The true origin of Slender Man, the worst internet nightmare

On the afternoon of May 30, 2014, three 12-year-old girls gathered for a slumber party in the small town of Waukesha (Milwaukee). The next morning, authorities found two of the girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, walking down the road. The third was found in a nearby forest fighting for her life after being stabbed 19 times with a kitchen knife.

Later, the two girls would confess to the authorities that the sacrifice was part of a ritual. They had the intention of murdering his partner in the name of "Slender Man."

"We did not want to do it, but we knew that if we did not pay attention to Slender Man, he would kill our entire family in less than three seconds," he said. Weier.

Currently, the legend of Slender Man has spread through multiple media and, with an HBO documentary on the subject just around the corner, along with the initial perspectives of taking it to the big screen, it has been become a prized possession for Hollywood. However, despite having all the information at our fingertips, few know the chilling story that brought us to this moment.

This is how Slender Man went from being a myth to becoming the nightmare of thousands of people

 The true origin of Slender Man, the worst Internet nightmare

On June 8, 2009, a user of an Internet forum started a thread with a very specific challenge: "Create Paranormal Images " Two days later, Eric Knudsen, his forum partner, published under his alias "Victor Surge", the first snapshot of Slender Man: a man without face, slender, extremely thin and dressed.

In a 2011 interview, Eric he described the influences that led to the now iconic design: the serialized Zack Parsons story "That Insidious Beast", Stephen King's tale "The Mist", "The Rake", another monstrous creation devised in the forum above, the paranormal reports of "shadow beings" … "I used all those stories to create something new whose motivations could barely be understood, and that was capable of creating discomfort and terror to the population in general," Knudsen explained.

As Knudsen says, the subtitles of the first couple of images about Slender Man only took 15 minutes, but thanks to these first lines he was able to create a bit of background story for the character as well like a lot of intrigue.

 The true origin of Slender Man, the Internet's worst nightmare
Eric Knudsen / Deviantart

"We did not want to go, we did not want to kill them, but his persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and consoled us at the same time … "- 1983, unknown photographer, presumed dead.

 The true origin of Slender Man, the Internet's worst nightmare
Eric Knudsen / Deviantart

One of the two photographs recovered from the library of the city of Stirling. Known to be taken on the day when fourteen children disappeared, known as "Slender Man". It presents deformities cited as some defects of the reel, according to some officials. The library fire occurred a week later. Real photograph confiscated as evidence. – 1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13, 1986.

Two days later, another user of the forum, LeechCode5, uploaded two images of Slender Man inspired by the post original. The subtitles linked the creature as a predator of children.

 The true origin of Slender Man, the worst nightmare of the Internet
Leechcodes / Somethingawful

"The photo corresponds to a fire that occurred in a school of primary school in 1978. The official cause was never found that led seven students and a teacher to be trapped and die before the firefighters could intervene. "

" Many of the students and teachers of that school suffered from anxiety disorders and panic attacks, even those who were not in school that day, at least one has committed suicide and several others legally changed their names once they reached adulthood and then disappeared. "

Upon seeing the impact his creation was achieving, Knudsen created more images of "Slender Man". A photo called "Steinman Woods" would establish the presence of the creature in the forest, and a timeless instinct that craves malice.

 The true origin of Slender Man, the Internet's worst nightmare
Eric Knudsen / Deviantart

2007: A research team discovers twenty-two bodies corresponding to both genders and at different ages impaled on some broken branches showing an incision with a circular pattern on the chest as shown by Slender Man. After confirmation , the principal investigator ********* requested an immediate evacuation of the equipment at 5:00 p.m.

The bodies were discovered for the first time at 11:00 hours. Evacuation time limit for the team with physical evidence from Slender Man at 5:30 p.m. Loss of contact with the team at 17:25. The security procedures were within the established protocols.

The reason for the anomaly is unknown. A second team recovered the contents of the camera a week later. The security procedures require that the photographic evidence of this incident be removed before 20/10.

The community of Something Awful (the original forum) was hooked on the photos of Knudsen. The user "TrenchMaul" related it to a real trekking accident in 1959 in the Ural Mountains, where nine people died (six of hypothermia, three of mysterious bodily trauma), making "Slender Pass" a passing mention on the page of Wikipedia "Dyatlov Pass incident."

The pile of manipulated images and the false documentation caused Slender Man's relationship with the forum to dissipate. Anyone searching on Google for information about Slender Man would find a multitude of scattered blogs, full of connections and references to a real mythology.

Many thought that the monster of German origin, Der Großmann, also known as "The Great Man" and because of his thorny appearance and his reputation for wandering through the deepest parts of the woods, he was the real Slender Man. Why would not he be like that?

Knudsen had created a monster. "An urban legend requires an audience that does not know the origin of the legend," he said in an interview. "You need non-verifiable accounts from third parties (or more) to perpetuate the myth … Internet memes are complicated. Doing something in the right place at the right time can make it an urban legend of the Internet. "

The legend thrived. Just one month after the first images of Knudsen, students Troy Wagner and Joseph DeLage of the University of Alabama launched Marble Hornets, a series of the style of "The Blair Witch Project". Its antagonist, "The Operator", was a dimensional version of Slender Man created with a budget of € 500.

Pushed by the public reception, Wagner and DeLage produced 26 episodes of Marble Hornets during the month of June 2014, getting enough followers to sell the concept of a movie (Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story). Programmer Mark Hadley was one of the hooked.

Inspired by Marble Hornets, and some other YouTube horror videos, Hadley released Slender (later renamed Slender: The Eight Pages), a first person survival game where players wander through a forest in search of some notes related to our protagonist. Being faceless chases you as you find the 8 pages. If you take too long to find them, it catches you. If you get them all … it catches you.

"There is simply no explanation or story behind the game," Hadley said in a 2012 interview. "I discarded much of the story with the intention of making a short horror experience in place of a complete story. I think it's more spooky to let the imagination of the players create the story they want. "

The fame of this monstrous being ended up exploding and numerous internet pages and blogs were filled with anonymous stories that had Slender Man as protagonist.

The TribeTwelve web series created the concept of "Slender Proxy", a human being that is at the service of Slender Man, either drawing the victims in the lair of the monster or killing and hunting in the name of the creature. The concept was simple, Slender Man is a character that works best when it hides in the shadows and the creators needed some dark character to appear on the screen.

 The true origin of Slender Man, the worst internet nightmare
Lostslendertapes / YouTube

The most popular of the Slender Proxies was "Ticci-Toby", created by the user of DeviantArt Kastoway. Tormented by mental and physical disorders, Toby witnesses the death of his sister at the age of 17 which makes him totally lose control of his life. Voices in his head tell him to kill his father, demand that ends up fulfilling an ax right in front of his mother. The story ends with Toby setting his neighborhood on fire to hide his crime. Just before the flames engulf him, Slender Man appears and teleports him to a safe place.

Ticci-Toby gained popularity among Slender fans, and though he asked that Toby's character not be related to other stories without his permission, his request was not respected and as happened to Eric Knudsen, he saw how his creation inevitably began to take on a life of its own. The documentary makers of the legend would then add the character of Ticci-Toby to "The Slender Man Connection Wiki" in order to collect all the exploits of this new character in May 2014.

Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, 12 years old , they carried out the role of Slender Proxies to an extreme too real. In June or July of 2017, the girls will be judged, as adults, on a first-degree homicide charge. Her lawyers asked her to make herself contemplate in the second degree arguing a possible mental disorder (Geyser allegedly suffers from schizophrenia) as well as the purpose for which she did it, the young woman was certain that Slender Man would harm her friends and relatives if not stabbed the girl.

 The true origin of Slender Man, the worst internet nightmare

In this case, reality surpassed fiction. Geyser and Weier claimed to have discovered the story of Slender Man reading various Creepypasta through the internet. Kastoway showed his disapproval by stating that the number of people who think that Ticci-Toby's character is real is too big and that he could not stand that some other incident like Milwaukee could happen from something that was created just to amuse the people

One thing is to enjoy a horror story, and another is to think that psychopaths are real and that you are able to interact with them. Since then, Kastoway has closed its DeviantArt page. All posts, including the original Ticci-Toby story, have been deleted.

Knudsen, who created the creature that influenced the girls' actions, gave a single statement, before imitating Kastoway and disappearing. "I am deeply saddened by the tragedy of Wisconsin. My heart is with the families affected by this terrible act. " On the DeviantArt page of Knudsen you can still see that Slender Man is protected under copyright and any future for-profit project that uses the character will require his permission.

Slender Man continues to appear on various Creepypastas and Internet fiction forums . Hollywood continues to feign interest in the subject: the HBO documentary, Beware the Slenderman, will shed more light on the Wisconsin incident. On the other hand, Screen Gems has just announced a movie about Slender Man.

The legend of Slender Man has jumped from the Internet to reality in a resounding and violent way. Apparently nothing can return it to its origin.

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Source: Thrillist

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