Most of us who frequent the internet, or who have kids that frequent the internet, will inevitably stumble across a reference to the, “Slenderman.”
If so, you have witnessed what is now termed a, “meme.” First, a meme is an idea that, “goes viral.” We’ve often heard of YouTube videos or web sites that, “go viral,” meaning they’ve skyrocketed in popularity. When a simple idea becomes viral, it’s called a meme (which rhymes with team). In other words, it’s a trendy idea.
Slenderman first became a topic on the forums of the website Something Awful. He’s not a character in a movie, not a villain from a book, as a matter of fact, he was created in a contest devoted to creepy imagery. Marble Hornet, a channel on YouTube took the lore a step further by creating a series of videos about people being “stalked by Slenderman.”
A game called Slender: The Eight Pages came out in June 2012, based upon the creature made for Something Awful’s contest. Currently, it’s free should anyone wish to download and play the brief game.
Today, Slenderman has gone from a mere meme to a full-scale mythical being. People have reported “sightings,” of the Slenderman, often near their home.
He’s usually depicted as being incredibly tall, some mentions have him standing at 8 feet in height, other accounts have him as tall as 15 feet in height. He is very pale, thin, and has long limbs. He has no hair and no face. Sometimes he’s described as a paranormal shapeshifter.
The majority of accounts state he is normally dressed in a gray or black suit with a white shirt. Sometimes his tie is red, sometimes black. His primary purpose is to stalk the living, and disappearances are occasionally attributed to him. He is usually a malevolent figure, although rare accounts have him as being a protective being.
Some variations state he kills people and dresses in the outfits of his victims, although that narrows down his possible victims to tall men in gray or black business suits. Some stories claim he kidnaps children and takes them to an alternate universe, leaving only a scrap of clothing behind. Some accounts state his limbs hypnotize victims into complying with his orders.
He most often blends in with trees and growth, or takes a position that most people look right over. He’s also been given a history and many claim this being actually comes from either Germanic or Celtic folklore.
Information about him across the internet goes into detail. His behavior towards others, his lack of understanding humans, and his inability to communicate have been analyzed and studied by numerous fans online. He’s still used in graphic art, apparel, popular culture references, and a movie is currently being created based on his legend.
Hopefully, such memes will continue to emerge, as they bring out the most wonderfully unbelievable creativity in so many.