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A brutal stabbing attack by pre-teens obsessed with the Slenderman puts spotlight back on the popular culture of horror stories

It’s an internet horror-cult that almost caused a killing. Now the hosts of the “Slenderman” myth believed behind a brutal pre-teen attack have defended their art.
Website creepypasta.com, which presents itself as a Wikipedia-style collection of paranormal and horror ‘microfiction’, has posted a long defence of the story it hosts that has became an internet meme — and the trigger for the vicious weekend attack.
Two Milwaukee girls told investigators they plotted for months to kill their friend because a character called Slenderman required them to kill someone before they could become his “proxy.’’
Both 12-year-olds have been charged as adults for first-degree attempted homicide.
Police say it’s not yet clear whether they got access to the online fiction at home or at school, but a school administrator said employees were reviewing various websites to see if they should be blocked after the stabbing.
Meet Slenderman
The Slenderman myth is not new. It was created during 2009 on the SomethingAwful web forum as an experiment in the creation of folklore-like images through photo manipulation.
An artist's impression of Slenderman.
It’s all about a gaunt, abnormally tall figure who stalks children and lurks in narrow places. It blends ancient European demonic myths, traditional terrors and modern memes to produce one of the internet’s most terrifying stories.
Distorted pictures. Disturbing sightings. “Found footage” video. All have been spawned through the inspiration this spindly, faceless figure has generated.
This particular story has succeeded beyond its creators’ dreams, and has been a popular topic of fan-fiction on a wide variety of websites.
In short, Slenderman has become firmly entrenched in urban legend.
“I didn’t expect it to move beyond the (SomethingAwful) forums,” the man attributed with the myth’s creation — Victor Surge — told the website Know Your Meme in 2011.
But the police chief of the regional city of Waukesha where the girls came from, Russell Jack, was blunt in his assessment: “The internet can be full of dark and wicked things.”
Meet Creepypasta
The criminal complaint filed over the Milwaukee attack quotes one of the girls as saying: “Many people do not believe Slender Man is real. [We] wanted to prove the sceptics wrong.”
This is the crux of the problem.
The Creepypasta website at the centre of the furore surrounding the young teens’ behaviour is direct about declaring its intentions: “In short, a creepypasta is a short story posted on the internet that is designed to unnerve and shock the reader”.
The Creepypasta site says it was built around a long established trend of people “copying and pasting” creepy stories and sharing them via chain emails “for fun”. Thus the name: Creepypasta.
Perhaps you remember the type: You were supposed to suffer bad luck if you didn’t read them.
Murders. Ghosts. Vampires. Demons. Everything that is creepy and unsettling forms a raging torrent of stories, pictures and video in all corners of the internet.
Creepypasta’s administrators, identified only as Sloshtrain and derpbutt, expressed shock at the link between the fiction hosted by the website and the vicious nattack in a lengthy post on the website.
“So when I say that I extend my deepest sympathies and my prayers to those affected, I hope that you understand that I mean it,” the administrator wrote in one of several extensive outpouring of sympathy for the victims and perpetrators.
But the posts are equally emphatic in its defence.
“There is a line of between fiction and reality, and it is up to you to realise where the line is. We are a literature site, not a crazy satanic cult.”
“So while I understand and accept that some people will blame us as a way to channel their anger and grief, I simply cannot agree,” the Creepypasta statement reads.
Blame game
“But if I may be so bold, I don’t believe that it’s the fault of Slenderman or horror writing in general that this happened,” asserts Creepypasta.
“We live in a culture with a very unhealthy relationship with mental illness. People with mental health issues are frequently dismissed, shamed and, and often ignored or denied necessary treatment.”
The website rejects placing blame on an interest in horror or mythology for the tragedy.
“The fact of the matter is it can’t be that simple. Most people don’t watch Hannibal and turn into serial killers … You can insert countless examples here of people enjoying popular culture without acting it out in real life, so I hope that you see my point.”
The popularity of creepy stories is without doubt.
Collections of short fiction through to the opus-like writings of Stephen King pack both print and electronic bookstores.
Age appropriate
The Creepypasta website presents itself as a repository for budding horror-genre authors to share and discuss their work.
But there is little provision for parental guidance or age-restriction of content here, or anywhere.
And the administrator defended the site targeting a high school-to-college age market.
“However, for the really young kids … while I don’t believe that creepy stories will cause them to become evil or sick, I do think it could scare them and/or make them very anxious! “
This is where Waukesha’s police chief agrees.
“This should be a wakeup call for all parents,” he said in a statement. “Parents are strongly encouraged to restrict and monitor their children’s internet usage.”

www.news.com.au (4-6-2014)

View new slender man video footage from moscow russia (January 2014)

12-year-old girls stabbed friend 19 times to prove mysterious horror figure Slenderman was real

Two 12-year-old girls who stabbed their friend 19 times during a game of hide and seek apparently wanted to prove that a mysterious horror figure called Slenderman was real.
The Wisconsin girls from Waukesha in the US, had become obsessed with a website called CreepyPasta, where people can discuss and post horror stories.
Police believe the girls plotted for months to kill one of their classmates so they could become “proxies” of the website’s leader Slenderman.
Chilling details of the girls’ plot were contained in a criminal complaint, which describes how they initially wanted to stab their 12-year-old school friend during a sleepover.
The two girls planned to kill their friend and then walk to a mansion in a national park where they thought Slenderman lived.
The Slender Man is a fictional character that has been attributed to an internet meme created by Something Awful forums user Eric Knudsen (also known as Victor Surge). It went viral and has inspired online fiction known as “creepypasta”, fanart and cosplay.
One of the girls explained to police that just below Slenderman was the killer, just below the killer was the proxy. In order to be a proxy, you have to kill someone to show your dedication to Slenderman.
“Many people do not believe Slenderman is real,” one of the girls told police, and she wanted to prove the sceptics wrong.
The girls plotted to kill a classmate, inviting her over for a sleepover and eventually stabbed her 19 times.
“Based on our investigation, it is believed that the suspects had planned to kill the victim for several months. The Waukesha Police Department is deeply saddened that this 12-year-old girl had to suffer through this horrific crime,” Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack said.
“One suspect held the victim down while the other suspect stabbed her 19 times in the arms, legs and torso,” he said.
“Many of the stab wounds struck major organs. But, incredibly and thankfully, the victim survived this brutal assault.”
Police Chief Jack said the incident was “a wakeup call for parents”.
“The internet can be full of dark and wicked things. Unmonitored and unrestricted access to the internet by children is a growing and alarming problem.”
According to the complaint, the girls went to Skateland with the father of one of the girls before heading home for a sleepover. Originally the two accused planned to kill the victim about 2am while she was sleeping but this changed.
Instead the girls decided to go to a nearby park the next morning and one of the girls grabbed a knife from the house before they went to the park.
They took the victim to a bathroom in the park but both girls lost their nerve, one apparently said she “couldn’t do it”. Later they decided to play a game of hide and seek in the woods and this was when the stabbing occurred.
One of the girls sat on the victim so the other could stab her, but then they were worried that her yelling would attract attention so they let her up.
Then one of the girls tackled the victim and started stabbing her, before giving the knife to the other girl who also stabbed her.
Afterwards the girls left the scene and walked to Walmart. The victim was able to crawl out of the woods onto a road where a cyclist found her.
Police found the two accused later and recovered the knife from a purse.
Family of one of the accused attended a court appearance on Monday and broke into tears several times during her appearance.
“The family is very horrified at what has happened,” attorney Donna Kuchler said.
On Monday both girls were charged as adults for attempted first degree intentional homicide, if convicted they face 60 years in jail.
Waukesha County District Attorney General Brad Schimel told reporters that he expected attorneys would attempt to “reverse waive” them into juvenile court but he would resist this.
“A prosecutor doesn’t have to charge a 12-year-old in adult court. They could charge an offence that doesn’t have direct adult-court jurisdiction. Given the nature of this particular crime, I just don’t know how we could call it anything other than that,” he said.
If convicted in juvenile court, the girls would be out of jail by the time they were 25.
“Right now, I don’t enough about the psychological make up of these two girls, their history,” Mr Schimel said. “That information just isn’t available to us yet.”
The girls are due back in court on June 11.

www.news.com.au (3-6-2014)

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