Seeing as it’s Hallowe’en, I thought I would make a compilation of my favourite spooky internet memes for our faithful readers to peruse at their leisure. Featuring such delights as: Smile Dog, The Slender Man, The Rake and more! Are they real? You decide… *insert evil laugh here*
I’m going to start our journey through the world of creepy memes with Smile Dog- the image of a grinning, glassy eyed husky accompanied by what appears to be a bloody human hand. It made sense to start with this one, as it’s one of the oldest about. First discovered in 1992, smile.jpg rose to internet fame during the 2000s. The story can be traced back to a woman who decided to speak of it to an amateur writer. It’s been said that the real image is too frightful for humans to see; the few that have seen it suffer from fits, and nightmares so bad that it causes them mental problems. Apparently, no copy of the original exists, as nobody could bear to save it to their hard drive. Suffice it to say, the “fake” image is creepy enough. This is just a brief summary of the story; the best and fullest version can be found on the Creepypasta site. Try not to cry.
This leads on to one that I heard of only recently; The Rake. This freaky-looking guy rose to prominence during the summer of 2003, when he was accused of a string of happenings in the North-Eastern USA- primarily New York. Many people have reported experiences with The Rake, their empotions ranging from terror to curiosity. The main story is that of an attack on a sleeping family in 2003, which supposedly left the daughter and husband dead. The child’s last words? “He is The Rake.” You can read that full story here. Since then, all of the accounts throughout history attributed to the creature have been brought together, ranging from curious events on a ship to a suicide note in the 60s. The best picture I’ve found of The Rake shows him next to my all-time favourite meme- Slender Man.
The myth of Slender Man, or “Slendie” as I affectionately think of him, really got started back in 2009 with the Marble Hornets channel on Youtube. It actually first started in 2008 on the “Something Awful” forums, but this is where most people caught on. My English teacher showed our class some of the videos about a year after the first was released, and we loved ’em. Considering this was less than three years ago, the level of internet fame that Slendie has reached within the geek subculture is impressive. The basic premise is that a young film student is given several tapes by his friend, who then moved away. He watches the tapes and finds an abundance of creepy footage, and after a while he has to begin filming himself. Everything descends from there. I seriously reccomend that if you wanna be given the creeps, watch each of the videos on the Marble Hornet channel in order- and show them to your friends. They’ll love them. Slender Man himself (both outside and inside the realm of video), is portrayed as being a tall, exceptionally thin (duh) man, wearing a black suit and a white shirt. He has very pale skin, and is often depicted as having no face, or several arms. Oh, he also kidnaps kids. Who draw creepy pictures of him. Nothing like a creepy kid drawing to make your skin crawl on Hallowe’en. Some of the
photoshops photos of him are just awesome. I’ll say no more- except that if you wanna creep out your friends, Slendie is the way to go!
But even after getting scared/creeped out/being totally unmoved by all of these memes, it’s important to remember that they aren’t real. Honestly, truly, they’re not. I know it seems like an obvious thing to point out, but when my teacher showed our class the Slender Man videos, a heck of a lot of us thought it was a true story. I’m not patronising, here; this was a bunch of intelligent fourteen and fifteen year olds, and they bought it. Have fun with this sort of thing; if you hear myths or sensational stories online, go with it. But remember to always take these tales with a grain of salt. It’s cool to give yourself (and your friends) a bit of a scare on Hallowe’en, but never obsess over the stuff you read. It might be frivolous stories this time, but it could be important life decisions next time. Remember, you’re a sceptic! That means you have superpowers (of reason, logic… and general awesomeness). Use ’em.
Image credit: Wimikedia Commons