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I’m not terrified and I feel bad.

October 15, 2012

Why doesn’t Slenderman scare me?


For those of you not ‘in the know,’ Slenderman is a new-age fairytale monster that was birthed on the internet a few years back, but has recently gained a hell of a lot more traction recently due to the popularity of the game based upon the Slender mythos.


This game has been praised by almost every community I follow, showing it with kind words and espousing its frightening qualities.  Why then, do I feel dead inside when I play it? (And not in the good way)


Maybe its the fact that I was aware of Slenderman pretty much from the start, having been linked to a long-lost post on some dead blog by an online acquaintance in late 2009.  Maybe due to my prior knowledge of the subject matter.  I know it’s not because of any biases against scary games on my part.


Amnesia scared me silly, and left me literally to scared to continue multiple times.  I had to leave my computer for some sunlight and a stiff drink more times than I can count in order to finish that game.  The original Dead Space, with its cosmic horrors and skittering sounds originating from derelict air vents, put the fear of fear into my soul.  Even the ancient X-COM, with its endless midi baseline thumping away and crunchy sounding plasma fire, leaves me feeling helpless and victimized.


I am also reasonably sure that I am not simply immune to internet-based horror.  I watched in morbid fascination as a poor fellow named Jadusable was stalked from beyond the physical world by a cursed Majora’s Mask cartridge.  I have fallen victim to the endless Scary Maze imitators, although that is a cheap jump scare.  I know I can be frightened by internet content.


So why not Slender?  It’s a bit frustrating, being on the outside looking in.  Everyone else can share in this same, communal fear, but I’m left out.  It’s like being the asshole around the campfire, when everyone else is telling ghost stories, I’m the guy who says “Lame!” and walks away.  It’s even worse when I genuinely enjoy being scared!  I’m losing out on some prime entertainment here!


I guess I just have to accept not being able to be one with the herdmind on this issue.  That and spiders.  I don’t find spiders frightening at all.  Why does everyone on reddit find them so horrifying?


From → Internet

One Comment
  1. kipress permalink

    You must hate Halloween.
    You might be right on the background knowledge thing. Some things can only scare you once. Some people are perpetually scared by the same thing.

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