Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Of Slender and Man 2: Scare Harder

My first little entry on the Slender Man has proven to be rather popular, so thinking like a Hollywood big wig, I’ve decided to write a sequel. However this time I will be looking at some of Slender Man’s friends which have been collected into a pantheon called The Fears Mythos.

Inspired by Candle Cove.
Before all the stories and alternate reality games, the Fears lived as a meme call Creepypasta. Creepypasta are stories designed to unnerve and also blur the line between reality and fiction, often using the current forms of communication offered by the internet (blogs, message boards, etc). One of the stories that I personally love is the Candle Cove story, just something about the creepiness of an evil kids show. However getting into the details of Creepypasta isn’t really my aim today, but those that are interested can go to Creepypasta.com or Know Your Meme for more info.

I can’t help noting that this Fears Mythos, is evolving in a way that makes it the modern equivalent of the Cthulhu Mythos. While HPLovecraft was the brains behind Cthulhu, his work inspired others and using his world the Cthulhu Mythos has constantly been expanded on. Titus Crow one of my favourite characters from the Cthulhu Mythos has nothing to do with Lovecraft, but is the creation of author Brian Lumley. It’s this constant building upon the works of others that fascinated me with Cthulhu and has fascinated me once more with the Fears.

However where things differ between the two in myopinion is that the Cthulhu Mythos was always about making humans seem insignificant in the grand cosmic scheme, while the Fears Mythos plays upon the insecurities of us all and therefore makes us very important to the mythos. The Slender Man is a being that strikes great fear into those he terrorizes, but at the same time he only exists because others are documenting his actions. By turning away and forgetting, we have a chance, but all to often humanity is too stupid and will delve into places they don’t belong.

The Rake
Each of the beings in the mythos represent different fears, and interact with it’s victims in different ways. All seem to want to drive us insane with fear. While listing all the Fears would extend this blog entry out a lot, I will go through those that did intrigue me. Hell if they didn’t intrigue me, I would have never started writing this article in the first place.

The Rake is one of the more popular Fears having appeared in EveryMAN Hybrid. This fear represents brutality and animals among other things. It seems to have connections with the old tales of werewolves and other horrid creatures that lurk in the woods. Like the Slender Man it seems to be an evolved form of previous horror stories given an almost faceless appearance. It’s as if the Fear Mythos gives us horror creatures born from an almost primordial point of view. It is a fear that we all have and have always had.

The Black Dog
The Black Dog is of particular interest to me as I’ve always been a fan of the stories of Old Shuck. In fact I mention the beast back in an old article of mine. This is another case of the Fear Mythos adopting tales from different ages and modernizing them for consumption. In this case The Black Dog is a fear that represents the truth, and its sole purpose seems to come from terrorizing a person with a massive secret. This is a departure from the old tales which have it more of a ghost set to haunt the moors and other area’s humans don’t want to go. Of course if you want a famous example of The Black Dog then you would do well to read Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles.

The Smiling Man
An interesting and more modern take on The Fears is the Smiling Man which represents the fear that comes from stalkers. A creature whose smile is too wide for his mouth and eyes that are just blank, it’s an image that has popped up a few times in pop culture. Maybe one of the more recognisable of these is the Joker. A villain that does indeed stalk Batman. I think the Smiling Man is an example of an important facet of the Fear Mythos. That is the Fears Mythos is full of creatures that truly symbolise villain archetypes that we come across again and again.

The Empty City is a sentient city that likes to play with it’s would be victims. It’s the fear of being lost, and also a meeting place for all other fears. Ghost Towns, unfamiliar settings, we’ve all heard stories that are connected to this particular fear. The idea behind The Empty City is really shown with a little thing called Silent Hill. The more I read about this fear, the more I see connections to the game. Especially with its tendency of punishing guilty people and changing others who accidently stumble into its territory.

The Empty City
Of course there are plenty more Fears in existence already as well as more being created all the time. I would highly recommend people head to The Fears Mythos wiki for more info. All the work in the wiki and blogs is really exciting to see, especially when it’s a creative endeavour really building with so much love from the current generation. It’s weird but an exercise based on writing about fear, actually gives me hope. 

1 comment:

  1. I feel like thanking you on behalf of the Fear Mythos for this mention, even if it was over a year ago.