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

The Slender Man. He's terrorized people online - and even been claimed to have influenced real life crimes - but how real is The Slender Man?

His true, modern self emerged from a photo-manipulation contest in 2009, on website Something Awful.

However, there's evidence that The Slender Man is developed from - or inspired by - existing myths and urban legends from around the world...

Der Großmann

Country of Origin: Germany

Similarities to Slender Man: Tall, targets children

Freaky Backstory: Der Grossman - or Der Ritter - originates in 16th Century German myth, as a malign faerie come to spirit away bad children from The Black Forest.



Image Source:
Image Source:

Country of Origin: Japan

Similarities to Slender Man: faceless, tall, thin, deceptive, can appear differently

Freaky Backstory: Noppera-bō like to scare humans for fun. They can be male or female (like the one pictured) and take the form of a person known to their victim - before dissolving their features to leave a smooth, blank face.


Fear Dubh


Country of Origin: Ireland, Scotland

Similarities to Slender Man: tall, dark, likes wooded areas,

Freaky Backstory: Fear Dubh or 'The Black Man' is an old Gaelic folk tale. Drawn to children, he haunts rural areas, causing rumors in villages that The Black Man has 'been at the bairns’ window again' ('bairn' is a Gaelic word for 'baby'). He causes children to dream of thin men, and leaves smoky tentacle shadows on walls...


The Tall Man


Country of Origin: Romania

Similarities to Slender Man: tall, dresses in black, long snake arms

Freaky Backstory: An old Romanian folk tale tells of a tall, dark man who emerges from the woods, influencing a mother to tell her daughter to kill her sister. The story ends with the Tall Man coming for the murdering child, saying:

There is no reward for goodness; there is no respite for faith; there is nothing but cold steel teeth and scourging fire for all of us. And it's coming for you now.


Long Lankin


Country of Origin: England

Similarities to Slender Man: tall, targets children

Freaky Backstory: Long Lankin - or 'Lamkin' - is a murderous figure from a British balladry. There are many different versions of Long Lankin, but he's inspired a young-adult novel and the following creepy-as-all-heck folk song by Steeleye Span - and remember...

Beware of Long Lankin / Be sure the doors are bolted well / Lest Lankin should creep in.

Judge for yourself if these tales are real or fake...but admit that the Slender Man has creeped you out...


Do You Think The Slender Man Is Based In Older Myths?


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