A horrific crime committed by two 12-year-old girls and blamed on internet legend Slenderman is getting its own HBO documentary, entitled Beware the Slenderman.
Slenderman originated out of a 2009 meme that circulated across the internet. Slenderman’s creepy appearance quickly made him into the “Boogeyman” of the internet. He is depicted as faceless, oftentimes wearing a dark suit, and donning octopus-like tentacles. Slenderman lurks in chatrooms and dark corners of the internet and is rumored to terrorize children and those who wish to expose him. Slenderman became popular enough to even have his own YouTube account, as well as a Twitter account, where he spouts off sinister threats to frighten children and adults alike.
I look forward to the day that I catch you alone.— Slenderman (@OfficSlenderMan) September 26, 2015
It would be my pleasure to glean, peel, and fry your small intestine and feed it to you.
The hauntingly faceless fictional internet character became the inspiration for chilling folk tales, video games, and even a real-life, horrific attempted murder carried out by two pre-teen girls living in a small Wisconsin town.
On May 31, 2014, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier lured 12-year-old Payton Leutner, a classmate and supposed best friend of Morgan, into the woods and stabbed her 19 times. Near death and left to die, Payton somehow found the strength to crawl out of the woods and onto a sidewalk, where she was found by a bicyclist. She was reportedly “millimeters away from death,” as one of the stab wounds narrowly missed her heart. The cyclist called 911 and Payton was quickly taken to a hospital where she later recovered.
Morgan and Anissa blamed the mysterious internet character, Slenderman, for their crime, claiming they only wanted to impress the internet Boogeyman and show him, “they were worthy,” as well as prove to skeptics Slenderman was real. Slenderman also promised they could live with him inside his mansion deep in the woods if they made a blood sacrifice.
According to court documents, NBC News reported the plan for the Slenderman inspired crime had been in the works for months. The girls did not intend for Payton to make it out alive. A list of supplies to commit the crime were found along with dozens of disturbing drawings and disfigured dolls with the Slenderman symbol. Their plan for premeditated murder led the judge to decide to try them as adults for 1st degree attempted murder.
Morgan and Anissa stated they discovered Slenderman on a website called Creepypasta wiki, an online community where internet users can share frightening and disturbing stories and images. After the grisly attempted murder the administrators of Creepypasta had to remind visitors “the line between fiction and reality.”
Beware the Slenderman is based on this shocking small town crime. According to Indiewire, Oscar-nominated, Emmy and Peabody Award winner Irene Taylor Brodsky will bring the horrifying real life tale of Slenderman to life.
Check out the official HBO synopsis for Beware the Slenderman, which documents this heinous crime and explores the influence the internet can have on our impressionable youth.
“Shot over 18 months with heartbreaking access to the families of the would-be murderers, the film plunges deep down the rabbit hole of their crime, a Boogeyman and our society’s most impressionable consumers of media. The entrance to the internet can quickly lead us to its dark basement, within just a matter of clicks. How much do we hold children responsible for what they find there?”
Beware the Slenderman will premiere on SXSW on March 11, 2016. A date for HBO has yet to be released.
[Photo by Alex Malikov/Shutterstock]