Nineteen Times

By: JoJo Little

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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.

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9 thoughts on “Nineteen Times

  1. I enjoyed reading this post, primarily because I experienced the same sense of shock and horror upon hearing this story in the news this summer. There are several important points made. Firstly, the power of technology to spread dangerous ideas. Also, that horror, and I think this applies to any genre, has the ability to produce unexpected consequences depending on the viewer and their emotional state at the time. However, the idea that resonated with me the most is that horror is used as a “way to ignite playful fear in hopes of diminishing other emotions.” This is certainly true for me. In a way, it is a distraction from the real horrors in our own life, the pain, sadness, and trauma. By experiencing a visceral reaction of horror to something imagined or supernatural in a horror movie or story, we can ignore the reality of the frightening and pressing dangers of our immediate and everyday life.

  2. I found your post very interesting and insightful on the crime that entailed. I remember hearing about this earlier in the year, but I forgot to follow up on it. I volunteer at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Saline, MI where I work with not guilty by reason of insanity patients and incompetent for trial patients. What I found interesting about this case was that both twelve year old girls were in a sane state of mind and that one of the girls attorney said they did not want to be valuated for NGRI because it would then force the girl answers to be turned over to the state and used later against her. Less than 1% of court cases get ruled NGRI, so it was probably a good decision they did not go with this attempt especially with all the other facts of the court case. I believe your post does a good job of trying to understand the horror fandom and does not just ridicule the girls.

  3. This was a very interesting background on Slender Man and a very frightening consequence of him. What I can’t seem to understand though is how only he could have been the influence for two young girls to commit such an act. It seems like there must be have been more going on in the girls’ personal lives and such for them to cling to Slender Man as they did and use him as a sort of escape. I will definitely be looking into this story more and trying to figure that out for I am deeply disturbed about this. The fact that not one but two individual girls only a year older than my little sister were driven to commit such an act sends chills up my spine. Thank you for sharing!

  4. What I find very strange is that it’s never clarified what happens to Slender Man’s victims. To my knowledge, Slender Man abducts children, and their whereabouts and fates are never revealed. There are many theories about Slender Man’s killing methods floating around on internet forums, ranging from keeping victims prisoner until they die from old age to more brutal methods such as harvesting organs and replacing them inside the victim’s body in plastic bags. Even the game “Slender” leaves the player’s fate ambiguous, showing only Slender Man’s face on a static-filled screen, since his presence causes weird responses in electronic equipment. So what I find extremely weird in this crime is that these girls chose to exemplify/mimic Slender Man by stabbing their victim to death, even though they had no idea how Slender Man ends his victims lives. The girls’ actions could very simply be a cry of attention, or more sinisterly, a sacrifice to the tall stalker.

  5. I had heard about this story on the news, but I never knew that the girls believed they were doing an act in the name of Slender Man. Upon learning that, it makes me think of when people say that violent video games caused them to be violent, but did they really? In my opinion, I think those people already had those urges and having something to blame those urges on made it acceptable for them to commit those horrible crimes. If that’s the case, then it makes this story very scary if these two girls already had urges to kill at 12 years old.

  6. Since the beginning, slender man has terrified me. Reading this just adds more horror to it because it may be effecting the actions of others. I loved when you brought up how technology might be affecting society. There’s been so many studies done between kids who play violent video games and those who do not and how their actions differ. There seems to be a correlation between violence and the ones who did play video games. This leads me to wonder that maybe seeking out horror might trigger certain people who are susceptible, to doing horrific actions. Certain people may be inspired with ideas they have found through horror moves, games, etc. It would be interesting to know if these gruesome crimes would lessen if horror wasn’t so popular in the media.

  7. Reading stories like this is always horrifying, just seeing the depths of horror in our own fellow human beings. What I do find interesting, though, is that so many people seem to blame what the girls did or what other mentally unstable people did on fictional things they cite as their inspiration. I seriously have to wonder if they really would never have become violent or committed some other atrocious act even without Slender Man or any other horror story to inspire them, and honestly? I don’t think that’s the case. If someone is unbalanced enough to act out some terrible horror story, I have a feeling they would have ended up doing something terrible regardless of whether horror stories existed or not.

  8. I too think it’s crazy what a dramatic role the Internet plays in these horrible crimes. It seems absurd that a single website can convince two young people that taking another’s life is an acceptable actions, maybe even an honorable one. This scenario makes me think of the boy, who explained his need to go on a killing spree against girls on a YouTube video. In these kinds of events, it’s the Internet that can truly be the scariest thing. Without social media, I wonder if these events would even take place if there were no one to share the drama with.

  9. It’s really interesting to think about what motivates someone to commit murder, especially in kids. Wanting to impress Slender Man seems much more like an excuse than an actual motivation; it seems random. There must have been underlying causes but I can’t even fathom what they could be for twelve year old girls. Acts like this are exponentially more terrifying than any idea of “Slender Man” or anything like it could ever be. Children are supposed to be pure and innocent not cold blooded murderers. I think it’s really easy for society to want to blame things like this on video games or television because they don’t understand what the cause could possibly be. It’s similar to how people throughout history have made up explanations for the sun rising and the like because they simply can’t comprehend another explanation. It is perhaps most horrifying that people like this exist who need only an internet fad to justify ending the life of a friend.

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