It began with photographs: circulated online, posted, copied, reposted again – the “creepypasta” effect.
It was in the background, watching children play. Photographs with tragic stories of disaster, of what this unnatural thing did to them and its other victims. This tall faceless not-person trying to disguise itself as one of us, but with tell-tale tentacles captured in the pictures taken of it.
What may be THE modern era bogeyman was born: Slenderman.
Fortunately, Slenderman isn’t real. They were a part of a forum contest to invent paranormal stories. The unfortunate part is that this didn’t stop a real life tragedy… It can be hard to separate the Slenderman from an attack by schoolchildren on another of their peers as they tried to become “proxies”, or followers, of the creature but the stories sadly went too far in real life. The now tarnished idea of Slenderman is otherwise fascinating.
Slenderman was a simple yet effective design embraced by the wider Internet, and spreading way beyond into the wider pop culture. Fans making games and filming series, written stories and new photo shopped pictures, all the way up to inevitable Hollywood adaptions. We got to see folklore in fast-forward within our lifetimes! But the shame remains that a fictional bogeyman has real world victims.
For more details and other stories try LukeLore Episode 31: Putting the Creepy in Creepypasta.
Story by: Luke Greensmith of Lukelore Podcast
Art by: Wanda Fraser