Lately, there was a very shocking incident that almost claimed an innocent life, that’s appeared all over the news lately, both local and national. It was reported in all of my local news and it was also reported on CNN.
I, as a reader, am not too fond of “urban legends” or any form of horror stories, however, there are times that I do feel like getting scared the heck out of me just for fun and thus, turn to literature that I could find all around the internet from fanfiction sites, fiction sites, forums, and anything similar. As a digital/graphic designer, I also find delight in editing photographs that include adding something a little unusual and a little unreal.
During those times years ago, I came across an internet meme that I thought was rather well-crafted for a fictional urban legend creature, simply known as Slender Man. As a digital artist and writer roaming around the internet to read, write, and share stories to the masses around the world, there was a time that I did get a little addicted to the Slender Man character. I looked around for edited Photoshopped photographs and even short stories with the Slender Man being its main character. I even attempted to write a short story with Slender Man being its main character, or rather the antagonist, but to no avail, I have very little to no skills in writing horror fiction, so I gave up on it.
So, going back to the original purpose of writing this entry. As many of you (living in the U.S. that is…) already know, last Monday (June 2), there was a horrible incident involving three twelve-year-old preteen girls— friends, as a matter of fact— that got engaged in to a heinous act that no one can even imagine: an attempted murder of one of the three just to appease the Slender Man.
Never mind that we’ve had a lot of tragic incidents involving kids killing other kids, but we are talking about three twelve-year-old girls here,1 in which two of the three believe that the internet-created Slender Man actually exists, and in order to appease Slender Man, according to them, they must kill another. The poor young girl who happens to be their friend as well just had to be the unlucky victim. With this alone, this would make you wonder many things regarding today’s generation of kids.
Although the Slender Man is a fictional character created by a user originated from the Something Awful Forums, many of those who became fascinated with the Slender Man decided to make their own photography art of their own and even write countless stories involving the Slender Man;2 so much, even one particular Wiki site decided to urban legends and stories decided to make the character as if it actually exists in real life.
Should I blame CreepyPasta for influencing its users— preteens, to be exact— to do the unthinkable that involves harming another human being? The answer for me is no. Why? If the Slender Man is indeed real, then wouldn’t tragic incidents such as what we had last Monday had already occurred those several years ago when it was first unleashed in to the interwebs? After all, for us readers, Slender Man is yet another phenomenon among the younger ages, just like with Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight, and all the related young adult novel series. Who would have thought something like this should happen.
So, parents, teachers, and all other adults normal enough to determine the difference between fantasy and real: please teach your children regarding what is real and what is isn’t. I’m also calling out to all fiction writers out there as well. Maybe write a short story that teaches children good, smart morals and common sense.
Do I blame the parents of these girls who did this despicable act? Partially. For me though, I really do think there really is something wrong with these girls that they need serious psychiatric help before they actually get tried as adults. After all, according to news sources, these two girls have already been planning about this murder— all in the name of a fictional character.
Shocking to the poor victim, pathetic to the two little girls who thought that being murderers and “disciples” of the Slender Man would make them a whole lot cooler. Go back to school, study your subjects, read books from the library or actually join after school clubs. That should save you kids from your self-insanity.
On the sidenote...
- should I even be more specific? Twelve-year-old WHITE girls… [↩]
- actually, it’s fanfiction. The creator of Slender Man, Eric Knudsen, registered its copyright to the character back in 2010. [↩]