The entity known as The Slender Man has become a major part of our mainstream consciousness, thanks in large part to the various video games, stories, and news reports involving him. This week, we look at the possibility that The Slender Man legend may be much older than originally believed.
For those who do not know, The Slender Man is a tall being with exceedingly long, branch like arms and legs. He wears an all black suit and has been sometimes described as having tentacles sprouting from his back. He has no face to speak of, although some stories say that he may be able to change his visage into whatever you fear the most. Some stories also grant him the ability to imitate voices. According to the stories, he stalks his prey by toying with their minds before revealing himself and moving in for the kill. Although his motives and specific victim preference are never clearly defined, the stories usually depict him tormenting children.
The modern legend of The Slender Man is attributed to a creation of Creepy Pasta and/or the Something Awful websites. There are other sources who trace the idea even further back, possibly as far as 16th Century Eastern Europe. Two woodcut carvings from that era were discovered in the 1800’s depicting a being known as Der Grossman, or “tall man”. The legend goes that misbehaving children would encounter Der Grossman days before they disappeared forever. Any attempts to stop him through violent means meant retribution against the tenants of the nearest town, including impalement of the townsfolk with the darkest hearts upon tree branches.
What is also interesting to notes is that the artist who created the carvings, Hans Freckenberg, was known for his accuracy in depicting human anatomy. Der Grossman did not resemble any of the characters used in his other artwork. Adding to the eeriness is that Freckenberg vanished shortly after completing the pieces.
There are other stories of people encountering the creature we’ve come to know as The Slender Man, but I’m saving some of those for another episode. Until next time, Addicts…