Have You Seen The Slender Man?

By on April 9, 2013 // Yesterday's Myths & Mysteries // 7 Comments

How do urban legends begin?

Are they just stories? Or do they arrive through some sliver of truth, like escaped serial killers or accidental hangings?

Sometimes, only sometimes, they simply appear.


“we didn’t want to go, we didn’t want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time…”

1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.

The Slender Man Watches

One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as “The Slender Man”. Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence.

1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13th, 1986.

Who Is The Slender Man?

The Slender Man is no doubt a product of the Internet. In 2009, a thread appeared on the Something Awful forums titled “Create Paranormal Images,” which tasked members with creating spooky photos they could pass off as actual paranormal evidence.

One user posted the two images and captions above, and an urban legend was born.


More pictures and stories followed, tracing the legend of the Slender Man, a tall, featureless creature in a black suit and tie.

Often portrayed with something like tentacles emanating from his hands, or even multiple limbs, the Slender Man is pale and ill-defined, seemingly found wherever children may be near. No one knows exactly what he’s up to.

A strange figure lurking in the shadows, intentions unknown.


The less said, the better.

Well, now here’s a question…

Is The Slender Man Real?

Just spend a moment browsing for the Slender Man on your favorite search engine, and you’ll see many people wondering if he is, in fact, real.

It’s an odd question that deserves an odd answer.

The Slender Man Wiki provides several possible explanations for what, exactly, the Slender Man is, based on his storied history and the variety of interpretations. Perhaps he’s a trans-dimensional being, or something even more exotic, like the so-called Quantum Theory:

“…sophisticated versions of quantum theory suggest that Slenderman is himself a sort of natural embodiment of probability, a fundamental substratum that, although seemingly composed of billions of particles like humans, acts as a single quantum particle.”


But the more compelling possibility is that the Slender Man is quite real, and has actually been with us since the dawn of mankind.

That’s an odd statement, but have we not always been followed by stories of bogeymen and shadow people?

People around the world have witnessed The Hat Man, for example — that tall phantom wearing a top hat, blink and he’s gone. Shadow people, too, those dark figures that seem to appear in your peripheral vision, often a sign of bad things to come. And, given the presence of children in the Slender Man mythos, I can’t help but think back to the haunting stories of the Black Eyed Kids.

The Slender Man, if nothing else, is a modern twist on traditional folkore and urban legends.

The Tupla Effect


Even in the early days of the Slender Man, though, people wondered if his popularity would have a strange effect, suggesting that this creature of myth may very well become a tulpa, something real.

In certain esoteric circles, it’s believed that when enough people imagine and give thought to something, it’s possible that these thoughts may take on a physical form, known as a “thoughtform.”

A tulpa is a small-scale thoughtform, usually produced by an individual or small group, like a poltergeist. The Philip Aylesford experiment is a good example of this.

An egregore, on the other hand, is something much greater, on the scale of nations or corporations, shared ideas by vast numbers of people. You don’t even have to be aware that you’re contributing to the formation of an egregore; you need only be part of the collective consciousness.

Today there’s fan art, video games, alternate reality games, creepypastas, and even a popular YouTube series based on The Slender Man. There are also a variety of Slender Man types, if you will, different approaches to the myth. He has become very much a part of Internet culture.

Could we be inadvertently creating our own nightmare? Is the Slender Man a variation on old myths? Is it something new?

Tales of the bogeyman. Tales of the shadows. Something dark left over from our past.

I can only ask: Have you seen the Slender Man?

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About the Author

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.


    Wait can slender man haunt?

    • Dean Ratzloff

      yes he can, it is common for him to do so, I myself, glimpse him every so often

  • Mrs.Anon

    I have seen him in my dreams, he sends shivvers down my spine, but it’s strange because his presence is comforting in a wierd way, like I can’t avoid something, and it’s going to happen anyway. He gripped my shoulder and afterwards I’ve had a shoulder knot, I don’t get injuries like this and this one hasn’t gone away.
    I would say this publicly but I’ve always felt people ridicule what they haven’t seen yet.

  • MATEYos

    I watched a lot of documentaries with Slenderman on the internet, and one night I woke up after a nightmare and I saw him standing in front of my bed for a second, than I closed my eyes and I scram. My mom came to see what happened, but I was too scared to talk. After my mon left I opened my eyes and I looked at the open door of my room and I swear I saw him there for another second. The next day I became paranoic and I started to take pictures at the windows in my classroom and I saw in the first one a something black, like a floating transparrent suit with a grey blank face. I wasn’t looking at the camera when I took the photo, I was looking directly at that place, and I swear there was nothing visible there that was loocking like what I saw later on the picture. There were many of my friends looking there at the same place when I took the picture; they didn’t see anything there too. After that I showed the photo to the girls in my class, that weren’t there when I took the picture and they didn’t know what slender man is ant they said: “Wow it’s looking like someone over there but it’s a bit transparent.” ,or: “Wtf? What the hell is doing a man into a suit over that car?”, or: “It’s nothing there….wait a bit is someone, yes, I see it , unclearly. The next day I took another picture like that (only 2 from over 30 tries). The third day I was talking with a schoolmate who was knowing only abot the game and about the mith about a tall man that is killing people who rnter the woods he live in, but nothing about the mental power of him. He told me that he feel watched when he was with me. I asked him what he exactly feels and he told me, for examplethat he saw a giant spider jumping on the school. He was really scared and I knew what was all about….The following days I was fellin more watched I had more nightmares, I couldn’t sleep, and I knowed that It’s going to finish soon. Fortunately I found that the only way to escape him is to think that he doesn’t exist because to belive in Slenderman is a weakness against him and he is using that weakness against you.

    • Dean Ratzloff

      actually, he is a tulpa, he only comes after someone after he targets someone, so he simply just didn’t find interest in you or something, I tried to do that, and I still see him

  • this is my name

    slendys weakness is holy water or holy crosses

  • Gallumph

    Okay, so this is me reaching out for some answers:

    Like most people I was blissfully unaware of the Slenderman phenomenon until it became highlighted in the media. Even then it was a couple of years before I ran across the image and story. The picture sent a very cold chill through me and brought a memory to light that I had to stop thinking about because it had no explanation.

    When I was five years old my mother and I were camping (I’m not certain where, though most likely in Massachusetts) and because it was hot we had the flap unzipped so that we had the sort-of mesh window that tents often have. I was not sleeping, I was awake and playing with plastic animals. I’m not sure what caused me to look out of the tent, a noise perhaps or maybe just because my head happened to turn that way.

    I have tried for years to erase this image from my nightmares. I am nearly thirty and I still have trouble coping with what I saw.

    It was a tall man, his head almost touching the tree line. In the early morning light he looked greenish. It DID have a face but the eyes were either vacant or just not there. Every so often he would take a step forward. I woke my mother up, screaming, pleading. It took a lot of begging but she agreed to sleep in the car. She would not leave the place like I was asking and would not believe that I had not been dreaming. I was five and my communication skills were limited, so I kept repeating, He’s made of trees! He’s coming out of the trees!” Our windshield was facing the place I had seen him and there I sat wide eyed while my mother slept in driver’s seat. I could still see him but he only took one more step toward me. I woke her up, or tried to, several more times. She would not listen to me. I tried to describe what I was seeing but the best I could come up with was “Abraham Lincoln with no eyes, made of trees coming out of the trees”. And while this may sound comical, The image strikes fear in me even today. My mother does not remember where we were but remembers my reaction. She still will not believe I was not dreaming.

    So I ask you, people of this forum. Am I insane? Was I really dreaming like my mother believes? Or has anyone seen something similar?

    I really do not write things like this for fun. I haven’t been able to sleep since seeing these images of Slenderman. One or two might be a well done hoax, but there are countless images and accounts from around the world. Some are fakes, sure. Maybe even most. But a few are hard to deny. Help me out. I want to know what I saw coming out of the trees.