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Slender playground

1983. Photographer presumed dead.

The Slender Man is an alleged paranormal figure purported to have been in existence for centuries, covering a large geographic area. Believers in the Slender Man connect his appearances with many other legends around the world, including; Fear Dubh (or, The Dark Man) in Scotland, the Dutch Takkenmann (Branch Man), and the German legend of Der Großmann or Der Grosse Mann (the Tall Man).

Appearance

The Slender Man is a being, male in appearance, with extremely long, slender arms and legs. He also appears to have 4 to 8 long, black tentacles that protrude from his back. Different photographs and enthusiasts disagree on this fact, so it is theorized he can 'contract' these tentacles at will.

He is described as wearing a black suit, strikingly similar to the visage of the notorious Men In Black. As the name suggests, he appears very thin. He is able to stretch his limbs and torso to inhuman lengths in order to induce fear and ensnare his prey. Once his arms are outstretched, his victims are put into something of a hypnotized state, where they are utterly helpless to stop themselves from walking towards him.

He is also able to create tendrils from his fingers and back that he uses to walk on, in a similar fashion to Doctor Octopus. His superhuman stretching ability can also be seen as similar to Mr. Fantastic.

Whether he absorbs, kills, or merely takes his victims to an undisclosed location or dimension is unknown, as there are never any bodies or evidence left behind in his wake to deduce a definite conclusion from.

The Slender Man by Pirate Cashoo

His face is pale and slightly ghostly; it almost appears to have been wrapped in a type of gauze or cloth. His facial features are an object of debate. Many people believe that his face looks different to each person, if it is ever seen at all.

He is sometimes portrayed as wearing a hat, which can be a bowler, fedora, or even a top hat. He may also be seen wearing a long, flowing necktie or scarf, which is either red or grey.

He often keeps his hands crossed politely behind his back or hanging loosely at his sides. His suit is black, sometimes pinstriped in artwork, a common misconception thanks to the similar Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas. He has long coattails, which he lets flow proudly. He wears long dress shoes, which are always shined a perfect, gleaming black.

Behavior

Much of the fascination with Slender Man is rooted in the overall aura of mystery he is wrapped in. Despite the fact that it is rumored he kills children almost exclusively, it is difficult to say whether or not his only objective is slaughter.

Oftentimes, it is reported that he can be found in sections of woods, which generally tend to be suburban. He also has been seen with large groups of children, as many photographs portray. It is commonly thought that he resides in woods and forests, and preys on children from there. He seems unconcerned with being exposed in the daylight or captured in photos.

It is often thought as well that he enjoys stalking people who become overly paranoid about his existence, purposefully giving them glimpses of himself in order to further frighten them. For this reason, it seems like Slenderman very much enjoys psychologically torturing his victims.

He also appears to float or drift around rather than walk, which suggests the possibility of him being an ethereal entity rather than a creature or man. This would also explain why he is able to remain mobile in spite of his poorly proportioned body.

IMG 7176 copy

Even though Slender Man was fabricated on the SomethingAwful forums, some people have claimed sightings. He is apparently seen mostly at night, peering into open windows and walking out in front of lone motorists on secluded roads.

His main intentions appear to be kidnapping children, as when he is seen near them in photographs, they usually disappear shortly afterwards. The Slender Man has also inspired many stories, such as those of Marble Hornets.

In the end, though, his purpose remains unknown.

Historical References

Brazilian Cave Paintings

Slender man cave painting

The earliest argued reference to the legend of the Slender Man 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.

Egyptian Hieroglyphs

The next known possible allusion to the Slender Man comes from around 3100 BC in lower Egypt. References to the "Thief of the Gods" or the "Thief of Kuk" became commonplace during the reign of Pharaoh Wazner. Hieroglyphic carvings representing the Thief were found in the pharaoh's tomb, who was rumored to have had some kind of encounter with the entity. The carvings resemble a strange figure with multiple upper limbs, one that has never been found in any other hieroglyph language.

German Woodcuts

Derritter1

Renowned German woodcutter Hans Freckenberg created at least two woodcuts featuring a character he described as Der Ritter (The Knight) during the mid-sixteenth century, which were eventually discovered in Halstberg Castle in 1883.

Whilst Freckenberg was well-known for his realistic depiction of human anatomy - something that was unusual among woodcuts of the time - these pictures featured a skeletal, multi-limbed character. Historians are unsure of its exact symbolic nature. Some claim it is a personification of the religious wars that raged in Europe at the time, while others say it represents the little-known plagues that have been believed to be the reason for the mysterious abandoning of the Halstberg Castle, as well as the nearby village, in 1543.

However, many insist that Freckenberg was attempting to represent "Der Großmann" (the Tall Man). According to legend, he was a fairy who lived in the Black Forest. Bad children who crept into the woods at night would be relentlessly chased by Der Großmann, who wouldn't leave them be until he either caught them or they were forced to tell their parents of their wrongdoing. There is a chilling account from an old journal of this era, dated to about 1702:

My child, my Lars… he is gone. Taken from his bed. The only thing we found was a scrap of black clothing. It feels like cotton, but it is softer… thicker. Lars came into my bedroom yesterday, screaming at the top of his lungs that "The angel is outside!" I asked him what he was talking about, and he told me some nonsense fairy story about 'Der Großmann'.

He said he went into the groves by our village and found one of my cows dead, hanging from a tree. I thought nothing of it at first… but now, he is gone. We must find Lars, and my family must leave before we are killed. I am sorry, my son… I should have listened. May God forgive me.

Romanian Mythology

There is also a Romanian fairytale which tells the legend of the Tall Man, featuring this description:

"The tall man stood in a clearing, dressed as a nobleman, all in black. Shadows lay over him, dark as cloudy midnight. He had many arms, all long and boneless like snakes, sharp as swords, writhing like worms on nails. He did not speak, but made his intentions known,"

In the fairytale, the Tall Man causes a mother to kill her husband and child, before murdering her.

English Mythology

There is an English myth referring to the "Tree Man", who is said to have a slim body with appendages that looks like tree branches.

He is only known to be seen in the woods, and was used as a story that parents told their children to thwart bad behavior. Quite a few disappearances of children are said to be have been linked to the "Tree Man".

Pastas Involving the Slender Man

More Information

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