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Slender Man: What It Says About Folktale Creation and Shared Beliefs

Slender Man has become a famous pop culture horror icon which was originally created on the internet forum, Something Awful, in which someone responded to a challenge to "make something creepy". And so the stories of Slender Man began.

But the thing about the creation of such urban legends is that, though we have an inherent rationalizing that it's not real, our unfathomable experiences attributed to Slender Man connects people on a certain level which creates this collective shared belief that perhaps, despite the knowledge of its origins, it could be real.

Slender Man is not a simple entity that can be looked at as belonging to a single folk group. The reason why he “feels real” to so many people is because he helps to give a voice to real experiences that are difficult to articulate otherwise. Slender Man not only gives us a place to assign value to these experiences, he is standing there, acknowledging these experiences.

(Image credit: mdl70/Flickr)


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