Oct 20, 2023
First we discuss a few skepticism-adjacent current events: the recent Colorado train spotting of Bigfoot, RFK Jr.'s bid for the presidency, and a new lawsuit naming "Sound of Freedom" hero Tim Ballard as a sexual predator who paid a psychic to help groom his victims. Then we dive into Slenderman, or "Slendy" as his friends know him. Professor Andrea Kitta, contributor to "Slender Man Is Coming" (Utah State University Press, 2018), brings her public health and folklore knowledge to bear on this created cryptid, born of photoshop in the pre-AI days and raised on the pent-up rage of cyberbullied adolescent girls. Part revenge fantasy and part rescuer, what is Slendy's game? Does he drive you insane or take you away to his secret mansion? While he was the focus of a tragic 2014 stabbing case in Wisconsin, since then he has faded slowly and may end up where many initially terrifying monsters go -- into the realm of child lore, as a spooky story for very young kids.