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The Slenderman is a creature said, by most, to have its origins in the modern lore of North America; likewise, it is commonly believed that its exploits have only been documented as recently as 2009. In particular, there exists an online forum called 'Something Awful', where a group of users brought up the concept of such a haunting and frightening creature for fun.
Though, others (within that forum, and throughout the internet community in general) claim that this creature is much more than an ominous figment of their imaginations. Still others believe that not only does the creature exist, but that it has existed for at least as long as people have.
Regardless of whether people believe in the creature's existence or not, though, the Slenderman has become something of a popular cult phenomenon, since its fairly-recent internet debut. To this day, it is a common subject in online 'creepypasta' circles, websites and forums dedicated to horror and urban legends, and the like.
Some link the Slenderman to conspiracies about the Men in Black and similar insidious figures, due to its appearance and abilities. Though, others take the creature much more seriously, revering it as a thing to be served, even worshiped.
Among the few things known for sure about the Slenderman, beside its abilities, is its appearance.
Foremost, the creature is very slender, which is naturally its trademark physical feature. However, it is not simply thin; it is too thin to be mistaken for a normal human. Its arms outstretched are more likely to be confused with tree branches, its legs with skinny tree trunks.
The Slenderman is also very tall; some accounts show it to be the size of a tall human; others show it slightly taller than what is possible for a human (even for a person with gigantism); other accounts besides those show it to be as tall as a tree, or perhaps taller.
Furthermore, the Slenderman has no body hair, no facial hair, and no facial features (quite literally a blank, featureless face, similar to a mannequin; though sometimes, cheeks and eye sockets may be vaguely visible). Its skin is also too white for a normal human (much more closely suited to the pallid complexion of a vampire).
And, for reasons unknown—perhaps in some halfhearted attempt to look human—when the Slenderman appears, it is dressed uniformly in what appears to be a black suit and either red, black or gray tie.
What's more, despite its name, it is unknown if the Slenderman is actually male, or even if it has any gender at all. It is also unknown if female versions of the Slenderman can or do exist, if it can reproduce, if it needs to reproduce, or even if there is more than one of these creatures in existence. Its population status is unclear, similar to that of cryptids Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.
For all that is known of the Slenderman's true nature, it could, in actuality, be an extraterrestrial being, a subspecies of boogeyman, a living embodiment or summation of its victim's fears, or even a demon, a murderous emissary of Hell (which calls into question its mortality).
The Slenderman is insidious, above all else. It is very crafty, adept in stalking unwary victims, and intimidating them. It is stealthy and predatory in nature, often lurking in places one is least likely to expect that a creature of its size would (or could) hide. And just when the prey begins to suspect that something supernatural may be amiss, it is too late...the Slenderman is already upon them.
Favored prey of the Slenderman includes children and victims of psychological trauma (even if the Slenderman itself is the cause of said trauma). There have even been sightings of it standing in the midst of children without moving at all, let alone attacking them; likewise, the children seem unafraid of it.
As a result, many speculate that the creature first visits children, by presenting itself as friendly; though the reason for this is unknown (perhaps to prevent them from screaming as they are abducted).
Though, this is not to imply that the Slenderman has a fondness, respect, fear, or even pity for children. Many believe it finds displays of affection alien and confusing, and if it has any emotions at all, it seems particularly fond of the pain and fear that it causes. It is known to kill people of any age, gender or race, without hesitation, whenever the mood suits it.
Only a small handful of people have ever been believed to survive an encounter with the Slenderman (as evidenced by their being able to depict in drawings, or capture it in photos or on film).
Though, if they did survive, it can only be assumed that their survival was due to the Slenderman's ignoring them or not seeing them, rather than by some stroke of genius or ingenuity or power on the survivors' part.
In fact, in all honesty, it is more likely they had simply been spared while the Slenderman pursued a victim it spotted before them. And then, once the first target was taken care of, it probably remembered that others remained, and returned later to finish the job.
First, according to various accounts, the Slenderman seems to arrive out of nowhere, to look for potential victims. Typically, it seems to prefer places that are dark, foggy, secluded and perhaps wooded, but such places are not a requirement (many believe the creature's moods may take it nearly anywhere).
Then, once it finds the victim, it begins to survey, stalk and pursue. Though, many postulate that this is simply for the Slenderman's personal entertainment, and thus it should never be taken as any implication that the target has a chance of escaping when the Slenderman actually takes pursuit.
During its pursuit, the Slenderman does everything in its power to isolate the target (both physically and socially). And it is a master manipulator, skilled in analyzing and exploiting psychological weakness, to harass and intimidate the target, and slowly drive them to the point of depression, paranoia, and hysteria. This is accomplished by using its various assorted supernatural abilities.
And when, finally, the target is at their wit's end and can stand no more, the Slenderman does the target a favor, and moves in for the kill, to put them out of their misery. It has no preference for a clean death or a messy death, a quick kill or a slow kill; it only cares to make sure that the victim is absolutely terrified and in excruciating pain before dying.
And it often leaves no body behind (which calls into question what the Slenderman does with the bodies of its victims).
Those who are found, are often found impaled on the branches of trees (some speculate that they serve as trophies of the Slenderman's kills). And for a purpose yet unknown, their organs are often found to have been removed, and replaced in the body cavity in plastic baggies. Autopsy reports indicate that they are impaled and disemboweled alive.
Due to the Slenderman's lithe frame, it is incredibly flexible and agile. It is also very sneaky, capable of hiding in the strangest of places, including behind trees and behind bedroom doors.
In addition, the Slenderman seems to possess a supernatural shapeshifting ability, allowing it to change the length of its limbs (at an alarming rate), and extend tendrils from its body, with which to more easily stalk, pursue and ensnare prey. It is unknown for certain, but many speculate this ability also allows it to rapidly regenerate.
The Slenderman also possesses a frightening influence over the mind. It seems capable of choosing who can see it and who can't (a sort of selective psychic invisibility) and has been known to manipulate minds to induce nightmares, insomnia, amnesia, intense overwhelming fear and various other psychological traumas.
This includes the subtle but powerful psychic induction of a supernatural illness, that is both physical and psychological in nature; symptoms include nausea and violent coughing to the point of coughing up blood (the condition is termed colloquially by some as "Slender-Sickness"). Some speculate that this ability, at its worst, can be used to convert victims into mindless zombie-like minions called 'proxies'.
It has even been speculated to possess powers such as psychic disruption of electronics (which is a telltale sign of Slenderman's presence on videos featuring supposed sightings of it) and teleportation (the ability is termed colloquially by some as "Slenderwalking").