Featured image via Creepypasta Wiki
The Slenderman is a crowdsourced fictional character created as an Internet meme at some point between 2008 and 2009. Through fan art, cosplay and online fiction contained in paranormal communities like “Creepypasta” and “Something Awful”, the mythology folklore has developed over years. Found footage, doctored photos, and eyewitness stories of children being stalked by a tall, suited, tentacled ghoul have all fed this development.
Powers of teleportation, mind reading and mind control are all attributed to the character, who is said to have existed for centuries, lurking the backdrop wherever children play.
Pretty creepy, huh?
On May 31st, 2014, we saw the real reason the Slenderman is creepy. Two Wisconsin 12-year-olds attempted to murder a classmate, stabbing her 19 times. They claim to have been under the control of the Slenderman’s psychic control. Some reports say the kids claim they committed the crime in order to prove the existence of Slenderman.
We love creepy stories. We love dark, macabre conspiracies involving inscrutable ghouls and demons. We especially love horrifying urban legends. But we’re appalled that a fictional creation could have spurred such behavior. Sites like ours are not exempt from blame in this tragedy. While we have never specifically posted about the Slenderman, we are part of the fringe culture that does at times sensationalize the paranormal.
While teens and even adults being ‘told’ to kill others by demons and spirits is nothing new, the feverish promulgation and promotion of pop viral fear over the Internet has reached a tipping point.The Slenderman did not tell those children to kill. Frazzled adolescent hormones and pathologies emboldened by view and hit-hunting webmasters did.
Ghosts and paranormal entities may be real in some form, but fear and anger-baiting online entities are much scarier. The real reason Slenderman is creepy is because he was able to kill without even being real.