Slender Man Becoming Real? Transcending the Mythos (PICS)
Put on your tin foil hats; this is a guest article by paranormal enthusiast Frank Boulder. Game Front cannot confirm the legitimacy of the alleged evidence in this article and presents it to readers for its entertainment value, not its educational value.
The Slender Man is just a myth, right? A modern urban legend spawned in 2009 on the Something Awful Forums as part of a contest? While that certainly was his origin, the Slender Man may have since evolved into something… more.
The Slender Man has recently seen a surge in popularity, generating an enormous volume of search results this year and leaving a hefty digital footprint on the internet, namely thanks to indie games and mods created around the mythos. Why is this relevant? Because of the Tulpa Effect, the alleged unintentional creation of a thoughtform — a manifestation of mental energy — based on collective belief.
That’s right; according to Tibetan mysticism, all of this focus on the fictional Slender Man may have created an actual Slender Man.
But if a Tulpa of the Slender Man has been created, odds are that it would exist within the virtual world and the culture that spawned it: the internet and video games.
According to the fictional mythos, the Slender Man has been around for decades, perhaps even centuries. Believed to have originated from another dimension, he is often associated with children and their disappearance, as well as arson, tentacles, and teleportation.
Over the past week, I embarked on a mission to collect evidence of the existence of the Slender Man in video games, and 5.72 gigabytes of screenshots and video later, here are my findings.
Exhibit A: Skyrim (released 2011)
After unsuccessfully attempting to find the Slender Man creeping around Skyrim’s children, I decided to investigate a landmark known as Orphan Rock. Sifting through a dozen screenshots, I eventually spotted what I at first mistook for a tree stump.
At the center of the boxed region, you can just make out a pale-faced figure in dark clothing, arms outstretched. (If you’re having difficulty seeing it, try looking at your monitor from an angle to simulate increased brightness.)
It’s a hard sell, I know, and one possible sighting is hardly proof of anything other than pareidolia. Even if that is the Slender Man, it can be reasonably explained as an Easter Egg left by the developers.
I needed to dig deeper into the past and play games that came out before the mythos arose.
Exhibit B: Mortal Kombat Trilogy (released 1996)
Loading up my trusty emulator allowed me to jump back into some Nintendo games from the ’90s. While fighting in the Wastelands arena in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, I realized a certain tower in the background wasn’t a tower at all. Beneath the “H” in “Fight!” you can make out what appears to be a lanky figure in a suit standing ominously in the background.
The Wasteland arena is a part of the Outworld, which is, in the Mortal Kombat universe, another dimension. The Slender Man is allegedly a trans-dimensional being…
Exhibit C: Prince of Persia (released 1989)
While playing Prince of Persia on a DOSBox, I noticed a flicker of pixels as I completed a level. After loading up Fraps, I played through the level again, this time recording my progress, and caught the flicker once more as the prince ascended those steps.
Playing back the video resulted in the figure above appearing in a single frame, there one instant, gone the next, like teleportation. It’s unclear what, exactly, the figure depicts, but what may be described as tentacles seem to be sprouting from its back.
Exhibit D: Zork (released 1980)
I turned to Zork not because I was looking for evidence, but because I wanted a reprieve from the Slender Man’s haunts. Surely a game with no graphics would be a safe haven.
I came across an area I’d never encountered in previous play-throughs: the charred remains of an orphanage. Sure enough, I encountered “a tall, slender man” within.
Exhibit E: Kinect
I happened to be watching a promotional video of two brothers playing Star Wars Kinect when a strange shadow caught my eye. Smack in the middle of the still frame, above, the shadow seems to be cast from something standing outside. You can make out a tall, vaguely humanoid shape with a head and several tentacle-like appendages.
What does this all mean?
Not only may we have collectively spawned a thoughtform of the Slender Man in the virtual world because of our fascination with him, but this Tulpa may also be escaping into the real world.
In her novel “I is for Innocent,” Sue Grafton wrote, “Beware the dark pool at the bottom of our hearts. In its icy, black depths dwell strange and twisted creatures it is best not to disturb.”
What twisted creature have we awakened?