Friday, December 11, 2015
Tall Man, Slenderman
One of these elements relates to stories of a figure often called the "tall man." This figure can be found with some variation in several cultural tales.
Folklorist Ernest Warren Baughman did a comprehensive study of tales from both North America and England and collected a vast amount of information. In his book, "A Comparative Study of Folktales of England and North America," we find this curious item relating to a "tall man."
"The older people would say they would see men about ten foot tall, in a black suit walking through the lane. A number of people have told me that. I never saw it because I was - I never believed in ghosts."
When asked where these incidents were occurring, the gentlemen replied:
"In Church Lane. In Quaker Neck.
But this relates back - you can go into Melitota or Georgetown - everybody in that time has a similar story - They've seen these men or man walking, shoes cracking, like you got a new pair of shoes on you can hear this but - and this thing would disappear - I mean - But I actually never saw it. I don't know what relationship it had to anything else."
The somewhat broken style of the account is due to the fact that the accounts were transcribed from interviews and were not edited, but rather, printed exactly as they were related.
Baughman's book was published in 1954, so the tales were all collected prior to that. This particular piece came from the oral folk traditions of Kent County, Maryland.
Certain elements from the above account are certainly slenderman-like. The tallness of the figure and the fact that it wears a black suit are the most clear connections.
In 2012, a movie titled "The Tall Man," starring Jessica Biel was released and instantly correlations were drawn to slenderman.
Its clear that the disturbing figure of the slenderman, in his various forms, is going to continue to exert his influence in modern times.