The Slender Man is a paranormal character that originated as an Internet meme created by Something Awful forum user Victor Surge in 2009. He is often depicted as resembling a thin, unnaturally tall man with a blank and usually featureless face, wearing a black suit.
Stories of the Slender Man commonly feature him stalking, abducting or traumatizing people, particularly children. The Slender Man is not confined to a single narrative, but appears in many disparate works of fiction, art and video, mostly composed online.
Beginning in 2014, a minor moral panic occurred over the Slender Man after readers of his fiction were connected to several violent acts, particularly a near-fatal stabbing in Waukesha, Wisconsin. After hearing the story about Wisconsin, an unidentified woman from Cincinnati told TV reporters that her 13-year-old daughter had attacked her with a knife and had written macabre fiction, some involving the Slender Man, who the mother said motivated the attack.
On September 4, 2014, a 14-year-old girl in Port Richey, Florida, set her family's house on fire while her mother and nine-year-old brother were inside. Police reported that the teenager had been reading online stories about Slender Man as well as Atsushi Ōkubo's manga Soul Eater.
During an early 2015 epidemic of suicide attempts by young people ages 12 to 24 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Slender Man was cited as an influence; the Oglala Sioux tribe president noted that many Native Americans traditionally believe in a "suicide spirit" similar to the Slender Man.