The Tendrils of the Slenderman

by David Weatherly Originally published in PARANOIA Issue #59 The Slenderman Imagine a tall figure in a black suit.  His face, if there is one, hidden in the shadows, a glimpse of pale, unnatural skin.  He has impossibly long arms that reach out like slim tendrils grasping at those who get too close.  Strangely, it seems that there are more than just two arms and, octopus like; they move constantly making it difficult to even be sure what you’re seeing.  This figure has been seen in school yards, outside of homes and at sites where disasters have occurred.  He is a nightmare figure, haunting the dreams of many and blamed for the disappearance of both children and adults through the ages.  He is the Slenderman.  But is he real or a complete work of fiction? By most accounts, it seems that the Slenderman was born from something awful, that […] Read More

Slenderman & the Suicide Spirit

If there is one constant in every human society in the world, is that teenage years are never easy. That’s what they call it ‘Adolescence’. For teenagers living in Native American reservations though, on top of all the usual growing pains you and I got to experience, there’s the dealing with endemic problems which have nothing to do with hormones on overdrive, or your first awkward dealings with the opposite sex: Poverty, unemployment, deficient schools, domestic violence, alcoholism and substance abuse, etc; but above all, being part of a culture that has always been relegated and/or denigrated by the usurpers of their land. Which is why it’s not surprising that suicide inside these reservations has been an alarming problem for several decades, especially among the younger generations. By “alarming” I mean that for Native American youths, the suicide rate is more than twicethe national average for other ethnic groups. […] Read More

Slenderman: The Cannock Chase Controversy

You may have seen the recent publicity given to a story coming out of the U.K. of sightings in and around Britain’s Cannock Chase woods, of something described as looking like the legendary “Slenderman.” It’s a fictional character created in June 2009 by Eric Knudsen (using the alias of “Victor Surge,” at the forum section of the Something Awful website), who took his inspiration from the world of horror fiction. The Slenderman (also spelled as Slender Man) is a creepy creature indeed: tall, thin, with long arms, a blank (faceless, even) expression, and wearing a dark suit, it sounds almost like a nightmarish version of the Men in Black. While there is no doubt that Knudsen was the creator of what quickly became a definitive, viral, meme, people have since claimed to have seen the Slenderman in the real world. In other words, so the theory goes, it’s a case of believing in the […] Read More