Note: this article is about the main being focused on in the mythos. For the unrelated being based on him from MarbleHornets, see The Operator
Slender Man, The Tall Man, The Thin Man, Der Schlanker Mann, Fear Dubh, Schlankwald, Slendy, Slenderman, The Pale One, The White King, Master, Black King
The internet popularity of Slender Man has spawned a massive amount of interconnected ARGs, collectively known as the Slender Man Mythos.
In almost every description Slender Man's basic attributes will vary greatly, however several basic traits are typical of his behavior. He is shown to behave in a very passive aggressive manner, stalking targets for years at a time, torturing his target mentally for various unknown reasons. He is rarely ever shown in a benevolent light and is typically shown as a malevolent force. This behavioral pattern has an uncertain reasoning behind it, and exactly why he behaves in such a way has yet to be fully ascertained.
The most important factor about Slender Man is the mystery. He lives unlike any human being despite having a similar appearance to one. It is uncertain if he is social, or even understands human languages or behaviors, nor why it is humans appear to be his main target. His targets will typically behave in off ways as if possessed, but whether their psychosis is causing them to speak for him or for themselves isn't entirely certain either.Slender Man's appearance is variable as the years go on, but as of to date the most recent appearance is that of an abnormally tall human with long arms and no face whom is wearing a business suit. Again it is uncertain if his suit is real cloth or some form of skin molded into such an appearance. If it is the former, this would imply an intelligent being attempting to try to blend in. If it is the latter, it shows a being whom is extremely adaptive and evolves to match his environment and stick out less (or more).
Slender Man's appearance provokes a wide range of responses, the most common being fear. This is partially due to his extremely towering size over a full grown adult. His behavior also factors into it, being almost completely alien in every concept. Finally, the main fact is he is completely unable to be described in human terms. While a description in words can be given, human language lacks the ability to truly define the entity until such a time as when humans can interact with him (if at all possible). This problem stems from the fact that he operates in a plane of existence further from humans. This is believed to be fourth dimensional space which gives him powers a human cannot understand due to humans living in three dimensions of space and being unable to comprehend the fourth dimension at this time.
In total two major types of Slender Man descriptions exist. The original versions depict him as not only malevolent, but extremely dangerous. He will do odd things such as removing organs and placing them in bags, impaling targets on trees, and aggressively stalking targets after a period of time. A contemporary depiction shows Slender Man as being extremely passive aggressive, often letting a person slowly delve into madness at their situation until being unable to cope. If invited to anger, he will typically charge a target down until caught and vanish with them to unknown locations. This version also shows an odd response to electronic equipment and causes massive problems with audio, surveillance, camera, and other various electronic devices with displays or audio. Sometimes an individual can determine if he is near simply by how certain electronics react such as radios, televisions, or cameras. How powerful this effect is seems to vary, and can either be due to Slender Man's own state of aggression, or other outside factors either inside or beyond Slender Man's control.
In almost every contemporary description, Slender Man is associated with stalking, often for extremely long periods. It is not unusual for a person to be chased by Slender Man for hours, days, months, or even years, however his presence, while variable and not always present, is common and typically happens where the victim is the most comfortable (home, school, work, outdoors, along trusted roads, etc).
One of the most common features of Slender Man often stated amongst fans of the mythos and victims, is that he will chase down targets who reach a certain level of understanding of him. The amount seems to vary person-to-person, but it appears one must view him in his entirety from footage or encounters with a person he is already chasing, spreading in a memetic style as such. Basic researching and collecting images does not appear to induce this, the individual has to delve into the Slender Man in an almost obsessive way.
Main page: Abilities of the Slender Man
Slender Man's original abilities included invisibility to select people, adult humans, or anyone without use of a camera, the ability to change height and body shape, the ability to shape its arms into tentacles, and the ability to sprout tentacle-like appendages from its back and shoulders to be used as additional arms or legs (or simply to instil fear into its prey). Many stories seem to indicate that it can control a person's mind, which became the basis for the Proxies in the video ARG, a trend that would later spread to Slenderblogs. Slender Man also had connections to children, with many of the original stories revolving around disappearing children or featured Slender Man being sighted in photos with children.
As more stories came forth, however, the use of tentacles and tentacle-like appendages became less common, and the invisibility was limited or eliminated depending on the storyteller. Some stories even furthered it and claimed he was entirely invisible without the use of electronic devices.
EMH, TT, ML, and DH all contain some sort of video and/or audio distortion, indicating that Slender Man has some sort of effect on modern digital instruments. This does not appear in any of the original accounts- however these mostly make use of photographs and video of primarily lower-tech varieties. EMH has applied this distortion to be the effect of Sigma Radiation, a radiation given off by Slender Man and the Rake. Sigma Radiation is also contagious, as it entered Evan's blood-stream when his arm is brutally maimed by The Rake
EMH and ML also make use of "Slender Walking", a term created to describe Slender Man's apparent teleportation, appearing, and disappearing at will. EMH independently indicates the use of selective invisibility to groups or individuals through head tilting, and also spacetime warping/teleportation between locations. Similar abilities were seen in early Slender Man accounts. EMH also hints at his effect on a person's mental health or control of it.
Certain contemporary views can see his movement as either heavily limited or impaired, as if he is incapable of moving his body properly. As such, his movement can be anything from standing still, to rapidly teleporating without any coherency to his movements or position, often teleporting several dozen times to various locations in a few seconds. He can supposedly teleport closer to a target, further away, and everything inbetween. His movements do not seem to indicate his lethality, as he is both incredibly dangerous standing still and teleporting about. It is important to note that despite his erratic movements, he will often stay within several dozen feet of a target he has located regardless of how much distance they try to put.
He appears to be able to follow any and all targets regardless of where they go, where they hide, and how they hide. It isn't certain how he does this, but he appears to keep an almost perfect trace on any target he follows despite not using any technology or visible means of doing so.
Canon History and Information
See page: Slender Man in Mythology and Culture
For any Non canon abilities and descriptions, please see Unconfirmed Slenderman Assumptions
Slender Man has no exactly defined or specified history, however contributors have placed early sightings of Slender Man-like beings in early 1600s Germany and before, where it took the dress of a knight or royal figure. Germanic fairy tales and mythology also makes use of the creatures to be used as cautionary tales for children.
Photographs from the early 1900s were the next confirmed reports, where imagery of Slender Man can be found in classical black and white and sepia imagery. Reports from this time indicate sightings in America, the UK, and Russia, as well as reports of child disappearances.
By the mid-1900s, some rare run-ins occurred in the war zones in Germany, apparently Slender Man's native land. Soldiers were the primary targets here. In America and Canada, reports of missing skiers and children appeared, coming from forested areas of the nations.
After a spree of building burnings from unknown causes, several deaths and a few surviving witnesses, it could be gathered that the Slender Man had the following traits:
- Slender Man will find interest in a victim for reasons unknown
- It would then contact the victim, if it is a child, presenting itself as friendly
- The adults he stalks have a common trait: they have all been through a terrible tragedy in their life, even if the tragedy was made by Slender Man directly
- If an adult, it would stalk the victim for long amounts of time causing what is known as "Slender sickness" causing massive paranoia, nose bleeds, nightmares, hallucinations appearing to only the sick person, and many other dangerous symptoms.
- Eventually, it would abduct the victim into nearby forest, where they would be killed.
- In 'messy' cases, it may remove evidence of its existence by causing fire of their home, place of work, or school
Death of the victim originally occurred through an odd means- the victim would be impaled on branches of very tall trees while still alive, and bleed to death. The organs would be individually removed, then placed in plastic bags. They would then be replaced into the body in their original positions, plus the plastic bags. The victims' corpses do not show any sign of a struggle. As time has gone on, this practice has seemingly been abandoned.
In the late 1990s, technology shed more light on the creature through the use of commonplace cameras and camcorders. Slender Man was recorded and photographed stalking potential victims many times.
In the late 2000s to early 2010s, several individuals recorded ongoing stalking and attack scenarios of themselves and their friends. These video accounts are codenamed Marble Hornets, EverymanHYBRID, DarkHarvest00, MLAndersen0, and TribeTwelve. As well as certain Rivn videos.
The new foray into Slender Man's powers, abilities, and attacks have shown drastic difference from his original behaviors. The original desire to impale targets on trees, his rather aggressive attitude, and attacking mainly children have been altered. It appears he seems to enjoy targeting humans who have seen him in childhood and following them for years. He appears to do so in such a way that the target is unaware of his presence for potentially months, years, or even decades, and typically won't be aware at any point in time until it is far too late. In certain scenarios, the victims don't even realize they are spreading his presence.
His behavior is extremely passive aggressive, where he stalks, follows, and torments an individual by repeatedly showing his presence. He will typically do so in invasive ways, such as appearing inside someone's house, outside their home, on roads they travel, at their place of work when they are alone, or while the target is sleeping. This will create a general unease of the target, as the invasion of an entity in their own safety zone will begin sparking incredible paranoia. Most often he won't attack the target for extended periods, instead just following the target and tormenting them. This period can last anywhere from several minutes to years. It has been noticed multiple times that the longer an individual is stalked and encountering the Slender Man the more their mental health decreases. This is heavily believed to be an effect of Slender Sickness which causes massive Paranoia along with Nightmares, Coughs, Violent Convulsions, Vomiting, Radiation Exposure, The Cold, Amnesia, Nose Bleeds, Difficulty Swallowing, Exhaustion, Hallucinations etc. All of these symptoms together could greatly effect a individual's mental health or it simply be Slender Man's paranormal appearance but the legitimate reason behind Slender Man's control or effect over a human's mental health is currently unexplained.
The behavior of taking organs out or impaling targets have been long forgotten. If his new modus operandi is to be believed, the target is taken away with no traces whatsoever. The target will never be found, nor are any traces. Thus his new method of killing targets is unknown, as no victim is ever found. The victim will typically disappear by him/herself, thus these attacks are unrecorded and unknown. What little camera footage has been found shows incredible distortion on them in typical cases, making it nearly impossible to understand exactly what he has done. To date it is unknown where his victims go, or what he does with them after this.
One of the most powerful new traits Slender Man will typically employ seems to be some form of inhibiting memory loss. Like Slender Sickness, this effect can be nearly immediate just on close contact with him, although it seems to vary as to exactly how powerful. In some cases individuals will forget the past few minutes, however extended contact has led people to awakening in locations they are uncertain of due to running from Slender Man and their brain beginning to write memory and restore consciousness after a given period of time. In some cases, it is believed Slender Man himself will deposit a victim in an unknown location and leave them to awaken after an attack (possibly to continue stalking them some more). This effect is akin to Slender Sickness, but is the most powerful effect of the sickness to date.
Victims of extended periods will note excessive damage to their social, physical, and career life. Typically individuals will show massive moods swings and constant irritation, not to mention will lose track of large periods of time, making communication with friends or holding down steady work difficult, as memory losses could be as long as several weeks or months until the individual awakens and attempts to return to their life only to find it ruined. Despite this, Slender Man will continue his behavior.
Relationship with Children
The Slender Man has some form of preference with children. In the Original Mythos, its relationship with children is one of its most prominent traits. His exact preference and specification for children is uncertain, but theories exist across spans of every possible assumption, with a few basic but unproven ones being:
- Slender Man wins over the confidence of children, but adults are repulsed by fear.
- Slender Man wins the child over by fear, slowly taking them.
- Slender Man brainwashes the child.
- Slender Man stalks the child until they are alone.
- Children are easier for Slender Man to hunt.
- He gains the child's trust before killing them instantly.
Virtually any explanation could also be put in place, but since no bodies have ever been found in contemporary tales, and classic tales failed to mention specifications over children and their fates, it's uncertain why Slender Man chases children.
Locations he frequents
Slender Man is most commonly depicted as being found in certain locations, specifically places that are deserted, derelict, cause fear and generally make it rather difficult to avoid him. Slender Man is most commonly found in forests, mostly because he can easily blend in with the trees in the background, including using his tentacles as branches, and also due to the fact that forests are quiet and easy to get lost in. Examples of these locations would be Slender: The Eight Pages, Slender: The Arrival, and Slender Rising which depict a fictional encounter with Slender Man.
Slender Man may also be found in abandoned or derelict locations, such as graveyards, old houses, ghost towns or mansions. This may be so he can hide behind walls and doors until he ambushes the victim.
Slender Man makes association with several groups, individuals, or creatures.
The least known of these is the unknown organization tracking, observing, or involved with Slender Man, whose identity or name is yet to be confirmed. The Organization appears only in early Slenderman written accounts, and makes an (assumed) appearance in only one ARG, DarkHarvest00. Optic Nerve is its supposed name.
Slender Man has links to many Proxies, or insane individuals under its control or influence. The nature of Proxies, their workings, etc, are yet unknown, however Proxies make appearances in EMH as HABIT, and TT as Observer. Slender Man has also spawned many philosophical and theoretical cults made up of uninfluenced but aware individuals, such as in DarkHarvest00.
The Rake is the name given to another mystery creature that is somehow linked or associated with Slender Man. The Rake has a far shorter history, and only real appearance of association with Slender Man or a Proxy is through the video accounts of EMH.
Out of universe
Trivia and Pop Culture
- The Enderman creatures introduced into the game Minecraft during the adventure update take some inspiration from the Slender Man, but act differently in that they move blocks around with its freakishly long arms & acts similar to the Weeping Angels from Seasons 3, 5 and 7 of the Doctor Who television series. Endermens' actions may also be based off of SCP-173 of the SCP Foundation series, and their appearance similar to SCP-096, which also has a slight resemblance to Slender Man. They also have the ability to teleport and will attack if seen by the player.
- Also in the Doctor Who television series, the season 6 creatures known as The Silence are visually quite similar to Slender Man, having bald heads, pale skin and no faces, and wearing suits.
- Slender Man also makes a cameo appearance in the music video of "Equinox" by Skrillex. Its presumed that the young girl in the video is a Proxy being controlled by Slender Man in order to kill the child molester stalking the young girl.
- Slender Man, by definition, violates the square-cube law as his volume does not necessarily increase in proportion to his body size, as his spacial occupation is very undetermined and variable
- 'The Gentlemen' are demons in the fourth season of Buffy. They are very similar to the Slender Man, possessing a tall, thin, frame, suits, have bald heads and pale skin.
- Slender Man is the focus of the game Slender. A common misconception amongst individuals who are uneducated about the mythos suggest it to be the other way around.
- One common misconception is that Slender Man operates in a wavelength of time and space, when in reality the fourth dimension has nothing to do with time.
- It is interesting to note that Slender Man is often attributed to being male, a stark contrast to a majority of folktales, legends, myths, and urban tales, which often either depict demonic entities as either female or feral animals that need not be classified by gender.
The Slender Nation is a network of various places to discuss Slender Man, including a partly developed Wiki. They currently are most known for their interactions with people involved in Slenderman mythos, and in their development of Core Theory.
Unifiction is undoubtedly the largest discussion zone for the Slender Man mythos' video ARGs. Their Marble Hornets and Slender Man Mythossections of their forums attract thousands of posts every week.