The Slender Man Mythos

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
"One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze, taken one week earlier. 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. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence."

"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..."

There is an enigmatic figure that hides in the darkness of the world. It is most often seen as a tall, thin man dressed in a formal suit with long, strange arms and a face like a blank slate. Where he comes from is as much a mystery as what he wants.

His presence is associated with paranoia and sometimes a strange sickness, and those who see him are frequently found to be maniacally writing strange messages, and drawing mad scribbles of a dark, faceless figure. It is advised to avoid investigating too much lest you get entrenched too deep... and find yourself the subject of his unwanted interest.

Or, if you prefer: The Slender Man is an internet meme, specifically a Creepypasta, first started by Victor Surge on Something Awful (here). It soon became more popular and mutated into what you see before you today.

There are four main projects that are most commonly associated with the Slender Man mythos:

In addition to many a strange stories from people who appear to have seen him, as well as photographs by people who have not been heard from since. A more-or-less full list can be found at here; the All The Tropes articles for the works can be found in The Slender Man Mythos Stories.

The Alternate Reality Game site Unfiction has a whole forum dedicated to the mythos, and reviews of stories can be found at The Slendy Review blog. Non-story information can be found at Encyclopedia Slenderia and Slenderbloggins. An in-game YouTube channel compileTRUTH also summarises some series. An extensive fan site is in the works, created by one of our tropers.

Sadly, Slender Man burst into mainstream awareness in the summer of 2014 when a pair of twelve-year-old Wisconsin girls stabbed a third girl nineteen times in a misguided attempt to impress The Slender Man, whom they thought to be real. Fortunately, their victim survived the attack and at least one of the attackers was found to be incompetent to stand trial (and possibly mentally ill), which seems to have gone a long way towards preventing an overreaction by self-appointed Moral Guardians against the Mythos.

Not to be confused with The Tall Man, the other Tall Man, The Thin Man or the other Thin Man.


Tropes used in The Slender Man Mythos include:

DISCLAIMER: Reading about Slender Man has been known to result in paranoia, loss of sleep, and the death of you and everyone you hold dear. Anyone who continues to read on is fully accepting the risk that a man in a suit may rip out their favorite organs as a result. I don't want to wind up with any lawsuits from people claiming that it's my fault they were killed. Because then we'd need to figure out how a dead person hires a lawyer, and how to transmit funds to the afterlife, and it would just get really messy legally.

  • Bait and Switch: Some series hide the fact that they even include the Slender Man, most famous of which being Everyman HYBRID, but The Dead Are Watching wins out for even hinting at Slendy for five months of the series run.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Although there's been some question as to whether he's even wearing a suit.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Most stories that have actually finished either go for this or cast doubt on the Slender Man being present at all. Of course, one could consider it unfair to actually defeat a communal character with finality.
  • Batman Gambit: Zero and several others put themselves in harms way intentionally in combat against Slendy, in the hope of evoking enough emotion from the remaining slenderbloggers that they could agree upon a 'canon' story in which he is injured. It didn't work
  • Battle Theme Music: Hosozukuri from Breeze in Monochrome NIGHT has made several songs based on other bloggers, including her song Resolve which is meant to be a battle theme for people fighting against Slendy.
  • Being Watched: He's watching you, always watching!
  • Berserk Button: Shelby calling out the mainstream and a few less but still fairly popular blogs. The shit storm was magnificent and if you really want to see it, well one Blogger took screen caps. Ask him for them anytime ANYTIME
  • Bigger Bad: Some fans speculate that Slendy is only the servant of a more powerful and dangerous being.
  • The Blank: The most common depiction of the Slender Man is missing his face. Among his original attributes was that his face would appear different to every viewer, however; considering this, it's likely that his facelessness on the original photoshops was meant to be some sort of Glamour Failure, but everyone decided to run with him actually being faceless.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Across the different facets of the mythos, it's difficult to say whether the Slender Man can be consistently considered totally evil, to be working toward a discernible goal, or to even be intelligent by our standards. For example, The Tutorial asserts that staying on the third story or up of a building is probably a safe bet, since based on the author's experience Slendy can't comprehend the concept of a human taller than him.
  • Breakout Character: This is how Slendy started off in the original thread.
    • Another character, the Masked Boy (AKA "Masky") has branched off of the Slender Man mythos, primarily from the Marble Hornet videos.
  • By the Eyes of the Blind: Slendy is often portrayed as invisible to the naked eye unless you are his target, although he can usually be picked up on video.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: He likes doing this to people, as Jay, Noah and the HYBRID guys can attest.
  • Caramelldansen Vid: Yes, really. Word is out on whether or not this makes him less scary.
  • Child Eater: At least, he seems to prefer them in his initial incarnation.
    • Most blog and vlog iterations of the mythos, however, seem to imply that he's indifferent as to who he hunts/eats.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe (a.k.a "Tulpa"):
    • Some of the ARGs, such as The Tutorial, claim this is the cause the Slender Man existing in the first place.
    • Meta-example too. Some forumgoers began wondering if their collective imagination could manifest Slender Man to reality.
    • Some characters believe this is the way to kill him.
  • Combat Tentacles: Slendy is sometimes depicted with tentacles supplementing or replacing his arms.
  • Continuity Lock Out: Starting to get there, what with the increasing number and interconnectedness of the various works. Marble Hornets, the major codifier of the Mythos, is a notable exception, as it tells its story in a minimalist manner without referencing any other sources.
  • Daylight Horror: Many vlogs/photoshops take place during the day, making the mythos even creepier in some cases.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Frequently the narrator of the ARG will disappear or meet a bad end, leaving another to figure out the first blogger's password to pick up the torch. Sometimes it's a family member or a close friend, or someone that had been leaving alot of posts in the comments section. Occasionally the new protagonist is a former antagonist.
  • Depending on the Writer: The details concerning the Slender Man's powers, personality, and modus operandi change from story to story.
  • Derivative Differentiation: Early works were known for aping Marble Hornets and Just Another Fool, but the Mythos gradually grew to include a wide variety of stories (as well as the Core Theory).
  • Devil but No God: As of 2010, Slender Man has had no "good" counterpart. This is likely due to the H.P. Lovecraft influence.
    • He may have a (still-evil) opposite in The Rake, however. It's not yet clear whether or not they are enemies though.
    • See the aforementioned "Masky" under Breakout Character...he could be a good or at least less evil counterpart to Slendy, as he seemingly hasn't caused anyone real harm yet, and has in fact removed them from dangerous situations.
    • Somewhat averted, as a non canon counterpart, 'Splendour Man' seems to be benign.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set / Hostile Show Takeover: Frequently both blogs and vlogs get hijacked for an episode or two by an antagonist or a Trickster Mentor, although rarely by Slender Man himself.
  • Don't Go in The Woods: Honestly, half the time he doesn't even bother with the woods. So good luck avoiding everywhere you ever go.
    • Early backstory suggests his first known sighting was in the Black Forest in Germany.
    • Other images show him depicted in Lower Egyptian hieroglyphics, so this may not be the case.
  • The Dragon: Slender Man typically has one per work, sometimes more.
  • Eldritch Abomination: A fairly small-scale one, as abominations go, but that doesn't really help...
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: For some reason, animals aren't crazy about this guy.
  • Evil Laugh: In some stories he occasionally let out a low giggle. It was pretty much decided it was more disturbing for him to be silent, but he did chuckle briefly in entry 23 of Marble Hornets...
  • Evilly Affable: One could argue that his penchant for dressing in suits qualifies him.
  • Expanded Universe: Every single "side-story" counts as this: they all draw off different bits of mythology and references, and his powers (when actually shown) are not totally consistent. But that might make it scarier...
  • Expy: Nearly every blog has some character equivalent to totheark / the Masked Man.
  • The Fair Folk: One of the earliest stories of what Slendy may be; that he's a malevolent fairy that lives in the forest and preys on naughty children.
    • There exist Changeling runs featuring Slender Man as a true fae, or as a group of very similar fae. There is at least one fan campaign that combines fae-Slendy along fae-wellwraiths. And it is horrifying.
  • Fan Nickname: Slendy. Fans of the meme are also known as Slender fans.
  • Filler: Frequent in all the video series and blogs, but also justified: the bloggers are putting up all the mundane stuff from their lives or of their projects, except Slender Man just so happened to get involved. This is becoming less common now that more blogs are starting with the protagonist already aware that they're being stalked by The Slender Man.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • If there's a video blog series that features a project being abandoned because Slender Man got involved, you can thank Marble Hornets for that. If there's a written blog that gradually takes on a more insane tone after Slendy gets involved, culminating in the current blogging character being replaced by a friend who is not so deeply entrenched in the madness, you can thank Just Another Fool for that.
    • Also from Marble Hornets:
      • Video distortion occurring whenever Slendy or one of his agents is close at hand, sometimes going as far as happening whenever he comes into frame (it's a useful tool since distortion can be used to hide many of the obviously fake aspects of whatever prop or costume is being used in that series).
      • The Operator Symbol, which has become a central symbol in the mythos.
      • Slendersickness: Warning, prolonged exposure to Tall Dark and Faceless can lead to chronic respiratory problems and related symptoms.
      • Some mysterious (often masked) yet apparently human figure related to Slender Man in some way (whether or not he is an actual agent of Slendy is debatable since Marble Hornets never explicitly states that this is the case). Extra points if the series is a vlog and the figure in question creates a separate Youtube account for posting video responses.
    • Unsure if this was worked out beforehand, but when Nessa of Enter Light was taken by proxies and eventually turned into a slenderpuppet, several other bloggers immediately began posting about being attacked.
    • The burgeoning numbers of Cliché Storm blogs even led to the Unfiction forum members creating Slenderblog Bingo.
  • Foreshadowing: If any character gives a brief blurb about childhood fears or skeletons in the closet, expect Slendy to be directly connected to all of them.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • This is an invoked given, what with Slender Man's behind-the-scenes style making it where both the characters and readers don't realize that he's involved in certain situations until much later.
    • There's also the frightening implications that come up in blogs with an Unreliable Narrator, namely, that the protagonist that we've gotten so attached to has been manipulating us into viewing things from his or her warped perspective.
    • The sheer number of monsters in unrelated works that are reminiscent of Slendy is just a bit unsettling. This includes the Tall Man, the Gentlemen, the Harrowing, the Terrible Trivium, the Stranger in the Pallid Mask, the Silence-- hell, go far enough back and you get the noppera-bo of Japanese myth.
      • Go back really far, and you get the gurumuka of the Australian Aborigines on Groote Eylandt, sort of a cross between Slendy and a vampire... which is unnerving when you consider the number of Slenderblogs set in Australia, as well as the purported Australian origins of the first two photos.
  • Genre Busting: While the majority of stories in the Mythos follow the standard Cosmic Horror Story style, a growing number have begun to mash together genres which one wouldn't normally associate with Slender Man; for example:
  • Hazardous Water: The Slender Man has some form of connection to water. Can You See the Words plays it the hardest by far--every reference to water is struck out (when asked about this by a reader, the protagonist simply replies with something vague about correcting mistakes) and the blog links to worldwide news reports on floods.
  • Heroic BSOD: Zero has broken down several times in his blogs, such as when Nessa is taken, and again when Redlight starts ranting.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Used in Tribe Twelve and X Mandelbrot. Both series protagonists are quite disturbed at what they missed.
  • Historical In-Joke: Being in the ARG scene, many blogs/vlogs invoke real-life places or urban legends (like The Rake; see Shout-Out). Often, this makes things much more effective.
    • Everyman HYBRID visits Centralia at one point. Centralia was the inspiration for the film version of Silent Hill, and the series has made an occasional reference to Silent Hill itself. The video itself contains a reference to Silent Hill 3, as seen here. (For reference.)
    • Make It Count mentioned Rocks State Park in Maryland as a location, and also talks about the lack of cell service. A reader who lives in the area vouched for the accuracy of this.
  • Hollywood Atlas: Averted, as the authors of the mythos set their stories where they live and write it sepcifically to be as normal and real as possible. None of the Australian stories feature stereotypes of any kind, and the one set in England barely even acknowledges their location.
  • Horror Struck: Unsurprisingly, this happens quite a lot.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Provides the trope page image, for good reason.
  • I Have Many Names: The Slender Man is often given additional or new names, such as "The Operator" in Marble Hornets.
  • Invisible to Normals: More than one ARG has implied that only Slendy's targets can actually see him in real time; however, he will always appear on digital video unless he, say, breaks the camera like in Seeking Truth. This leads to protagonists reviewing video and wondering why they didn't notice the surprisingly obvious ten foot-tall faceless man when they actually shot said video.
    • A variation shows up in one of the earlier Marble Hornets (Entry #12): The crew filming near the Tower see Slendy standing in the open but none of them seem to notice how he's eight feet tall, the fact that he has no face, or the way his arms dangle in the most chilling fashion.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Frequent.
  • Land Down Under: The page picture was "taken" from the City of Stirling Library Collection. Stirling is in Perth, Western Australia.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Slender Man is capable of doing this to people. Frap and Pete can attest.
  • Last-Note Nightmare: Several videos end with these.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: Newer works have an unfortunate tendency to detail major plot points from older works (especially Marble Hornets and Just Another Fool).
  • Lean and Mean: Very, very lean. Very, very mean.
  • Leitmotif: Audio distortion, although like anything else, usage in the stories varies.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: You can be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that some stories may be real accounts dressed up as fiction....
  • Logic Bomb: According to Wild Mass Guessing, he only exists if you're thinking about him. Now try not to think about him. However, he can only be seen by those who already know him. So how did people get to know him in the first place? Before its apparent demise, A (of A Lack of Lexicon/Defining?) suggests that the creator of Slender Man made something similar to the Slender Man, which it decided to use as the source of its power, or that it was a coincidence.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Characters that have been driven insane by Slender Man have started to post comments on other Slender-blogs, taunting both the protagonists and their attempts to stay alive in their struggles against Slendy. Also, M of The Tutorial has been giving the protagonists encouragement and words of advice.
    • Many Slenderblogs are so intertwined that readers have to follow at least nine or ten to have any idea what's going on.
    • This reached its logical conclusion with an actual crossover event between many blogs in late November, wherein Slender Man and his minions launched a series of attacks against the bloggers.
    • The Everyman HYBRID team seems to have stumbled upon the Rake in "Cops Checked, no Body"
    • Zeke and Noah guest-starred in the Everyman HYBRID chatroom on Sunday, March 20, along with EMH boys Jeff and Evan.
    • Ron from Drew's Box 'o' Stuff, Pete from Search and Reveal, Clarice from Unchained, Slice from Live in the Light, Yggdrasil Core/Hellfire from Copper and Crome, Black Leaf and Al(x)nw from The Land of Black Leaves and Casting Aside My Sins, and Liam and Johnny from Bordorline all teamed up for one hell of a crossover in Febuary and March.
    • Recent events in the vlog/blog Sevenshot Kid seem to indicate that the series takes place in the same universe as John Dies at the End and that the Slender Man is a malevolent shadow man.
    • Tropers, I present to you this diagram courtesy of an Unfiction forum member.
      • Best part about that diagram? For all it's glory and complexity, it's still a SIMPLIFIED version of the crossover web. You'd need several pages to keep track of every single minor crossover that has occurred within the Mythos.
  • Meaningful Background Event: He IS one.
  • Mind Rape: One of the many tools the Slender Man has in his arsenal.
  • Missing Episode: Often both blog and vlog posts disappear, typically without warning. Not all of them return either...
  • Most Writers Are Male/ThereAreNoGirlsOnTheInternet: Played straight in the early days of the mythos, but now mostly averted. There are many blogs and vlogs written by women or starring female characters.
  • Motif: The tensor product symbol (generally called the "Operator symbol" in mythos-related contexts) is a calling card for the Mythos and is typically written as (X) in text. Some in-universe characters (such as M) theorise that it's a Slendy-repellent, while others think it calls Mr. Thin towards them.
  • The Movie: Several different attempts.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Some of the stories state that Slendy only goes multi-armed when he's about to go in for the kill. So basically, if you see him with more than 2 arms, you're screwed.
  • Multiple Choice Past: There's no 'definitive' version of the creature or its backstory, which the creators encourage.
  • Name's the Same: There's a surprisingly large amount of bloggers named or going by the alias of Jay, J, [J], etc.
    • Also Pete and Pete.
    • The name Jeff's popped up a few times, as well as different versions of Elizabeth.
  • The New Russia: The setting of Trembling Dice.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Even though Slender Man was made to be terrifying, he still has quite a fanbase.
    • In-universe, this can be how Slendy ensnares his victims. "Ooh, this is a pretty creepy meme, I'm going to read more..."
  • No Ending: Some of the blogs/video-blogs end quite abruptly, occasionally with the implication that Slendy nabbed the blogger.
  • Noodle Implements: The vast majority of the time, we only see the aftermath of Slender Man's visitations. It's probably for the better, anyway.
  • Noodle People: But you already knew that.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In many of the stories, we see the result of the Slender Man's presence instead of witnessing the events firsthand.
  • Numerological Motif: Strings of identical digits seem to hold some significance with Slender Man.
    • For example, in Entry #26 of Marble Hornets, he appears on camera in Alex's house on April 4 (4/4), 44 seconds after the clock strikes 4:44, and in Entry #29, he appears at the 55 second mark in the 66 second long video. In Just Another Fool, its implied that he attacks Logan at 11:11 on November 11. In Tribe Twelve, in the 'Night Recording' entry, Noah wakes up coughing at 3:33 on the dot, and in the 'dot dash' video from Everyman HYBRID, the old woman that Jeff visits to obtain information lives in room 222, and in that same audio file Jeff discusses a fire that occurred on some day at 5:55.
  • Online Alias: Some of the characters use their "real names", but many of them stick to aliases. J, M and Zero come to mind the most.
  • Ominous Fog: In one of the early stories, Slender Man's touch could melt victims into a mist... and, in fact, was the source of the mist clinging to his home forest. Several of the initial pictures of SM have him partially hidden by fog.
  • One of Us:
    • There is actually a surprising amount of slenderbloggers/commenters who are also tropers. Jean, Genevieve, Sandra, Omega, Zero, Maduin, Andy, Jeff, and Broeckchen, to name just a few of the ones who have actually mentioned the site.
    • Even Reach is a troper; apparently he got into it from a post in Let Us Live where Jeff declares his recent defeat of another Revenant a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • Dr. Cairo of compileTRUTH as well.
    • Even the AI has referenced tropes. When asked to analyze TV Tropes, it simply said, "What the fuck?"
    • Jeff of Everyman HYBRID once mentioned TV Tropes in a ustream, calling it 'a site you will waste hours of your life on'.
    • And now given a new edit on the Troper Tales page, Slender Man itself.
  • Organ Theft: Well, actually, it's more like Organ Borrowing And Haphazardly Replacing.
  • Perception Filter: See By the Eyes of the Blind and Invisible to Normals. It's likely not that he's actually invisible, just those who aren't his targets have their minds tricked into ignoring him.
  • Pet the Dog: He supports the Haiti relief effort, apparently.
  • Playing with Fire: Places that have to do with Slendy tend to inexplicably go up in flames.
  • Psycho Sidekick/Les Collaborateurs/Loony Fan/The Quisling: Occasionally in the stories the protagonist (or the antagonist) will gain the attention of a crazy person. The motives and goals of said crazy person vary, and will sometimes change as the story progresses.
  • Quizzical Tilt: A long standing trait of the Slender Man, usually occurs right before Missing Time or Combat Tentacles
  • Real After All: Or Is It? - There are quite a lot of similarities between the Slender Man and the "Smiling" or "Grinning" Man mythologies. Although the Grinning Man/Indrid Cold has his own mythology, it is possible that the post on Something Awful was inspired a bit by it.
  • Recounted By the Main Characters: Most versions of the Slender Man mythos are reported as if they were real.
  • Right Behind Me: Frequent in the video-blogs.
  • Room Full of Crazy: This is apparently what exposure to Slender Man will do to you, judging by some of the articles.
  • Rule 34: Yes. With Zalgo and Cthulhu. Read it at your own risk. (it's in the "The Pasta" section of the article)
  • Rule of Scary: Beyond being a suit-wearing, too-tall, too-thin humanoid with enormously long arms, there's little consistency to what Slender Man is. For instance, the earliest incarnations had his face vary from viewer to viewer and depicted him forcibly amassing a cult. Neither are common now. Nobody really cares--if it's scary as hell, go with it!
  • Sanity Slippage: Happens to a couple bloggers. Kind of a given by now.
  • Seekers: If the characters don't start out as one of the variations on the list, they frequently will become one as the story progresses.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Pretty much every blog that has ended so far has ended like this.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slice of Life: Due to the nature of journals and blogs, a good portion of the AR Gs and stories tend toward this. Granted, the slice of life includes the occasional bit of weirdness or horror, but most of them still need to work, shop, and interact with people. It could be argued that part of the draw is watching how a regular person goes about his life with addition of the paranormal.
  • Speak of the Devil: It's a common theory that you can only see the Slender Man if you know of him, or if he is captured with technology. So, before reading this page, he could have been standing right behind you. But don't turn around. He only exists if you're thinking about him. Now try not to think about him.
  • Spin-Off:
    • The Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name forums created a less scary version known as Slendercow. It is quite Narmy, and its one true weakness is Sunny D. (These forums are quite cracky, and thus this almost makes sense.)
    • The Fear Mythos
  • Stylistic Suck: The soap opera film project Alex comes up with in Marble Hornets, the mediocre health/workout routine from Everyman HYBRID, and Damien's crappy Slender-blog attempt from Dreams in Darkness, up until they get Hijacked By Slender Man.
    • Perhaps Slendy is just a incredibly harsh critic?
  • Suddenly Voiced: Sort of. He's never audibly spoken, although he has written (or seemed to write) several blog entries.
  • Surprise Creepy: A popular method for developing Slender series is starting out the series in question a a normal (and generally boring) blog or vlog. After a few entries (sometimes foreshadowed by the presence of mythos elements or not), slendy will make his grand entrance and things will go downhill from there.
  • Surreal Horror: The fact that the central figure of the Mythos is a tall faceless guy in a business suit is surreal as is, but the numerous works tend to get very weird once Slendy starts driving people insane.
  • Theme Naming: Both Robert Sagel and Thage do this to the other bloggers; the former with the archetypal roles he believes they possess, and the latter with a Chess Motif.
  • Things That Go Bump in the Night: Though technically, he doesn't make any bumping noises. Or any other noises for that matter. All he does is stand outside your window, in your living room, or by your bed, not making any sound. And not doing anything.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Very common. But did the Slender Man drive the narrator crazy, or was he already crazy and using Slendy as an excuse?
    • And then come the cases where the narrator isn't so much crazy as just lying.
  • Urban Legend: A deliberately manufactured one.
  • Villain Based Franchise
  • Villain Protagonist: Several Slenderblogs are written from the point of view of Slendy's minions, such as Morningstar in The Morning Hunter.
  • Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: a distressingly common Feature Of qUite a few of the sleNDer blogs is to have whoever is tYping Only capitalize the letters that can be Used to spell out whatever message they want readers to decipher.
    • A Rainbow Life actually has the blogger Lampshade this, stating something along the lines of "oh, sorry for the random capitalizations, my fingers keep slipping."
  • When Trees Attack: His tallness and multiple arms are reminiscent of a tree. In some interpretations, he actually is a tree impersonating a man, though the inverse is just as likely true since most of the photoshops have him in a forest surrounded by long spindly trees.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The Slender Man. The more you think about him, the more likely he'll appear. To you. And no one will know. Have fun!

you finished Reading the page? good for yoU. everythiNg is fiNe. just don't lOok out your windoW.
fou
nd
you