Slender Man Is Coming

Creepypasta and Contemporary Legends on the Internet

edited by Trevor J. Blank and Lynne S. McNeill

"This seminal work is a valuable read for people interested in legends, children’s folklore, or horror. Any folklorist particularly interested in ostensive practices, monsters, and digital folklore, to name a few, will fi nd this work extremely useful." 

  —Western Folklore          


The essays in this volume explore the menacing figure of Slender Man—the blank-faced, long-limbed bogeyman born of a 2009 Photoshop contest who has appeared in countless horror stories circulated on- and offline among children and young people. Slender Man is arguably the best-known example in circulation of “creepypasta,” a genre derived from “copypasta,” which in turn derived from the phrase “copy/paste.”

As narrative texts are copied across online forums, they undergo modification, annotation, and reinterpretation by new posters in a folkloric process of repetition and variation. Though by definition legends deal largely with belief and possibility, the crowdsourced mythos behind creepypasta and Slender Man suggests a distinct awareness of fabrication. Slender Man is therefore a new kind of creation: one intentionally created as a fiction but with the look and feel of legend.

Slender Man Is Coming offers an unprecedented folkloristic take on Slender Man, analyzing him within the framework of contemporary legend studies, “creepypastas,” folk belief, and children’s culture. This first folkloric examination of the phenomenon of Slender Man is a must-read for anyone interested in folklore, horror, urban legends, new media, or digital cultures.

Contributors: Timothy H. Evans, Andrea Kitta, Mikel J. Koven, Paul Manning, Andrew Peck, Jeffrey A. Tolbert, Elizabeth Tucker




Trevor Blank photoTrevor J. Blank is associate professor of communication at the State University of New York at Potsdam. He is the editor of Folklore and the Internet and Folk Culture in the Digital Age, coeditor of Tradition in the Twenty-First Century, and author of The Last Laugh: Folk Humor, Celebrity Culture, and Mass-Mediated Disasters in the Digital Age and Toward a Conceptual Framework for the Study of Folklore and the Internet. Follow him on Twitter: @trevorjblank.

Lynne S. McNeill is assistant professor of English in the Folklore Program at Utah State University, cofounder of the Digital Folklore Project, author of Folklore Rules and coeditor of Slender Man Is Coming. Her research interests include legend, belief, fandom, and digital folklore. Follow her on Twitter: @lynneSmcneill.

Imprint: Utah State University Press

Book Details

  • Paperback Price: $24.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60732-780-6
  • Ebook Price: $19.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $10.00
  • EISBN: 978-1-60732-781-3
  • Publication Month: September
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Pages: 216
  • Illustrations: 13
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: edited by Trevor J. Blank and Lynne S. McNeill
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-60732-780-6