It’s been over 10 years since the Slenderman YouTube Series unveiled and it is not going away anytime soon. A video appeared on the Something Awful forum describing a stable of unlabeled tapes that had been recorded as part of a student film project. The director instructed that the tables needed to be burned, but years later, the video’s narrator revealed that he kept them together and decided to go through the footage.
The videos were some of the first entries into Marble Hornets. At the time, the early fictional YouTube horror series gathered a cult-like following, which has blossomed into a strong fandom across the world. The series ran for five years and is a stamp in YouTube’s history.
The series follows the chronicles of Jay Merrick, played by Troy Wagner, as he attempts to understand what happened during the creation of a student film shot by his friend Alex. The more Jay watches the series, he learns that Alex was being tormented by an entity known as “The Operator,” a variation of the Slenderman. The spooky nature of the show gets your heart beating as fast as free online slots.
The series took off. Fans were drawing their customizations of the Slenderman, so the creators decided to make a series. The series created over 80 entries and helped pave the way for the movie that was released in 2018.
A True Mystery
Ten years ago, fans would find themselves sitting in a dark room and watching the series. Platforms like Something Awful, Reddit, and Tumblr were a destination for fans to post their conspiracy theories about the show. During this time, the possibility that Slenderman was real was a thought every person had when watching the show.
It was the mystery that drew in fans. Even with the best cybersecurity on the planet, Slenderman could not be kept out. What was nice was that the forums were tight-knit because Reddit and Tumblr were in their baby stages. Being able to discuss the series with other people who were trying to investigate was a bonus.
Back then, the Marble Hornets developed a cult-like following. Even today the series is bringing kids from Generation Z to the platform. The fan base is continuously getting younger, while the social media platforms rise. There are even members on apps like TikTok that feature cosplay mentions to the series. It appears that the series is a treasure even though the last episode dropped six years ago.
Eight months ago, the creators of Marble Hornets dropped a video showing an animated comic of Slenderman. It’s the latest video posted on the channel. While production on their other escapades is unknown, the channel is still frequently visited, and it appears that it is going to be that way for a very long time. We’ll catch up four years from now at the 15th anniversary and you better believe that the Slenderman will live on.
The Origins Of Slender Man
Initially, “Slender Man” was just a made-up thought posted on the website SomthingAwful.com. After a forum was created and someone began to post Photoshopped pictures, it started to develop a following. Someone by the name of “Create Paranormal Images” started the contest. One member by the name of Eric Knudsen composed an old picture with a tall, faceless human-like character with tentacle-like shoulders hiding in the darkness close to a kids’ playground.
After a few more conversations and edited pictures, other forum members created the details behind the image known as Slender Man. His faceless body was accompanied by a black suit. He kidnapped kids, assassinated them, and mutilated their bodies. With folklore attached, the users began to attach the creepy figure into history by adding him to pictures that date as far back as the 16th-century.
The Effect On Teenagers
In 2014, two Wisconsin girls by the name of Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier were accused of stabbing their classmate Payton Leutner. The two girls claimed that doing this would excite the Slender Man and avoid him from harming their families. The girls explained they discovered Slender Man on the website CreepyPasta and were 12 years old at the time. Payton was stabbed 19 times and nearly died. She barely survived the assault and the reaction to the incident was heard around the world. It wasn’t until 2019 that Payton spoke out.
There have been other crimes related to the influence of Slender Man. Most of these crimes have been completed by young teens. Along with the stabbing in Wisconsin, a 13-year old girl in Ohio believed she was haunted by the Slenderman and assaulted her mom with a knife. That same year, a 14-year old girl from Florida set her house on fire after finding out about Slenderman.
The character might be made up, but the dangerous traits associated have led to alarming actions. The hype behind the character differs from the concept of an urban legend in that Slender Man is famous on the Internet. This both helps and harms his image. An urban legend must be verified by multiple parties, while the Internet can distribute a public forum where patrons can discuss what is happening right then and there. The popularity of the Internet can be a dangerous game, evidenced by the previously mentioned incidents above. For those who watch Slender Man, they should research and find out the real truth behind it.
In the end, Slender Man should be laid to rest, but it will never die. However, those who watch the series should be aware that the Slender Man is a fictional character. There is nothing to worry about and resorting to crime is not the right answer. If you feel the need to “appease the Slender Man,” stop everything that you are doing. You are about to make a grave mistake. You make me laugh at reading this section, but based on history, it should be noted. Just enjoy the series and take a trip down the spooky tunnel that is Slender Man.