Slenderman, a noted internet sensation, has lately become the subject of severe scrutiny, due to a rash of killings and attacks where the offender has blamed their actions on the supposedly fictional meme.
In the past few weeks, there have been at least three crimes linked to Slenderman. In the first attack, two 12 year-old Wisconsin girls allegedly stabbed a friend 19 times, saying they did it “to honor Slenderman.” In a violent murder involving a man who killed two police officers and another person before ultimately killing himself, it was noted that the killer would often dress up as Slenderman. Most recently, a Cincinnati mother is convinced that her daughter was influenced by Slenderman to attack her in their home with a knife.
John Gray, director at the National Museum of American History, has reported some astonishing new facts involving the Slenderman. “There has been so much talk of this character lately, so much mystery surrounding what is supposedly only a new thing, an internet meme, I really wanted to go back and look into it a little further.”
Gray says that after the stories of Slenderman hit the news in recent weeks, it inspired him to go back and re-read some of the stories and articles about people who survived the attacks on the World Trade Center.
“Reading some of the reports from people who got out of the buildings at the time, some told of pretty frightening stuff about a spectral figure, standing with arms open. They all described him the same way: featureless face, tall and skinny, and wearing all black or an all black suit.”
These astonishing finds persuaded Gray to continue his reasearch. He went further back in history to see if he could find any retelling of stories that included a similar man of shape and stature.
“I figured I was nuts. I did my research, and knew that this Slenderman was an internet mock-up of something that was supposed to be scary, and Eric Knudesn only created him in 2009. So you can imagine how shocked I was to see that similar entities to the Slenderman actually were fairly deep-seeded in the history of our country, as well as the world.”
Gray enlisted friend and noted writer and researcher Dr. Michael Enslin to help him trace back any accounts of Slenderman that could be found.
“I discovered many stories about WWII in which as the bombs were dropping, people were being corralled by a large light skinned man with dull, almost non-existent features, who drew them towards death by opening his arms.” Said Dr. Enslin. “Most of the people killed in the stories were children. I was awestruck.”
There pair found other similar stories linked to World War II, but it also seems to play out the same in other wars throughout history.
“Another story we discovered was about Vietnam, where Americans were firebombing fields and a similar situation happened,” said Gray. “Slenderman, or at least a figure similarly described, was seen almost corralling people to him, offering what seemed like solace in the crazy time. Of course the solace was a lie; all of the people were killed in the attacks.”
With these two huge connections to Slenderman, Gray and Dr. Enslin decided to take it even further back, to see how deep into history they could find reference to the same specter.
“We dusted off old books, and we went as far back as resources allowed, to the mid 1400’s – when Vlad Dracul III reigned in Wallachia.” Said Dr. Enslin. “We found translated letters that sent shivers down our spine.”
“We killed 23,884 Turks, without counting those whom we burned in homes, or the ones whose heads were cut by our soldiers.” The letters read. “We also failed to count the ones taken by The Tall Man, who lured the peasants to us, arms outstretched. He brought us souls, and took many himself.“
“It’s a nightmare,” said Gray. “I wish I’d never started this research. If this has been happening this long, then it could go on forever.”