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FEATURED VOXPOP LinksOcarina This is another article from Blistered Thumbs I wrote, back from the dead after being buried in the way-back machine. I posted this back in April of 2013, and many of the issues present seem to be prevalent right now in some cases, namely the decrees of sexism and misogony. Considering current...

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Should We Be Concerned About Slenderman Now?

Posted on Monday, June 16 @ 12:37:32 Eastern by


By now, the stabbings surrounding Slender Man (or Slenderman, however you want it spelled) have been chilling. Like an episode out of Supernatural, specifically that Ghostfacers episode where a local legend actually becomes real in a haunted house, two 12-year-olds in Wisconsin lured a friend into the woods and stabbed her almost twenty times, saying that they were inspired by the creepy fictional ghostly Slender Man.

This has prompted multiple reactions with one of the girl's attorneys asking for a mental health evaluation, some outraged that they're being tried as adults, and admin Sloshedtrain posting a response on the CreepyPasta Wiki which supports the Slenderman mythology:
According to the story, the girls read about Slenderman here on this wiki, and of course the usual response lead to hostility and blaming towards the wiki by some "very concerned parents". Some calling for the censorship and shutdown of the wiki.

Will these people succeed on their quest? Most likely not. These are the same people who think violent video games help create mass murderers, because it is convenient to blame and point fingers.

Besides the backlash, this incident shows what happens when the line of fiction and reality ceases to exist. When a person truly believes that Internet short stories are cold hard facts. When a person attempts to replicate works of fiction to the point others are harmed. And for this, I'm going to make myself loud and clear:

ALL WORKS PRESENTED ON THIS WIKI AND OTHER SITES (INCLUDING SLENDERMAN, JEFF THE KILLER, BEN, SONIC.EXE, ETC) ARE FICTIONAL STORIES AND CHARACTERS.
He's got a point there. This isn't going to be the first time some teenager will be convinced to do something horrible from a fictional horror story. There have been horror stories ever since we were able to communicate around a campfire, so Slenderman is really just an excuse for immature teens to justify doing some immature-teen crime.

I'm not sure if this is particularly something that parents can be blamed for, since they can't watch their kids 24/7. And there's hopefully a level of trust that your 12-year-old has a sense of reasoning. These girls are clearly disturbed and may actually have a mental disorder. I mean, if they can't tell the difference between reality and fantasy, then we'll need to figure out if they're mentally stable in the first place. (Where is Dr. Wong from SVU when we need him?)

As the Wiki response later states:
This is an isolated incident... This wiki does not endorse or advocate for the killing, worship, and otherwise replication of rituals of fictional works. There is a line of between fiction and reality, and it is up to you to realize where the line is. We are a literature site, not a crazy satanic cult.
That said, this is now not an "isolated incident." We have yet another incident last week about a Cincinnati woman being attacked by her 13-year-old daughter due to Slender Man. She recounts the event with the following:
She had her hood up and had her hands covered with her sleeves and the mask...

We found things that she had written and she made reference to Slender Man. She also made references to killing. She even created a world for Slender Man in the game MineCraft.
Here, the whole "bad parenting" has more relevance because these signs were there. I'm not sure what else the girl had to do to let her mother know she was obsessed.

But should we be worried about Slender Man? Or should we just add this on the very large pile of things that parents needs to be concerned about when their children access the internet?
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