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Nick Redfern


June 10, 2009, a creepy pasta thread found within the Something Awful forum bore witness to the birth of a modern day mythological monster. Described as unnaturally tall, thin, sporting a black suit and tie, and having a white featureless face, the tentacle sprouting Slender Man has terrorized horror fans for nearly a decade through many different mediums. Unlike many other fictional fan favorites, the line between reality and make-believe seems to have been greatly blurred and getting worse as time goes on. This week on The Malliard Report, Jim welcomes back distinguished guest Nick Redfern to the show to discuss whether or not this is simply digital folklore that has gotten out of control, or the possibility of this having become an actual tulpa set loose into our world.
Seeing as how the Slender Man’s backstory has no real “official” canon, his appearance, abilities, habits, motives, etc. change dependent on who is telling the story. The common imagery with Slender Man is that of a very large gaunt figure with no face stalking through the woods. He wears a black suit and tie, and is said to have (again varies from story to story) multiple tentacle like arms sprouting from his back. It is often claimed that being within close proximity of the Slender Man can induce “Slender Sickness” which is described as “rapid onset paranoia, nightmares and delusions, often accompanied with severe nosebleeds” in addition to interfering with audio and video equipment. Motives of the Slender Man have been shown to target children and young adults as its “prey.”
The Slender Man was originally created in a Something Awful thread as a Photoshop contest where users were challenged to take every-day photos and make them appear paranormal. Under the username “Victor Surge”, Eric Knudsen submitted a handful of pictures with a tall, thin, spectral figure, wearing a black suit with bits of text added to resemble tellings from individuals that may have found themselves within the presence of that being. The quotes that Eric added to the photos read:
“We didn’t want to go, we didn’t want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time… — 1983, Photographer Unknown, presumed dead”
“One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as “The Slender Man”. Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence. – 1986, Photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13, 1986”.
These images accompanied by the subsequent text instantly shot the story into internet lore status and generated a flurry of follow on content. Today you can now find video games, a series of web shorts, and countless other stories however, unfortunately like many other things people have taken this fictional (maybe?) idea and gone too far.
May 31, 2014 in Waukesha, Wisconsin 12 year-olds Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser lured friend Payton Leutner into the woods near their home where they stabbed Leutner 19 times as a sacrifice to appease the Slender Man. Leutner miraculously survived the ordeal and was able to drag herself to a nearby road where she was discovered by a passing cyclist. Weier and Geyser were soon picked up by local police walking down the interstate carrying the knife they had used to stab Leutner. Leutner recovered and returned to school the following year while Weier and Geyser were both committed to state mental institutions in 2017 for extended periods of time. (Weier 25 years, and Geyser 40 years)
Jim and Nick also discuss the possibility of the Slender Man becoming a tulpa, the power of combined consciousness, and much more. It is always a privilege to have Nick on the show. You can find all of Nick’s books through Amazon and many other online retailers and you can keep up with all of his latest on For all things Malliard head over to or connect through Twitter @Malliard.