Creepypasta (horror stories that sprung from, and traveled around the internet) are all the rage right now. Between the Syfy series Channel Zero to the recent Beware the Slenderman documentary on HBO, digital horror is everywhere. The Slender Man is our focus today.The terrifying apparition has even been found at the center of a brutal stabbing that took place between two girls, the subject of the HBO documentary Beware the Slenderman.
Slender Man has slowly crept into our popular lexicon quicker than he abducts his victims, whether we like it or not. His "existence" has also spawned some decidedly terrifying games that you can purchase and play and then run screaming for a light switch.
Here are five such games you can get right now to get you started. Just don't blame us when you can't sleep at night.
Slender: The Eight Pages (PC)
Slender: The Eight Pages is the game that kicked off the Slender gaming fascination, a freeware indie-developed first-person title that came out all the way back in June 2012. Developer Mark J. Hadley put it together based on the creepypasta memes floating around online about the Slender Man, or a tall man with elongated limbs in a black and white suite with a blank face. It's a powerful image, especially if you're not ready for it.
Slender: The Eight Pages drops players right in the middle of a forest in the middle of the night with the objective of collecting eight pages while avoiding Slender Man's gaze and grasp. As you collect additional pages, the fog in the forest grows ever thicker and it becomes much simpler for Slender Man to reach you. You don't have any weapons but you do have a flashlight and the ability to run pretty quickly. You can't use the flashlight at all times, however, and eventually it will run out of battery. The only real way you can avoid Slender Man is by being quicker than he is.
The game is absolutely terrifying when you realize there's nothing between you and this bizarre being but a flashlight and your physical prowess, and that's part of what makes Slender: The Eight Pages such a harrowing experience. Interestingly enough, you play as a character named Kate, whose role is reprised in the sequel, Slender: The Arrival.
Slender: The Arrival (PC, Console, Mac)
Slender: The Arrival is the sequel to Slender: The Eight Pages, though it features a sixth chapter that's actually a remake of the game that came before it. It's largely a similar game from top to bottom, though most of the game takes places in abandoned areas with locations inside to investigate. You still play as Kate, armed with only a flashlight. This time around Slender Man's behavior changes a bit between chapters and you can see him directly in front of you at some points. He can pursue you via teleportation, which is an important thing to keep in mind when trying to escape.
There's much more of a prominent narrative in Slender: The Arrival as well, where Kate isn't always looking for pages. Sometimes she's tasked with finding and activating generators and collecting gas canisters depending on the chosen difficulty, and other times she's relentlessly trying to escape the grasp of the Slender Man whenever possible. It's a much more tense and scary ride than its predecessor, mostly thanks to improved graphics and additional objectives.
There are also multiple endings you can reach depending on your actions within the game. It can be frustrating at certain points, but that's certainly part of its charm. If you can only choose between this release and the original, this one improves on it in every conceivable way, though there's something to be said about having less context in the first outing.
Slender Rising (Mobile)
Slender Rising was the first mobile game based on the Slender Man mythos, released back in 2012 and developed by Michael Hegemann. Instead of being tasked with collecting pages and avoiding Slender Man, players must navigate an enormous maze while looking for signs and pages as well (yes, the page theme is an important one with the Slender Man games, as you've likely guessed by now). All the while Slender Man is on the prowl.
You'll be assisted by in-game sound effects and a red arrow that can aid you in finding the pages and signs you must locate, and if you do happen to see Slender Man at some point during the game you must look away as quickly as possible or risk losing the entire round, which you definitely don't want to do. If you get killed, you'll have to start again.
You get four different locales through which you can try to escape and outwit Slender Man, and each are more terrifying than the last. For a mobile game, it's impressively terrifying.
Slender Rising 2 (Mobile)
Following the original Slender Rising in 2012, 2014 brought Slender Rising 2, which is arguably the best Slender Man-related mobile game currently on the market. You'll still have to move around a particular enclosure looking for signs and pages, but Slender Man is a little crazier this time around and the difficulty has been ramped up considerably.
You can also play through a special mode where instead of looking for Slender Man or having him reaching out and grabbing you or making you lose a round because you look at him too long you can search out entities known as Lost Souls. You'll take a photo of them when you're able and special whispers call out to you if you get close enough.
There are also four new locations as well as new lighting options with which you can see Slender Man even better when he's coming to take you away. It's a massive improvement on its predecessor, though both games are worth checking out if you have the time and the itch for more Slender.
SCP - Containment Breach (PC)
SCP - Containment Breach may not be a game about Slender Man, but it's the next best thing, especially when it comes to channeling exactly what makes Slender Man so creepy in the first place. This indie horror game from Joonas Rikkonen (Regalis) is based on creepypasta found on the SCP Foundation website, which is essentially a gallery of creatures just like Slender Man ... and in many cases even worse.
The game finds you guiding test subject D-9341 through the testing facility where you need to make sure you're not taken away from SCP-173, a statue that can move ridiculously fast even if you're not looking at it. To keep a hold on things, you have to utilize the game's Blink mechanic, which you can blink manually with, so you can better control what interaction you end up having with SCP-173.
There's a wide variety of SCP monsters out there, but this game goes a long way when it comes to giving SCP-079 the power to shock and awe you and chill you to your very core, especially the first time it appears in your field of vision and you end up losing the game. It's not for the faint of heart, but it's the closest you're going to get to another Slender Man game. Think of it as Slender Man's closest cousin.