I was reading Washington Post Express earlier today, when I saw a story that gave me pause: Slenderman (as opposed to Slender Man) stabbing suspects ruled competent to stand trial. Slenderman is fascinating because he’s one of the first–as far as I am aware–memes of the Internet Age to take on a life of its own.
What’s also pretty interesting is that this isn’t the fist time that such a being has “existed,” though before people were online urban legends were spread in the manner they were every since Man first appeared on the scene, which was among friends and acquaintances, be they gathered around a camp fire, or a bunch of rowdy kids roaming the concrete forests of Manhattan.
Spread from person to person, like some sort of virus, the stories–where sometimes a gem of truth existed among the more fantastical elements–were just a virulent as today’s Internet meme.
So, when I was growing up and exploring abandoned buildings in New York with my friends, we instead worried about terrors like Cropsey (which is actually really fascinating, with an mythos as elaborate, if not more so, than Slenderman) and Charlie Chop-off.
Though the first place that I ever heard of the Slenderman character was from Bloodydisgusting, where Adam Dodd (also known as Baby Colada) plays video games.
Though someone basing their crimes on a meme is a disturbing twist.