What started as an online urban legend nearly resulted in murder, as two 12-year-old girls attempted to kill their friend for “The Slender Man.”
The imaginary figure was originally conceived by Something Awful member Victor Surge in 2009 as a response to the online forum’s “Create Paranormal Images” thread. Surge posted two doctored photos with the following description:
“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.”
Members of SA quickly embraced the story, adding doctored photos and stories of their own. From there, the legend of The Slender Man exploded, spawning wiki pages, a YouTube horror documentary series (below), and an absolutely terrifying video game.
This past Sunday, June 1, two 12-year-old girls from Waukesha, Wisconsin lured their friend into a park under the guise of playing hide-and-seek, reportedly stabbed her 19 times and left her for dead. However, the victim managed to crawl her way out of the park, where she was discovered by a cyclist and taken to the hospital. She is now in stable condition.
The two girls had reportedly been plotting the murder for months in an attempt to gain favor of Slender Man, become his “proxies,” and join him in his mansion in the forest. If they’re tried as adults, they could face up to 60 years in prison.