Beware the Slenderman, An HBO Documentary About an Internet Meme That Went Terribly Wrong

In 2009, someone on the Something Awful online forum posted a challenge to edit an existing photograph so as to make it appear ghostly or paranormal and it was from this challenge that the infamous Slender Man meme was born. This tall faceless ghoul with elongated limbs became the subject of many theories, folklore, myths and internet meme that were so popular, many believed the Slender Man was real, including two 12-year old girls from Waukesha, Wisconsin who stabbed a third girl to prove themselves worthy. HBO tells the story of these girls in the upcoming documentary Beware the Slenderman, which premieres on January 23, 2017.

Beware the Slenderman tells the true story of 12-year olds Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, who lured their best friend into the woods, stabbed her 19 times, then confessed they did it to appease a tall and faceless man known online as Slenderman. With heart-wrenching access to the girls’ families, this haunting film plunges deep down the rabbit hole of their actions, exploring how the dark corners of the internet can influence society’s most impressionable young consumers of the media.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.