How do you know when a creepy pasta has hit critical mass? When HBO makes a documentary out of it. Beware the Slenderman is the cable network’s latest true crime documentary and it follows the online tall tale of The Slender Man. After countless stories, games, and memes, two girls were inspired to “summon” him by stabbing their classmate multiple times in the woods in an attempt to kill her.
The trailer for the documentary shows the fictional figure popping up in some dark woods as a woman recites a Slender Man poem. The focus then shifts to the 911 call, where the operator can’t even believe what they are hearing. From the trailer, it looks like the documentary will go in-depth into both the legends surrounding the figure and the attack itself.
For those out of the loop, Slender Man first appeared in 2009. A tall, faceless humanoid in a suit with elongated arms, he is said to silently stalk his victims before killing them or making them disappear. He basically can’t be stopped and looking at him in person spells certain doom. The lore around the figure changes depending on the story, especially after it first appeared on creepypasta.com in 2011. Why this particularly figure caught the attention of thousands of Internet readers but suddenly the character was everywhere, becoming one of the most popular horror figures on the web and the 21st century.
In 2014, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier became obsessed with the figure and in an attempt to make contact with him, stabbed their classmate Payton Leutner multiple times. Leunter was able to crawl out of the woods and onto a local road, where she was soon discovered and taken to the hospital. She survived the attack and both Geyser and Weier were arrested. The two are currently being tried as adults for the attack. So what’s more horrific — the monster or the disciples?
Beware the Slenderman will air on HBO on January 23, 2017.