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‘Beware the Slenderman’: The story of a meme that inspired 2 children to kill

HBO just released the premiere trailer for a documentary called Beware the Slenderman, which is slated to debut on the popular cable network on January 23rd, 2017. This documentary centers on the case of two teens from Wisconsin, who attempted to murder their friend, back on May 31, 2014, in an effort to contact the Slenderman.

The Slenderman is a fictional entity, created by Eric Knudsen (under the username ‘Victor Surge’) back in 2009, for a Photoshop contest on the internet forum Something Awful. He exists in the dark parts of the Internet as a faceless, long-limbed bogeyman, and his mythos is spurred on by writers & young people on message boards who weave creepy tales about the creature’s exploits in kidnapping, possession, or sometimes simple intimidation of children & young adults.

Beware the Slenderman examines the true life story of a seemingly inexplicable & motivationless attempted murder, and asks questions about accountability in an era where impressionable youth are just a click away from the creation & consumption of stories (whether false or true) which could inspire them to commit horrific acts. In a statement to Buzzfeed, director Irene Taylor Brodsky said, “The narrative does not revolve around guilt or innocence, but instead the court’s deliberation whether the girls should be tried as adults or children. Above all, it is the anguish and astonishing honesty of the girls’ parents that anchors the film’ narrative to its tragic core.”

The plot of the film centers on Morgan Geyser & Anissa Weier, both 12 years old, who were accused of stabbing their friend Payton Leutner, 19, multiple times, so that they could become what they referred to as “proxies” to the Slender Man. Miss Leutner survived the attack, and the two 12 year-olds told police that they had been plotting the murder for months. They had planned to leave Payton in the woods, so that they could locate the mansion of the Slenderman. Four hours after the stabbing, the pair were located by police – six miles from the scene of the crime.

Beware the Slenderman uses a combination of home video, interviews with family members, and actual footage of the girls’ confessions to tell its gruesome tale. Currently, both Morgan Geyser & Anissa Weier are being held at a juvenile detention facility, and are seeking separate trials.

What do you think of this documentary, dear readers? Do you remember the reports of this crime having taken place? How do you feel that internet “creepypastas” & stories of this nature have affected people? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

About Doug T. (491 Articles)
A lifelong gamer, disabilities advocate, avowed geek, and serious foodie. Doug was born in South America, currently resides in Northern VA, and spends the majority of his time indulging in his current passions of gaming & food, while making sure not to take life or himself too seriously.
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