The new HBO documentary “Beware the Slenderman” released its first trailer this week and it is most definitely creepy.
The documentary explores the rise in popularity of the monstrous creature known as Slenderman, a tall, thin apparition with ghost-white skin and no face who is said to abduct and kill children.
If you weren’t freaked out enough already, TheWrap has rounded up several facts to know about the online phenomenon you should know before the documentary premieres on HBO.
Check out the list below.
-Meme Goes Viral
Eric Knudsen is credited with creating Slenderman back in 2009. Taking part in a Photoshop contest on the Something Awful message board, Knudsen submitted two photos of groups of children with Slenderman in the background wearing his trademark black suit. Other users quickly seized on the figure and began creating stories centered around him.
Slenderman stories became incredibly popular online, with people posting fan fiction about the character in stories known as creepypastas. These were horror stories that often featured Slenderman being involved in all kinds of ghoulish acts meant to terrify readers.
-Powers and Abilities
There is no official list of powers attributed to the supernatural figure, but stories about him have given Slenderman a wide range of abilities. Typically, he is said to have very long arms or even tentacles that he uses to capture his victims. It has also been written that he can drive people insane or to kill simply by being close to them.
-In the Media
Slenderman has moved beyond the internet into various other mediums. The character himself or one very similar has been featured as an antagonist in numerous supernatural television shows like the Canadian series “Lost Girl” and “Supernatural.” There has also been talk of Slenderman movies and TV shows, but these projects have yet to see fruition.
-Fantasy Becomes Reality
The world took notice of Slenderman in 2014, when two pre-teen girls from Waukesha, Wisconsin, attempted to stab one of their classmates to death in order to impress the fictional character. The victim survived and managed to crawl onto a bike path, where she was discovered by a passing cyclist. Both perpetrators are currently on trial.
“Beware the Slenderman” premieres Jan. 23 on HBO.