Monday, June 09, 2014

Slender Man Is Real

Last week, two 12-year-old girls stabbed another girl repeatedly. When asked why they did it, the girls said they were trying to appease Slender Man.

This past Sunday, the august New York Times featured an opinion piece on Slender Man, written by an associate professor of folk studies and anthropology. (That sounds just like the New York Times, doesn't it?)

The name of the story is "The Ghosts in the Machine," and the professor states beyond doubt that Slender Man is an urban legend, created by an individual on the Internet and popularized by horror fan fiction and the ability to photoshop images with alacrity.

With all due apologies to author Timothy H. Evans and the New York Times, I submit that Slender Man is indeed a real phenomenon. I have seen him myself, long before personal computers existed.

I was sixteen and in bed. I was not dreaming. The state was between totally awake and asleep. A tall, faceless man in a black suit came to my bed, placed his arms on either side of me, and stood there, looming over me. I could not make out his features.

I wasn't even afraid. I just asked him who he was.

A moment later, the light went on in the bedroom. It was my mother. She said I had been screaming at the top of my lungs.

I was not afraid. Ever. Just curious.

Although I was an avid reader, I had never read anything about Men in Black, and certainly nothing about Slender Man (who ... ahem ... just started existing when the Internet came around, right?). But this experience with Slender Man was a watershed moment in my life. It still remains vivid in my mind, decades later.

Before the tall man in black called in my bedroom, I had minor psychic abilities. I had out-of-body experiences as a young kid and frequently saw flashing lights in my bedroom. After Slender Man, I never had another psychic experience. That was it. He shut it down.

For the record, this was 1975.

After having had this experience, I set out to research the apparition to see if I could find out something about him. This is how I learned about the phenomenon of the Men in Black, who erase the memories of people who see aliens.

And then, of course, we come to images of the Grim Reaper. How is the Reaper portrayed? Traditionally the Grim Reaper is male and dressed all in black, with face either hooded or skeletal.

So, my three readers know me to be honest and forthright, and when I'm serious, I'm serious.

I am serious about this. I saw Slender Man in 1975.

Here's what I think about Slender Man. Choose your explanation below. Note that "urban legend" is not one of the choices.

1. Slender Man is an archetype of the collective unconscious, a harbinger of death or adulthood that appears in many cultures in similar forms.

2, Slender Man dwells on the astral plane and visits people who frequent that plane. This does not mean that he actually inspired those young girls to stab their friend. That action did stem from the Internet. But there's a slender male spirit out there, and he does make visitations to people who have never heard of him. Given his attire, he might be a faerie.

3. Slender Man exists in neural pathways in the brain that are misunderstood or yet to be discovered. He's a bit of rogue biology that also accounts for OBE and psychic experiences. Some day we will understand how this works.

I take Option 2 on this, perhaps Option 3. Of one thing I am absolutely certain, however. Slender Man is not an urban legend. Nor will he be content to be portrayed as such. He holds no blame for stabbings, but he was not created by some clever Internet geek. He's been around, around, around. I can vouch for 1975.

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10 Comments:

At June 09, 2014 , Blogger Lucretia said...

Interesting! I never argue when people say they have seen things like this, because who am I to judge? And I think all your options are viable ones, considering how much we don't know about everything. If you say you saw it, I believe you, whoever/whatever it was.

I do want to make one comment about the Grim Reaper. While most people do tend to think of GM as male, there is actually no way to tell gender on a skeleton that is completely covered with a shroud except for hands, feet and skull. You really need to see the pelvis to know with any degree of certainty. People just ASSUME... probably because taxes were created by men, and Death and Taxes just go so well together! ;-P

 
At June 09, 2014 , Blogger JACKIESUE said...

I know you well enough to know this is a true story...I've had similar experiences but haven't had any in a while..but I do hear my daddy's voice calling my name..and afterwards some one will call and tell me someone close to me died..

 
At June 09, 2014 , Blogger Chas Clifton said...

This writer says that Slenderman is five years old — obviously you disagree — but does, sort of like your option 2, see him as a deity

 
At June 10, 2014 , Blogger greekwitch said...

I have never heard of Slender Man but i am intrigued!! That sort of legends are not popular in Greece.
But i definitely believe in dark creautures!

 
At June 10, 2014 , Blogger Maebius said...

I also agree, the Archetype existed long before the internet named "SlenderMan".
There are plenty of entities out there, but I also agree that it/he was NOT the cause of the stabbings. Sadly, it'seasy for the media to latch onto the idea that this Being caused the tragedy. However, I can claim that I do something bad in order to "make my garden grow bigger". and it's really not the garden's fault at all.

 
At June 11, 2014 , Blogger Athana said...

James Whitcomb Riley knew about Slender Man back in the 1800s and wrote him up in his poem "Little Orphant Annie." But Riley (and Orphant Annie) called him a "goblin":

An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!

 
At June 14, 2014 , Anonymous Mary said...

Interesting. I have never heard of this figure but it sounds just like something my daughter told me that she saw as a child, outside her bedroom window. The poor kid was psychic and I didn't have a clue and she never said a thing to me until she was an adult, just a few years ago. As a parent back then, I don't know how I'd have handled it. I respect my daughter for being so brave and working through such things as a wee one. And I feel awful that I wasn't available in some way to help her through it.

 
At June 14, 2014 , Blogger Anne Johnson said...

Only last year did my daughter The Spare tell me about her psychic experiences as a child. I feel the same way ... that I didn't do enough to help her through it.

 
At June 15, 2014 , Anonymous Mary said...

This blog needs a Like button. LOL.

 
At June 18, 2014 , Blogger Anne Johnson said...

Anonymous vulgar comments will be found and deletetd. The bored gods have been notified. Prepare yourself for a smite. Better hope it isn't the Aztec deities. They will load you with gold and throw you in a river. And, just so you know, since it's your second offense, I have particularly petitioned the Aztec deities.

 

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