Longtime friend Nick Redfern joined me to talk about his new volume, The Slenderman Mysteries: An Internet Urban Legend Comes to Life. We caught up a bit on recent news and then dove in. The “Slenderman” was the result of a 2009 internet contest to come up with the most frightening character imaginable. The idea escaped from the forum where it was born and took on a life of its own, eventually appearing in fan fiction, photo manipulations, artwork, and even a web series. Children and teens were especially taken with the image and began to believe the entity actually existed. This culminated in an infamous case where two girls attempted to murder one of their playmates in a bid to become minions of the Slenderman.
In the course of research for the book, Nick discovered that things resembling the entity had actually been reported in the area before it was even created. He cited a psychic who, when trying to solve an old murder case, described a tall thin man in a suit carrying a dead child, as well as a group of hunters who reported a sighting of something similar years before the meme took hold. We also discussed the possibility and history of manifested thoughtforms and tulpas, and how the legend may have literally come to life.
In the last 30 minutes, we discussed possible new directions for UFO study and conference presentations that would include many different viewpoints.