Strange Phantoms that Crawled Out from the Internet Into the Real World

The Internet can be a spooky place. Here strange tales and secrets pass to the masses and infest every dark corner of the web, and the lines between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy become blurred as stories are passed on and evolve to take on a life of their own. This wilderness we know of as the Internet is crawling with all manner of the bizarre, the unsettling, the creepy, and indeed inscrutable creatures and entities that lurk in its shadowy recesses. With the help of the Internet at times a piece of this dark, spooky lore can truly catch on with the public consciousness and dig its tendrils deep, pulling itself out of cyber space to slither and ooze into the real world, in a sense to move out from the shadows of its cyber habitat and into the shadows of our reality. These phantoms move out to influence us and take shape beyond anything their humble beginnings may have suggested, and show just how much of a potent force the web has become.

By far the most well-known and widespread tale of a phantom born from the Internet is none other than the very creepy, very unsettling Slenderman. This mysterious entity is most often depicted as a tall, unnaturally thin figure with a vaguely humanoid shape, freakishly long arms, and a face usually described as blank and featureless, all typically garbed in a dark suit and tie. The lore says that Slenderman can shorten or extend his arms at will, and can also produce a variety of physical effects such as nausea, dizziness, memory loss, paranoia, nosebleeds, and intense coughing fits. Other abilities often attributed to it are teleportation and mind reading, and photographs or video of it are said to turn out distorted or warped.

The origins of the creature can be traced to June 8th, 2009, when a blogger calling himself “Victor Surge,” who would eventually be identified as a Florida resident by the name of Eric Knudsen, posted a pair of images he had created onto a thread for the website Something Awful. The name of the thread was “Create Paranormal Images,” and was designed to have contributors photoshop pictures in order to make them appear eery and paranormal, in order to see who could make the best new supernatural creature that could be convincingly passed off as genuine on the Internet. It was in essence a hoax contest. The images that Kudsen posted were two black and white pictures showing groups of children and teenagers with the chilling sight of the Slenderman lurking behind them……