Slenderman myth connected to attempted murder (UPDATE: Cult? Censorship?)

This may be a first. Slenderman has gotten out of hand – attempted murder connected to the mythological monster. Two young girls are charged adults with first-degree attempted homicide of another girl.

12-Year-Old Wisconsin Girls Charged in Stabbing – ABC News.

Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death in the woods to please a mythological creature they learned about online.

One of the girls told a detective they were trying to become “proxies” of Slender Man, a mythological demon-like character they learned about on creepypasta.wikia.com, a website about horror stories and legends. They planned to run away to the demon’s forest mansion after the slaying, the complaint said.

The girls seemed out of touch with reality and had been planning this for months. Slenderman is a fictional character with a complex history who was created online in a fiction forum. I wrote about Slenderman for Fortean Times magazine after interviewing folkore and monster experts including Benjamin Radford (hat tip to him for this story).

(The) Slenderman was born from a photo editing contest on the Something Awful web forums in 2009 when “Victor Surge” submitted two images – spooky portraits groups of children. Subtle, in the background, was a tall, thin faceless entity in a black suit – his arms like tentacles, his head smooth and pale. Within five days of the post, there existed a narrative of death and bad luck to go along with the photos. Since then, Slenderman has evolved via videos, YouTube series, alternate reality games (ARGs), fan art, online horror stories and even parodies that are less scary (such as Trenderman and Splendorman).

Radford (author of Tracking the Chupacabra and Hoaxes, Myths and Manias) described Slenderman as “a tall, thin, generally silent but menacing stranger in a prim suit,” Children are the victims of this bogeymen.

Author J. Scott Poole (Monsters in America) notes Slenderman “owes much to Nosferatu and Freddy Krueger. Both cross between the land of nightmare and reality, as looming forms in the distance.”

Even though we KNOW Slenderman is not real but a imaginary monster, he seems to have crossed the line to reality for some people who say they actually see him in physical form. Did these girls think they saw him and could interact with him? Is there something seriously wrong when children (and adults) can not differntiate fiction from factual life? This is very frightening indeed.

slenderman

For more on Slenderman, go to

Slender Man – The Slender Man Wiki.

The Slender Man – Creepypasta Wiki.

Addition: ‘Slenderman’ Legend Cited in Girl’s Stabbing: Who Is He? : Discovery News.

Rev. Robin Swope, a pastor at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Erie, Pa., believes the Internet-generated monster is real. In his book “Slenderman: From Fiction to Fact,” Swope states that, after years of reviewing stories sent to him by people who claim to have encountered the elusive monster, he has concluded that Slenderman is a literal demonic entity: “We can come to the conclusion that Slenderman is real. The archetype of death that Slenderman embodies is not an archetype at all. Slenderman is the archetype. He is indeed death personified who from countless ages past has hunted down humanity with a relentless determination. If you see him as a child he will forever haunt your dreams and your waking nightmares… There is nothing you can do about it, it is inevitable. Begging and screaming are useless; Slenderman makes no bargains and takes no bribes. Slenderman is coming for you,” he concludes his (non-fiction) book.

According to Rev. Swope, Christian faith and prayer are the only defenses against Slenderman.

*facepalm* Adults live in fantasy worlds too.

UPDATE (4-June-2014) There has been discussion about blame in this case. Here is a piece from Australian news that suggests there may be a Slenderman cult.

The criminal complaint filed over the Milwaukee attack quotes one of the girls as saying: “Many people do not believe Slender Man is real. [We] wanted to prove the sceptics wrong.”

This is the crux of the problem.

The administrators of the CreepyPasta site – the forum where the Slenderman legend evolved – expressed their sympathy but were also attacked for promoting fan fiction and horror without age restrictions. Some people have called for censorship and the site to be shut down.

Ridiculous! This is the same shallow, thoughtless arguments that come up wheneven any popular culture item is connected to a serious crime. People go nuts and try to ban or label movies, records, books. That is wrong in so many ways. Clearly the millions of people who participate in World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons, fan fiction and horror and heavy metal music are not killers. The media does not create criminals. To suggest so is absurd.

Indeed this incident has little to do with the website and more to do with our complex society and kids growing up facing it.

“There is a line of between fiction and reality, and it is up to you to realise where the line is. We are a literature site, not a crazy satanic cult.”

“So while I understand and accept that some people will blame us as a way to channel their anger and grief, I simply cannot agree,” the Creepypasta statement reads.

“We live in a culture with a very unhealthy relationship with mental illness. People with mental health issues are frequently dismissed, shamed and, and often ignored or denied necessary treatment.”

“The fact of the matter is it can’t be that simple. Most people don’t watch Hannibal and turn into serial killers … You can insert countless examples here of people enjoying popular culture without acting it out in real life, so I hope that you see my point.”

Agreed.

UPDATE (5-June-2014) I was contacted by my local news station to talk about this story. Ben Radford noted he was contacted by media as well, mentioning Slendy has “legs” as well as tentacles. This is an interesting blog from Jason Colavito.

“Slender Man” Stabber Wanted to Kill Friend to “Prove Skeptics Wrong” about the Supernatural – JasonColavito.com.

Note this part:

The Slender Man stabbings also have an uncanny echo of a recent episode of Supernatural (S09E15), based on the same internet meme, in which two disturbed young men commit murder in the name of a fictitious “Thinman,” invented as a publicity stunt by the Ghostfacers. There, however, Thinman served as an intentionally false cover for the killers’ underlying psychopathy. So far no one has blamed Supernatural for inducing anyone to kill.

Check out Jason’s thoughts.

Addition: June-6-2014
abc27 WHTM

 

More: Another Slenderman-connected attack. Another girl. More parental reaction. | Doubtful News.

LV murder-suicide tied to conspiracy theories, cosplay, racism and… Slenderman | Doubtful News.

  51 comments for “Slenderman myth connected to attempted murder (UPDATE: Cult? Censorship?)

  1. Fred
    June 2, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    My neighbor tells me that Slenderman has been made real by the ” group consciousness of the internet”, and that he’s “just another sign of the “metamorphosis of reality”.

    I really should talk him into doing some youtube videos.

  2. spookyparadigm
    June 2, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    The Simon Necronomicon has sold huge amounts of books (I’ve heard up to a million copies in 30 years), and it is a bunch of Sumerian text sprinkled with Lovecraftian names, and called the Necronomicon (a book Lovecraft openly explained to people who asked, it was fictional). There are plenty of dabblers, and some chaos magickians who know the actual history, who practice rituals based on it. David Icke has cited it as evidence. Never mind all the other creations of Lovecraft’s that inform Reptilians, other branches of Chaos Magick, UFOs and MIBs etc..

    Open source supernatural material will become real folklore.

  3. Brandon
    June 3, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    I think something like that is called a “tulpa.” They discussed it in an episode of “The Virtual Skeptics” a while ago.

  4. Headless Unicorn Guy
    June 3, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    Tulpas are from some Tibetan magical tradition; they’re imaginary creatures that when believed in and meditated on enough are somehow given form in reality. I remember a couple horror stories based on the concept.

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy
    June 3, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    I just KNOW the Christianese Spiritual Warfare types are not only going to believe these girls’ story and the existence of Slenderman, but I already know what spin they’re going to put on it.

  6. James G
    June 3, 2014 at 4:46 AM

    “Is there something seriously wrong when children (and adults) can not differntiate fiction from factual life?”

    Kids live in a magical world. Everything is new and mysterious, they’re extremely impressionable, and they haven’t had twenty or thirty years to learn how to tell fantasy from fact. That manifesting as a serious assault is unusual, but I don’t think their belief in a fictitious monster is.

    Some people don’t outgrow this. They substitute their childhood fantasies for more refined adult ones. If I had a nickel for every time someone insisted to me that there was a seed of truth to some fictional account of the supernatural or even pure fantasy, I’d have enough money for a nice lunch. Somewhere down the road, people are going to ignore, or forget, or not realize that the slenderman was born in someone’s head. There will be people who won’t care one way or another. They’ll chose to believe it because they like the idea, regardless of its source.

    But that’s why we’re here reading the doubtful news. The world is full of people like that, they do and say crazy things, and this story is not that unusual, except perhaps for the age of the parties involved.

  7. eddi
    June 3, 2014 at 5:08 AM

    The Devil made me do it? I may just flip out.

  8. busterggi
    June 3, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    “Is there something seriously wrong when children (and adults) can not differntiate fiction from factual life? ”

    Please insert snark of your choice regarding religion.

  9. Lee
    June 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    AHHHH I have a slender man and woman that live next to me. They just stay in good shape. I have a less then slender man that lives in the house on the other side of me. This guy in the drawing should be called the “Very non-defined squid armed man”. I think he does stand up comedy.

  10. spookyparadigm
    June 3, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    So, the DiscoverNews article points out that Slenderman-as-Real is being promoted by a religious leader, and the first comment on it is also in that vein.

    You know how I keep saying that American paranormalism has moved from pretending to be science, to expressing radical evangelical Christianity, with aliens becoming demons and Bigfoot Nephilim?

    You’re welcome, I’m sorry to say.

  11. Ciaran M
    June 3, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    They exist (in the sense that they don’t really) in other traditions too and maybe things like the Golem could be put into the category. Modern neo-pagan practitioners deliberately try to build them up in tedious suburban rituals and have them come to life to do their bidding. I know a guy who thinks he has one living in his house that another guy we know made, used and abandoned, the cad. It had been built to ruin someone’s life, so my mate took it in so it wouldn’t cause harm to anyone else…

  12. scallywag
    June 3, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Was the attempted murder simply all about proving to oneself that horror villains and their pedestal fantasy lives still existed and that by proxy one could elevate themselves to a memorable status (as the two girls have done but for all the wrong reasons) or a conceited plan just to create murder outright, to find out what being a villain was really all about? And if so why their friend? Or are we to really believe that some individuals have come to internalize such fantasy stories as real?

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2014/06/slender-man-myth-leads-to-12-year-olds-stabbing-classmate-to-prove-its-real/

  13. George Taylor
    June 3, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    We can write America’s post mortem now. It was a good country, but it fell victim to the heavy weight of ignorance and mythology from a critical number of its citizens believing in things that are irrational and that have no foundation in reality.

    All the lunacy summarized on this website and others is great, but in the end it amounts to not much more than carnival gawking. When can we admit that a large segment of the population has little more attachment to the physical reality of the world than did bronze age goat herders, and where can we go to discuss solutions?

  14. Headless Unicorn Guy
    June 3, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    According to Rev. Swope, Christian faith and prayer are the only defenses against Slenderman.

    *facepalm* Adults live in fantasy worlds too.

    I’ve been expecting that particular development since I first heard the news.

    Christianese Spiritual Warfare types are THE type example of “If all you have is a hammer…”

  15. Justin
    June 4, 2014 at 5:43 AM

    Couple comments I’d like to share. Slender man has been around since before the internet even existed. I grew up hearing about it and my grandparents ages 84 and 88 heard of it and knew people that had supposedly encountered it while they were growing up in Oklahoma.
    Now as far as believing in something strong enough to will it into existence. This idea has been around for thousands of years, and some quantum physicists, as well as some neurologists “while not giving it much support” do say that it may be possible. There are no scientific laws saying it can’t happen. Odds aren’t good though lol and if it were/is possible why don’t here more about it? I don’t discount anything I hear being physically possible for humans to do. But I do discount whether or not someone actually has done it. Saying its possible for someone to will a being into existence, is like saying a chimp with a typewriter striking random keys can recreate one of Shakespeare’s works. Its possible, (and according to quantum physics probable) but will it happen, even in the life span of out universe? More than likely not. The odds aren’t good. Something like 10 to 50th or so. So while anything anyone can think of will eventually happen somewhere at some time. Wasting our time speculating on such things is not prudent or rational. If you find yourself in doubt calculate the odds. Its very simple math and it doesn’t take much time. If the odds are overwhelmingly against it, you can probably ignore it and move on. Sorry I tend to rant and get off topic on most of my comments. Diarrhea of the brain, mouth, and hands I suppose.

  16. Hext
    June 4, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    The occult author Konstantinos writes about Egregores and refers to both the Golem and Cthulhu. Egregores are (supposedly) thoughtforms that feed off of a collective group effort or energy in order to finally exist in the real world. He specifically refers to the 60’s Cult of Cthulhu and wonders whether Cthulhu may one day rise out of the sea, powered by the consciousness of the believers. A friend of mine believes that Slender Man is no different, only he became physical much more quickly due to the ever-reaching arms of the internet. As far as I’m concerned, it came from the internet, therefore as long as my computer has an on/off switch I’m safe!

  17. Chris Howard
    June 4, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Yep.

    All religions evolve and morph based upon the popular expressions of the myriad cultural exchanges between varied attitudes, values, and beliefs.

    The Silk Road and other trade routes is a prime example of the various religions and philosophies of different societies commingling to form new religious beliefs. Not dissimilar to Frank Herbert’s creation of Buddhislam in the Dune series.

    All the New Age/Eastern Mysticism/”non-religious” spirituality philosophies, and beliefs, are currently intermingling with what practitioners are willing to salvage, or reinterpret, from the more “traditional” Abrahamic faiths.

    The internet probably accelerates this evolution of religious beliefs (the word cult is so ambiguous and slanderous that it’s useless from a scientific perspective. New Religious Movement is much better).

    I wonder if Slenderman will eventually be catalogued in some future compendium of supernatural persons in much the same way that the demons and gods of pre-Christian cultures were made evil and remade as minions of The Devil?

  18. Tim
    June 4, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    “This idea has been around for thousands of years, and some quantum physicists, as well as some neurologists “while not giving it much support” do say that it may be possible.”

    Name one and I’ll show you quack.

    “There are no scientific laws saying it can’t happen.”

    Laughable.

  19. busterggi
    June 4, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    People have been imagining that they could fly (w/o artificial means) for thousands of years – no one has made it yet.

  20. Wolfman on the Run
    June 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    You might be thinking of the Tall Man, a character from the Phantasm Series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_Man_(Phantasm) . Its been around since ’79. I highly doubt that your grand parents mentioned slenderman, though there are probably other folkloric beasties that may be similar to him. We can clearly trace the genesis of slenderman from the internet.

  21. June 4, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Sharon has researched the myth regarding Slenderman before. I would recommend you read her piece about it on her blog: http://idoubtit.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/slender-man-we-made-him-and-his-family-what-they-are-today/

  22. June 4, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Similar characters with such features have been known in various outlets but the official Slenderman (with that name and persona) can be traced to the Something Awful site. There is no question about that. Because of the motif – tall, thin, menancing creature – it feels like an old idea. But, as with the chupacabra, people insisted it existed prior to 1995 but no references to the creature have ever been found.

    It’s easy to share your opinions in comments but if those aren’t backed up with facts and reality, they are worthless. Read the comment policy – this is a science-based site. Not wishful speculation.

  23. Vagrarian
    June 4, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Reminds me of a couple of things…how back in the 90s when the Blair Witch Project became big news, I had dealings with a number of people who adamantly refused to believe it was fiction, and claimed to have clear memories of news reports of the missing kids and the mystery surrounding them. Several years later I met some kids who sincerely believed the Blair Witch was real and any unknown sound or accidental happening was the Blair Witch coming to get them.

    But it also reminds me of my Wiccan days (yes, this hard-headed skeptic was once the priest of a Wiccan coven), when it wasn’t unusual to come across people, young and old, who sincerely believed that this or that fictional creature or character was really real, from Merlin to dragons to Buffyesque vampires. One kept going on about “Satanists” lurking in every corner and claiming she was being “psychically attacked” left and right. One coven I knew of was having a “wizard war” with a “black coven” they said was located in California; they had never actually met these people or related to them in any way or even knew if they really existed. Instead it became a sort of group delusion that anything negative that happened to any of them was the action of this evil coven.

    There’s something going on in our society when children, and even adults, can get so caught up in fictional things that they lose touch with reality. That’s one reason I left Wicca, but I was a terrible Wiccan anyway because I didn’t believe in astrology and always wanted to test people’s claims…

  24. spookyparadigm
    June 4, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    See, role-playing games ARE a gateway to occultism.

    Just not in the way the evangelicals thought.

    On that note, for the last two hours I sat outside on a carved rock, under tree cover, and read the entirety of a mid-20th century archaeological “report” (the author was a bit of a nutter) helping prove the existence of Murray’s witch cult, and then I switched to reading Harms and Gonce’s The Necronomicon Files (the definitive guide on that fakelore). All the while, the sun was largely obscured, the air cool (for June) and the wind whipped up.

    First time I’ve felt at peace since grad school a decade ago, maybe longer.

    Putting away what shreds of grownup “coolness” I’ve accumulated and practicing that old magickal nerd style of Halloween forever may be my best shot at sanity, I’m beginning to think.

  25. Vagrarian
    June 4, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    I believe an occasional indulgence in fantasy is perfectly healthy and sometimes necessary…but we still need to know where fantasy ends and reality begins. And I think maybe that’s where society has dropped the ball.

  26. spookyparadigm
    June 4, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    I had a student in my “Anthropology of the Paranormal” class get quite adamant that as a child in Texas in the 1970s, she had been told about the dangers of the chupacabra, etc.. I’m pretty sure Radford had his “pre-1995” bounty out at that time and I told her to contact him. I suspect that didn’t occur.

  27. Vagrarian
    June 4, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Something else I just remembered…Shadow People! Something that really seemed to come out of nowhere in the 90s and really seemed invented from whole cloth. I remember talking to people who claimed that there were legends of “Shadow People” going back to ancient Egypt but as someone who eagerly read mythology I had never heard of them. Also some who claimed there were many books about them that could be found at any library…which was BS. I finally got one to admit that her “Shadow People” beliefs were really her own interpretation of little hints and things from multiple sources, and not really about legends or anything like that. It has died down but in the mid-to-late 90s you couldn’t go anywhere in the paranormal world without being barraged by Shadow People believers….or at least that’s how it seemed to me.

  28. Chris Howard
    June 4, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    Could the story have been an oral tradition for a number of years, prior to it being written down?

  29. Cat lover
    June 4, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    It’s weird that this is coming from a minister in the UCC. They are usually very liberal and unlikely to talk about demons, etc.

  30. MrAptronym
    June 4, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    More proof that slenderman is just the worst thing. I remember when it showed up on SA and for a couple months it was a kind of cool, fun collaborative storytelling thing. Now its just become the most boring set of stories and games and suddenly people think its an actual thing?

    I mean you can read the exact post on the internet where this became a thing, how can anyone believe in this. There isn’t even anything substantial to the story: What you see is what you get. People need to chill out and stop traking junk on the internet so seriously.

  31. spookyparadigm
    June 5, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    Looking back at Sharon’s earlier blog post on Slenderman, my one comment was that I suspected it was related to Shadow People, and there is probably something to that.

    Nearest I can tell, SP were either a creation of listeners to C2C, or they were one of the first places to propagate it. I suspect people have been seeing “shadowy people” like that for all the usual reasons (sleep paralysis, etc.), but at least from its C2C history it seems to emerge from the larger alien abduction/bedroom invader theme.

    My personal favorite was when a handful of pseudoarchaeologists and conspiracy theorists started talking about stargates (and specifically, the idea of stargates as fixed technology in the ancient middle east, ancient evil Reptilian races, etc.) like they had always been talking about them, and that the idea (not the general idea of a dimensional door, but their specific version of it) was somehow not sprung from the movie Stargate’s success.

  32. spookyparadigm
    June 5, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    The term existed before 1995 but for a bird, and not a scary bird.

    The emergence of the animal mutilation chupacabras in Puerto Rico in 1995, its development there, and then its subsequent spread to other parts of Latin America, is really well documented. And Radford isn’t the only saying this, Loren Coleman has been pretty adamant since the 1990s that this is watching a cryptid legend come into being. Pretty much the only authors that try and suggest an older history, their material is heavily criticized.

    It seems quite unlikely, IMO, that you’d have a piece of significant folklore in Mexico or Texas (places that have had their legends and folklore heavily studied by academics for decades) of a monstrous chupacabra that isn’t recorded, and then have it appear with no seeming pre-existing cues in Puerto Rico, and then have it spread organically to the rest of Latin America, without someone noticing. Considering how routinely existing legends get homogenized by more media-friendly legends (see various wild men that are now all Bigfoot, lake creatures that are now all Nessie, and of course the spread of American gray aliens), its not like the two traditions would have a hard time fusing.

  33. spookyparadigm
    June 5, 2014 at 12:25 AM

    My favorite book on monstrous creatures in traditional Mexico is Bloodsucking Witchcraft, by Nutini and Roberts. It’s dense, but I’d recommend it.

  34. spookyparadigm
    June 5, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    The good Reverend Swope has already made him a demon.

    When I was a kid, I accidentally ran into the Jack van Impe show very late at night, and got hooked on it. I thought it was completely nuts, and a bit scary as a result. But I had to watch it, because it was watching someone who actually lived like D&D-style fantasy was real. I think one early episode, possibly what got my geek self hooked, they were actually doing the Satanic Panic thing about D&D, holding a copy of the Fiend Folio, etc.. But the whole worldview of prophecies and demons and such was like that.

    Of course, now we’ve got Alex Jones, and Glenn Beck, and innumerable smaller fry who are all too happy to tell us about extradimensional demons and the cults that worship them, so I don’t even have to stay up late anymore.

  35. busterggi
    June 5, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    September 21, 1953, the radio horror show ‘Hall of Fantasy’ broadcast an episode titled ‘The Shadow People’ which described them pretty much as the modern version. Of course they made no pretence that shadow people were real but clearly the roots go back aways.

  36. spookyparadigm
    June 5, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Interesting. Just read the transcript, and it name checks The Horla.

    I don’t know enough about the origins of shadow people to know if this story played a part in it, but it certainly seems plausible. Especially as C2C was the major vector for it, and they repeatedly were fooled/allowed callers to go on about their “experiences” that were obviously taken from fiction (most famously the caller that retold the story of the game Halflife).

  37. Chris Howard
    June 5, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Man, I was the BEST Dungeon Master, ever!!!

    This was Advanced Gary Gygax D&D, and not the stuff that the schismatics, herretics, and infidels play today!

    😉

  38. spookyparadigm
    June 5, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    You can thank David-Neel and Evans-Wentz for introducing the idea to the Western occult community. If you haven’t perused Evans-Wentz book on fairy lore, it’s a treat. While it is one of the better sources for fairy lore in NW Europe, he believes in the beings. It’s pretty much what a UFO book would have looked like in the Edwardian period.

    Once you’re talking Slenderman and similar “Fortean”/creepy tones to the tulpa, the last point of contact is almost certainly John Keel. He introduced the idea to mainstream ufology and mystery mongering with his notion of Shadow author Walter Gibson supposedly making a tulpa through his constant writing. Further proof that someone at The X-Files read The Mothman Prophecies, as this notion is all but directly ripped off in one episode about a writer obsessed with Scully, whose manic writing creates an extension of himself that acts a lot like a twisted version of David-Neel’s tulpa. Several episodes earlier, they had done an episode that explicitly discussed tulpas. Intriguingly, they’re not by the same author.

  39. busterggi
    June 5, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Oh, yeah, original AD&D all the way. Things started going downhill when the Fiend Folio was published.

  40. ChristineRose
    June 5, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    My first thought was that this was remarkably similar to attacks on “witches,” “changelings,” the “possessed,” and so on ad nauseam.

    Then my second thought was that it was more like the whole “Satanic panic” thing, where more or less random violent incidents with minor connections to something creepy get a whole narrative built around them about the occult. The headline “Police Reveal Dark Details” made me think “Overzealous Police Intimidate Upset and Stupid Children Into Repeating Story Fed to Them.”

  41. spookyparadigm
    June 5, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    I was never good at that. But I’m extremely good as a Call of Cthulhu keeper (gm). I’ve seen people say “oh, your characters are supposed to be scared, not your players.”

    Really? I’ve not just unnerved the players. I’ve unnerved other people in the room.

  42. Justin
    June 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I can give a telephone number and address for a reference if you would like. I wasn’t saying that my grandparents saw it or believed the people that had said they had seen it. But the name “slender man” describing some sort of paranormal entity has been around for the better part of a century. Seeks like another case of “since I can’t find it on the web it can’t be so” I’m not saying that a few years ago someone (who may not have heard of slenderman) reinvented the idea. But I am currently sitting with two people that heard of “slender man” before 1950, used to describe a thin, shodaw like entity. There are also many native american people from this area that claim to have grown up hearing of slender man. May not be the same that was created on the web, but the name describing something that doesn’t exist has been around for alot longer. Sorry the internet says no. If you’d like send me an email and I will give you the names, numbers, and addresses of the people who claim to have heard that name describing a similar creature dating back to the 1940s.

  43. kitty
    June 6, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    I don’t buy confusion of fantasy with reality as the reason here. Even if they thought Slenderman is real, if they new the character was evil, it was still their decision to follow the evil character as opposed to fight him, to become his “proxies”. It seems to me that if I were to think that say fairy tales are real, I’d rather be Snow White than the Evil Queen. Or for that matter follow Harry Potter and not Lord Voldemort. If these girls had thought Harry Potter was real, would they claimed they tried to kill because they wanted to become Death Eaters? Doesn’t their desire to please an evil character already says something about them?

    In terms of confusing fiction with reality, a couple of stories I read come to mind. Back in the 80s, one soap opera actress told how a fan grabbed her in a public ladies room and tried to hit her. The actress managed to turn around, grab the woman, shake her and scream “my name is Kimberly, Kimberly” for the woman to realize that this was an actress and not the character. In another case, someone asked an actor at a fan event why he raped the heroine. The actor replied “I came to work, got the script and read ‘X rapes Y'”.

  44. spookyparadigm
    June 6, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    True. Which basically puts it in the same vein as the small number of people (and when I think about it, they’re rarely alone. When I think of “vampire” or “satanic” murders it is usually is a couple of people, not an organized group, but a Leopold and Loeb pair like we’ve got here) who commit crimes in the name of Satan or other evil supernatural or metaphysical figures or concepts.

    The major difference here is that the character is of recent and documented vintage.

  45. Kiljoy616
    June 7, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    Believers start believing in another made up god like creature. Whats new at least this one is still small unlike the major religions.

  46. really
    June 21, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Kitty- spot on. If these girls in fact believe fiction is real, why would they choose the side of evil? You are right, because that just says they were already evil. I hope they are tried as adults. When I was 12, heck, even 10, I knew right from wrong.

  47. June 21, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Hello everyone. Co-editor for Doubtful News here. Just a friendly reminder to our commentors, old and new…

    NO NAME CALLING OR STARTING FLAME WARS! IF YOU HAVE TO RESORT TO NAME CALLING TO MAKE YOUR POINT, YOUR COMMENT WILL NOT BE APPROVED AND THUS DELETED! CAPISCE?!

  48. June 21, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    This comment is OK. Your previous one however, was not. You’re on notice, buddy.

  49. Graham
    July 2, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    The latest news reports are saying that one of the two girls has been found mentally unfit to stand trial:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/02/slender-man-stabbing-suspect-incompetent/12096603/

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