Thursday, November 1, 2012

Guest article: Beware The Slender Man Suit This Halloween!

By Georgia Penny
He’s tall, he’s slim, he’s never seen without a suit and tie, and he is back. Making his reappearance across the digital world after years of inactivity is none other than The Slender Man. After centuries of haunting children’s dreams and striking fear into the hearts of their parents, this urban legend has made his way from folklore and fables and into games, websites and fancy dress shops worldwide, with Slender Man morphsuits proving very popular this Halloween.
The Slender Man is an alleged supernatural figure that has supposedly existed for centuries; he has appeared in a variety of different locations worldwide and as a result, accrued a number of aliases: Fear Dubh (The Dark Man) in Scotland, the Takkenmann (The Branch Man) in Holland and Der Grosse Mann (The Tall Man) in Germany. The earliest known historical reference to this creature is a cave painting found in the Northeast of Brazil, depicting an odd elongated character leading a child away from a crowd of people. Other representations of the Slender Man come from Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, sixteenth century German woodcuts and paintings and the Romanian fairy-tale telling the legend of ‘The Tall Man’.  According to the legend, he has tentacle –like extensions protruding out of his back, no face, and arms that can stretch or shorten at his will; his victims are children, to whom he causes memory loss, insomnia, paranoia and coughing fits before kidnapping or killing them.  For centuries he has hidden his existence from the world.
Until now.
Stretching his tentacle-like extensions into the digital world, the Slender Man has caught the attention of online commentators, gamers, bloggers and vloggers worldwide. His initial return took place in The Something Awful Forum’s “Create Paranormal Images”, wherein his reappearance was noted, alongside pictures provided as evidence. Following his unexpected arrival into the online community, The Slender Man went viral; vloggers and bloggers began spreading the word, informing the world of the urban legend’s existence; videographers and film makers began creating short films and documentaries providing footage and commentary; and game developers created Slender. Slender is a free indie-developed psychological horror video game for both Microsoft Windows and OS X based on The Slender Man, and it has driven the online gaming community wild. In the game, the player must seek out eight letters and avoid the figure in the Slender Man suit at all costs, or face death. Since its release in June 2012, the game has received fantastic reviews; Explosion scored the game 4/5 and gaming website IGN calling Slender ‘pure horror’.
The Slender Man’s eruption into the digital realm has led to the development of a solid fan base; he now has over half a million likes on Facebook, a number of followers on Twitter and – thanks to – millions of people planning to dress up as The Slender Man this Halloween. I’m not sure how The Slender Man will respond when he sees this army of people dressed in Slender Man costumes, but this paranormal pariah looks set to haunt the land for years to come.

1 comment:

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