It can be safely assumed (as much as things of the nature of “The Slender Man” can ever be safe, or for that matter, assumed) that what we are dealing with is a multi-dimensional entity. If the Slender Man is capable of appearing to simultaneous witness, vanishing and appearing at will, trans-mutating his bodily shape (notably his limbs) and dragging his victims into another dimension, it is abundantly clear that he is not obeying the laws of physics. Hence, a “safe assumption” (there’s that sticky phrase again) would be that The Slender Man comes from a place outside what we define as “consensus reality.”
Or does he?
One of the strangest categories of unexplained phenomenon (as well as theoretical physics, for that matter) concern “time slippage.” Although skeptics will have you believe that it’s an “alleged” phenomenon (“alleged” being another dirty word) it’s important to remember that science is making confounding discoveries every day, including the fact that the mere THOUGHT of looking at an atom will alter it’s behavior. If modern science has proven, under laboratory conditions, that the mind can alter, or perhaps even create matter and control it’s behavior, who’s to say that the Slender Man isn’t merely exploiting an area of physics that we have no understanding of? More importantly, what exactly is a time slip? And how would the Slender Man use it to his advantage?
The concept of time suddenly becoming fluid, and ending with baffling (or oftentimes, fatal consequences) goes back as far as recorded human history. One of the earliest (although sadly unverifiable) reports come from Mexico City. On October 25, 1593, A Spanish soldier who had been assigned to a regiment in the Philippines was arrested and taken before the Most Holy Tribunal of the Inquisition, (a frightening enough prospect in and of itself.) Explaining that he thought he was still in Manila, he was confounded by his presence in Mexico, as the journey had taken him, in his own words, “Less time than it takes a cock to crow.” Explaining that he had merely been walking to the palace garrison in Manila, only to find himself in Mexico, his interlocutors demanded to know why he had been walking to the garrison. He explained that he was reporting for guard duty after the assassination of Don Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, the Governor of the Philippines. Thinking him a deserter, and having heard no such news, he was imprisoned. News traveled slowly in 1593, and almost two months later, it was revealed that Dasmarinas had indeed been murdered on the night of October 24, 1593…mere hours before the soldier appeared with no way to explain his sudden arrival in Mexico. Further investigation revealed that his fellow soldiers had indeed seen him that night, marching off to the garrison, as ordered. The Tribunal concluded that he had merely “gotten lost,” and was sent back to the Philippines.
If this seems impossible, or perhaps an anecdote from centuries past, be aware that the occurrences have happened recently, as recently as 1901 (for the sake of brevity, see wiki on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moberly-Jourdain_incident.
Or, if Wikipedia seems suspect, dip into the archives of Oxford University and judge for yourself: http://www.archiveshub.ac.uk/news/caemoberly.html
We here at The Slender Man Chronicles always urge you to do your own research, make your own decisions, and act accordingly. The only thing we can do is speculate, specifically, on the origins of the Slender Man, and question what nefarious purpose he might have in mind for us. And what better place to start speculating than by looking at a little theoretical physics? Before you groan, know that understanding as much as we can about this mystifying shadow world of physical properties may help shed some light on the Slender Man. After all, an entity who can shapeshift, open and travel through dimensional gateways, become invisible, and drag people into alternate realities clearly has a few tricks up his long, black sleeve. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. So what can science tell us about the capabilities of the Slender Man?
I am not Stephen Hawking, and this is not a forum to engage in semantic arguments regarding what time “is” or “isn’t.” For our purpose, we shall have to agree that time, as it is viewed by the average working stiff, is a fixed constant. One day containing twenty four hours, each hour containing sixty minutes, and so on. As we understand time thusly, we accordingly plan our actions around it. Thus, a loose conclusion can be made regarding what time “is.”
But what if someone, or more frighteningly, something, were able to disregard our carefully constructed edifice concerning “when” exactly an event has to happen? What if, through some manipulation of a substance greater than time, it is able to align itself precisely at a moment when it knows we will be most vulnerable? More horrifyingly, what if we have done this to ourselves? We’ve all heard the story of “The Grandfather Paradox,” regarding the man who travels back in time to murder his own Grandfather, yet finds he is incapable of doing so because to carry out said act would negate his own existence. Should the time traveler in this case indeed be able to kill his own grandfather, he himself would never have existed in the first place, an event which would have necessitated the death of his own grandfather in the second place, because he would, in effect, merely be fulfilling his role in history, and not changing anything. Does this seem contradictory? It isn’t, and this is the theory posited by the Novikov self consistency principle, which claims that “random” or “contradictory” casual/time loops cannot form, but repetitive, consistent ones can. Let’s look at it thusly: Appearances of the Slender Man often come with a foreboding that goes beyond the pedestrian fight or flight response. His presence awakens a horror in us so deeply rooted as to be nearly pathological. The concept of re-living the same even over and over, throughout time, regardless of the apparent “circumstance” in which it appears, was even said by Nietzsche to be: “Horrifying and paralyzing, the heaviest burden imaginable.” Suppose, then, that in some distant past (or perhaps even distant future) we invited the Slender Man into our own realities, by merely thinking of him, and he has been capitalizing on the self consistency principles inherent in time itself to appear again and again, like some sort of ghoulish whack-a-mole? And what if, warned by some type of “sense memory,” we are aware, if even on a cellular level, of the horror he represents? Many multi-dimensional entities make their most frequent appearances under similar circumstances. The Mothman, for example, has been known to manifest in areas where mass tragedies are about to occur. Does our suspicion and fear act as a beacon for the Slender Man, calling out to him throughout time itself?
But what if it’s not this easy? What if, instead of a repeating loop of repetitive circumstances, the appearance of the Slender Man, and our reaction to him, open hundreds, if not thousands or perhaps millions of new opportunities for him to terrify us? Calculations made by Kip S. Thorne and his study of the above mentioned Novikov principle indicate that simple masses traveling through “wormholes” would never contradict themselves, as there are no primary conditions that would lend themselves to paradox once the concept of time travel is introduced. This is to say that any situation in which time/dimension travel allows the conclusion of many consistent solutions. Which leads us to parallel universes.
The notion that our destiny is inescapable might only make our present difficulties seem all the more desperate. How are we to escape a foe that can manifest himself anywhere, at any time? If paradox is impossible, how do we escape? Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation could provide us with a trick of our own. This theory suggests that all quantum events can occur in mutually exclusive histories. These alternate histories would branch out, forming a maze of possibilities that symbolized all possible outcomes of any interaction. If this is true, than any paradoxes occurring in any reality could be explained by having the paradoxical events occurring in a different/parallel universe. If we “thought” the Slender Man into existence, it stands to reason that by merely “thinking him away” we should be able to introduce a paradox in this or perhaps another universe and render him powerless, right? Think again. Stephen Hawking has suggested that even if this theory is accurate, each individual time traveler would experience a single self consistent timeline, making it impossible to travel to a world other than your own, no matter how bizarre. So maybe the determinists were right.
This suggests another, theory, our last and perhaps most terrifying. Known as “The Theory of Eternal Return,” it is a concept familiar to most of us, if not intimately. Known to the ancient Egyptians, the Stoics, and a host of other, The Theory of Eternal Return states that time is cyclical and not linear. This philosophy fell into unpopularity as Christianity gained prominence, but it holds that every condition, no matter how seemingly random, is bound to repeat itself eventually. That a finite number of states must repeat themselves within an infinite amount of time is perhaps the key to the Slender Man’s power. What if the Slender Man knows every possible outcome, everywhere, in all our possible histories, throughout time? And what does this mean for us?
This all leads us back to time slippage, however hesitatingly. We must admit at the onset that the Slender Man has capacities to reach us that are beyond our ability to control. He is not summoned, nor is he beckoned. He appears as he wishes, and does with us as he will. Could “time slippage” be considered not a slippage of our own time, as we know it, but a condition of paradox created by the Slender Man, in his own reality, do disrupt the patterns in ours? The odious conclusion reached by these suggestions seems to be that, given the lengths this being will go to reach us, whatever waits for us along the byzantine corridors of time itself will be countless times more horrifying than a slim shadow at the window.