Friday, January 30, 2015
A "Slenderman" Development...
My latest Mysterious Universe feature is on a strange entity that began as an Internet meme in 2009, and which, many believe, strode right out of the domain of fantasy and into the real world. Its name: the Slenderman.
The article isn't an overview of the phenomenon, however. Rather, it highlights a Slenderman-type encounter that occurred specifically before the phenomenon began, something which leads to a notable question:
Did the 2009 creation of the Slenderman meme create a Tulpa-like, living equivalent? Or did a real, earlier Slenderman exist before the fictional one was looming on the horizon?
The encounter in question was published (and takes up a whole chapter) in my book, There's Something in the Woods, which was published in 2008, one year before the Slenderman phenomenon began. So, there's no chance that the witness could have been influenced by the Slenderman tales, since they hadn't even begun when the book was published. Plus, the incident itself occurred in 2001, no less than 14 years ago.
The article starts like this:
"You may have seen the recent publicity given to a story coming out of the U.K. of sightings in and around Britain’s Cannock Chase woods, of something described as looking like the legendary 'Slenderman.' It’s a fictional character created in June 2009 by Eric Knudsen (using the alias of 'Victor Surge,' at the forum section of the Something Awful website), who took his inspiration from the world of horror fiction.
"The Slenderman (also spelled as Slender Man) is a creepy creature indeed: tall, thin, with long arms, a blank (faceless, even) expression, and wearing a dark suit, it sounds almost like a nightmarish version of the Men in Black. While there is no doubt that Knudsen was the creator of what quickly became a definitive, viral, meme, people have since claimed to have seen the Slenderman in the real world."