He has no face, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t know what or who this Slenderman really is.
It seems like out of the blue, Slenderman has gone from almost complete obscurity to becoming a house hold name. And that is not a good thing.
The pale white, faceless, abnormally tall man was created in 2009 by Eric Knudsen, but it hasn’t been until recently that The Slender Man (or Slenderman) has seemingly stepped up his activity in the mainstream.
Slender man has been linked to two different attacks in recent weeks. The first was in May, 2014. Two 12-year-old girls in Waukesha, Wisconsin, allegedly held down and stabbed a 12-year-old classmate 19 times. Authorities reported that the two girls wished to commit a murder as a first step to becoming “proxies” of the Slender Man, having read about it online.
The second came in the wake of the first. The mother of a mentally disturbed 13 year old girl stated that her daughter had attacked her with a knife, in the name of the Slender Man. This occurred in Hamilton, Ohio, with no tangible connection to the first attack. The only thing that seemed to connect the two was online fiction about the pale, faceless Slenderman.
The fact that these attacks happened at all is terrifying and disturbing. Girls attacking a classmate. A daughter, mentally ill or not, trying to stab her mother.These are not the kinds of things that we want to hear about on the news, but they are happening. And quite possibly more often than we actually hearing about.
While the news of these attacks were on every news outline, where I found about this was Relevant Magazine. At the time of this being posted, the original article was not functioning correctly, but I do recall what set this article apart. Something that they mentioned in their brief articles hit me and made me realize that these situations are much more serious than we thought.
They kept referring to the Slender Man as a piece of fiction, which is true he is, and has appeared in numerous pieces of fanart, cosplay, video games and online fan fiction. But beyond that, it seemed in the article that the Slenderman was a crutch; an excuse for these girls to fall back on to try to reason away what they had done. I am not saying that this is the case, and have not investigated further into the matter.
However, when I read that, when I thought about these sad series of events, it occurred to me that this was not the work of a piece of fiction. While Slender Man may have been created to be edited into old photographs, with the intent “to formulate something whose motivation can barely be comprehended, and [which triggered] unease and terror in a general population“, said Eric Knudsen, this piece of fiction has become much more than that.
There is the very real possibility that a demonic force is taking on the form of Knudsen’s make believe character, and using that to influence and persuade children into doing horrible and devastating things. I do not speak from a position of authority on this matter, but only on what I have observed. Fiction does not make people do such deplorable things.
Take for example, Sauron, the embodiment of evil from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
Here is a fictional character whose every whim is based on evil. The death and destruction of Middle Earth does not bother him, for that is his job. It is in this devastation that he is most powerful. All of his actions, his motivations, his desires are all spelled out for the reading audience. There is no great secret to what Sauron is doing between the pages. And yet, no one is out acting on the wishes and desires of Sauron.
There are no news broadcasts about teenage boys running down their classmates in a murderous rage, in the name of Sauron. Scientists are not creating orcs or amassing goblin armies to destroy mankind, in the name of Sauron. Why? Because Sauron is a fictional character. He has no power in the real world. Sauron’s evil authority is limited to the pages of a book, to the whim of the author. It is not Sauron that tempts children to do evil things, it is not the fiction itself.
However, it is very possible, and I believe is the case with the Slenderman, that real evil, evil from our world can interact with the fictional world. While it may not have happened, it is possible for someone to be so deluded in thinking that they do go killing in the name of Sauron.
It is possible that some evil force, a nonfictional force, inhabits the character and influences the reader. The fan fiction and legend that surrounds the Slender Man is very inconsistent, having various authors with different ideas on who and what the Slender Man is and does.
Stories of the Slender Man commonly feature him stalking, abducting, or traumatizing people, particularly children. It is not a stretch to have a story where he does more horrific things to children, or has them doing it for him.
The idea of an imaginary friend, or a character from a book telling little children to do things for them has become the standard for Hollywood horror flicks. What is more terrifying than a determined child wielding a knife, because someone only they can see is telling them to? What is more disturbing than a little boy that is covered in his mother’s blood, glad that he has done his “friend’s” work?
Not much. While these example are based in a world of Hollywood and make believe, they are mirroring reality. Or inviting reality to mirror art. Either way, the Slender Man, being embodied by a real demonic force is out there doing that exact thing.
This should be cause for some real concern. Not just for parents of young impressionable children, not just as youth leaders or pastors, but as Christians. And there are a few things that we should do about it.
We need to be vigilant over our children.
Every parent’s schedule is different and demanding. Mine is more constant than some, but that doesn’t mean that I am always aware of what is going on.
For those people that have a schedule in constant flux, it may be easier to let some things slide. Like what your child is doing right after school, what T.V. show they are watching, what they are doing on the Internet, who they are hanging out with, and what they are talking about.
A busy schedule is a reality, but that is not a reason to be negligent in what is happening in your child’s life. It is not an excuse to be unaware and involved in the things that your kid is aware of and involved in. Parents should know what is influencing their children, who is influencing them. Whether it is the TV or the Internet, or the kids from school or church, parents should know what is happening and be there to intervene if something is not right.
By no means am I saying that a parent should put their child in a bubble, not having them exposed to anything, but we should be very careful what they are exposed to and how. It is our responsibility as parents to guard and protect our children. And that includes things like evil, even if it has a pale, white face.
We need to be praying for our young people.
My grandmother said it to me. My father said it to me. And I will say it to my kids.
“You have to deal with things that I never had to deal with.”
Slender man and things of this sinister nature were not around in their or my day, but they will be for my daughter. She will eventually hear about him, see a picture or video of him and have to make a spiritual decision as what to make of him. She could either see him as a simple piece of fiction and ignore the so called power he has, or she could see him as mighty friend and listen to everything that he has to say. Her mother and I will do everything in our power to see that she doesn’t make such a choice, and one of those things is praying for her.
Praying for wisdom, to know what is fiction and what is not, to know good from evil, to know the true power of Almighty God opposed to the feeble strength of the enemy and his minions.
Praying for strength of conviction, that when she does choose that she will stand by her choice, regardless of what the people around her think or are doing.
That is only the tip of the iceberg of things to pray about for the children of this generation, but it is a good start. And these kids need it for what is being thrown at them these days.
We need to take a stand against evil.
This kind of evil or demonic activity cannot stand, should not stand. The things that the Slenderman is “doing” through people are blatantly anti-Christ. There is no uplifting message he speaks. There is no honour or dignity in what he does. There is nothing virtuous or good about his character as a whole. We must stand opposed to what the demonic in this fictional character is doing.
We must be firmly planted together against this life destroying entity, and be firmly planted together for the Life Giver, that is Jesus Christ. We need to take action against those things that we do not agree with, we should not support, should not give to, should not encourage those things that are not Christlike. The most effective way of doing that is by declaring what we do support.
We should flood the world with the loving message of Jesus; preach, proclaim, show, display in anyway you can the character of Jesus. In doing this, by proclaiming the Light, the Truth, the Way, we stand up for Christ and against evil.
I’ve shared my thoughts about the Slenderman. Now, tell me yours.
What do you think of him?
What should we do as Christians to fight against him?
Let me know in the comment section.
After you’ve done that, make sure you subscribe to Christian Thought Sandbox on WordPress, or sign up for the email subscription.
If you enjoy Christian Thought Sandbox, head over to Facebook and like our page.
If you aren’t on Twitter, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org