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Where in England has seen the most hauntings? They may be known by different names, but their harrowing, elongated appearance remains the same around the world. Dressed in a black suit, the floating figure is tree-tall and capable of stretching limbs and torso like warm toffee.

Pictured: Is this 'Slender Man' caught on camera for first time?

The child, with coal-black pits for eye-sockets, roamed the beauty spot, looking to lure unsuspecting walkers on remote tracks that thread the heather. Lee told the Birmingham Mail : "To get so many sightings at roughly the same time is unusual. A resident of Pye Green, on the fringes of Cannock Chase, says she was visited by the lean, shadowy spirit on December Another householder, from Slitting Mill, Rugeley, reported: "As my eyes opened, I saw a man floating over me. The only outdoor encounter comes from Castle Ring, an Iron Age hill fort that has been a paranormal hub for decades.

In a post on Lee's website, the eyewitness stated: "While taking a midnight stroll around Castle Ring last Friday morning, I happened to notice a strange figure in the distance. By Chris Richards.


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Robot , Black Mirror , as well as the perma-adolescence New Girl , every Judd Apatow comedy, Girls of our struggle for independence during a recession. For one his face or lack thereof mimics the early images of Anonymous. The masked hacktivist group gained notoriety at the same time as Slender Man, positioning itself as a champion of the people fighting back against a corrupt and greedy capitalist system trying to infringe on our privacy and freedoms online.

That mounting millennial outrage then manifested offline in the form of 's Occupy Wall Street, largely organized and spread by millennials on social media. An omnipresent, inhuman, ever-shifting evil, Slender Man is an extension of late-stage capitalism from the millennial perspective.

Slender Man: Twelve-Year-Old Found Close to Death With 19 Stab Wounds

Both the monster and capitalist system he represents appear to prey upon young millennials — while giving baby boomer adults a pass. A Big Brother-esque fear of always being watched is embedded in his legend, too. Like the internet, we're terrified of the Slender Man because we're not sure how his magic works, how far it reaches, and how much he's tracking our every move.

A ghost in the machine

In contrast, this kind of horror figure could not be more different from 's Invasion of the Body Snatchers , which was the product of a society consumed with fear of uniformity and communist takeover. Chess also noted how the evidence for this psychological interpretation of Slender Man can be found in the evolution of his preferred victims. Originally on the Something Awful forums, he was depicted as solely interested in prepubescent children.


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The canon focuses on vanished elementary school kids, lured by the promise of comfort and protection offered by Slender's unnaturally outstretched arms. But then Marble Hornets came along, and Chess said "suddenly his modus operandi shifted to young white men who were amateur filmmakers and didn't seem to have day jobs.

This hilariously specific and personal trope established by the web series and its knock offs is telling. As Chess said, it's weird that these jobless young men always assume a guy in a suit showing up at their house is trying kill them rather than, say, offer them a job. He's the vision of what a twenty-something or late teen shivers at the thought of becoming," she said.

Marble Hornets also brought in lore that linked Slender directly to technology. Because while he may represent the anxieties of the internet, sightings of the Slender Man are often associated with glitches and digital interference. He's both a symptom of our collective digital unconscious, while also a signal blocker — forcing us to relinquish even the semblance of control young people gain through their cellphones.

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Urban Dictionary: Slenderman

But we cannot be too quick to dismiss what Slender Man represents to his original, much younger target audience, who also made up a huge chunk of the fandom who established his lore. People often resist the later characterizations of Slender Man as a romantic seducer, a trend popularized by the young girls who fantasized about being seduced by him. Chess explained that this addition to his lore rose alongside his new following of middle schoolers who repurposed his symbolic meaning. Yes, folks, Slenderotica does exist — in droves, actually.

And to Chess, that's not hard to understand or even all that odd. And for tween girls, a faceless human is the perfect mate," she said. It's impossible to divorce this evolution of Slender's mythos from the horrific stabbing.

Out of the shadows and into the spotlight

But it's also important to understand the nuances of the connection, without the clouded judgement of outrage. But the moral question that the incident raises is not whether or not the internet is teaching kids to kill each other. Like the Satanic Panic of the '80s, this scapegoat covers up much realer social issues at play that are harder to address.

The much more productive question to ask is: What makes Slender Man so attractive to young girls who are true-born digital natives? And what can we learn from his significance to them? Chess points to the similarities between Slender Man and two popular folktale traditions. As a seducer of children, he's like a digital mashup of both the Pied Piper and fairy changelings. Disney-fied versions of the Pied Piper depict a man luring rats away from a village.

But historical records reveal that the tragic event that actually inspired this Hamelin legend was the village's sudden, mysterious loss of children. Meanwhile, the changelings of Celtic folklore characterize sickly or deformed babies as the result of nefarious fairy spirits switching places with them. The need for this rationalization starts to make sense in light of the devastating infant mortality rates of the time. It comforted grieving mothers or, worse still, justified leaving newborn mouths you couldn't feed in the woods to die. It's not hard to see Slender Man's tendency to prey on the of innocence children as a way for the internet to work through the effect this technology has had on the world at large.

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We are a society both seduced and horrified by the abnormally long reach of the web's connecting tendrils, which threaten to swallow us whole if we're not careful. Or from a parent's perspective, Slender can be seen as a corrupting force that doesn't take kids away from them violently. Instead, he steals them away with promises of a world of wonders that mere mortals can neither understand nor compete with. Slender Man is a creation that's so undeniably of its time that it's shocking Hollywood didn't try to cash in on him earlier.

It belongs to the internet," said Chess. Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as "The Slender Man".