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Local Slender Man expert weighs in on pre-teen stabbing - abc27 WHTM

Local Slender Man expert weighs in on pre-teen stabbing

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The story of Slender Man begins in 2009 when a man named Eric Knudsen submitted an image to an online forum.

Somehow that image transformed into one that police say inspired two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls to stab a peer 19 times.

To learn more, we turned to an expert; and yes, there is a Slender Man expert here in the Midstate.

"He's a blank slate. You can make him whatever you want," said paranormal researcher Sharon Hill.

Last year, Hill wrote an article titled the 'Shadow of Slender Man.'

"Slender Man was the first open-source monster. He was copyright free. It was just an idea and people were allowed to take that blank slate of Slender Man and project on it whatever they wanted to," she said.

It's like sharing an imagination.

Over the past five years, web users have taken that photoshopped image and created their own back stories.

"He's been described lately as a demonic figure," Hill said, "There have been cases of people saying that they saw him in real life or dreamed about him."

If you haven't heard of him, it's probably because a younger generation took him on as their own. Last month, abc27 received Refrigerator Art from a 7-year-old featuring Slender Man.

"It can be hard for even adults in some cases to differentiate between fact and fiction, and sometimes your imagination can play tricks on you and depending on the circumstances things can go wrong," Hill said.

In recent months, the story of Slender Man deemed him as a hunter of children, often lurking in the background of playgrounds.

Police say the stabbing in Wisconsin was an attempt to please the paranormal being.

So can this tall, thin man be blamed for actions? Hill is one of many who say no.

"Since we could tell stories, we've always told stories of monsters," she said.


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