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Burning a Book: But Not Quite “Fahrenheit 451”

“Lacy” is a trainee flight-attendant from Erie, Pennsylvania. She has had truly bizarre experiences with the Slenderman – although, she certainly wishes that was not the case. Most interesting of all, those experiences began only days after she finished reading Robin Swope’s 2012 book, Slenderman: From Fiction to Fact. Lacy shared her story with a group of attendees, including myself, at the September 2016 Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. By her own admission, Lacy, like a lot of people, very quickly became overwhelmingly obsessed with the saga of the Slenderman, reading all that she could on the subject. And, as if in response to that growing obsession, the Slenderman paid her a visit – of sorts, at least.

It’s important to note that Lacy did not see the Slenderman in 3-D, physical form. Rather, she encountered him…on her laptop. As Lacy explained to me, she has her device pretty much permanently on a coffee-table in her living-room. On several occasions beginning in July 2016, and while she was watching television late at night, Lacy’s laptop, which was in sleep-mode, woke up. It did more than that. Way more. Lacy says that as the laptop exited its sleep-mode, there was a very brief image on the screen of what Lacy described as looking like a cross between a man and a long-legged bug, which is admittedly a perfect way of describing the spindly, bony monster that is now so infamous and feared. She pondered for a few moments on the possibility that lights and shadows in the room had caused the freak apparition. But, in her heart – which was by now thumping – she knew that was not the case. That became even clearer when, two nights later, a similar thing happened again.

On the second occasion, Lacy’s laptop once more came to life and the Slenderman came calling again. This time, however, the image on the screen was that of the Slenderman’s face. The eyes, the nose, and the ears were all missing – which is what most witnesses to the Slenderman describe. Terrified, Lacy fled her apartment and spent the night at her mother’s house – also in Erie. In case you’re wondering, no, she didn’t take her laptop with her.

The third and final incident occurred around three weeks later, as Lacy sat on the floor of her living-room wrapping Christmas presents. She braced herself as her laptop exited its slumber at shortly after 11:00 p.m. She was right to do so: a deep but quiet voice uttered a few chilling words: “We are friends.” Then, the laptop returned to its sleep-mode. Enough was now well and truly enough. Such was the sheer level of Lacy’s terror, she completely dropped her research into the Slenderman, deleted all of her files on the subject, and – wait for it – she even burned her copy of Pastor Swope’s book in a metal container in her mother’s yard. Her Slenderman – which gave all the indications of being a creation of the Net – did not return again.

Today, although she has absolutely no intention of returning to the world of the Slenderman, Lacy solidly believes that her extensive research into the phenomenon caused the Internet itself to realize what she was doing – as incredible as that may sound – and chose to give her what she wanted, namely an encounter with the Slenderman. For Lacy, it was a case of be careful of what you ask for, because what you get may not be what you want.

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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