By: JoJo Little
This summer a haunting story was uncovered about two 12-year-old girls who tried to stab to death one of their friends in the suburbs of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Surprisingly enough the horror doesn’t stop there; apparently an Internet horror character called Slender Man influenced these girls to commit this unspeakable crime. The goal of my blog post is to introduce the origin of Slender Man and his connection to this attempted murder, for we will be watching his YouTube series “Marble Hornets” later on in the semester!
In 2009, Eric Krudsen used Photoshop to create two fake supernatural photographs and thus released the character of Slender Man to the online forum called Something Awful. Slender Man is described as a thin, unbelievably tall man with a black and featureless face wearing a black suit. He is notorious for stalking, abducting, and traumatizing children. After Krudsen’s original post Slender Man went viral and became the monster of several horror stories all across the Internet. Clearly Slender Man went viral enough to reach the depths of Wisconsin. In fact, Slender Man reached deep into the minds of two young girls and influenced them to attempt the unspeakable crime of murder.
The two girls first discovered Slender Man on Creepypasta Wiki, which is a website dedicated to online horror stories. Because of the realistic nature of the photographs, they believed Slender Man was real and wanted to become “proxies” of him. The girls believed that if they killed someone they would be able to prove their dedication to him and his existence to skeptics. As a result, the stabbing of an innocent girl ensued.
In class we often discuss what makes a particular horror story more creepy and dark. The most horrifying, gut wrenching detail of the Slender Man stabbing is the fact that 12-year-old girls were complicit. I think society was deeply saddened and distributed by the fact that young children could attempt murder of such morbidity as they did. Nineteen times. They stabbed their friend nineteen times. Repeatedly and deliberately and it all stems back to Slender Man.
Not only did this story impact me emotionally, but it also ignited great fear that online monsters like Slender Man would influence others to commit crimes. In this technological crazed world, I can understand how young girls discovered such a monster on the Internet. The part that is puzzling is the fact that these girls felt some sort of responsibility to this monster. This aspect of the story can most likely be attributed to psychological flaws embedded in the minds of these girls.
We often use horror as a form of entertainment, as a way to ignite playful fear in hopes of diminishing other emotions. As a fan of horror myself, I can say that I find horror intriguing enough to make me think and fearful enough to make my adrenaline pump. However, it is less common to hear of horror influencing people to partake in horror. It saddens me to admit that perhaps horror creates more danger in society. But then again, this danger lies in the hands of humans with some sort of emotional deficiency if they stab a friend nineteen times. May we all hope that these people in the world see clarity. Let’s nurture them back to stability, but stay away from blaming the beauty of horror stories for they foster creativity and a new way of looking at the world.