Best, Joel, and Gerald T. Horiuchi. “The Razor Blade in the Apple: The Social Construction of Urban Legends.” Social Problems 32.5 (1985): 488-99. Society for The Study of Social Problems. University of California Press. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/800777>. This is a study of a much older urban legend which I accessed because I believe that it is a proper allegory for what has helped the Slender Man story become legendary. Halloween sadism, the idea of placing horrible things in candy treats and then giving them to children, is a very old idea indeed and grew out of a fear of fact. There were a few isolated incidents of such things, but they were few and far between. The Slender Man story is not based on fact, although it is important to note that much of my data purports itself as fact.
Bordia, Prashant, and Ralph L. Rosnow. “Rumor Rest Stops on the Information Highway Transmission Patterns in a Computer-Mediated Rumor Chain.” Human Communication Research 25.2 (1998): 163-79. Print. This article addresses the roles that we play when we are transmitting urban legends. When the article was tracing the concept of the spread of rumors then we see information change in a way similar to playing “Telephone” as a kid. When you hear the Slender Man story you are receiving a role in the story’s growth. Either you will spread the story as is, or you will change it to create your own effect, or you will merely do nothing but remember the story.
Cohain, Judy S. “Alligators, Hospital Birth and Other Urban Legends.” Journal of Health Psychology 17.4 (2012): 467-70. Sage Publications, 1 May 2012. Web. 10 June 2012. <http://hpq.sagepub.com/content/17/4/467>. This article is essential to my research process because it reads as an overview of every classic urban legend. The article however does not provide any proper conclusions. It works because it provides a basis for the fact that urban legends have the ability to inspire irrational fear such as that inspired by the Slender Man story.
DiFonzo, Nicholas, and Bordia Bordia. “Rumor, Gossip and Urban Legends.” Diogenes 54.1 (2007): 19-35. Print. I actually don’t agree with the content of this article. The authors set out to be able to define the differences between rumor, gossip and urban legends. However, they define rumors as originating from potentially factual situations and are spread from a need to find understanding. The Slender Man story is vague, and therefore I feel as if the line between rumor and urban legend to be thinner than the authors believe.
Dundes, Alan. “Bloody Mary in the Mirror: A Ritual Reflection of Pre-Pubescent Anxiety.” Western Folklore 57.2 (1998): 119-35. Western Folklore. Western States Folklore Society, 16 Nov. 2008. Web. 10 June 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/1500216>. This article is regarding the evolution of folklore with respect to the so-called “Bloody Mary” urban legend. The story was originally told that children would say “Mary Worth” three times into a mirror and be killed by an evil witch. The story has since transformed itself into the “Bloody Mary” story in which children say “Bloody Mary” three times and a bloody, dripping creature crawls out of the mirror and kills you. The reasons? The authors don’t really know but it is assumed to be in order to heighten drama and increase the impact of the story.
Fernback, Jan. “Legends on the Net: An Examination of Computer-mediated Communication as a Locus of Oral Culture.” New Media & Society 5.1 (2003): 29-45. Print. This article examines the importance of the performance aspect of urban legend. The first point which caught my eye was the idea that urban legends typically vary from telling to telling, and that this aspect is being lost as the internet becomes the primary medium for spreading urban legends. The authors ultimately conclude that his is not a bad thing, and the fact that urban legends have spread themselves wide enough to create whole communities thanks to the internet justifies the shift to the new medium of oral tradition.
Gilding, Micheal. “Rampant Misattributed Paternity: The Creation of an Urban Myth.” People and Place 13.2 (2005): 1-11. Print. This article is very different from the others that I have chosen, but I have picked it for a specific reason. The Australian study of public misperception regarding the failure rate in paternity tests shows that the public is quick to believe the wrong information if it sounds better, or more credible. The case was caused by a boy who never knew his father and found via paternity testing that his father was a prominent Australian statesmen. He later found that the test had been mistaken. The Slender Man story is not based on fact, but it is based on information that sounds better than the truth.
Guerin, Bernard, and Yoshihiko Miyazaki. “Analyzing Rumors, Gossip, and Urban Legends through Their Conversational Properties.” The Psychological Record 56 (2006): 23-34. Print. The doctors at the University of Waikato were interested in understanding the ability of rumors and urban legends to persuade. They go so far as to present their readers with a table explaining the Categorization of urban legends. “Urban Legend” is classified as “unusual or unexpected. Truth difficult to verify. Attention gained with horror or scandal.” The doctors concluded that the real appeal of urban legends was to improve social relationships, and therefore help give reasoning to the communities that have emerged regarding the Slender Man.
Llewellyn, John T. “Understanding Urban Legends: A Peculiar Public Relations Challenge.” Public Relations Quarterly 41.4 (1996): 17-22. Print. This article feels instantly antiquated when it discusses the fact that the real reason for the spread of urban legends is traditional face to face communication. However, the perspective of the article provides the idea of urban legends as a public relations problem. If people believe that there will be rats in their fast food, then they won’t buy fast food. The fact that the Slender Man myth is seemingly exempt from this is an odd thing to note.
Simpson, Jaqueline. “Rationalized Motifs in Urban Legends.” Folklore 92.2 (1981): 203- 07. Folklore Enterprises, Ltd. Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Web. 10 June 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/1259474>. The point that Mrs. Simpson was attempting to make in her essay is that the real appeal of the urban legend comes from its simplicity and its ability to have a coherent sort of story structure. The goal is to be able to gain your audience’s interest and hold them in disbelief. The Slender Man story does not have a recognized coherent structure, but instead he is used as a character to fuel the imaginations of his fans. The products of these devotion do sometimes take the form of a story.
Non-Scholarly Sources Cited
Bryant, Dave. “The Uncanny Valley.” Glimpses. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2012. <www.arclight.net/~pdb/nonfiction/uncanny-valley.html>.
King, Stephen. Danse Macabre. Berkeley: Berkeley Trade, 1978. Print.
“SCP-173.” The SCP Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2012. <http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-173>.