Marble Hornets, Two Years On

The YouTube series Marble Hornets just celebrated two years. While I didn’t start watching around Entry #16, I’ve had a fun time following the story.

For those unfamiliar, Marble Hornets is inspired by the Slender Man mythos, which began on the SomethingAwful forums. Basically, Slender Man is a paranormal creature that lives in forests and likes to stalk and kill people (though he seems to do more of the former than the latter). He bears a strong resemblance to a tree, making him quite difficult to notice in forests.

Anyway, Marble Hornets began with a simple premise:

In 2006, a student filmmaker named Alex Kralie began acting peculiar. Soon after, he abandoned his film, “Marble Hornets”, and disappeared altogether.

After three years and no contact with Alex, one of his close friends began to look through the raw footage tapes of “Marble Hornets”. If he found anything unusual, he uploaded it as an entry onto YouTube. Between June 20 2009 and April 18 2010, a total of 26 entries were uploaded.

That is the description from the back of the season one DVD, and the basic premise of the series. Season one tells of the tapes that Alex gave to his friend Jay, and of the odd things Jay starts to experience after he goes through them.

Partway into the first season, another character was introduced, on the YouTube account for “totheark”. This character, not seen in the main entries, would reply to almost every entry with cryptic videos that seemed to offer clues and insight to the ongoing story. A lot of the time, these responses were indecipherable to most fans of the series.

This first season ended in mid-April of 2010, and a lot of people thought the series had been ended rather abruptly. Then, seven months later, odd pictures were uploaded to the series’ twitter account (presumably by totheark, who had been known to hack into the official YouTube page). Season two was starting soon.

Then season two kicked off, with the main character, Jay, waking up in a hotel, and realizing that seven months had passed, and he had no memories of anything since Entry #26.

So yesterday was the two-year anniversary of the Introduction video for Marble Hornets being posted on YouTube. The series has come a long way, to be sure. Most of the first season was, according to Troy and Joseph, the creative force behind the series, trial and error, with them trying out various ideas and seeing what worked. It was late in the first season that a story really began coming together. Season two so far is all about cementing that story, and building upon it, answering questions and asking others. ToTheArk is back for the second season, still posting cryptic responses (and they’ve been rather creepy of late, especially the Indicator video).

I remember when I first heard about the Slender Man meme. I heard about it over on the NSider2 Forums, in the Power On section. Someone had started a thread about Slender Man, and the OP was apparently convinced that Slender Man was a real creature. He posted the original pictures that started the idea of the character on the Something Awful forums, and quoted the original descriptions. Further along in the thread, someone posted a link to Marble Hornets on YouTube, and made the entries out to be authentic.

So I started reading around about Slender Man. I found archived threads from the /x/ section of 4chan, along with then-current discussion. I found my way to the UnFiction forums. I made the mistake of watching the first 15 Marble Hornets entries around midnight, and was thoroughly creeped out. It didn’t help that I slept next to a window looking out onto an ascending hill covered in forest.

Despite that, I liked what I saw with Marble Hornets. Something rather fascinating was going on, and I kept with the series. I joined in discussion threads on /x/, and once the series fell out of favor with the majority of Anon on /x/, I migrated over to the UnFiction Forums, which had an entire board dedicated to discussing the series.

Now here we are, Marble Hornets is now two years old, and still going strong. I like how Troy and Joseph are developing the story, and the characters, and can’t wait to see what happens next. I quite like that totheark posted a response video on that two-year date, and that that new entry was called “Memories”. (Yes, I know totheark is run by Troy and Joseph, sorry to break immersion)

Anyway, that’s Marble Hornets. Well worth checking out on YouTube.

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