The Slender Man (also known as Slender Man or Slenderman) is an urban legend character – in the same vein as something like Bloody Mary. Slender Man is thought to stalk and abduct people, mainly children, in rural or wooded places. His physical characteristics are depicted as resembling a thin, unnaturally tall man with a blank and featureless face, and always wearing a black suit.
Slender Man might be the first digital age urban legend that leaped in popularity due to our connectedness on social media. The legend has quickly bounced from person to person often adding new details and gaining many believers that The Slender Man is, in fact, a real creature. Whether you choose to believe this or not – this is the most common belief of the true creation of the Slender Man legend.
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.
One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as “The Slender Man”. Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence. 1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13th, 1986.
The Slender Man soon went viral spawning fan art, stories, and even videos. One indie film on Slender Man can be watched for free here on iHorror.com by clicking here: The Slender Man Movie.
However, there is evidence of a Slender Man character before this:
Der Großmann is german for “The Great Man” and is often translated into copypastas as The Tall Man.
It is rumored to be a German folklore concerning a tall boogeyman existing since the 16th century, which was introduced to the mythos as an “In Game” point of origin for the creature.
It was first first used in the Slender Man web series TribeTwelve and has then been reused in many creepypastas.
Other recurring names are Schwarzwald (“The Black forest”), an actual place in Germany where the creature is said to have first appeared, and Der Ritter (“The Knight”) based on several 16th century woodcuts by Hans Freckenberg that featured a strange figure dueling another man (shown below, left).
On March 17th, 2011, Encyclopedia Slenderia published a post revealing that the original woodcut of Der Ritter did not show additional limbs (shown below, right).