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October 26, 2013
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Slender Man

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 12:04 AM

In this season of deceits deceptions & witcheries

I am wary of my following message not being received with the full gravity it deserves. It is not my intention to unduly alarm the deviantART community, but... LaurenKitsune is at this time unaccounted for. All attempts on our part to contact her have failed. It is my hope that she has simply taken a much deserved unscheduled pre-Halloween “vacation” and will be back in online communication soon.

Before going dark, LaurenKitsune was good enough to write and transmit a report on the Slender Man phenomenon sweeping the Internet. That report is published here for readers’ perusal and commentary.


As LaurenKitsune’s article was being set up for depthRADIUS publication, a so far unexplainable glitch occurred and an alien series of e-mail communications “infected” the e-copy, melding itself at intervals throughout the document. Our technicians have been unable to separate out this “corruptive parasite.”

And so we have no choice but to present LaurenKitsune’s article, with appended corruption intact, and we ask that anyone out there with any ideas on what exactly is going on to please send their comments post haste. A life—or lives—may depend upon it.

A New Fan-Created Character for The Transmedia Generation

You might think being at the very conception of a horror story, watching a terror meme being born, and witnessing writers, artists, and gamemasters contribute to the lore and world-building of the Slender Man mythos would leave you impervious to the dread it inspires in your very soul. You would be wrong.

In June 2009, I was lucky enough to witness firsthand the "Create Paranormal Images" Thread in the Something Awful Forums where the "Slender Man" was born.

A PhotoShop challenge after deviantART's own heart, forum dwellers were encouraged to digitally manipulate innocuous photographs into something much more creepy and sinister. As the thread lit up with popularity, those who participated began creating elaborate backstories for these images, which ranged from hasty cut-and-paste layers at 50% opacity to truly spine-tingling works of artistic mastery. Then Something Awful goon "Victor Surge" created the original images with the following backstories:

“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.

“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.

Something about that sinister being hidden in the shadows, innocent victims in the foreground seemingly unable to see it, and the suggestion that those who came in contact with the photographic evidence met an untimely end lit a creative spark through the online community that shows no sign of extinguishing anytime soon. DeviantART users immediately latched onto the primal fear his visage elicited, uploading terrifying and sometimes hilarious images to add to the growing lore. Users headed to 4chan to creep out anonymous strangers with sightings.

Then, possibly the most well-known piece of Slender media to date was produced: the YouTube film series "Marble Hornets."

Members of Something Awful themselves, "Ce gars" and "KicksYouInHalf," also known as Troy Wagner and Joseph DeLage, created a channel of mockumentary style videos that reported their amateur findings and slowly unveiled a layered and horrifying narrative. News and updates were provided by supplementary Twitter reports run by the main character, which were sometimes taken "hacked" by a mysterious source. This source also occasionally replied to the YouTube entries with...

...terrifying, glitchy, and coded video responses.

Slender Man:A New Fan-Created Character for the Transmedia Generation

Inspired by Slender Man—and the "Marble Hornets" series specifically — several other filmmakers followed suit, creating more YouTube channels with our slender friend hiding in the backgrounds of seemingly unrelated health videos and school projects. Video games were spawned, including the very popular free-to-play indie title "Slender: The Eight Pages," its sequel "Slender: The Arrival" (worked on by the Marble Hornets producers themselves), and a full-length movie was Kickstarted.

Why are these projects so important and inspirational?

A big buzzword in Hollywood right now is "transmedia," and those Suits—equally terrifying as the well-dressed Slender Man, but in a different way—are forever chasing the dragon of cross-platform storytelling with varying levels of success. There are a few who have made waves without looking cold, corporate, and like they were trying too hard.

Forget watching three full films, true die-hard fans of "The Matrix" are treated to a much deeper understanding of the universe by cobbling together information contained in two comic book collections, an animated series, and a handful of video games. J.K. Rowling continues to release snippets of the "Harry Potter" universe by way of her wildly successful website, enabling millions of fans to participate in the magical world long after the last movie left theaters. The Alternate Reality Game "i love bees" used puzzles and codes on a fake-hacked website to reveal clues, and it was all viral marketing for the "Halo 2" release in 2004. Those who cracked the code were treated to the chance of playing the game at a theater before its release and taking home a commemorative DVD.

Sadly, these examples of transmedia successes are much more rare than the ubiquitous cringe-worthy ones. Now you can learn more about your favorite superhero by following its movie's production company on Facebook. You can tweet a joke to your favorite fast food restaurant for the chance to win free food. This is what the big-wigs have come up with after hours of brainstorming on how to engage users and communicate stories and brands across platforms.

Slender Man:A New Fan-Created Character for the Transmedia Generation

And in the midst of it all, a few college kids uploaded a few hours of low-budget creepypasta on their own dime and for fun, tweeted it out and posted in a few forums, and they became Internet Superstars and Masters of Storytelling.


You're at work, scrolling past Instagrams of your friends' dogs, and suddenly you stumble upon a tweet from a fictional YouTube character saying he's finally going to check out the terrifying red tower in the middle of the woods. But there's a code he received via text that he doesn't understand—is it GPS coordinates? Time of day?

You can tweet back at him or just watch the tale unfold as he live-tweets his creepy approach to the red tower. The Twitter feed is hacked and starts spouting glitchy nonsense a few minutes later—is our hero in danger?

You'll have to wait until tonight, when a new entry will be uploaded with video footage from the excursion. You truly feel, scrolling past these updates in your feed, that you're a part of this brilliant and engaging story as it happens.

Slender Man:A New Fan-Created Character for the Transmedia Generation

This is no "Paranormal Activity," and it's not even "The Blair Witch Project."

It's genuine, it's effective, and it's entertaining. Hollywood and beyond should take notice.

Storytellers and content creators are changing the way people consume media, and not just for horror stories, although they're sure a tasty horrifying treat. New possibilities for narrative flows are revealing themselves all the time, and the world is about to become a much more interactive and awesome place.

Slender Man:

Timeline of Events


June 2009

Slender Man’s first appearance in the Something Awful “Create Paranormal Images” Thread by user “Victor Surge.”


June 2009

In the days that followed, several other users added to the lore with additional images and stories being spawned.


June 2009

YouTube user “MarbleHornets” uploaded its first video.


June 2009

Images of Slender Man began appearing on deviantART.


June 2009

Images of Slender Man began appearing on 4chan.


Sept 2009

An homage video is released suggesting Slender Man only chases people because he wants 20 dollars. (Writer's note: It is still funny.)


Mar 2010

EverymanHYBRID” uploads its first video.


June 2010

TribeTwelve” uploads its first video.

Oct 2011

Launch of the first video game, “Slenderman,” by Green Meteor Team.


June 2012

The “Slender: The Eight Pages” Game by Parsec Productions is launched.


July 2012

“The Slender Man” full-length movie Kickstarter is launched and subsequently funded.


March 2013

The “Slender: The Arrival” Game by Parsec Productions is launched.


For The Reader

  1. Has anything supernatural or other worldly shown up unexpectedly in a photograph that you have taken?
  2. Do you believe that other "energies" can manifest themselves in audio recordings or photographic imagery? If so. can you share your experience?
  3. If Slender Man had a poem associated with his existence, what might it be?
  4. Innocent souls for the taking. Is it really that simple? Why do you think Slender Man manifested himself in our dimension?

In this season of deceits, deceptions and witcheries, I am wary of my following message not being received with the full gravity it deserves. It is not my intention to unduly alarm the deviantART community, but… $LaurenKitsune is at this time unaccounted for. All attempts on our part to contact her have failed. It is my hope that she has simply taken a much deserved unscheduled pre-Halloween “vacation” and will be back in online communication soon.

Designers: $marioluevanos 
Resources: *DaeStock, ~Dragoroth-stock

For more articles like this, please visit %depthRADIUS.

Add a Comment:
theawsomekiara123 Apr 1, 2014  Student General Artist
that video blew my mind.
Flagged as Spam
PonyPainter18 Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Answer the questionzzz:

1. Well, some stuff... Photomanipulation can't handle that, but... I dont think so, just some...

2. Yes, some energies were like crazy scary but my exp:
I was just browsing the internet, saw another image appeared, it... was like the most disturbing thing of all, but I managed to sleep, you know why? Cuz I tried surviving Slender Man in my dreams...

3. Umm.. no really... havent seen any poems of him lately...

4. Well... IDK? Maybe confused?

I think I can become his proxy...
But srsly, :)
PonyPainter18 Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Scary... ...but... ... AWESOME!!!
This is beyond awesome...
jaymeecsess Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wowz that is a long post...scary too
Flagged as Spam
darknessembodied Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmm, I was pretty busy so I didn't have the time to read this article when it was first posted, but I must say it's not bad at all. Not enough to freak me out the least bit, but it was an interesting read, a good time killer if I may... maybe I am a little desensitized by now, who knows.

To get the questions out of the way...

1. In all honesty, other than a few "orbs" in a particular set of photos, nothing... and I don't even know if those were genuine, or just the light doing nonsense. I could answer this with a "no".

2. Do I "believe"?... I don't like this word. Do I consider it possible, would be a more accurate question. Anyway... I don't know, I am passed my teenage paranormal craze, when I thought that almost everything had to do with one form of weird energy or another. However, EVP (electronic voice phenomena) was seemingly the most solid piece of evidence regarding otherwordly beings... I don't recall what that guy was called, or when was it that he had done his research and I don't have the book with me right now either, he seemed to have done some serious work on this matter. Anyway, however odd this may sound, the whole idea was abandoned before any conclusive evidence or results could be drawn from this project. Think what you may, but I think this is a little suspicious regarding the validity of that "research".

"Wiggle wiggle Slender man,
how I wonder what's your plan.
Are you here to help, or humanity to erase,
as through the woods poor souls you chase.

Or are you a traveler lost,
unable to pay your return's cost?
Trapped and tortured by hunger,
is that what feeds your anger?

Whichever of the former may it be,
I hope you're not the last thing I see.
Let me live and tell your tale,
of a demon faceless and pale.

If only to speak you wanted or could,
I would listen, indeed I would.
Feel no shame, be not afraid,
I am alone here, with no one to my aid.

Tell me your tale,
tell me who you are.
My expectations please don't fail,
for high you raised the bar.


That works for you? Thought it up on the spot, actually xD... needs some polishing but it isn't terrible, I guess. In all honesty though, I must thank you, because I haven't gotten to write any poetry in a very long time and this is better than nothing. Thanks for the inspiration Slendy ;]

4. Maybe he took a wrong turn... I don't know.
0.0 help, help, help, help.. Im scared .. Freaked out. Help
Add a Comment: