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HBO’s Beware The Slenderman Investigates The Deadly Urban Legend

It was a warm morning on May 31, 2014 in Waukesha county, Wisconsin, when a bicyclist riding down a road near a wooded area, spotted a young girl in a ditch by the side of the road. She was alive, had been stabbed 19 times and was bleeding profusely. She called out to the good Samaritan by saying, “Please help. I’ve been stabbed.” He quickly dialled 9-1-1 and by the time the girl was rushed to the hospital, doctors said she was “one millimeter away from death”. Luckily, she survived.

Rewind back to a few hours before, on that fateful morning. Three middle school friends were playing a game of hide-and-seek. All three had slept over at one of the friend’s house the previous night, because it was her birthday party. Now, what should have been an innocent game was actually a plot to lure and murder an innocent child, all for the pleasure of an urban legend. You see, two of three girls had been to sites like CreepyPasta where made-up horror stories, images and fan fiction are created for those who have dark imaginings in their heads that they would like to share with the world. One such fan favorite is Slender Man.

Who is Slender Man?

 

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An illustration depicting the urban legend Slender Man.

Photo Credit

 

By drawings, he is an extra tall being, with fingers like long claws. He wears a black suit and has a white face, so you can never tell his features. His physique and general appearance make him recognized as one of the most infamous urban legends of our times. He was merely the creation of a Something Awful forum user, “Victor Surge”. It is said he stalks and traumatizes people, and his victims are mostly children. He is so well known in this underground community that many fables have been spun and he has spawned two video games – Slender: The Eight Pages and Slender: The Arrival. He was also referenced in popular video game, Minecraft.

Attempted Murder of Innocence

 

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The perpetrators of the horrific attempted Slender Man murder. The identity of the victim has been kept private.

Photo Credit

 

In continuum with the story, the two 12-year-old friends were avid followers of this so-called “Slender Man”. No one really knows what led them to commit this heinous crime, but in their statement later to police, they said that they took part in the stabbing to become “proxies” of the urban ghoul; they wanted to prove he was real and keep him away from harming their families. They lured their third friend into the forest, and while one pinned her down to the ground, the other stabbed her repeatedly with a knife – in the arms, legs, abdomen (the stabs ruptured two major arteries) and so close to the heart, that a medical expert said she was “one millimeter” away from certain death. They then asked her to keep still while they called for help, when in reality they both fled. The poor victim managed to crawl to the highway and sought help. Even though she was in tremendous pain, she managed to speak to the police and the perpetrators were caught, bloodied weapon in their possession.

The two girls were sent for psychiatric evaluation, and though both had traits of early schizophrenia, they will be standing trial for their crimes.

HBO’s Documentary

 

 

Beware The Slenderman will be broadcast on HBO on January 17, 2017. The documentary takes a look at the urban legend, the effect he has had on users, his sort-of “celebrity” and why such young girls believed in him and were willing to attempt to kill their own classmate to get his attention. It is directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky. The film was documented over 18 months and includes interviews with both families of the perpetrators. The trailer is just as spooky as the character himself.