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Faces of Farside: Slender Man

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Title: Slender Man

Origin: A unique product of electronic media and viral Internet culture, the Slender Man first appeared in an amateur Photoshop competition hosted on a Something Awful forum thread in 2009. He featured in two doctored photographs posted by “Victor Surge” (real name Eric Knudsen).

Appearance: Unnaturally tall with elongated arms that reach towards his victims, and the occasional tentacle appearance. His dapper suit and tie combination is emphasised by his lack of any facial features.

Bio: A web-driven urban myth, the Slender Man was first recorded at scenes of damage and destruction, typically involving the disappearance of children. The lack of resolution in what exactly he does to his victims renders him a perfect figure for fear mongering. He stalks the web via amateur Photoshop, sketchy video games and Halloween prank videos.

Skills: Teleportation; camera distortion end electronic disruption; extreme stalking; horrifying ambient music DJ.

Popular Appearances: Sketchy Blair Witch-Esque YouTube Mockumentary Marble Hornets (2011). Parsec Productions’ hipster horror survival game Slender: The Eight Pages and spinoffs Slender: Haunt and Slender: The Arrival.

Real Life: In May 2014 twelve-year-olds Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser lured a classmate into the woods near their home in Wakeshua, Wisconsin, and stabbed her 19 times in a tribute to the Slender Man. The victim of the stabbing survived, but as Wisconsin has no youth law, both girls face a sentence of up to 65 years in jail. Their preliminary hearing is currently underway.

Victor Surge’s caption of the original Slender Man photograph: “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.