OH MY GODS LOOK AT THIS PICTURE. IT IS THE BEST SLENDER MAN RELATED PICTURE YOU WILL EVER SEE IN YOUR LIFE.
(Picture by Compulsory Basket, who I would like to thank for taking my overactive imagination and giving it form)
LOOK AT THAT. We’ve got Alex and J FLYING A HELICOPTER IN TO SAVE THE DAY. Then we have Noah IN A KNIFE FIGHT WITH SLENDER MAN. Below that we’ve got a girl HOLDING OFF A HORDE OF SLENDERPROXIES WITH A SHOTGUN BEHIND THE BARRICADES, while in the rear, the HYBRIDS ARE CHARGING IN TO DO GLORIOUS BATTLE WITH THE HORDE.
If the Mythos has to end, this is how it should end.
The Operator Symbol, a circle with an X through it, (X), has become the calling sign of the Mythos. The symbol first appeared in Marble Hornets, where its appearance usually signaled that Slendy fun times were nearby. In the first season, no explanation for what the Operator Symbol was or did was ever given. Now that season 2 is being made, we might get an explanation for its purpose in the Marble Hornets continuity, or they may just keep it a mystery.
Because of its distinct appearance, and the mysteriousness behind it, the Operator Symbol quickly spread to other stories. It is now often used as a sign that a blog is a Slender Man blog; sure, events in the blog may be going normally, but then suddenly you see a little circle X, and you know what you’re going to be in for. The amount of attention that has been given to this single symbol has resulted in many stories using the symbol in their own ways, or making their own explanation for it. Since this is the Slender Man Mythos, we aren’t going to get anything near a real consensus, but that’s what makes studying this so much fun.
M’s Rules, Again
Once more, we go over a hypothesis proposed by M, the great crafter of the rules. His is the theory of (X) acting as Slender repellant. In accordance with his claim that Slender Man cannot Slenderwalk while being observed, the Operator Symbol acts as a giant eye, or a face, making Slender Man think he is being watched. This effect is only a temporary defense, not a permanent one; even if you cover every corner of your room with Operator Symbols, Slender Man will eventually be able to break through.
While this doesn’t work 100% of the time (as will be explained below), Operator Symbols acting as a defensive measure is very common, largely due to the popularity of M’s blog. So if you’re a runner, this is the most likely effect of the Operator Symbol. It’s still a good idea to find out early on, before Slender Man starts acting aggressive, whether this is the case or not; you don’t want to be accidentally drawing him towards you by drawing symbols all over the place, thinking they will protect you.
Slender Man’s Symbol
This was the previously dominant idea about the Operator Symbol, before M came forward with the idea of using it as a defense. No single blog ever came up with a detailed explanation for the symbol, but it was assumed that it was somehow connected to Mr. Thin. Often it was treated as his mark, or a way to draw him to someone. People whose minds were breaking under Slender Man’s all pervasive influence would start drawing it frantically, unable to stop this mad compulsion. Page after page of notebooks or sketchpads would be filled with the (X), putting it in the place of faces, O’s, eyes, anything circular in shape. Slender Man’s proxies would leave the symbol as their mark, signing off their cryptic messages with an ominously simple character, leaving behind only the dread and mystery which follows their dark master….
Sorry. I (Scribe) see to have been infected with a case of the purple prose there. XD
(I’ve always wanted to say I (Scribe). Just never had an excuse to do so until now.)
While this usage is no longer as common as it once was, the Operator Symbol is still occasionally put to the purpose of acting as a mark for Slender Man, or a symbol of power. Slenderproxies who post online have a habit of putting it in their messages; in that way, it acts like a sign that they are a proxy, and not just another victim who just happens to be unusually belligerent. It can also still be used as a sign of insanity; even if we were to accept that the (X) was a defense, we still would view someone who covered a page with the symbol, as well as the occasional “SEES ME” as not the most mentally well balanced individual amongst us.
An interesting way to look at this would be to still make the claim that the Operator Symbol is defensive, and the reason Slenderproxies use it is because part of their mind is rebelling against Slender Man’s influence. I’m sure most proxies would vehemently disagree with that claim, but I find the idea to be something worth thinking over for at least some time.
A’s Memetic Weapon
This is an extremely interesting and unique take on the Operator Symbol, so it gets its own section, despite being another variation of “Slender Man’s Symbol”. This hypothesis was created by A, of the blog Defining?
So here we have a creature whose existence is owed and powered by our belief in him. Thus, thoughts about him would increase his power. Now, scroll up to the top of this post, and look at the Operator Symbol I posted. Imagine that the picture was shown to you independent of the blog; that you have no idea it was part of a discussion about Slender Man. What’s the first thing that would come to anyone familiar with the Mythos’s mind upon seeing this circle and X?
Now go outside. Look around you. See all those circle X’s? The two lines painted over the manhole? The railroad crossing sign? What do you think when you see those?
We’ve been trained to think of Slender Man every time we see the symbol.
And once the symbol becomes engraved in your mind, you’ll see it everywhere. Every time you’re walking about, whenever you see an X that just happens to go over a circle, you’ll think of the Operator Symbol, and therefore think of Slender Man. Even when what you’re seeing has absolutely no connection with him.
According to A, the symbol is Slender Man’s way of strengthening belief. He created a symbol which was linked to him, and then let things run from there. He barely needs to interfere, beyond having proxies posting it, since we’re currently spreading the symbol on our own. Runners surround themselves with the symbol as a way to defend themselves, but in doing so, they also cause themselves to think of him all the time. I still have the symbol on the back of my hoodie, and now whenever I put it on because it’s cold outside, I think of him.
It’s interesting to consider this, because if it’s true, it means that a runner’s greatest defense is also serving to strengthen their hunter.
The Operator Symbol isn’t the only one used in the Slender Man Mythos, even if it is the most common. Some other stories have created their own symbols, which have various meanings. Here’s a few of some of them.
This was a reoccurring symbol in the blog “In My Head”. Not much information on it; I don’t believe it was given a name, or any significance beyond its appearance.
From Searching For Angels. Looks to be a Slender Man symbol, due to the tentacle like squiggly lines coming out from the blank circle. Currently not much beyond that.
H(a)unting and Scared have also mentioned another symbol, that of ///Slenderman///. It’s described as a regular Operator Symbol, but with the lines bent. No image for this one, as a picture of it hasn’t been uploaded on either site.
EDIT: This one's from TribeTwelve. Not much known right now, since it just was revealed, though the fandom has given it the nickname "The Observer Symbol".
The Tutorial (‘What the hell is (x)?’): http://getuphigh.blogspot.com/2010/06/what-hell-is-x.html
Defining? (Symbols/Faith II): http://nildesperandumnilfortuna.blogspot.com/2010/09/symbolsfaith-ii.html