Slenderman is a thoughtform, otherwise known as a tulpa, servitor or egregore. And he – or it – can be summoned and banished. But why would anybody wish to do so? I guess some would do it for kicks, others to unleash the demonic meme on their enemies. But a secretive magickal group of my acquaintance known as The Dunwich Terror Corps did it as an experiment with reality.
They’re based in various parts of East Anglia in Eastern England and regularly meet in Dunwich, an old coastal village in Suffolk, which used to be an important port in medieval times until most of the then town sank into the sea.
A number of members of The Dunwich Terror Corps became fascinated by the modern myth of Slenderman and decided to see if he could be summoned – and they apparently succeeded.
Of course, they knew Slenderman was a fictitious creation. But being magickians they recognised that the Slenderman meme had taken on a form of reality by its very take up by large amounts of people on the internet. Many told stories about Slenderman, or made videos and more memes featuring the slim, sinister looking man that would abduct children and put utter baleful fear into the hearts of those that came upon him.
In short, the huge level of propagation of the Slenderman meme led to him becoming a thoughtform and taking on a form of reality born of belief and vivid storytelling.
Gilore of The Dunwich Terror Corps related the story to me of how they conjured up Slenderman:
“As I said, we did it for fun and as an experiment with the nature of reality. That’s what we like to do and our raison d’être as a magickal order. I’m an artist by trade and passion, so my main magickal operandi is sigils and glyphs, and this is partly because I’m very influenced by Austin Osman Spare and Salvador Dali.
Anyway, I did a lot of research into the Slenderman myth and then as a group we went down to the Dunwich coast one night at the time of the dark of the moon and we called upon the Slenderman.
Not much happened, but on my way home I got this vivid image for a sigil, and I felt that this was the key to summoning Slenderman. So at the next dark of the moon, three of us when again to the Dunwich coastline. We stood facing each other and put ourselves into a state of trance by shaking – what we call a shaker trance – and I’d earlier prepared the Slenderman sigil on parchment, and we each put it against our foreheads in turn and then placed it in the sea.
Again very little happened. And we just went home. But a few days later I kept getting these eerie feelings that somebody was watching me. I’d quickly turn round, but nobody was there. I mentioned this to the other two who had been involved in the summoning ritual and it turned out they’d had the same experiences. But we couldn’t be sure we weren’t imagining it. After all, we might just have freaked ourselves out – playing with occult fire, as it were.
And then a few days later a salesman for art materials came into my office. He was quite tall and unnaturally thin. He seemed jovial enough. But the more I looked at him, the thinner he seemed. I thought maybe he was anorexic or something.
I dismissed it as coincidence… until I spoke to the other two. And they’d had similar encounters with very thin people. It sounds comical, but we were starting to get a bit edgy. I kept getting the feeling that the Slenderman meme was toying with us. Kind of like saying, “I’ll show you lot…”
But that was nothing compared to what happened about ten days later. I’d had a day in London meeting clients and arrived home sometime after nine o’clock. I ride my pushbike to the train station a few miles away, and I was pushing it through my side gate to put it away in the shed at the far end of the garden. I looked over and thought there’s someone in my shed… as I got closer I saw a leering face behind the glass window in the shed. It had the look of one of those UFO men in black. I froze. It was the Slenderman. There was no doubt about that. I was so freaked I let go of my bike and it dropped to the floor. So I went to pick it up, then looked over towards the shed again. No one was there.
I quickly called my two friends from The Dunwich Terror Corps, and they came over in about twenty minutes. No way was I going in my shed alone. Anyway all three of us had flashlights and we went in the shed and it was empty.
Yes, it could have been an hallucination, but it was very real looking to me. After that we all agreed to perform a banishing. We did it that night. Went down to the coast at Dunwich and did a banish ritual, again with a sigil on parchment. And fortunately that was that. None of us had anymore experiences with the Slenderman… although saying that I turned on my phone the other week and a weird face appeared on it as it booted up. Next minute it was gone. I feel certain it was Slenderman giving me another warning not to mess with him.
I have to say I think Slenderman has become a powerful force, pretty demonic, what with all the people spreading his meme. They reinforce his energy and make the thoughtform ever stronger. As far as I’m concerned Slenderman has become a truly baleful force and not one to be messed with. It’s like Lovecraft’s Cthulhu come to life.”
Gilore and his group are seasoned occultists who have conducted many magickal experiments with all sorts of dark entities, so are not easily freaked out. But Slenderman seemed to unnerve them.
Dunwich Terror Corps’ Slenderman Sigils
[More follows after pictures]
Origins of Slenderman
Ironically, the Slenderman meme started in June 2009 as a competition on comedy forum Something Awful. It asked for people to come up with a modern myth to terrify people. A bit of fun. And Eric Knudsen, under the pen-name Victor Surge, posted two doctored photographs supposedly from the mid-1980s showing a tall, thin and sinister figure lurking behind some groups of children. Knudsen added text to the photo suggesting that fourteen young people and the photographer had all disappeared.
Soon thousands of people were making drawings and writing stories about this “slender” man. Next came video games and Youtube videos featuring stories about Slenderman. One Youtube video series is followed by over half-a-million people.
One academic described the Slenderman mythos as an “open-sourcing of storytelling.” By that he meant the phenomenon is similar to open source software, where programmers from around the world contribute for free.
Told that way it all seems innocuous enough…
But in May 2014 two girls from Wisconsin, USA – Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier (both now 14) – stabbed a 12-year-old classmate nineteen times to please Slenderman. Both are now being tried as adults one charges of attempted murder. Investigators said the two girls plotted for months to kill their victim as a dedication to Slenderman. The girls apparently spoke of their desire to become the paranormal figure’s “proxies” by killing to demonstrate loyalty.
Morgan pleaded not guilty in a US court on grounds of mental illness and is currently being evaluated by doctors.
She may well have been mentally ill. But what the court system is not evaluating is how thoughtforms, even if not essentially “real”, can wield a compelling hold over those who create them or help propagate them.
For example, one of the most famous examples of the creation of a thoughtform – in this case a “tulpa” – concerned redoubtable French traveller Alexandra David-Neel, who spent fourteen years in Tibet. Out of curiosity, she set about performing a Dubthab Rite, from Tibetan mysticism, which reputedly culminates in the tangible manifestation of a thoughtform.
In Magic and Mystery in Tibet (1931), David-Neel recounts how she chose to create a monk or lama who was “short and fat, (and) of an innocent type.” After a few months of performing the rite, which consisted of disciplined visualizations, she started catching glimpses of the phantom monk.
She states: “His form grew gradually fixed and life-like looking. He became a kind of guest in my apartment.”
It got to the point that even when she wasn’t consciously thinking of the monk, he would appear anyway.
“The illusion was mostly visual,” she goes on, “but sometimes I felt as if a robe was lightly rubbing against me and once a hand seemed to touch my shoulder.”
In the end, however, the monk’s presence became troublesome; it took on a life of its own and changed from being innocent and jolly to being sly and malignant. David-Neel had lost control of the tulpa and, to her dismay, it took about as long to dissolve the phantom creation as it had to create it.
And then in the early 1970s came the “Philip” case. Members of the Toronto Society for Psychical Research decided to try to conjure up a fictional spirit, in a process almost identical to the way mystics claim to manufacture tulpas.
Under the direction of eminent psychical researcher Dr.A.R.G.Owen, the group invented the case history of a 17th century Englishman called Philip, who had an affair with a beautiful gypsy girl.
When Philip’s wife found out, she accused the girl of witchcraft and saw to it that the girl was burned at the stake. Philip did not intervene and eventually committed suicide in remorse.
Having created this story, the Toronto group set about trying to conjure up the spirit of Philip. For several months there were no results. Then one evening, while they were all relaxing and singing songs, there was a rap at the table.
They used the standard code – one rap for yes, two for no – to question the “spirit”, which claimed to be Philip, and corroborated and even enlarged upon the story they had invented for him.
At later seances, Philip made the table dance all around the room, and even made it levitate in front of TV cameras. Details of this case can be found in Conjuring Up Philip (1976) by Iris Owen and Margaret Sparrow, both members of the Toronto Society for Psychical Research.
Another remarkable case involved the apparent creation of an “egrigor”, another term for thoughtform. Writing in the June 1960 edition of Fate magazine, Nicholas Mamontoff recounts how in 1912 a Russian occult-scientific investigation group, called The Brotherhood of the Rising Sun, invited a mysterious (and unnamed) Tibetan/Chinese-looking guru to instruct them in his knowledge.
During the lecture, the guru invited the audience to create an “egrigor” (thoughtform) using their collective thought power. The guru instructed them to visualize a red-haired puss-in-boots.
“Concentrate! Concentrate! Do not think of anything but the cat,” urged the guru.
After a while, according to Mamontoff’s father who attended the lecture, the shadowy form of a cat appeared in front of the gathering. When the guru asked them all to stop visualizing, the cat faded away.
The guru closed the lecture by saying, “The Western scientists never realize how powerful the human mind is and what miracles it can work.”
So if we bear these cases in mind, and the experiences of The Dunwich Terror Corps, we begin to see how Slenderman could have taken on a semblance of “reality.” And arguably has become more powerful than the documented cases of thoughtform creation because there are literally thousands, if not millions of people, adding to his myth and story. This makes the Slenderman motif all the more risky to get involved with. Even if you know what you are doing, like The Dunwich Terror Corps do, you might still run into trouble.
But eventually, as the Slenderman meme wanes, his power will diminish. He will no longer have the “mental fuel” to maintain his compelling illusion.