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Episode Notes for
Slenderman & Tulpas

Joe Laycock (photo by Dan Addison)

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Texas State University, in San Marcos, Texas. Joe Laycock has written extensively on topics that overlap MonsterTalk’s area of interest, including the publication of a book titled Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampirism. (Photo Credit: Dan Addison)

Natasha Mikles

Natasha Mikles is a Doctoral student at the University of Virginia focusing on Tibetan Studies.

SLENDERMAN IS AN INTERNET CREATION made for a contest on the Something Awful website. Its creator was Victor Surge (whose real name is Eric Knudsen). The character is tall, thin, faceless, wears a suit and is often shown in the background of otherwise innocent photos — sometimes with tentacles creeping shadowy from behind his back. His fictional story is that he compels children to kill.

On May 31, 2014, two young girls in Wisconsin attacked a third with a knife and alleged that their motivation was to become proxies of the Slenderman and to go live in his mansion in the woods. Why would they believe that a fictional creature was real?

Since the creation of Slenderman the character has “gone viral” and spun off numerous art and fiction stories. And some fans of the Slenderman believe that he is real — either existing already from time immemorial, or that he exists now, brought to life by the combined belief of millions of humans in the form of a living creature known as a Tulpa.

In this episode we interview Joe Laycock and Natasha Mikles, who help us find out more about Slenderman and Tulpas and the reality of their supposed ancient heritage.

Slenderman in the Media

Creepy Pasta is both a term meaning a specific kind of short horror fiction, as well as a website of the same name which houses many such disturbing stories. It is an altered form of copy-pasta which itself is a deliberate alteration of cut & paste.

Articles by the Interviewees

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Episode Transcript

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The views expressed on this program are not necessarily the views of the Skeptics Society or Skeptic magazine.

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