The Slender Man and Recordings

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.

-Andy

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About Li'l Andy K

Hey, everyone. I'm a sophomore at [University name removed for my own privacy] who's taken a liking to the Slender Man myth. I have taken a strong liking to the Slender Man myth. The Slender Man myth has taken a strong liking to me.
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18 Responses to The Slender Man and Recordings

  1. Omega says:

    In the comments of the “Observe and Terminate” blog, SuspendedSerenity hypothesized that the distortions were due to Slender Man having a kind of electroreception which he used to view his surroundings; the electromagnetic waves would mess with electrical devices in the area.
    The basis of that hypothesis was on Nightcrawler’s (the author of “Observe and Terminate”) might be capable of creating areas where Slender Man is blind to him using powerful electromagnetic radiation.
    Here’s the link to the post: http://nightcrawler-observeandterminate.blogspot.com/2010/11/ask-nightcrawler.html

    It’s an odd hypothesis, which hasn’t had any confirmation, but at the moment it’s the only idea apart from “Slender Man causes distortions because he does.”

    • lilandyk says:

      Huh, interesting….
      While I’m not sure I buy into it entirely, I kind of like the idea that the distortions are caused as a side effect of his method of sensation. Sort of like a bat using sonar, only in this case, whatever the sonar is interferes with electronic equipment. Thanks for the find!

  2. Sly Reference says:

    The “wavy barcode” is an announcement that there is no linking from the host, complete with frowny face.

    • Li'l Andy K says:

      For you, perhaps. When I first linked that photo from Something Awful (and on this page currently, for me at least), it showed up as a highly distorted black-and-white image that looks like, well, a wavy barcode. I shat brix when I first saw it, before realizing that SA probably did that on purpose.

      • Sly Reference says:

        That’s what it looks like to me too–stretched out to fit a vertical square much larger than the typeface is intended for. Right click and look at the image.

        That’s not to knock the effect on you. But you’re trying to write a blog about the Slender Man, so I thought I wanted to help keep you grounded.

  3. Li'l Andy K says:

    …Oh, now I see it! Ha! Here I was about to say “the fact that we’re not seeing the same thing is even more unsettling,” then I realize that we ARE seeing the exact same thing. It’s just that it’s stretched so much that it’s just about unreadable! Wow. That gives me a bit of a laugh.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Slenderman and the technology both come from our abstract thought. The technology helps us, the Man is its way to hurt us.

  5. Lon Sarver says:

    I’ve just found your blog, and was going to wait until I’d caught up to write. Since you ask for theories, though…

    I believe that the Slender Man exists outside of the four dimensions of space/time we can perceive. What looks to us like some form of teleportation is just Slendy moving normally (for it) along dimensions we can’t see.

    Because it’s from outside (should that be Outside?), his intrusions into 4D space/time distort things. You’ll notice that the old film photos are a bit blurry, but not really warped? Electronic equipment is much more sensitive to these space/time distortions, and thus digital cameras and sound recordings are more affected by its presence.

    Also, I note that in Marble Hornets, there are two kinds of audio distortion: one is a higher pitched static, the other a lower. The higher seems to be associated with Masky/Tim/totheark, and the lower with Slendy itself. The video distortion may be linked with the teleportation effect.

  6. Sefirosu200x says:

    Okay I’ve been gathering up some notes I wrote down for a new addition to the mythos I was planning on making. These notes take the form of military documents based on encounters and research of Slenderman (along with other “entities” like The Rake” and some of the research has shown that these creatures emanate Sigma Radiation (based on EverymanHYBRID, making it kind of like a crossover) and it’s this radiation that affects the memory of the recording device. It’s all pretty complex and are just notes on my iPhone at the moment so I have to figure out syncing to upload them I guess. If you have any interest, I will share them once I get them uploaded.

  7. TheLostOne says:

    I’ve been studying him for a good while now and I’ve come up with a theory as to why he distorts video. Slenderman is a trans-dimensional creature and thus exists in 4 dimensions. We live in three dimensions: length, width and height. He lives in four, length, width, height and time. we live in a dimension where time is like a ray (a line with a start point, but no end point and we can only travel in one direction. Slenderman can travel through time as he pleases, because time for him is like a plane that goes on forever in all directions. So because he is trans-dimensional he will travel through time often, if not always. I theorize that when he time jumps, or slenderwalks as it is commonly known as, he moves at the speed of light, causing light to actually appear, and it will mess with the light sensor on a camera and cause video distortion. As for the audio distortion, when someone moves at the speed of light, they make a high pitched, and usually distorted kind of sound. If one listens closely while he is there, the distortion can be heard. It sounds kind of like a dog whistle. So, simply put, when he slender walks he moves at 186,000 mps (miles per second) he makes a sound and produces light that mess with a camera’s sensor.

  8. Mystery120 says:

    This is my theory: he came from another dimension, so maybe we‘re not actually seeing slenderman? Maybe he messes with our minds and electronics, and makes us think/see that he is just a tall, faceless man in a suit? Or maybe he is ‘shapeless‘, or completely ‘featureless‘, and our imagination fills the gap where he is? And that stuffs up electronics, because there is a ‘void‘ that can‘t be recorded on our camera‘s? Just speculation, really.

  9. As far as I am concerned Slendy’s mind messing powers have the same reaction with electronics that telekiesis and other supernatural mind based powers also have. Only far more subtle because with said powers the electronic devices generally get destroyed and Slendy just messes with their memory space.

  10. Forgot to mention that the Path of Black Leafes and the Godsway are different dimensions.

  11. OMFG there is no fucking such thing is Slender man

  12. Pewdiepie and 11 guys play fan says:

    I’ve seen slenderman in a abandoned hospital which inspired the slender map hospice
    He was grabbed this guy and he got teleported

  13. Pewdiepie and 11 guys play fan says:

    I mean just grabbed sorry I’m just scared because he always watches no eyes

  14. Brianna Duffy says:

    i’m a 12 year old girl from indiana & i have a story to tell… i have had an experience with this slenderman. i’ve been trying to look up research about him & i can’t figure out what he wants with me. i don’t think he wants to hurt me, because he hasn’t harmed me. it was a dark night & i was home alone. i was doing some homework, while my mom went shopping with all my siblings, my dad working late & my older sister at the mall with her bestfriend. i was just minding my own buisness when i heard someone turned my computer on. i figured it was just my dad, so i just went on with my homework. then, a ear-piercing screech hurt my ears. i walked out to my living room & my television was on & it was cracked white & black… strange, i thought. i turned the tv off, and started to walk back to my room, when i saw something at the corner of my eye… i turned & nothing. i walked back to my room & then, my radio turned on & also started cracking up. i turned it off & started to get suspicious, so i decided to watch tv. while i went out there, a tall, dark figure with a pale face, but no face features. it was blank. it was standing for a while, when i thought it only had two limbs, more started coming out it’s back & tendrils stretching out of it’s fingers stretched towards me. i stepped back, but was suddenly hypmotized. i walk straight into the arms. they were a rough-type silk fabric… nothing i’ve ever felt before. his arms pulled me into him & i suddenly felt at home. i looked up at his face, with no features, but the shape of lips curled into a smile, even though it wasn’t there. it took it’s hand & touched my face. it was real, human skin, but IT wasn’t human itself. he bent over, like to whisper something to me, but instead, it touched it’s “lips” to my forehead & patted me on the head. something told me i haven’t blinked once since i saw him, so i blink for a half-second, opened my eyes & he was gone. i’ve told my friends, but they don’t believe me. in fact, i’ve lost them, because they think i’m so crazy. now, my only friend is the slenderman. he doesn’t talk, but i don’t mind that. if slenderman wants something with us, he just wants friends… to play with someone. everyone says he’s scary, but to me, he’s just a bestfriend.(: comment back & if this gives any answers to the person who made this website, your welcome.(: email me anytime.(:
    brianna.duffy@evsck12.com.(:

  15. Denisowator says:

    yes there is you idiot!

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