The latest paranormal celebrity to hit the modern day world is undoubtedly ‘Slender Man’. Slender Man, or “Slendy” as he has become affectionately known as, was created by an author on the popular “scary story” website www.creepypasta.com. I’ve read some of the stories on there. They’re pretty good.
Slender Man is described as very tall, possibly 8 or 9 feet, with no face, white skin, a black suit and long, tentacle like arms. He prays on children, coaxing them into doing his bidding before luring them into forests and killing them or abducting them.
Slender Man first came to my attention when I saw several news stories regarding young girls committing serious crimes (attempted murder sound serious enough?) in order to impress Slendy so they could go and live with him in his mansion in an alternate dimension (of COURSE he has a mansion, he’s a celeb, why wouldn’t he??). As far as I knew back then, Slender Man was an online, scary (sort of) game that involved a man that looked like one of the ‘Gentlemen’ from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ (I love you Buffy, please come back). I’d seen the game on the Google Play Store but never played it. I thought, “oh here we go, now the games industry is gonna get yet ANOTHER blasting – as if it isn’t bad enough that every kid that picks a gun up and goes crazy with it has GTA to blame for it” but then I read that the news story said the girls had learned of Slender Man’s existence from a story on Creepy Pasta. So I had a look and read some stories.
As I delved further into the stories, I genuinely got hooked. I couldn’t get enough information about Slender Man. I trauled websites, stories, YouTube, Fortean Times, everything I could to find out more. I came across a series of videos of YouTube called ‘Marble Hornets’ which was a found footage documentary style film split into several episodes. The storyline was basically about a guy who was making a film and as he edited his footage he kept capturing weird stuff on it. He eventually became obsessed with the film and it ultimately destroyed his life.
I started watching Marble Hornets one night and couldn’t stop. I became absorbed, obsessed. At work all I could think about was what else could I find out about Slendy? All the while, in the back of my brain, my logic was screaming “this is a made up character, he’s not REAL!!”. I would get home, watch more videos, find out more information and then go to bed.
All night I had nightmares. Please bear in mind, I’ve watched hundreds of horror films and yes, some have frightened me but I have NEVER had a nightmare because of one. Slender Man gave me nightmares. I would even wake up from a nightmare and feel like he was standing over my bed. My eyes would turn clothes, washing, chairs, even my cats, into distorted images that for a fleeting moment looked like Slendy. I was terrified. I tried to blank my mind and forget about him, but his name was just on repeat in my head over and over – like the song that gets stuck in your head whilst your trying to sleep and it sounds so loud you can’t sleep. I had read that Slender Man’s “victims”, such as they are, were wracked with paranoia and nightmares, slowly turning crazy before he made his presence known to them. I still like to think my only salvation was that I’m nearly 30 and he only likes to kidnap and kill children (thank God for being old.. ;)).
Of course, whilst I actually genuinely did have nightmares and did become obsessed with the stories and finding out as much as I could of Slender Man, I obviously accept that he is an amazing creation. But that is ALL he is. Someone’s idea. Someone’s work of fiction.
My gripe however is based mostly around folklore. It’s all very well saying that Slendy is just a character, he’s just made up, but for those of you who have heard of the ‘Tulpa Effect’ theory, this could become a problem. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this theory (you guys need to start watching ‘Supernatural’ – Sam and Dean will teach you all sorts of different things), the Tulpa Effect basically says that if enough people believe in an idea or give thought to this idea, the idea becomes a reality, created by the physic energy given off by those people. Basically, tons of people in the world are constantly thinking about Slendy, playing his games, reading his stories, watching his videos, that he ceases to just be a character any more, he is created, physically. Similar to Freddy Krueger in the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ films, Freddy only exists as long as people talk about him, show an interest in him and believe in him. He ceases to exist when everyone stops talking about him and just forgets about him. He is, in essence, a Tulpa, created by people, and in the same way, destroyed by people. With this folklore theory in mind, could Slendy ever become a reality?
Tulpas have been a part of folklore for an age. The Indian Buddhists described a Tulpa as any “unreal, illusionary or mind created apparition”. Basically, a phantom conjured by magic by the sheer power of thought. Early Indian Buddhists talked about the ability to created a “mind-made body” via physic ability and mental discipline (personally, I’d be creating my very own Captain America, not wasting time on Slender Man or Freddy Krueger but who am I to judge?). There is so much about our brains that we aren’t aware of, that could it not be possible to project a hallucination? Alexandra David Neel who was a Belgian-French explorer and researched the study of Tulpas, claimed that anyone could create one, but, given enough power, a Tulpa could become free of the confines of its creator and develop and will and mind of its own. With this logic, it is highly probable that Slendy could become his own master. Photos and videos featuring what people are claiming to be real life Slender Man sightings are starting to surface around the Internet. Good PhotoShopping or are the Tulpas starting to appear? The still image earlier in this post of a long legged figure scaling a building in Russia is taken from the below video on YouTube.
What does everyone else think? Are the possible powers of the human brain grossly misunderstood and underestimated or is all the hype just really good computer generated works of fiction?