Slenderman is an urban legend that was created on the Internet by Eric Knudsen in 2009. The character was crafted as part of a photo-editing contest held by the website Something Awful.
As part of the photo contest that included the original Slenderman images, Knudsen included small fictional quotes or descriptions of the images submitted. The idea of Slenderman was then carried into the Internet's collective subconscious and went viral. After its origin in 2009, the Slenderman legend spawned several video series on YouTube and was the inspiration for movies, television episodes and a wave of video games.
The myth continues to grow and change as of 2014, with new traits applied to the Slenderman figure, including its ability to abduct victims and cause illness in those who are simply in its proximity. None of these later additions to the myth came from the original creator, and the evolution continues without any editorial direction. Unfortunately, the myth inspired the stabbing of a 12-year-old girl by two others in 2014. The origins of the Slenderman myth can be pinpointed accurately, but in spite of this fact, many people still believe the figure and the story to be reality rather than fiction.