Slender Man has many connections in mythology, folklore, and legend in different civilizations throughout the world, usually with respect to a tall or slender-like creature that stalks its victims at night. Additional attributes that Slender Man shares with historical legendary creatures are its frightening appearance and lack of facial features. Below is a list of some similarities between Slender Man and other mythological creatures.
Europe (in general)
Although Faeries tend to be portrayed as happy little winged people who grant wishes to good little children now, and spelled "Fairy" instead of the original "Faerie." Traditional Folklore Faeries were much more complicated than that. Some Faeries are benevolent and kind, and have wings, but some can be cruel. While some faeries are mischievous and funny, some can be harsh and cruel. Faeries vary greatly in size.
Some Faeries have been known:
- To kidnap children
- To appear different to different people
- To have many names (keeping their true name secret)
- To disguise themselves and other things using faerie glamor (E.G. Kelpies disguise as horses)
- To eat people in some cases (E.G. Kelpies)
- To cause disease to those they encounter
- To be able to change their form at will
- To put people in a trance or put a person completely under their control
- Have odd features (such as oversized or non-existent facial features such as noses or mouths, or lack of emotion)
- Don't always have wings (and do not require them for flight)
- To be visible only to certain people
- To seemingly teleport
- Trick humans into trusting them before leading them into some sort of trap
All of the above have also been reported in various Slender Man sightings. E.G. In the original mythos, Slender Man appeared to have a face, but it never appeared on film. This could be the result of an illusion caused by "faerie glamor" that only appears to the human eye, but does not appear on film. Both the original and contemporary mythos share similarities with traditional folklore faeries.
According to Brian Froud, a Faerie's appearance tends to be symbolic of their nature.
Schlankwald is the name of a German poem that translates roughly as “Slim Forest.” Translated by researcher James Rossi, it describes a guardian of the forest who takes children and hunts for those who enter the woodland. The period in which Schlandkwald was written is unknown.
Der Großmann (der Grossmann), or “The Tall Man” is another 16th century German myth with associated woodcuts. Der Grossmann was commonly described as a fairy of the Black Forest who takes away bad children who entered the forest at night, and would stalk them until the child confessed their wrongdoings to a parent. A translated account from 1702 suggests that there was some truth in the tale.
A 1550s dated woodcut, found in Brandenburg, Germany, author unknown, depicts a man in a modern suit with arms like tentacles.
Hans Baldung’s Painting
Hans Baldung was a Renaissance artist who died in 1545. His most famous painting, Three Ages of Woman and Death, portrays a skeletal figure holding an hour glass. In 2003, when undergoing x-ray analysis for insurance reasons, it was discovered that the painting was altered early on to remove several extra limbs of the skeletal figure that were originally painted into the picture.
Fear Dubh (the Black Man) is a rare Scottish legend concerning a malevolent entity that haunts footpaths and forests at night. In ancient times, it used to be connected to the Christian devil, but most of its characteristics are closer to that of a primitive Slender Man. It was used to scare small children to stay indoors and keep pesky children from snooping in the woods without their family.
The Clutchbone was a seven-foot monster, stories of whom date back as early as the 1800's in Northern England. Described as being black in color with leathery skin, its head consisted of a lit torch within a large, raised collar of material resembling rawhide. The exceptionally violent nature of the Clutchbone included alleged disappearances, destruction by burning and dismemberment of alleged victims. Lastly, violent events featuring the Clutchbone often followed previous sightings of lightning balls created by severe weather conditions leading some to assume that such a creature might arrive into this dimension or world by way of these natural phenomena.
The Faceless One
The Faceless One is a lullaby that dates back to 18th century Wales. It was created by parents as a way of scaring their children into being obediant, and to warn them away them from the forests, as children often disappeared in the night and were found in the forest, mutilated almost beyond recognition.
- 'Hush, thy childe, do not stray far from the path,
- or The Faceless One shall steal you away to Fairieland.
- He preys on sinful and defiant souls,
- and lurks within the woods.
- He has hands of ebony branches,
- and a touch as soft as silk.
- Fear The Faceless One thy childe,
- for he shall take you to a dark place.
- And what shall become of thou?
- Noone knows, so be good, thy little one-
- Alas! He is here to take thou away!'
The Tall Man
The Tall Man is a Romanian fairy tale with limited popularity during its time. The fairy tale centers on a girl, Sorina, and her mother, who kills her family under control of the Tall Man. The Tall Man is described as being dressed as a nobleman, in all black, with multiple arms like snakes and sharp like swords.
In Russia, folklore existing at least since the early 20th century seems to place a “tall, slender man” in the role of a “corrector”, who would hunt those who existed through strange means- for instance, those who were born without a father.
Bundle is a North American/European myth dealing with a boogeyman-type entity. Bundle is a sort of monster with generic traits that are generally inconsistent. Bundle Stories are tales or stories written about Bundle. The SCP Foundation (A Bundle of Stories (SCP-582)) claims that Bundle is a real “shadowy humanoid” that propagates through people’s awareness of it, like a Tulpa. Simply writing about it, through a Bundle Story, makes it appear in that situation.
The Wendigo is a Algonquian North American legend about thin, skeletal, cannibalistic spirit that are linked to famine and decay. Acting in cannibalism would condemn a person to becoming a Wendigo. It was sometimes described as the following:
"The Wendigo was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tautly over its bones. With its bones pushing out against its skin, its complexion the ash gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the Wendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave. What lips it had were tattered and bloody unclean and suffering from suppuration of the flesh, the Wendigo gave off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption.
In North America, some legends claim that there are “giant spiders” in the swamps that grab victims with their legs and drag them into the depths of the water.
Ghost Stories of the American South
The book "Ghost Stories of the American South" by W.K. McNeil details the story of a tall, skinny, tree-like man who abducts a child from a family in the American South. The story was collected from a 72-year-old man in Berea, Kentucky, in 1963, meaning that the story could date back to the early 20th century.
The Taíno culture, a civilization of pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Carribean, legends often speak of the hupia, or op'a, a nocturnal humanoid without a face that stalks, paralyzes its victims, and drives them insane. The hupia was considered the spirit of the dead in the Taíno religion.
Mujina sightings 1959
In 1959 sightings of a faceless woman referred to as a "Mujina" (although believed to actually have been a Noppera-bo) were reported in Kahala, Hawaii. The creature was sited in the woman's restroom of a theatre, combing her hair. The witness went closer to the woman, and then the Mujina turned her head, revealing her lack of face. According to a Wikipedia article about Noppera-bo
"Noted Hawaiian historian, folklorist and author Glen Grant, in a 1981 radio interview dismissed the story as rumor, only to be called by the witness herself, who gave more details on the event, including the previously unreported detail that the mujina in question had red hair."
Other sightings have also allegedly occurred.
In Japan, the noppera-bō, also known as zumbera-bō, or nopperabou, is a faceless ghost, or yōkai, whose legendary appearance is described as "deeply terrifying," and which takes delight in terrifying humans. As John Waters notes in Was It For This?:
The Noppera-bō, or faceless ghost, is a legendary creature of Japanese folklore, a kind of hobgoblin known primarily for frightening humans. The Noppera-bō appears at first as an ordinary human being, sometimes impersonating someone familiar to the victim of the scare, before causing his features to disappear, leaving a blank, smooth sheet of skin where the face ought to be. The archetype of the faceless man relates at once to hope and terror.
A similar Japanese yōkai is the ashinaga-tenaga, a spirit with extremely long arms and legs. Another, more obscure, yōkai, known as the Mikoshi-nyudo, also bears a striking resemblance to Slenderman, having a tall and maleable body and killing humans in wooded areas.
Chinese legend involves a deity known as the hundun, a faceless creature without human senses. Hundun was sometimes described as a wicked humanoid with multiple limbs, the "personification of chaos."
Babylonians, such as the Akkadians and Sumerians, believed in a specific demon called the alû, a "half-man, half-devil" creature without a face. The alû creeps into its victim's bedrooms and terrifies them as they sleep. The alû demon was said to cause loss of consciousness, fixation of the eyes in a stare, and loss of speech.
Antioch, an ancient, magnificient Roman city, was a chief center of early Christianity, as reported in Acts 11:26. South of the city, a citadel at the foot of Mount Silpius displayed a huge carving of a faceless head, which pagans held was Charon, a deity who damned souls to the Underworld.
Brazilian Cave Paintings
The earliest argued reference to the legend is within the cave paintings found in the Serr da Capivara National Park in the Northeast of Brazil, which are believed to date from as far back as 9000 BC. These paintings show a strangely elongated character leading a child by the hand, but make no reference to the extra appendages.
Some Egyptian hieroglyphs seem to portray what could be multi-armed men among other, more usual hieroglyphs. This multi-armed creature is known as the Thief of the Gods.
Some Aztec art appears to depict priests removing hearts of sacrifices with three or more arms. Some Mayan art also depicted Mayan priests as such.
In Mayan mythology, Ceiba trees (huge with long branches) are considered sacred. Legends often link the Ceibas with scary tales and the devil. One tale concerns the story of an evil spirit, disguised as a Ceiba, who would lure drunk men to it. The ya’axche’ wíinik (the Ceiba Man) was a Mayan god who lived in the Ceiba tress who would receive sacrifices by ancient Mayans.
- ↑ Taino Indian Culture. Welcome to Peurto Rico. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Poviones-Bishop, Maria. That Bat and the Guava: Life and Death in the Taino Worldview. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Hupia. Carribbean Mythology. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Noppera-bō. The Obakemono Project. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- ↑ Nopperabou. Scary for Kids. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- ↑ Waters, John. Was It For This?: Why Ireland Lost the Plot. p. 89.
- ↑ Tenaga-Ashinaga. The Obakemono Project. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- ↑ Hundun. Ferrebeekeeper. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- ↑ Cantrell, M. Asher. 11 Scary Evil Monsters From World Religions. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Hurwitz, Siegmund. Lilith the First Eve. p. 39.
- ↑ Finkel, Irving L, et al. Disease in Babylonia. p. 89.
- ↑ Holy Bible, Acts 11:26: "and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that even for a whole year they were gathered together with the church, and taught much people, and that the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
- ↑ Girard, Robert. The Book of Acts - Smart Guide. "The Queen of the East."
- ↑ Pollock, John. The Apostle: A Life of Paul. p. 64.