The Slender Man phenomenon has been a harmless bit of fictional horror for most people. The character was created when a contest was held on an Internet forum to see which forum members could come up with the best photo edits that might take on a life of their own outside the site. One member Photoshopped a tall, thin figure into pictures of kids on a playground, then later made up a story to go along with the picture.
The meme of Slender Man was born. The character did indeed take on a larger life outside the original forum. There are Slender Man costumes or Halloween, lots of fan fiction stories, some poorly written Kindle books, and some movie ideas. The original creator trademarked the name, but does not own all the rights necessary to have complete control of the character creatively. Therefore, no real films have yet been produced, but that may just be a matter of time.
What has happened, though, are a few odd crimes that relate to the character. Specifically, two Wisconsin girls — Anissa E. Weier, 13, and Morgan Geyser, 12 — are accused of stabbing another teen 19 times and leaving her for dead back in June. At the time, all three girls were only 12 years old. Weier and Geyser told police that they stabbed their classmate to “appease Slender Man.” They said they wanted to be “proxies of Slender Man” and stabbed the girl and left her for him to find. They said they had been planning the deed for months.
Geyser had previously been found incompetent to stand trial because a state psychologist testified that she sees other fictional characters, including some of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as Harry Potter villain Voldemort.
More recently, both girls have been found competent to stand trial. They will be charged as adults under Wisconsin law.