Slender Man, an eerie invention of the internet, recently made headlines for playing a part in a shocking stabbing. The freaky fictional character certainly shouldn’t be celebrated, but a Halloween costume store and a popular TV series are both helping him become a pop culture icon.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Slender Man is an internet urban legend created by the “creepypasta” culture. The character is an unnaturally tall and thin man who wears a suit, and he uses supernatural powers to kidnap and kill children. He has no face, and sometimes he’s depicted with writhing tentacles.
Slender Man recently made headlines when two 12-year-old girls from Waukesha, Wisconsin stabbed another 12-year-old girl 19 times before leaving her in the woods to die. The girls later claimed that they tried to kill their classmate to become servants of Slender Man. Their victim miraculously survived, but Slender Man’s reign of terror might not be over. According to FOX 6 NOW, some Waukesha County residents fear that they might see the disturbing figure roaming the streets this Halloween.
Slender Man Halloween costumes are being sold at stores in Waukesha County, and area residents are appalled that local kids will be able to dress up like the fictional figure.
“I think the stores could do a better job choosing their costumes for kids to not promote violence,” Chris Sobczak said. Other residents labeled the costumes “horrible” and called for them to be pulled from store shelves. Jodi Didenko even expressed fears that the costumes could traumatize the victim of the stabbing. The girl recently returned to school and is trying to put the awful incident behind her.
“Just the reaction with the neighborhood and the girl’s finally back in school and feeling good and I just think this would set her back,” Didenko said.
CBS 58 News contacted Spirit Halloween, one of the companies that sells Slender Man Halloween costumes. A spokesperson seemed to indicate that the company has no plans to discontinue the costume or to pull it from store shelves in Waukesha County.
“We carried the costume before the incident, and we don’t think the sale of the costume in anyway condones the actions of violence.”
Slender Man isn’t just popping up in Halloween costume form — he might also make an appearance on American Horror Story: Freak Show. As The Daily Dot points out, one of the recent teaser trailers for the FX series features a freakishly tall and thin man holding hands with a somber-faced little girl. It’s possible that the character is supposed to be Slender Man, but he could also be one of the series’ freak show attractions.
However, some American Horror Story fans don’t believe that the character is simply supposed to be “the Tallest Man in the World.” They pointed out that the teaser video looks very similar to a popular photo of Slender Man holding hands with a little girl.
— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) June 3, 2014
Some American Horror Story fans expressed their beliefs that it might be unwise to feature the Slender Man character on a popular TV series after what happened in Wisconsin. Glorifying the figure could lead to copycat crimes or bring unwanted attention to the young stabbing victim. It’s also simply in poor taste for American Horror Story: Freak Show to capitalize on a tragic situation by featuring a character that looks so much like Slender Man.
What do you think of the American Horror Story: Freak Show teaser and the Slender Man Halloween costumes? Is it foolish to glamorize a figure that played a part in such a horrific situation?