But even for those who don't believe in the potential of an entity being created in such a fashion, what can't be denied is the impact this character has had on those who do profess belief in his existence.
Last year, we saw the tragic case of two pre-teen girls who attempted to murder a classmate, all based on the idea that such a "sacrifice" would enable them to go live with Slenderman in his forest mansion. The case made national news and was a disturbing reminder that we need to pay attention to the continued development of Slenderman and the ways that such Internet ideas have an impact on our day to day lives beyond the computer screens.
A while back I wrote about other inroads this creepy character had made into our culture, including a comic book character apparently modeled after him. Check that post out here:
Recently, I had a chance to watch an episode of "CSI Cyber," the newest version of the popular CSI series. As the name implies, the latest version focuses on cyber crimes. Now in it's second season, the show is hitting a lot of important computer related issues and it certainly did with the recent "Red Crone" story.
In the episode, investigators are on the trail of two missing boys who have become fascinated with a website and forum dedicated to an entity known as the "Red Crone."
In the storyline, the two boys are following a series of clues using an app downloaded from the Red Crone site. The clues will supposedly lead them to a forest mansion where they can meet the Red Crone. If you're familiar with last year's tragic case, then this will sound all too familiar.
I won't spoil the show for you in case you haven't seen it, but I will say that the story does not end in an attempted murder. I suppose the producers wanted to create some space between the show and the actual Slenderman case.
Needless to say, there are several parallels however, including the large following that the mythical figure has and the belief that the two young boys have about meeting the Red Crone.
The show is available on demand in most areas, check it out for another unsettling look into how something like the Slenderman can leap from the virtual screen and effect human lives in a disturbing way.