An example of the distortion caused by The Slender Man

Distortion occurs when the audio and/or video suddenly loses clarity and may become almost impossible to hear or see. One of the earliest examples of this phenomenon is in the Marble Hornets footage. Usually, distortion will occur when the Slender Man is nearby or approaching. The masked figure seen in Marble Hornets footage known as Masky and the mysterious individual labeled ToTheArk appear to be capable of causing shorts in both audio and video. Outside of the mythos, distortion is only possible in electrical devices that take/display pictures/video.

As the mythos has evolved, this has become a trope in and of itself for nearly every ARG and game that has come out after the release of MarbleHornets, and the effects of the distortion are clearly linked to the Slender Man himself. While it is possible that distortion was influenced by MarbleHornets, it is not clear if this trait was present beforehand. 

Types of DistortionEdit


  • Cameras have been known to spontaneously start and stop.
  • White noise interference may suddenly fill the frame and block out the image.
  • The video may seem to "rip", "skip" or "tear".
  • Color tone, brightness and contrast may change dramatically.
  • Color depth may be reduced, and severe pixelation may also occur.
  • Images may become imprinted on both analogue and digital media that were not knowingly filmed.
  • Static may appear on camera


  • White noise interference may also overwhelm the audio track.
  • Large portions of audio may become missing, garbled, reversed or replaced.
  • Voices may become excessively resonant and impossible to discern.
  • Audio may be sped up or slowed down dramatically.
  • Pictures can be made from the jumbled noise.

Causes of DistortionEdit

It has been discovered that distortion occurs primarily in the presence of the Slender Man. Because of this, the presence of distortion is often viewed as circumstantial evidence for the Slender Man's involvement in a situation. In some situations, distortion can potentially be traced to other sources, such as Proxies. In these cases, it is difficult if not impossible to prove that the Slender Man is not nearby.

Some theories have developed to explain why the Slender Man causes distortion include:

  • The Slender Man may produce a strong magnetic field.
  • The Slender Man may be extra-dimensional in nature.
  • The Slender Man may be a product of the human mind, and the distortion as well.
  • The Slender Man may be a digital entity who uses distortion to interact with the physical world.
  • The Slender Man may be producing Sigma Radiation that causes the distortion

None of these theories can be firmly proven or disproved at this time. Most mediums (especially the games) do not delve into the reasons behind this effect, but it is important to know proxies do not seem to have this effect extend, and there is no specific ascertation of why it happens although plenty of speculation exists.