Okay, this is technically part 3 of The Slender Man’s Attributes, but it’s big and important enough that it deserves its own page. This is the biggest thing that Marble Hornets added to the mythos. This is about the Slender Man’s effects on recordings.
In Marble Hornets, Jay notices a few patterns throughout the videos—that is, he notices that there seem to be video tears or audio distortions appearing at important points. By the end, the viewer understands that they appear whenever the Slender Man is around. The video tears themselves become quite frightening, and one is used masterfully in Entry #26. After a onslaught of creepy, distorted images, the scene switches to a much more relaxing image of Alex’s girlfriend asking when they got a camera. The scene gives the viewer just enough of a breather before a video tear appears (after a stretch of time where they were infrequent to nonexistent), at which point, all the terror comes flooding back. Sure enough, the Slender Man appears just moments later.
In EverymanHYBRID and Tribe Twelve, the video tears and audio distortions also occur frequently. Often times in all three of the series, the closer he is, the more distortion there is. At times, the audio just sounds a bit garbled, and other times, it’s undecipherable. Sometimes there are just video tears, sometimes the screen goes fuzzy, and sometimes, the camera cuts out entirely. In addition, messages are occasionally encoded in these distortions (done most frequently in Tribe Twelve, where single-frame, barely visible drawings of the Slender Man appear).
This has spread beyond videos. In Seeking Truth, a kid is taken from a holding room by the Slender Man, but the police are unable to catch him because the camera (and only the camera in that room) freezes up. It just stops recording. This trait has become so ingrained that Something Awful evidently created some sort of redirect to pictures of the Slender Man that show distortions of the pictures. Imagine my surprise when I checked one of the early posts and found that the picture I had hotlinked to had been replaced with this:
Chances are, instead of seeing a picture of some kids on a playground with a tall, tentacle-armed man in the background, you’re seeing what looks sort of like a wavy barcode.
Anyway, why is this? Well, primarily, because it’s creepy. The Slender Man runs on the rule of scary. This in particular is scary because one of the creepiest things about him is that he’s never seen particularly clearly. In all the pictures, he’s either hidden in the background or masked by fog. In the videos, where he’s more visible, distortion hides him. It also has the opposite effect—in Marble Hornets, it was occasionally hard to notice that something was strange. The Slender Man was hidden fairly well, and it’s sometimes hard to spot him. The distortions were also a visible clue that he was around.
How is this justified, though? Well…it really isn’t. The closest thing I’ve come across is in Seeking Truth, where the police assume it was some form of EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) that knocked out the camera. It’s possible that the Slender Man has some sort of power like that. It could just be that he doesn’t like being filmed, and has some sort of defense to prevent that. Or, it could be that attention makes him stronger (covered in a later post), and he does it to draw attention to himself. However, this makes less sense in series like EverymanHYBRID, where the camera often cuts out completely.
Anyway, this is one that I’d really like theories for. If you guys could help out by adding your ideas in the comments, I’d really appreciate that.
Well, I’m going to be reading up on another big Slenderblog soon: Dreams in Darkness. It’s one of the bigger ones, from what I can tell, and I’ve heard some good things about it.