|First appearance||June 10, 2009 on a Something Awful post|
|Created by||Eric Knudsen|
The Slender Man (also spelled Slenderman) is a fictional supernatural character that originated as a creepypasta Internet meme created by Something Awful forum user Eric Knudsen (also known as "Victor Surge") in 2009. He is depicted as a thin, unnaturally tall humanoid with a featureless white head and face, wearing a black suit.
Stories of the Slender Man commonly feature his stalking, abducting, or traumatizing people, particularly children. The Slender Man has become a pop culture icon, although he is not confined to a single narrative but appears in many disparate works of fiction, typically composed online. Fiction relating to the Slender Man encompasses many media, including literature, art and video series such as Marble Hornets (2009–2014), wherein he is known as The Operator. The character has appeared in the video game Slender: The Eight Pages (2012) and its successor Slender: The Arrival (2013), as well as inspiring the Enderman in Minecraft. He has also appeared in a 2015 film adaptation of Marble Hornets, where he was portrayed by Doug Jones, and an eponymous 2018 film, where he was portrayed by Javier Botet.
Beginning in 2014, a moral panic occurred over the Slender Man after readers of his fiction were connected to several violent acts, particularly a near-fatal stabbing of a 12-year-old girl in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The stabbing inspired the documentary Beware the Slenderman, which was released in 2016.
The Slender Man was created on June 10, 2009, on a thread in the Something Awful Internet forum. The thread was a Photoshop contest in which users were challenged to "create paranormal images." Forum poster Eric Knudsen, under the pseudonym "Victor Surge", contributed two black-and-white images of groups of children to which he added a tall, thin, spectral figure wearing a black suit. Although previous entries had consisted solely of photographs, Surge supplemented his submission with snatches of text—supposedly from witnesses—describing the abductions of the groups of children and giving the character the name "The Slender Man":
The quote under the first photograph read:
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.
The quote under the second photograph read:
One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as "The Slender Man". Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence.— 1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13th, 1986.
Knudsen was inspired to create the Slender Man primarily by Zack Parsons' "That Insidious Beast", Stephen King's The Mist, reports of shadow people, Mothman and the Mad Gasser of Mattoon. Other inspirations for the character were the Tall Man from the 1979 film Phantasm, H. P. Lovecraft, the surrealist work of William S. Burroughs, and the survival horror video games Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Knudsen's intention was "to formulate something whose motivations can barely be comprehended, and [which caused] unease and terror in a general population." Other pre-existing fictional or legendary creatures which are similar to the Slender Man include: the Gentlemen, black-suited, pale, bald demons from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Hush"; men in black, many accounts of which grant them an uncanny appearance with an unnatural walk and "oriental" features; and The Question, a DC Comics superhero with a blank face, whose secret identity is "Victor Sage", a name similar to Knudsen's alias "Victor Surge".
In her book, Folklore, Horror Stories, and the Slender Man: The Development of an Internet Mythology, Professor Shira Chess of the University of Georgia connected the Slender Man to ancient folklore about fairies. Like fairies, the Slender Man is otherworldly, with motives that are often difficult to grasp; like fairies, his appearance is vague and often shifts to reflect what the viewer wants or fears to see, and, like fairies, the Slender Man lives in the woods and wild places and kidnaps children.
The Slender Man soon went viral, spawning numerous works of fanart, cosplay, and online fiction known as "creepypasta"—horror stories told in short snatches of easily copyable text that spread from site to site. Divorced from its original creator, the Slender Man became the subject of myriad stories by multiple authors within an overarching mythos.
Many aspects of the Slender Man mythos first appeared on the original Something Awful thread. One of the earliest additions was added by a forum user named "Thoreau-Up", who created a folklore story set in 16th-century Germany involving a character called Der Großman, which was, the writer implied, an early reference to the Slender Man.: 36 The first video series involving the Slender Man evolved from a post on the Something Awful thread by user "ce gars". It tells of a fictional film school friend named Alex Kralie, who had stumbled upon something troubling while shooting his first feature-length project, Marble Hornets. The video series, published in found footage style on YouTube, forms an alternate reality game describing the filmers' fictional experiences with the Slender Man. The ARG also incorporates a Twitter feed and an alternate YouTube channel created by a user named "totheark". As of 2013, Marble Hornets had over 250,000 subscribers around the world and had received 55 million views. Other Slender Man-themed YouTube serials followed, including EverymanHYBRID and TribeTwelve.
In 2012, the Slender Man was adapted into a video game titled Slender: The Eight Pages; within its first month of release, the game was downloaded over 2 million times. Several popular variants of the game followed, including Slenderman's Shadow and Slender Man for iOS, which became the second most-popular app download. The sequel to Slender: The Eight Pages, Slender: The Arrival, was released in 2013. Several independent films about the Slender Man have been released or are in development, including Entity and The Slender Man, released free online after a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign. In 2013, it was announced that Marble Hornets would become a feature film.
Because the Slender Man's fictional "mythology" has evolved without an official "canon" for reference, his appearance, motives, habits, and abilities are not fixed but change depending on the storyteller. He is most commonly described as very tall and thin with unnaturally long, tentacle-like arms (or mere tentacles), which he can extend to intimidate or capture prey. In most stories, his face is white and featureless, but occasionally his face appears differently to anyone who sees it. He appears to be wearing a dark suit and tie. The Slender Man is often associated with the forest and/or abandoned locations and has the ability to teleport. Proximity to the Slender Man is often said to trigger a "Slender sickness"; a rapid onset of paranoia, nightmares and delusions accompanied by nosebleeds.
Early stories featured him targeting children or young adults. Some featured young adults driven insane or to act on his behalf, while others did not, and others claim that investigating the Slender Man will draw his attention. The web series Marble Hornets established the idea of proxies (humans who fall under the Slender Man's influence) though initially, they were simply violently insane, rather than puppets of the Slender Man. Marble Hornets also introduced the idea that the Slender Man could interfere with video and audio recordings, as well as the "Slender Man symbol", ⦻, which became a common trope of Slender fiction. Graphic violence and body horror are uncommon in the Slender Man mythos, with many narratives choosing to leave the fate of his victims obscure. Shira Chess notes that "It is important to note that few of the retellings identify exactly what kind of monster the Slender Man might be, and what his specific intentions are- these points all remain mysteriously and usefully vague."
Reasons for popularity
Media scholar and folklorist Andrew Peck attributes the success of the Slender Man to its highly collaborative nature. Because the character and its motives are shrouded in mystery, users can easily adapt existing Slender Man tropes and imagery to create new stories. This ability for users to tap into the ideas of others while also supplying their own helped inspire the collaborative culture that arose surrounding the Slender Man. Instead of privileging the choices of certain creators as canonical, this collaborative culture informally locates ownership of the creature across the community. In these respects, the Slender Man is similar to campfire stories or urban legends, and the character's success comes from enabling both social interaction and personal acts of creative expression.
Although nearly all users understand that the Slender Man is not real, they suspend that disbelief in order to become more engrossed when telling or listening to stories. This adds a sense of authenticity to Slender Man legend performances and blurs the lines between legend and reality, keeping the creature as an object of legend dialectic. This ambiguity has led some to some confusion over the character's origin and purpose. Only five months after his creation, George Noory's Coast to Coast AM, a radio call-in show devoted to the paranormal and conspiracy theories, began receiving callers asking about the Slender Man. Two years later, an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune described his origins as "difficult to pinpoint." Eric Knudsen has commented that many people, despite understanding that the Slender Man was created on the Something Awful forums, still entertain the possibility that he might be real.
Shira Chess describes the Slender Man as a metaphor for "helplessness, power differentials, and anonymous forces." Peck sees parallels between the Slender Man and common anxieties about the digital age, such as feelings of constant connectedness and unknown third-party observation. Similarly, Tye Van Horn, a writer for The Elm, has suggested that the Slender Man represents modern fear of the unknown; in an age flooded with information, people have become so unaccustomed to ignorance that they now fear what they cannot understand. Troy Wagner, the creator of Marble Hornets, ascribes the terror of the Slender Man to its malleability; people can shape it into whatever frightens them most. Tina Marie Boyer noted that "The Slender man is a prohibitive monster, but the cultural boundaries he guards are not clear. Victims do not know when they have violated or crossed them."
On May 31, 2014, two 12-year-old girls in Waukesha, Wisconsin held down and stabbed a 12-year-old classmate 19 times. When questioned later by authorities, they reportedly claimed that they wished to commit a murder as a first step to becoming proxies for the Slender Man, having read about it online. They also stated that they were afraid that Slender Man would kill their families if they did not commit the murder. After the perpetrators left the scene, the victim crawled out of the woods to a roadway. A passing cyclist alerted authorities, and the victim survived the attack. Both attackers were diagnosed with mental illnesses but were charged as adults and faced up to 65 years in prison. One of the girls reportedly said Slender Man watches her, could read minds and could teleport.
Experts testified in court that she also said she conversed with Lord Voldemort and one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. On August 1, 2014, she was found incompetent to stand trial and her prosecution was suspended until her condition improved. On November 12, 2014, a doctor judged that her condition had improved enough for her to stand trial, and on December 19, 2014, the judge ruled that both girls were competent to stand trial. In August 2015, the presiding judge ruled that the girls would be tried as adults. They were tried separately. On August 21, 2017, one of the girls, now 15, pleaded guilty to being a party to attempted second-degree homicide, but claimed she was not responsible for her actions on grounds of insanity. Although prosecutors alleged that she knew what she was doing was wrong, the jury determined that she was mentally ill during the attack. On December 21, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren sentenced Weier, then 16 years old, to be hospitalized for 25 years from the date of the crime, which would keep her institutionalized until age 37.
In a statement to the media on June 4, 2014, Eric Knudsen said, "I am deeply saddened by the tragedy in Wisconsin and my heart goes out to the families of those affected by this terrible act." He stated he would not be giving interviews on the matter.
On September 25, 2017, it was reported that Morgan Geyser, then 15, had agreed to plead guilty to attempting to commit first-degree homicide in an arrangement that would allow her to avoid jail time. On February 1, 2018, the Associated Press reported that Geyser had been sentenced to 40 years in the Wisconsin mental hospital, the maximum sentence allowed.
Moral panic and other incidents
The stabbing in Waukesha spawned a nationwide moral panic over Slender Man across the United States. Parents nationwide became worried about the potential dangers that stories about Slender Man might pose to their children's safety. Russell Jack, the police chief of Waukesha, warned that the Slender Man stabbing "should be a wake-up call for all parents" that "the internet is full of dark and wicked things." Many media outlets publicized Jack's warning.
After hearing the story, an unidentified woman from Cincinnati, Ohio, told a WLWT TV reporter in June 2014 that her 13-year-old daughter had attacked her with a knife, and had written macabre fiction, some involving the Slender Man, who the mother said motivated the attack.
On September 4, 2014, a 14-year-old girl in Port Richey, Florida, allegedly set her family's house on fire while her mother and nine-year-old brother were inside. Police reported that the teenager had been reading online stories about Slender Man, as well as Atsushi Ōkubo's manga Soul Eater. Eddie Daniels of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said the girl "had visited the website that contains a lot of the Slender Man information and stories [...] It would be safe to say there is a connection to that."
During an early 2015 epidemic of suicide attempts by young people ages 12 to 24 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Slender Man was cited as an influence; the Oglala Sioux tribe president noted that many Native Americans traditionally believe in a "suicide spirit" similar to the Slender Man. Other Sioux describe the "Big Man"[a] as a messenger or sign, warning that society is developing in a dangerous direction.
After the Waukesha stabbing
The Waukesha stabbing and the negative media attention it generated irreversibly altered the Slender Man legend and the online community surrounding it. What had previously just been a creepy horror meme to most people suddenly acquired a new level of reality that most fans of Slender Man found horrifying. Meanwhile, by around the same time, the Slender Man character had lost much of his original popularity. Most of the original blogs that had once been devoted to Slender Man either shut down completely or became less popular. Slender Man's presence in mainstream popular culture also contributed to a decline in how frightening he seemed to many people.
The late 2010s also saw an increase in benevolent portrayals of Slender Man, with many depictions of him from this period portraying him as an antihero who protects victimized children from bullies, although often by violent means. In some portrayals of Slender Man from the late 2010s, he has a daughter named Skinny Sally, who is portrayed as a young girl covered in cuts and bruises. Slender Man sometimes is portrayed carrying Skinny Sally on his shoulders protectively. Lynn McNeill, assistant professor of folklore at Utah State University, observes that the increase in benevolent portrayals of Slender Man seems to have begun shortly after the stabbing in Waukesha and states that this trend towards a benevolent Slender Man may be a reaction by fans of the character to the violence of the stabbing.
Despite the decline in popular interest in Slender Man, commercial adaptations of the character continued. In 2015, the film adaptation of Marble Hornets, titled Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story, was released on VOD, where the character was portrayed by Doug Jones. In 2016, Sony Pictures subsidiary Screen Gems partnered with Mythology Entertainment to bring a Slender Man film into theatres, with the title character portrayed by Javier Botet.
The film generated considerable controversy soon after it was announced, with many accusing the filmmakers of trying to capitalize off the Waukesha stabbing. Bill Weier, the father of Anissa Weier, stated, "It's absurd they want to make a movie like this... All we're doing is extending the pain all three of these families have gone through." The progressive advocacy group Care2 created an online petition, which received over 19,000 signatures, demanding that the film not be released, labelling the film "crass commercialism at its worst" and "a naked cash grab built on the exploitation of a deeply traumatic event and the people who lived it." Sony representatives insisted that the film was based on the fictional character that had become popular online and not on the Waukesha stabbing.
Upon its release in August 2018, the film Slender Man, despite being declared a box-office bomb and receiving both little marketing and overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics, went on to gross several times its $10 million budget worldwide. David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a D, writing "a tasteless and inedibly undercooked serving of the Internet's stalest creepypasta, Slender Man aspires to be for the YouTube era what The Ring was to the last gasps of the VHS generation. But... there's one fundamental difference that sets the two movies apart: The Ring is good, and Slender Man is terrible." Writing for The Verge, Carli Velocci called the Slender Man movie "a nail in the coffin of a dying fandom".
Several scholars have argued that, despite being a fictional work with an identifiable origin point, the Slender Man represents a form of digital folklore. Shira Chess argues that the Slender Man exemplifies the similarities between traditional folklore and the open source ethos of the Internet, and that, unlike those of traditional monsters such as vampires and werewolves, the fact that the Slender Man's mythos can be tracked and signposted offers a powerful insight into how myth and folklore form. Chess identifies three aspects of the Slender Man mythos that tie it to folklore: collectivity (meaning that it is created by a collective, rather than a single individual), variability (meaning that the story changes depending on the teller), and performance (meaning that the storyteller's narrative changes to reflect the audience's response).
Andrew Peck also considers the Slender Man to be an authentic form of folklore and notes its similarity to emergent forms of offline legend performance. Peck suggests that digital folklore performance extends the dynamics of face-to-face performance in several notable ways, such as by occurring asynchronously, encouraging imitation and personalization while also allowing perfect replication, combining elements of oral, written, and visual communication, and generating shared expectations for performance that enact group identity despite the lack of a physically present group. He concludes that the Slender Man represents a digital legend cycle that combines the generic conventions and emergent qualities of oral and visual performance with the collaborative potential of networked communication.
Jeff Tolbert also accepts the Slender Man as folkloric and suggests it represents a process he calls "reverse ostension". Ostension in folkloristics is the process of acting out a folk narrative. According to Tolbert, the Slender Man does the opposite by creating a set of folklore-like narratives where none existed before. It is an iconic figure produced through a collective effort and deliberately modeled after an existing and familiar folklore genre. According to Tolbert, this represents two processes in one: it involves the creation of new objects and new disconnected examples of experience, and it involves the combination of these elements into a body of "traditional" narratives, modeled on existing folklore (but not wholly indebted to any specific tradition).
Professor Thomas Pettitt of the University of Southern Denmark has described the Slender Man as being an exemplar of the modern age's closing of the "Gutenberg Parenthesis"; the time period from the invention of the printing press to the spread of the web in which stories and information were codified in discrete media, to a return to the older, more primal forms of storytelling, exemplified by oral tradition and campfire tales, in which the same story can be retold, reinterpreted and recast by different tellers, allowing the lore to expand and evolve with time.
Despite his folkloric qualities, the Slender Man is not in the public domain. Several for-profit ventures involving the Slender Man have unequivocally acknowledged Knudsen as the creator of this fictional character, while others were civilly blocked from distribution (including the Kickstarter-funded film) after legal complaints from Knudsen and other sources. Though Knudsen himself has given his personal blessing to a number of Slender Man-related projects, the issue is complicated by the fact that, while he is the character's creator, a third party holds the options to any adaptations into other media, including film and television. The identity of this option holder has not been made public. Knudsen himself has argued that his enforcement of copyright has less to do with money than with artistic integrity: "I just want something amazing to come off it... something that's scary and disturbing and kinda different. I would hate for something to come out and just be kinda conventional." In May 2016, the media rights to Slender Man were sold to production company Mythology Entertainment, but the company split up in 2019, leaving the ownership of the character's rights in question.
References in media
- In 2011, Markus "Notch" Persson, creator of the sandbox indie game Minecraft, added a new hostile mob to the game, which he named the "Enderman" when multiple users on Reddit and Google+ commented on the similarity to the Slender Man.
- The Slender Man was the antagonist of the season 3 Lost Girl episode "SubterrFaenean", in which the Slender Man was said to be the basis for the Pied Piper legend.
- In early 2013, a song and animated video called "Sympathy for Slender Man" from the Fox late night animated block Animation Domination High-Def aired in between programs, known as ADHD Shorts.
- In the 2014 episode "Pinkie Apple Pie" of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a pony version of the character appears in a brief cameo.
- The TV series Supernatural parodied Slender Man as "Thinman" in the Season 9 episode of the same name.
- In 2016, American horror punk band Haunted Garage released an EP entitled Slenderman and Other Strange Tales, featuring a song and accompanying music video based on both the character and the 2014 stabbing case.
- The sixteenth season of the crime drama TV series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit featured an episode, "Glasgowman's Wrath", inspired by the Slender Man stabbings.
- The board game Kingdom Death: Monster features an expansion pack based on Slender Man.
- AdventureQuest Worlds has featured numerous armors and pets that are based on Slender Man.
- Slender Man makes an appearance in early versions of Gravity Falls: Lost Legends. However, later copies would alter his appearance away from resembling Slender Man.
- Slender Man appears in the episode "The Planned Parenthood Show" in Big Mouth.
- The Slender Man was mentioned by Ben Chang in the episode "Ladders" of Community.
- Slender Man and his clones appear in the campaign level "Slender Forest" in video game Pixel Gun 3D.
- Slender Man appears in the Robot Chicken episodes "Gimme That Chocolate Milk" and "Snoopy Camino Lindo in: Quick and Dirty Squirrel Shot", voiced by Jason Isaacs.
- Bogeyman – Mythical creature
- Kunekune – Another message board urban legend with wriggly appendages
- Pope Lick Monster – Another urban legend of a compulsive being with real consequences
- The Silbón – A Colombian/Venezuelan legendary figure, who shares some traits with Slender Man
- Dewey, Caitlin; Dewey, Caitlin (3 June 2014). "The complete history of 'Slender Man,' the meme that compelled two girls to stab a friend". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 17 August 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- De Vos, Gail Arlene (2012). What Happens Next?. ABC-CLIO. p. 162. ISBN 9781598846348. Archived from the original on 1 September 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- Romano, Aja (31 October 2012). "The Definitive Guide to Creepypasta—The Internet's Urban Legends". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Sagliani, Devan (14 July 2014). "Slender Man: Birth of an Urban Legend". The Escapist. Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- Gabler, Ellen (2 June 2014). "Charges detail Waukesha pre-teens' attempt to kill classmate". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on 4 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Slender Man: How a myth was born". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- "What is Slenderman, and what does it have to do with the Wisc. stabbing?". NY Daily News. Archived from the original on 22 May 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- Smith, Cathay (6 March 2017). "Beware the Slender Man: Intellectual Property and Internet Folklore". Florida Law Review. 70 (1): 10. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3005668. Archived from the original on 7 March 2020. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
- Gerogerigegege (30 April 2009). "Create Paranormal Images - The Something Awful Forums". forums.somethingawful.com. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- Klee, Miles (21 August 2013). "How the Internet's creepiest meme mutated from thought experiment to Hollywood blockbuster". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- Chess, Shira (2012). "Open-Sourcing Horror: The Slender Man, Marble Hornets, and genre negotiations". Information, Communication & Society. 15 (3): 374–393. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2011.642889. S2CID 143297005.
- Dane, Patrick (31 October 2012). "Why Slenderman Works: The Internet Meme That Proves Our Need To Believe". Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Walsh, Shannon (17 April 2015). "Victor Surge, Slender Man Creator: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- Chess, Shira; Newsom, Eric (27 November 2014). Folklore, Horror Stories, and the Slender Man: The Development of an Internet Mythology. Palgrave Macmillan US. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-1-137-49113-8.
- Lovitt, Bryn (3 August 2016). "Slender Man: From Horror Meme to Inspiration for Murder". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- Robinson, Joanna (28 January 2016). "American Horror Story and Slender Man: The 5 Most Spine-Tingling Inspirations for Next Season's Potential Monster". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- There is some dispute over whether the Slender Man qualifies as a viral phenomenon since, under some definitions, viral phenomena must spread quickly, while the Slender Man initially spread rather slowly. Some, therefore prefer the term "spreadable" to viral. See Chess, Shira; Newsom, Eric (2015). Folklore, Horror Stories, and the Slender Man: The Development of an Internet Mythology. p. 20.
- Peters, Lucia (14 May 2011). "Creepy Things That Seem Real But Aren't: The Marble Hornets Project". Crushable. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- McNary, Dave (25 February 2013). "'Marble Hornets' flying to bigscreen". Variety. Archived from the original on 28 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- Polansky, Lana (20 August 2012). "Slenderman's Shadow "Sanatorium" Map Released". Gameranx. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- Senior, Tom (26 July 2012). "Slender Man Source mod will let you scare the hell out of yourself for free, with friends". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- Matulef, Jeffrey (11 February 2013). "Pre-orders for Slender: The Arrival are half-off, come with instant beta access". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 18 May 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- Standal, Jeanne (22 December 2012). "First Trailer & Poster For The Jadallah Brothers' Horror Movie ENTITY!". FilmoFilia. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Gallagher, Danny (12 October 2012). "Slender Man Movie Producer Steven Belcher Wants to Create True Terror with the Faceless Figure". GameTrailers. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Dewey, Caitlin (3 June 2014). "Who is Slender Man?". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Digital Human: Tales". BBC. 2012. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Tillotson, Kristin (27 April 2011). "Tall, skinny, scary—and all in your head". startribune.com. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
- Stampler, Laura (3 June 2014). "The Origins of Slender Man, the Meme That Allegedly Drove 12-Year-Olds to Kill". Time. Archived from the original on 4 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- Peck, Andrew (2015). "Tall, Dark, and Loathsome: The Emergence of a Legend Cycle in the Digital Age". Journal of American Folklore. 128 (509): 333–348. doi:10.5406/jamerfolk.128.509.0333. S2CID 143218081.
- Tolbert, Jeffrey A. (2013). "The Sort of Story That has You Covering Your Mirrors:The Case of Slender Man" (PDF). Semiotic Review (2). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- Ellis, Bill (2001). Aliens, Ghosts, and Cults: Legends We Live. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
- Vogt, PJ; Goldman, Alex (30 January 2014). "#13 - Managing a Monster - On The Media". TLDR. Archived from the original on 7 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- Van Horn, Tye (15 February 2013). "Behind You: The Cultural Relevance of Slender Man". Archived from the original on 20 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- "If These Girls Knew That Slender Man Was a Fantasy, Why Did They Want to Kill Their Friend for Him?". 25 August 2015. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- Dunlap, Bridgette (29 July 2016). "Slender Man Trial". RollingStone.com. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018.
- Terry, Jermont; Kust, James (31 May 2014). "Girls charged in Waukesha stabbing motivated by 'Slenderman' character". WTMJ. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- Vielmetti, Bruce; Luthern, Ashley (1 August 2014). "Judge rules 12-year-old incompetent, for now, in Slender Man trial". Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on 2 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- Varandani, Suman (2014). "Slender Man Stabbing Case: Wisconsin Girls Accused Of Attempted Homicide Are Mentally Fit To Stand Trial". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- "Slender Man case: Young suspects to be tried as adults". BBC News. 10 August 2015. Archived from the original on 13 August 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- "Separate trials ordered in Slender Man case". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on 13 December 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- "Slender Man stabbing suspect pleads guilty to lesser charge". CBS News. CBS. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
- "Slender Man case: girl who stabbed classmate gets 25-year hospital sentence". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Wagstaff, Keith (4 June 2014). "'Slender Man' Creator Speaks on Stabbing: 'I Am Deeply Saddened'". nbc.com. Archived from the original on 4 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Slender Man suspect will plead guilty in stabbing". nbcnews.com. 29 September 2017. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
- @ap (1 February 2018). "BREAKING: Judge sentences Wisconsin girl to maximum 40 years in mental hospital in Slender Man stabbing case" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Velocci, Carli (30 August 2018). "The failed Slender Man movie was a nail in the coffin of a dying fandom: The rise and fall of Slender Nation, the community that lived for the internet's most notorious Creepypasta". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on 28 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- Greene, Jayson (7 August 2018). "Slender Man Is Still Making People Uneasy — But Now for New Reasons". Vulture. New York. Archived from the original on 28 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- Evans, Brad (6 June 2014). "Hamilton Co. mom: Daughter's knife attack influenced by Slender Man". WLWT.com. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- Melrose, Kevin (8 September 2014). "Teen Claims 'Soul Eater,' Slender Man Led Her to Set Home on Fire". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 7 February 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- Murray, Rheana (5 September 2014). "Teen Inspired by 'Slender Man' Set House on Fire: Police". ABC News. Archived from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- Bort, Cree (26 May 2015). "Sioux Natives Fear Walking Sam". The Odyssey. Washington State University. Archived from the original on 24 August 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
He has been described as a seven foot tall man that has no mouth and wanders the land at night, carrying the bodies of Lakota men and women.
- Redfern, Nick (30 May 2019). "The Terror That is the Tall Man Spirit". Mysterious Universe. Archived from the original on 10 June 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
He says that the Tall Man Spirit / Walking Sam seems to be telling the young people on the reservation to take their lives.
- Bosman, Julie (1 May 2015). "Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Struggles With Suicides Among Its Young". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 May 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- Romero, Miguel (24 July 2015). "Slenderman & the Suicide Spirit". Mysterious Universe. Archived from the original on 24 August 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
So, what seems to be happening here is a cultural 'remix' between the older myth of the Tall Man/Suicide Spirit which already existed among Native Americans prior to the rise of the World Wide Web, and the newer, more potent icon of Slenderman introduced to these communities through the pervasiveness of new social networks; all this coupled with the 'copycat' contagion effect which arises during a cluster of suicides or mass shootings.
- Matthiessen, Peter (1 March 1992). In the Spirit of Crazy Horse: The Story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI's War on the American Indian Movement. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0140144567.
He is both spirit and real being, but he can also glide through the forest, like a moose with big antlers, as though the trees weren't there..
- "Bigfoot - Sasquatch Legends". Ya-Native. Reamus Wilson. Archived from the original on 2 July 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
Ray Owen, son of a Dakota spiritual leader, told a reporter [...] 'We needed a sign to put us back on track, and that's why the Big Man appeared.'
- DePaol, Tommy. "Slenderman is Coming to HBO in a True-Crime Documentary". MoviePilot.com. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Clow, Mitchel (8 April 2015). "'Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story' Movie Review: Tell, Don't Show". Hypable. Archived from the original on 7 November 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
- Rogers, Katie (2016). "'Slender Man,' a Horror Meme, Gets Ready to Step Out of the Shadows". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- "Slender Man (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on 24 September 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- "Slender Man Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 16 August 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
- Brad Miska (3 September 2018). "Let's Talk About 'Slender Man's Performance and 'The Meg's Stupid Budget". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- Ehrlich, David (9 August 2018). "'Slender Man'Review: A Tasteless and Inedibly Undercooked Serving of Creepypasta". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
- Fleming, Mike Jr (22 February 2019). "Mythology Entertainment Splitting Up". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
- "Notch reveals new mob, dubs them Endermen in reference to Slender Man". igx.com. 2011. Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- Lost Girl: SubterrFaenean Archived 2018-09-17 at the Wayback Machine Syfy. 2014. Accessed 2015-18-02.
- McFarland, Kevin (21 January 2013). "Lost Girl: "SubterrFaenean"". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 7 October 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- "NEW Webby Gallery + Index". Archived from the original on 16 September 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
- Scotellaro, Shaun (23 May 2014). "Top 20 Pop Culture and Movie References from Season 4". Equestria Daily. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- Supernatural: "Thinman" Archived 2017-01-29 at the Wayback Machine The A.V. Club. 2014. Accessed 2016-28-01.
- "Haunted Garage: 'Slenderman and Other Strange Tales'". Zombie Hamster. 13 January 2016. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- Gerson Uffalussy, Jennifer (2014). "Law & Order: SVU bends the conventions of the cop show". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- "Kingdom Death: Monster - Slenderman Expansion". Archived from the original on 23 September 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "AQ Wiki Thin Guy". AQ Wiki. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
- Connolly, Spencer (10 November 2022). "Gravity Falls' Slenderman Cameo Is Easily Its Darkest Reference". ScreenRant. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
- Rought, Karen (8 October 2018). Brandi Delhagen (ed.). "'Big Mouth' delivers best episode with season 2's 'Planned Parenthood Show'". Hypable. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
- Harmon, Dan (17 March 2015). "Ladders". Community. Season 6. Episode 1. Event occurs at 13:12. Yahoo! Screen. 06x01 - Ladders.
You guys ever hear of The Slender Man?
- Curlew, Kyle (2017). "The legend of the Slender Man: The boogieman of surveillance culture". First Monday. 22 (6). doi:10.5210/fm.v22i6.6901.
- Forum thread in which Slender Man was created, somethingawful.com
- Eric Knudsen's gallery that contains all of his Slender Man images, deviantart.com
- Pixel Gun 3D "Slender Forest" level, YouTube.com