ByJancy Richardson, writer at Creators.co
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

You've probably heard a lot about The Slender Man. You've heard that he's tall, thin and lurks menacingly in the background of pictures...pictures of children.

Sadly, this mythical villain / internet meme has also influenced real life crimes. Take a look at what the terrifying Slender Man is really all about...

June 8th, 2009: Internet Forum Something Awful launches a competition.

Users were challenged to create Creepy-As-Hell pictures using photo manipulation.

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User Victor Surge posted pictures of The Slender Man, which he'd made.

Pretty creepy, huh?

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The Slender Man is described as a tall, very thin man with no face. Sometimes he even extends tentacles.

He stalks children, causing 'slendersickness': memory loss, paranoia and coughing fits.

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The Slender Man has developed a huge internet fan following.

The Slender Man usually lurks in the background...
The Slender Man usually lurks in the background...

In a widespread wave of creativity, fans created art, games, videos, stories and even a movie about The Slender Man, also known as The Operator, Der GroƟmann and Daddy LongLegs.

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The Slender Man game is appropriately terrifying.

Plug your headphones in and play it in the dark. Be afraid.

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Unfortunately, The Slender Man has also been cited in horrifying real life crimes.

Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, both 12 years old.
Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, both 12 years old.

Two 12-year-old girls, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, took a friend into the Wisconsin woods, where they stabbed her 19 times. Thank God, the victim survived, but the two children are now being tried for attempted murder - a crime they say was motivated by the kids' obsession with The Slender Man.

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Another alleged Slender Man stabbing took place soon afterwards.

Hamilton, Ohio: a 13-year-old girl waited for her mother in their kitchen dressed as The Slender Man, her hands and face covered. She then stabbed her mother in the neck and face, though the woman - mercifully - only suffered superficial injuries.

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It's tragic that a popular - albeit creepy - character has been implicated in these horrible crimes.

I hope that the children affected - both the victims and the misguided perpetrators - can get the help they need. Hopefully the urban myth of The Slender Man can go back to being just that - an urban myth.

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