Herald published an article titled “A self-aware Internet not so far-fetched” and asked, “Could the internet “wake up”? And if so, what sorts of thoughts would it have? Would it be friend or foe? They are important and integral questions, and particularly so when it comes to the matters of the Slenderman and what it really is (Falk, 2012). Is the Internet turning against us—in a situation not unlike the vast Skynet system in the Terminator movies—and attacking us with digital equivalents of our very own online nightmares? Could those same digital equivalents take a running leap out of the Internet and into our very homes? And, particularly so, the Slenderman?
There is no doubt that the saga of the Slenderman has reached extremely disturbing proportions both on the Net and in our world. In 2014, Newsweek reported, “In late May, in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, Wisconsin, two 12-year-old girls allegedly lured a friend into the woods and stabbed her 19 times.” The terrible attack was undertaken all in the name of—yes, you guessed it—the Slenderman. It was an affair that shocked the people of Waukesha to their very core and gave the Slenderman the widespread infamy he was surely craving (Jones, 2014).
In a January 24, 2015 article that appeared in the U.K.-based Birmingham Mail newspaper (titled “Spooky Slender Men spotted in Cannock”), the editor Mike Lockley wrote that an investigation
…has been launched in the Midlands following four sightings of Slender Men—long, stick-thin specters feared around the world…. Slender Men have been a part of global folklore for centuries. They may be known by different names, but their harrowing, elongated appearance remains the same around the world (Lockley, 2015).
More and more people are following, and arguably even worshiping and devoting their lives to, the Slender-man as he becomes ever stronger and more physical in our world. Where did he come from? What does he want from us? What are the many witnesses to the Slenderman telling us? Is there just one creature, or are we looking at multiple Slendermen? How can we stop him from terrorizing and torturing us? Can we stop him? Or has he become an unstoppable, unbeatable nightmare?
These, and many more, are the questions asked and answered in The Slenderman Mysteries: An Internet Urban Legend Comes to Life.