Slender Man is now being linked to at least three attacks. An Ohio woman stabbed by her teen daughter is claiming that the 13-year-old girl attacked her due to an obsession with the Internet meme known as Slender Man, while a neighbor of the Las Vegas cop killer claims that the man who shot and killed three in Las Vegas this past weekend dressed as Slender Man often. Slender Man is believed to have first been created as part of a Photoshop contest online, but was quickly integrated into fan fiction horror stories which claim that Slender Man, who is depicted as tall, thin and wearing a white mask and a suit, lives in suburban forests and preys on children.
The mother, who was slashed in the neck and face and received a puncture wound to her back in the stabbing, described the attack as occurring in the kitchen of her home soon after she returned from work. She says her daughter was waiting for her and wearing a white mask and a hood during the assault and that she had pulled her sleeves down to cover her hands. According to the mother, her daughter “was someone else during the attack.” The Colorado teen had a mental illness, according to her mother, but had never before been violent. The 13-year-old is in a juvenile detention center.
The mythical horror figure has also been linked to the murder of two police officers and one bystander on Sunday in Las Vegas. According to the man’s neighbor, the shooter dressed up as Slender Man frequently. The man and his wife committed suicide after the attacks.
Slender Man is well-known to adolescents as a horror figure, but was mostly unheard of by adults until news reports of two 12-year-old girls who stabbed their friend multiple times came to light last month. The two pre-teen attackers said that their motive behind the brutal stabbing of their friend was to impress Slender Man and to show their devotion to him. Although the girls left their 12-year-0ld friend to die after the attack, the victim managed to crawl to a nearby highway where a passing bicyclist stopped and called for help. She was released from the hospital last week. Both of the attackers have been charged as adults.
The survivor of the attack by her daughter is asking that parents be aware of what their children are doing online and what they are reading. The mother told WLWT that they had discovered writings in which her daughter referenced Slender Man as well as murder.
University of Wisconsin folklore lecturer Andrew Peck, in an interview with ABC News, said that the appeal of Slender Man may well lie in the fact that he does not have a face, which allows individuals to imbue the character with characteristics and traits that are appealing to them. According to Peck, Slender Man is more popular than parents believe and has made the round of several Internet sites. That said, Peck does not see why individuals would feel compelled to murder in the name of Slender Man, as the character himself is not actively violent, but is more mysterious, especially given that a major part of his legend is that he lurks in the background of photographs and appears to be “just beyond us.”
By Jennifer Pfalz