Thursday, March 17, 2011

Der Schwarzwald und Der Ritter

I give full permission to any of my German readers to ridicule me endlessly for any butchering of their language which occurs in this post.

For this past week, I have been visiting Germany. Mostly the southwestern areas, near the Black Forest (oder der Schwarzwald). Many fun times have been had there.

What does this have to do with Slender Man? Surprisingly, a lot. Germany is the country which most often is tied into Slender Man’s history or previous appearances; for example, TribeTwelve’s “My Grandfather Karl” video. I expect that dozens of hypotheses can be made to try and explain why Germany is so often connected to Slender Man. Is it because of a connection to the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales? Some cultural perception we see Germany in? Is it just because the stories about him being from Germany were popular enough to become accepted canon? Or because Slender Man really is from that place? I am not a psychologist, so I can’t make any conclusions; all I can say is that, out of all the countries which can feature in Slendy’s past, Deutschland is the most common.

And since I’m currently in that country, let’s talk about it for a bit. So what is this Black Forest? Well, it is a forest. Which is black. Located in the southwest part of Germany, near the Rhine River and the Alps. The forest is pretty large, totaling around 4,600 square miles. The name “Black Forest” comes the density of the foliage, causing little light to enter some parts of it.
After traveling through the region for a few days, I can say that it does look like the kind of place you’d expect to see Slender Man in. Trees everywhere, older style buildings, and since I’m visiting in the winter, the weather was overcast and misty.
This atmosphere is not helped the number of Operator Symbols in the country. Seriously, this sign is all over the place. Epileptic Tree Time: The prominence of operator symbol imagery in Germany is due to a cultural memory of their historical encounters with Der Grossman. Yeah, that doesn’t have any evidence or support behind it, but it sounds cool.




Now onto Der Ritter, or “The Knight”. According to the story, the name comes from two sixteenth century woodcuts by Hans Freckenberg. These images featured a skeletal figure with multiple limbs, which contrasted with Freckenberg’s usually more realistic style.

In reality, there was no famous woodcut artist named Hans Freckenberg, and the Der Ritter woodcut is just a photoshop of this picture. In the past I have expressed disappointment that, with all the wide variety of German folklore that can be picked from, whoever created Der Ritter chose to make something which can be disproved by five seconds of searching online. Which does not help my suspension of disbelief in any way. However, as time has passed I’ve become more accepting of the story, if only because I like the connection to Germany.

As Der Ritter is a historical persona/event in the Mythos, it doesn’t often appear in contemporary stories, unless they are investigating Slender Man’s past. That doesn’t mean it’s never important; Der Ritter was the main example for Robert’s original Core Theory. It also adds a sense of time to Slender Man; the story says, “He’s existed for hundreds of years, and here’s how the people back then saw him.” There is the fear that we do not just face a monster, we face a monster that is centuries old, which has survived all attempts by mankind to fight against it. If the entire history of the human race has been unable to stop it, then how can we?

Although, admittedly, the entire history of the human race didn’t have nuclear weapons.
Nor did they have the power to launch Slender Man into the sun.
I’m pretty sure once a Runner gets his hands on a rocket, a method to keep Slendy contained in one spot, and enough fuel, we’ll have this fight in the bag.

Also, pictures of the Black Forest! Just pretend Slendy's hiding in them, because I don't want to carry around a giant Slender Man mannequin all through Germany.




Trees.




Nature and stuff.




Of course a random fire has to be somehow related to Slender Man!




Yeah, at one point I was hallowed and turned into palette flipped Redlight. This sorta thing happens all the time on my vacations.


Useful Links
Black Forest Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_forest
Slenderman.wikidot: http://slenderman.wikidot.com/slender-man#toc5
Slenderbloggins - Struwwelpeter Analysis: http://slenderbloggins.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/struwwelpeter-analysis-with-broekchen/

30 comments:

  1. I've just gotta say that I'm totally and completely jealous of you at the moment.

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  2. Oooh creepy. I`m so adding "go to Germany" onto my bucket list. Thanks for all the info :)

    Sorry this is so off-topic but... I love that hoodie :) How did you make it? I`ve tried and my fabric paint never stays smooth + I am a failure as a woman and I do not know how to iron.

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    1. You're awesome anyone who can admit the one way they suck is awesome... Btw not an epic fail... at least not compared to me I suck @ everything :P

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  3. @Andy: Imagine me laughing in an extremely condescending and superior manner at your misfortune. Because that is exactly what I am doing now. You could also throw in me leaning back in my chair while swirling a wine glass and stroking a white cat.

    @ThatOneChick: Electrical tape. Yeah, the stuff they put around wires. I just bought a roll from Home Depot, cut off a bunch of strips, and taped them to the back of my hoodie.

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  4. Haha really? That`s so simple... but brilliant. P:

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  5. @Omega: OMEGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

    *shakes fist angrily at heavens*

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  6. Orly? You come all the way to Germany and don't even bother visiting me? I am disappoint.

    But well, you were hanging out in Bavaria. Possibly with Bavarians. Maybe it's contagious and I don't want any Bavarian-ness near my beautiful Prussian city anyway.
    *sniffs*

    I would like to add though that the black forest, while it might look creepy, has a kind of narmy name from a German point of view. It sounds as if someone simply slapped the colour black and the word wood together without paying any attention to using actual grammar. People did it like that back then, I suppose, but still when Germans hear "Schwarzwald" they think cake.
    I have to admit that it was creepy once though.

    Also it's notable that the Alps share a name with a kind of mythological creature very prominent in Germany (once) too. Especially because those spirits were said to be more or less malevolent, but still "alp" translates to "white".

    Personally I was always kind of sad that no one bothered to connect Slender Man to mythological creatures like the Piper of Hamelin or the Spiritus Familiaris (my personal favourite). It would match and be actually based on real myths.

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  7. ...I'm kinda green with envy you got to go to Germany.
    I enjoyed reading this post, though. The pictures made me stare and wonder for quite a while....
    But... Like... Are the people there supersticious of Slendy, or not? ...The people who live around the area of the Black Forest or something....

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  8. Not that I know of. I was wandering around the place with a big red operator symbol on my back and no one commented on it, so I would assume not.

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  9. Looks beautiful, and if I wasn't running for my life from SM I would like to take the time and sketch some scenery like that. I'll just have to make due the the scenery that is around me though. Which reminds me I need to ask about good sketching spots when I see my teacher next.

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  10. So yeah, I gotta know, is slenderman really based on germanic folklore and fairytales? (der große Mann?)

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  11. No; when Victor Surge made the original images of Slender Man, they were completely unrelated to German folklore. That was added by later people, when they were expanding Slendy's background.

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  12. Is this one of those things where a bunch of skeptics dress up like detectives and say "I believed in it, but look at this evidence"? (e.g. MonsterQuest)

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  13. what is the relation with Slender Man and the second world war?
    I was watching videos from Noah and Totheark and they both talk about the WW2.
    Totheark: Messages show video or ships sinking, it talk about how there are secrets.

    Noah: It show how a journal holds answers to secrets, it also shows videos of Hitler and the Nazis.

    I am aware that Germany has folklore that people over time have related to slender man but did he do something in the war? I am also aware of how Hitler had a fascination with paranormal and religious figures and artifacts. My guess is that Hitler believed in the folklore and may of made contact with the creatures of the folklore (possibly slender man?). I do want to know your input on the matter, and what you believe
    thank you for your time

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    1. Hitler wouldn't be connected that much with slenderman, because he was a simple soldier at WW1. He grew up in Austria. So, the chance is low in rhat way.

      But it could be true... I mean germany was in war with France at WW1. Germany is connected to france near the black forests... *reply* And Hitler was a soldier in WW1...

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  14. SLENDERMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  15. When was the painting der ritter made I need to find ou.t the date anyone help

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    1. I'm not sure what the exact date was, except that it was sometime in 2009 or early 2010.

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  16. So, I was wondering. Do you believe in Slender man or do you think it's totally made up? Because... Right now I am determining whether or not Victor Surge actually got the idea of "Slender man" from an actual folk lore from long ago. I know the photos and back story he wrote was fake... But what if there's actual truth behind "Slenderman."

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    1. He's made up. Most of the "folklore" cited as being the inspiration for Slender Man is fictional content made after Surge's original posts.

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  17. Hey, did you hear about these German guys? They are trying to do a documentary on DerGroßmann and the Schwarzerwald. Looks interesting: http://www.indiegogo.com/dergrossmann

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  18. Hello @Omega my name is Nick Storm , Im in germany too in search of slendy , it will be awesome if we contact :) this is my email : nickstorm.espejo4@gmail.com

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  19. Why does nobody ralise that the Schwarzwald was and still is one of Germany's most folklore ridden places? Much of Germany's scariest lore happens in that forest! For example the tall woodcutter who kills lost travellers and many creatures from the Fair Folk are said to reside there! Slendy has more than one connection to the Black Forest because of that!

    By the way, each of those stories is at least a hundred years old! Also, Slendy may not have been inspired by any myths or urban legends, but the connection he has to other, older myths exists!

    Even if it is a coincidence, shouldn't you lot find it strange and worrysome that there are that many references to a being fitting the same description as the Slender Man all around the world, of which some appeared without any connection to and/or knowledge of the other mentions of him?

    Many cultures around the world, originating in many different ages, without ever having had contact with each other, have the same inherent fear of tall creatures with white skin, long fingers with claws, as well as an elongated face and a mouth with at least two razor sharp fangs! There is no other explanation for it than for those creatures to have existed! Now, we just have to find out what happened to them!

    The same goes for Slendy because the similarities between those different/independent legends are to huge to be coincidences, implying that he has to exist! Knowing this and still stubbornly saying that he was made up is pretty ignorant!

    Of course, the name "Slender Man" and some new attributes were added recently, but the concept of this creature existed a long time ago and has probably become the subconcious trigger of an ancient fear which has become part of the human genome!

    Damn it! Of course, nobody will read this post of mine because of the time-delay I am suffering from right now! But hey, at least I can say that my time-line is starting too re-align with yours since the time-delay period gets smaller and smaller!

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  20. Henderson Horse Farm Incident 1953
    The Henderson Horse Farm, located outside Tryon in Polk County, NC, was situated on land owned by the Henderson family since the mid 1800s. By 1953, the farm was owned and run by Ted Wilcox Henderson (41 years old), Judi Henderson (wife, 36), and Tracy Henderson (daughter, 6). On the morning of June 15th, neighbors called local police complaining of hearing screams and the sounds of gun fire originating from the property.
    Sherrif Clint Denterman and two deputies, Dan Parks and Chris Fine, arrived at the farm at 8:34 AM. They found that horses in the barn had been torn apart, "almost as if attacked by wild animals." Inside the main house, reports stated the presence of fresh blood throughout the living room, kitchen, and hallway.
    Ted Wilcox Henderson was found in the bedroom, barricaded behind furniture. Next to him was the body of his wife, killed by a shotgun blast to the chest. Ted still had the weapon in his hands. Dan Parks was quoted as reporting:
    "Ted had a freaked out, far off look in his eyes. He seemed to not realize that we were in the room. We asked what happened. Where was his daughter. But he didn't answer."
    Ted was charged with the murder of his wife. However, due to his catatonic state, he was admitted to
    Jenkins Mental Hospital in Sandy Plains, Polk County. Ted remained in a catatonic state for over three years. On the third anniversary of the murder, Dr Dauton on June 15th, 1956 refer to a "Skinny fella… suit… looking at me…" who had taken both Judi Henderson and her daughter Tracy. Ted claimed that Judi begged him to shoot her, and felt that he had "saved her" by doing so. However, after lamenting that he had been unable to stop the "skinny man" from absconding with his daughter, Ted commenced to "slam his face repeatedly" into the steel table at which he was seated, having to be restrained and sedated by hospital orderlies. Less than seven hours later, at approximately 3:00 am the 16th of July, Ted was found dead in his room after apparently escaping his restraints and chewing through his own wrist, severing the ulnar artery and bleeding to death. The body of Tracy Henderson was never found, however a photograph taken about a week before the Henderson Farm incident shows what appears to be a suited man standing in front of the stables, which some claim to be the Slender Man.

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  21. slender man is believed to be a man dressed in a black business suit, like the ones worn in men in black, and is about 6 feet tall.
    The slender man was a man who was beat with a log, stabbed with a 2 foot stick, and hung from a tree with his arms, hands, legs, and feet all pulled out of sockets.
    The legend is that in the daytime the slender man will most likely show up in open areas with trees to the side of an open, empty road, or in the woods or any area filled with trees. Most reports from survivors of the slender man say at night he shows up in open windows, dark open rooms, blank TV screens, and in large crowds of people. The slender man only kills kids younger then 16. There are ways to toy with him, but you may be risking your own death. His arms, legs, fingers, and toes will stretch so that he is up to 34 feet tall with a bone breaking sound. If he appears to you, turn away! He has the power to control your body. When you wake up, you will be tied up laying down in the woods where he was killed. A 547 pound log will be hanging over your head. He will ask you a question. If you get the answer right, he will break both your arms and legs. If you get it wrong he will slowly stick his fingers down your neck and pulls out you heart.

    The Slender Man is an alleged paranormal figure purported to have been in existence for centuries, covering a large geographic area. Believers in the Slender Man tie his appearances in with many other legends around the world, including; Fear Dubh (or, The Dark Man) in Scotland, the Dutch Takkenmann (Branch Man), and the German legend of Der Großmann or Der Grosse Mann (the Tall Man).

    One of the main issues facing Slender Man investigators in the fact that "his" appearance seems to be subjective, with reports varying largely from area to area. This is often put down to cultural bias, with the observer projecting his fears into the sighting and recollections being blurred. However, it is generally agreed that it's appearance is that of a pale, emaciated male figure, with an apparent height of between 7 and 9 feet tall. The figure is often described as wearing a black suit, although it seems to be a relatively recent addition to the mythology.

    One of the more unusual aspects of the Slender Man's appearance is the description of additional appendages or limbs in reported sightings. witnesses have described these as being "a snaky arm," to rope-like in appearance. These appendages are apparently only visible under certain conditions; and can be used for mobility as well as, perhaps, weapons.

    The earliest argued reference to the legend is within the cave paintings found in the Serr da Capivara National Park in the Northeast of Brazil, which are believed to date from as far back as 9000 BC. These paintings show a strangely elongated character leading a child by the hand, but make no reference to the extra appendages.

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  22. i am only fourteen... many been lost... but slender... he... NO IT!! IT got Thomas!!... just... :( somebody please... i need help...

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  23. i feel someone watching me... but i know its not my turn... not after what happend to Thomas... i... i saw everything... it was horriable but.. why didnt he take me??... why?!?! WHY DIDNT YOU TAKE ME?!? OH MY GOD MY HEAD IS KILLING ME!...

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