Folklore, horror stories, and the slender man: The development of an internet mythology

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Since 2009, the Slender Man had been growing in popularity as an emergent, groundbreaking Internet horror myth. It entered the broader popular consciousness in May 2014, when two twelve year old girls led a third girl into a wooded area and stabbed her numerous times. The Slender Man takes on important cultural meanings in the age of the Internet - meanings often neglected when the crime version of the story went reported in the media. The revisions that they made to it helps to suggest an iterative folk telling tradition. Because the Slender Man storytelling process has become both crowd sourced and participatory - taking place at what we identify as a "digital campfire" - the interpretations and analyses are not meant to be static, but to provide an explanation of how Internet mythologies develop and prosper. This book introduces unique attributes of digital culture and establishes a needed framework for studies of other Internet memes and mythologies.




Chess, S., & Newsom, E. (2014). Folklore, horror stories, and the slender man: The development of an internet mythology. Folklore, Horror Stories, and the Slender Man: The Development of an Internet Mythology (pp. 1–143). Palgrave Macmillan.

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