Slender Man

Urban legends present a unique group of stories that have captivated minds for centuries. Though no one story is the same, urban legends offer the same general structure. They are moldable, usually change depending on who is telling them, and are often relayed as experiential. These characteristics make all sorts of urban legends persist through the ages. A modern day example of an urban legend is that of The Slender Man. A mysterious and adaptable figure, Slender Man captured the minds of countless youths across the world. So intoxicating is this legend, that some even followed the stories to violence. No matter the nature of the “origin” story, Slender Man persisted through countless adaptations and has become an insidious example of the power of imagination.

There is not a definitive or canonized belief system pertaining to Slender Man. His image and belief set that is attached to him changes according to the particular person engaged in the story. However, he is typically depicted as a tall, thin man who wears a black suit. He has long, spindly arms, sometimes multiple, like a spider. Depending on the interpretation, he can cause a variety of symptoms such as memory loss, insomnia, paranoia, distortions of the mind, and incidences of teleportation (Kim, 2019). In terms of His character, sometimes he is depicted as a “dark guardian angel” who is sent to rescue children from their abusive families, or from bullies. In other interpretations, he is seen as a vicious killer who feeds on young children (Brodskey, 2017).

Information regarding the actual legend of Slender Man can be found through a variety of means. The original image of Slender Man was developed by an artist named Eric Knudsen in a 2009 Photoshop contest for the web forum “Something Awful”. He superimposed an image of a dark figure onto 1980’s photographs of children playing in parks (Cohn, 2018). From there, the image inspired writers and film makers to create their own similar interpretations. Stories and

“experiences” popped up on sites like Creepypasta and Wikia (Cohn, 2018). These sources offer artists own personal depictions of the Slender Man legend. They are presented as true, and made to seem authentic or realistic. Videos shot with phones or low grade cameras allow footage to appear realistic, and actor commentary adds to the authenticity (Brodskey, 2017).

The legend was most popular in the immediate years following Knudsen’s Photoshop contest. Between 2009 and 2015, there were countless stories and videos circulating the internet focusing on Slender Man (Kim, 2019). Over the last few years, the popularity of the legend has tapered off, though there are still some blogs and video games dedicated to the character (Kim, 2019). While there is countless information devoted to this character online, belief in Him is undoubtedly extraordinary. Slender Man is a being that is not founded in scientific fact, nor is he substantiated by any actual evidence. He was merely created, and believed.

For the believers of the Slender Man legend, evidence may seem to abound. The believers of Slender Man are young, impressionable, and vulnerable. Mainly, they are middle school aged children who have alone time on their internet devices. Without parental supervision, or the general understanding of what is and isn’t real, the apparent “evidence” of stories and videos seem overwhelming (Brodskey, 2017). Children are impressionable, especially those who are lonely or suffer from a broken family or bullying. Often times, children in these situations feel ostracized, or as if they are outsiders from their communities. In these circumstances, a powerful image, whether He is seen as insidious or dangerous, can be comforting. A sense of belonging is not to be underestimated. In this way, Slender Man can seem very real to a child (Brodskey, 2017).

On the other hand, there is no substantiated evidence to support the actual existence of Slender Man. While one can acknowledge the apparent attraction of his character, there is no

factual basis for any of the claims associated with the stories surrounding Him. While videos and pictures may appear as evidence, experts can easily regard them as being Photoshopped. Additionally, the creator of the first actual image of “Slender Man” is known to be Eric Knudsen. It is factual that His first original “imagery” was created in 2009 for a Photoshop contest.

All in all, it is easy for adults to disregard the idea of Slender Man as a foolish childhood story. But, to those who are vulnerable, it can be very real. Children are impressionable, and the internet is very powerful. It offers a community for those who need it, and within that community, patterns of groupthink can develop. It can be nearly impossible to break off the effect of this apparent community once it has developed. The internet offers an escape, and the fantasies it offers can seem extremely real. The community belief of Slender Man is no different. The children who believed and believe in this story are devoted followers. It is important to acknowledge that although their belief is not founded in fact, it is indeed very genuine.

Kim, Brad, and Tomberry. “Slender Man.” Know Your Meme, 20 Mar. 2019,
Cohn, Gabe. “How Slender Man Became a Legend.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Aug. 2018,

Brodskey, Irene, director. Beware The Slenderman . HBO NOW®, 2017,


Ancient Alien Architects

The ancient alien architect theory is one that has held a lot of the publics’ attention through the years. The general idea is that years ago, aliens visited our planet and assisted our ancestors in building the great monuments of their time. The Egyptian pyramids, Mayan Temples, Angkor Wat, and Easter Island are a few examples that this theory ties in to. This theory is popular among many people, and not exclusive to those who are ill-informed or uneducated. Rather, it is widely held by “average” individuals seeking explanation or understanding of an uncertain and curious past (Killgrove, 2015).

The popularity of the ancient alien architect theory has grown to great prevalence. This popularity must be mostly attributed to the televised phenomena of shows such as History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens”. Other sources of information on the topic are found on websites such as “”, and pseudo-archaeology books like Graham Hancock’s Fingerprints of the Gods’, and Andrew Collins’ Gobekli Tepe; Genesis of the Gods (Killgrove, 2015). No matter the popularity of the theory, it is indeed extraordinary. The belief in the ancient alien architect theory defies all bounds of modern scientific knowledge; rejecting the traditionally accepted requirements for a legitimate scientific theory. There is no physical or historical proof that provides definitive evidence to support the theory, and yet it holds. No matter your personal opinion on the theory, it is undeniably rampant, controversial, and extraordinary.

For those who hold stock in the ancient alien architect theory, explanations abound. For example, at the time at which so many of the ancient monuments in question were built, our perception of the “necessary” technology was not yet invented. This begs the question, as to how our ancestors managed such a feat. Additionally, many of the monuments (Egyptian Pyramids, Easter Island Heads, etc.), have curiously precise alignment with the stars and patterns of the sun. Without telescopes or geometric equipment, this type of precision seems highly unlikely for humans to muster on their own (Jones, 2016). Interpretations of cave etchings and hieroglyphics seem to reveal images of helicopter-type vehicles and structures reminiscent of a flying saucer. Had our ancestors not been visited by ancient alien architects, how and why would these images appear (Jones, 2016)? Lastly, there is undeniable similarity between structures that were built hundred and thousands of years and miles apart (Mayan Temples and Egyptian pyramids) (Jones, 2016). Without ever having seen these other locations, how did our ancestors duplicate them? To those who accept the ancient alien architect theory, it seems that the only logical explanation to these mysteries was the visitation of higher-intelligence race of aliens.

On the other hand, there are many who reject the idea of the ancient alien architect theory. From a technological standpoint, it is true that scientists are still working on figuring out how exactly our ancestors managed such large architectural feats. However, modern discoveries and research has uncovered explanations and theories based in legitimate scientific processes. For example, a recent study based out of Egypt lead to the discovery that water can be utilized to make the transportation of heavy blocks easier (Jarus, 2016). This sheds light of the question as to how our ancestors managed to move such heavy objects without modern day technology. Circumpolar stars, such as Polaris, and lines of rope could have been utilized as a method of aligning the buildings so precisely with star patterns (Jarus, 2016). While scientists and archaeologists acknowledge that these actions would have been difficult, they would not have been impossible. Documents and building plans have been found in places such as Egypt as well, describing the large work forces utilized in these projects (Jarus, 2016).  For those who reject the theory, they see no actual evidence of its claims. They seek proof in traditional and logical scientific process.

Those who believe the ancient alien architect theory are not alone. Believers come from every walk of life, every age, and every socioeconomic status. There is a social fascination with the topic, and it is widely popular across many platforms. Social media, television shows, blogs, and even support groups devoted to the theory allow believers to hold strong. The prevalence of the show “Ancient Aliens” undoubtedly attracts many to this theory. Movies like “The Day after Tomorrow” and “Independence Day”, while not focused primarily on alien architects, promote fascination with alien conceptualization. All of these platforms make it hard to ignore the topic, and allow believers more and more outlets to solidify their convictions.

When considering the psychological explanations that may account for belief in such a theory, a few come to mind. Ad Ignorantum refers to the idea that something must be true, if it is not proven false. This is key in the mind of a believer. Instead of saying “let me show you proof”, they instead say “show me proof this isn’t true”. Hasty generalization is key as well. Jumping to a conclusion based of insufficient evidence is found is nearly every claim within the ancient alien architect theory. This ties in with the slippery-slope idea as well. A small idea is conjured, and instead of analyzing or trying to disprove it, the idea snowballs into an entire theory. For example, when considering the issue of how the pyramids were built, some argue that hieroglyphics found on site resemble helicopters (Jones, 2016). A believer assumes this to mean that a helicopter-type vehicle was present, and since humans did not have that kind of technology, they then assume that an extraterrestrial visitor must have brought it. And so, if they were present, they must have been helping with the construction of the seemingly impossible pyramid construction. Instead of accepting alternate explanations, a generalized theory is created, and seemingly explains the mystery.

These psychological explanations account for why so many fall into this belief pattern. It seems nearly impossible to reject an idea when everything seemingly “fits”. The characteristics of pseudoscience are tricky, and can make almost any issue believable. Humans seek explanation, and the comfort of understanding. When tackling an issue such as these ancient marvels, it is natural to search for any explanation, because it defies what we see as possible. This is where the ancient alien architect theory gains so much attention, and how it continues to spread.








Killgrove, Kristina. “What Archaeologists Really Think About Ancient Aliens, Lost Colonies, And Fingerprints Of The Gods.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 22 Nov. 2015,


Jones, Kim. “Top 10 Evidences To Prove The Aliens Built The Pyramids” Proof of Aliens Life, 25 Feb. 2016,


Jarus, Owen. “How Were the Egyptian Pyramids Built?” LiveScience, LiveScience Online, 14 Jun, 2016. .