Slender Man Seen On Cannock Chase

Posted by: Nick Redfern on January 28th, 2015

Lee Brickley Cannock Book

As someone who grew up, and lived for many years, only a 15-minute drive from England’s notorious Cannock Chase woods, I have taken a keen interest in the many and varied cryptozoological events, incidents, and encounters that have occurred there. There are dozens and dozens of reports of so-called “Alien Big Cats.” Sightings of Bigfoot-like beasts abound. Huge, winged beasts have been encountered. As have giant snakes, and much more.

The late John Keel would almost certainly have referred to the Cannock Chase as a definitive “window area.”

Well, there’s now another strange entity to add to the Cannock Chase’s menagerie: the Slender Man. It’s a story told by Mike Lockley, in the England-based Birmingham Mail newspaper. It begins:

“A paranormal probe has been launched in the Midlands following FOUR sightings of Slender Men – long, stick thin spectres feared around the world. Each of the chilling close encounters took place in the Cannock area, and now X Files investigator Lee Brickley is trying to fathom why the ghoul has descended on the Staffordshire mining town. Slender Men have been a part of global folklore for centuries. They may be known by different names, but their harrowing, elongated appearance remains the same around the world. In Scotland the fiendish figure is known as Fear Dubh (The Dark Man), the Dutch dubbed him Takkenmann (Branch Man) and in Germany he is referred to as Der Grosse Man (Tall Man).”

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.

15 Responses to “Slender Man Seen On Cannock Chase”

  1. springheeledjack responds:

    Ok, first off, Slender Men was an internet creation–back before 2010 I want to say. So, applying sightings of something creepy tall and thin to Slender Man is kind of the birth of new mythology. Maybe a new tech version of the “telephone game” I remember in high school.

    Is there a history (beyond Shadow People) of tall, thin things being seen across the globe? I have no idea, but before the internet wave I never heard anything on this front.

    ironically, this gives more fire to the skeptical side of mythology–namely that perhaps if enough people tell stories about a creature/thing (made up out of imagination) and it circulates long enough, a newer generation might actually adopt it as a real phenomenon.

    On the other hand, I do know of an American Indian tribe out west that have legends of “stick Indians” that would lure people into the forests, steal items and children and were generally described as tall and slender. Huh…how coincidental is that?

  2. PoeticsOfBigfoot responds:

    Maybe I’m a purist, or maybe it’s because my generation grew up on Leonard Nimoy, Marlin Perkins,and others, but I don’t consider this to be relevant to cryptozoology.

  3. Dr Kaco responds:

    It’s way off and if any of the facilitators want to keep pushing this off well i guess we’ll have to move to another topic or website…

  4. dconstrukt responds:

    its the UK…. the english are usually drunk or hungover… would explain a lot πŸ™‚

  5. Fhqwhgads responds:

    “Slender Man” bears a remarkable resemblance to Nergal from “The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy”, just without the humor. Nergal got lonely from living in the center of the Earth and tried to force people to be his friends. Since the cartoon predates the CreepyPasta, I wonder if there was some borrowing.

    Of course, some people say, “Hey! I’ve been seeing this thing all my life, and it’s terrified me! The author of the CreepyPasta must have been subconsciously influenced by the real thing!” Sorry, I don’t buy it. The key to making an effective monster is to take something people are already afraid of, amp it up to the extreme, and make it invulnerable. If you’re afraid of technology, you might get aliens from space. If you’re afraid of child abductors, you might get Slender Man.

    Others say that if enough people believe in him, he might BECOME real. Nonsense.

    Sadly, there are a lot of people out there with a very tenuous grip on reality. They may have mental illness or emotional scars, but one way or the other, treating this character like he’s real is clearly not good for their state of mind.

  6. springheeledjack responds:

    PofB–that’s a good point. Is what people are reporting here something cryptozoological or something supernatural and where is the cut-off?

    Perhaps this is a good lead in for a discussion: what qualifies something as a cryptid vs. something supernatural? The definition of cryptozoology as I understand it is the hunt for unknown animals, but does that include humanoid things? BF–I’d guess most people buy into a primate or humanoid, so if BF qualifies, would any humanoid sighting? Slender men: tall, thin dark . . . creatures? Would leprechauns or trolls qualify as cryptids then?

    And where does the cut-off come into play? Once we start stepping into alien or ghost territory? Anything outside just the physical of our known world?

    Just asking what other people think. πŸ™‚

  7. Wee Falorie Man responds:

    “In Scotland the fiendish figure is known as Fear Dubh (The Dark Man)”
    Horse feathers! Fear Dubh is a nick-name for the devil or refers to a man with black hair. That’s all.

    In answer to springheeledjack’s last post:
    Leprechauns, trolls, ghosts, and aliens are not cryptozoological topics, in my opinion. – and neither is Spring-Heeled Jack, by the way. πŸ™‚

  8. Olrik responds:

    This was the subject matter of a recent murder case and various hoax videos, but it probably belongs here just as much as a lot of the Sasquatch material that is routinely posted…

  9. springheeledjack responds:

    Wee Falorie Man: true on all counts! πŸ™‚

    I tend to see cryptids as animals–creatures that exist around us that we have yet to have the info on. It’s just that with BF in the mix, there may be some gray area as to just how “intelligent” something has to be or what it truly is when we’re talking cryptids.

    Aliens and ghosts I wouldn’t put into the cryptid realm. As for trolls, leprechauns I haven’t come across those, but what category would we put them into? Would we put a troll into the crypto pile (I’m making an assumption here if there were steady sightings of said things and people were actively hunting for them–heck there probably are for all I know)? Would a leprechaun go into a separate category? If so, based on what?

    No, I haven’t seen a troll or a leprechaun, but then again I haven’t seen BF either. I guess what I’m asking is if a cryptid has to be a beast/animal/creature and if so, what is it in a cryptid that differentiates itself from other psuedo mythological things?

    The real Spring Heeled Jack was a man (as I recall) and not a very nice one–what the heck category would that fall under? And same with Mothman? He is usually thrown into the cryptid group, but is that because Mothman is deemed as an animal, or at least animal in appearance? Some of the theories put Mothman in the alien camp or even weirder.

  10. Wee Falorie Man responds:

    To me, anything that you can have a conversation with, is not a cryptid (well, almost anything) – so, I think that this excludes leprechauns, aliens and trolls from the cryptid category. Besides having language, leprechauns, aliens and trolls also have the ability to make and use tools – not simple tools, like a chimpanzee that uses a stick to fish for termites, but complex tools that can be used to make things like clothes (trolls, leprechauns and aliens), shoes (leprechauns), spaceships (aliens), etc.

    Of course, ghosts aren’t animals (for the most part), so that would also exclude them from the cryptid category. You’re right when you say that the boundaries can sometimes be uncertain – if almasti (the plural of almas?) can speak and make clothes, that would pretty much make them people, not cryptids, I think. To add a couple more to the Mothman example that you gave: What about spectral Black Dogs? Or mer-beings? I definitely agree with you that there are some gray areas.

  11. Fhqwhgads responds:

    @springheeledjack: To quote something I have written elsewhere: each of the following have been called cryptids by some people.
    1. An animal known to currently exist, but not in the location where it was seen. The sightings of big cats in Britain fall into this category.
    2. An animal which is known to have existed and is believed to have gone extinct during human history, but for which there are unconfirmed sightings after its presumed extinction. Alleged sightings of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and of the Tasmanian Wolf fall into this category.
    3. An animal which is known to have existed and is believed to have gone extinct before the dawn of human history, but for which there are unconfirmed sightings. Alleged sightings of dinosaurs and pterosaurs fit this category.
    4. An animal which is not known to have ever existed, but which is biologically possible and for which there are unconfirmed sightings. Alleged sightings of Bigfoot go here, since Bigfoot seems to be either an ape that has independently evolved a preference for bipedalism or a relative that diverged from us at or about the time of the Australopithecines.
    5. A creature which appears to be biologically and/or physically impossible. Mermaids, which make no sense biologically, and werewolves, which appear to violate the laws of physics, go here.

    Category 1 is really pretty boring. There is a long, sad history of people bringing exotic pets or specimens into an area outside that animal’s normal range and releasing it, usually with disastrous consequences for the pet, sometimes with disastrous consequences for the local environment.

    Category 5, on the other hand, belongs in the category of the paranormal, if not in the category of pure fiction. As with Category 1, many self-professed cryptozoologists do not consider these to be truly a part of cryptozoology.

    Category 2, on the other hand, is dubious. Even the most skeptical are not surprised that sometimes announcements of extinction are premature, though some survivals would be more surprising than others. It seems much more likely, for example, that the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is still in existence than that the Dodo still survives.

    That leaves Category 3 and 4 as the solid core of what is meant by cryptozoology, with Category 2 on the edge and Categories 1 and 5 outside the boundaries.

  12. springheeledjack responds:


    Yeah on all counts. That’s where I was going with this. BF exhibits some characteristics of humans: bipedal, uses rocks maybe sticks to knock, and there have been reports and tapes of the “samurai chatter” which may be some form of language. Who knows?

    I’m not really making a case for leprechauns or trolls, but just curious as to what others think on this front. Personally, I’d throw anything human-ish (I guess more human characteristics than animal like aliens or a leprechaun) as non-cryptid too. As for Black dogs, they seem more supernatural in nature from what little I know, and mer-beings, who knows? Again, I suppose it depends on who’s judging.

    Slender man, if he existed beyond the internet would fall into the supernatural or the alien camp from my perspective.

    But I think it’s worthwhile for us crypto-people to define our culture and decide where that line is and when it’s crossed. And yes, maybe even I have crossed my own line by taking the Spring Heeled Jack moniker…ironic don’t you think?

  13. Wee Falorie Man responds:

    Well, I definitely agree that the discussion of definitions within our sub-culture is worthwhile.

    As for the Spring-Heeled Jack name: It’s ironic and clever – perfect for this forum!

  14. springheeledjack responds:

    Right back at you, Wee Falorie Man. Clever is as clever does. Between a roof jumping maniac and an Irish leprechaun, maybe we can figure it all out.

  15. Wee Falorie Man responds:

    Aye, great minds think alike – ha, ha

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