we didn't want to go we didn't want to kill them but it's persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time
welcome back to the show ladies and gentlemen as always thank you for tuning in that's Matt behind the camera say welcome back Matt hello I'm Ben we have various things floating in the abyss behind us but most importantly you're here we're all I presume alive and that makes this stuff they don't want you to know this is our first episode in a while and if you're watching this the day it comes out then you're watching it right around Halloween of 2015 and so Matt and I decided to take a look at something listeners have asked us about YouTube on Facebook on Twitter where we're conspiracy stuff listeners have asked us about this for what years right years and we are finally going to cover it today we're going to talk about the rise of Slenderman now what is Slenderman it's one of the most famous legends in the age of the internet and Slenderman is typically depicted as a very very very very tall very skinny humanoid figure dressed in a suit maybe with some tendrils of darkness coming out behind it and most importantly nothing on the face a no face it stalks people and you see it in the background of photographs from across time and across the world this is literally a legend and it's a synthesis of a couple of different kinds of legends there are the very very old myths you know about let's say a ghost encountered at a crossroads right or following someone in the woods and then on the other side there's a more recent urban legend you know the scary guy with the hook hand who is trolling people and their impalas and makeout point and they find that you know they find the hook in the car and the car handle you know what I'm talking about what's interesting is that Slenderman is a combination of these things it's one of the first legends of its type to exist in a world with the Internet and one other thing that's very different about Slenderman that we can trace the evolution of this legend all the way back to its source in 2009 on the something awful forums when someone identifying themselves as Victor surged in response to a Photoshop something creepy challenge put out these different images with a Photoshop difference where there was a person very tall person suit no face just in the pictures so slender man was created guy calling himself Victor Serge and we can put Victor surges real name on the screen I think enough time has gone by and from that origin point specifically June 8 2009 the story of Slender Man grew and grew and grew it was an open source legend which means that people would throw other things in and some of the claims might contradict themselves but one thing is for sure there were more and more claims they aggregated as time went on for a lot of people this would make Slender Man seem less important you know more like just an interesting part of folklore or another viral concept on the Internet but there are some precedents that are a little bit strange when we look at this because Slenderman is of course not the first faceless humanoid monster in the human experience not by a long shot we're talking about stuff that dates back to ancient civilizations if we're talking about people who were allegedly abducting children then through the past few thousand years of human civilization we're full of stories to explain those kind of occurrences you might remember the Garrett a poem we're in something called the Arnold King e RL ki and G is after a little boy and little boys like the only one who can see it and I you know no spoilers if you haven't read it but it's a very similar monster and stories of similar creatures exist in the Caribbean for instance the pre-columbian people known as the I know had a monster called the OPA and in Hawaii on the other side of the continent well and for being honest way out in the Pacific Ocean there's a story of a thing called a Regina and you can actually go and read eyewitness anecdotal sightings of these faceless creatures from as recently as the late 50s early 60s last finally and most importantly it doesn't matter that Slenderman is a fictional creation when we look at the real-world consequences of this idea on May 31st 2014 - twelve-year-old girls from Morgan geyser and Anissa Weier stabbed a mutual friend 19 times in an attempt to murder her sacrifice of sorts - Slender Man in the hopes that they would become its proxies on earth also in 2014 an unidentified woman in Hamilton County Ohio accused her daughter of attempted murder the daughter was wearing a white mask hood and attempted to stab her mother in an attack that the mother believes is tied into belief in this Slenderman met those so despite the fact that Slenderman has a known origin point a known creation point unlike many other legends what we see is that it does have real-world consequences and thanks so much to everyone who's written to us and asked about this because what we're seeing is the genesis of a legend one of the most successful or most well known legends in the digital age how far will it go you know what else will happen those are the questions that are going to be up to future historians and you know maybe if we live long enough you and I but in the meantime thank you so much for watching we're getting out of here we're working on a very special episode for you this Halloween and as you know Matt and I always try to do something a little bit different so check out our audio podcast we hope that you will find it interesting in the meantime I would like to hear your feedback what do you think about Slenderman are there any other internet urban legends that we should look into let us know in the comments below and if you'd like to recommend a upcoming topic for us or feedback on something we've already done or see the stories we look at that don't always make it to the air for one reason or another follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we are conspiracy stuff if you want to write to us directly we'd love to hear from you our email address is conspiracy at howstuffworks.com
yeah that's great you might get some coffee sure yeah you so you're just gonna leave
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Impossibly tall, lingering in the edges of photographs throughout history, Slender Man has become one of the most well known urban legends of the digital age. But how did the story start, and how has it moved from the virtual domain of online forums to the physical world?
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