- Witness the wholesome magic of inter-generational conversations on r/AskOldPeople 6 Years Ago
- How to watch Paramount Network online for free Today 5:30 AM
- People are sharing how serving in the military has ruined their lives with #WhyIServe Sunday 5:31 PM
- Gillette ad showing a dad teaching his trans son how to shave has the internet in tears Sunday 4:34 PM
- 4chan’s new troll campaign aims to make the hashtag a white supremacist symbol Sunday 2:49 PM
- Here’s what that ‘cliff wife’ meme is all about Sunday 12:58 PM
- Artist suspended from Facebook, Instagram after posting anti-MAGA artwork Sunday 12:04 PM
- How to watch Serie A online for free Sunday 7:30 AM
- What does ‘uwu’ mean? Sunday 7:00 AM
- How to uninstall the Epic Games Launcher (for real) Sunday 6:30 AM
- How to watch the Indianapolis 500 online for free Sunday 6:00 AM
- Ohio KKK rally met with massive counter-protest and witty signs from local businesses Saturday 5:06 PM
- Guy who said he stole drugs from MS-13 now says viral story is fake Saturday 4:07 PM
- Financial service company left 885 million private records exposed online Saturday 3:13 PM
- Sasha Obama went to prom and Twitter is delighted with the photos Saturday 2:22 PM
When it comes to Slender Man, the line between folklore and meme blurs.
Slender Man is the internet’s most famous monster, a memetic horror story that began as a creepypasta post on the Something Awful message boards but eventually found its way into movies and video games.
The idea of Slender Man is a true campfire horror story for the Internet age, passed on by word of mouth (or the online equivalent, anyway) until a definitive canon emerged: a tall, slim, faceless man who sometimes has tentacles, and follows you until you submit to an unspecified doom. His popularity lies in the simplicity of the story, but many enthusiasts insist that Slender Man predates the internet—although admittedly, a lot of the evidence of historical Slendy sightings appears to be photoshopped.
The Slender Man mythos has now evolved to the extent that this Halloween, you can dress up as him with a reasonable expectation that someone will recognise the costume, and not just as a weird version of the Silence from Doctor Who or the Gentlemen from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Actually, examples like that are some of the reason why people claim that Slender Man is a universal horror story rather than just having been generated by Internet meme culture.
This Idea Channel video brings together the various characteristics of Slender Man, ideas that developed and built on one another like the iterations of urban legends such as Bloody Mary. Whether Slender Man is a primal terror from humanity’s shared consciousness, or if he’s just a creepypasta that escaped into mainstream pop culture, Rugnetta is right: Slendy is the first great crowdsourced myth of the Internet.
Photo via Know Your Meme
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor