Marble Hornets, a new kind of storytelling

I hesitate to bring this project to wider public attention—both because I don’t want anyone to steal it and because I fear its creators might find some of way of afflicting the sinister, malevolent force at its center on me. But it’s just too blood-curdling a yarn not to share — though you wouldn’t guess it from the title: Marble Hornets.

What is Marble Hornets? It appears to be some combination of ARG (Alternate Reality Game) and Blair Witch-esque horror narrative, all told through Twitter, YouTube, and a Wiki page started by those who find themselves a little obsessed with the story.

You can visit the Twitter page to learn about the sequence of events up till now, but here’s the basic summary: A young man named Alex Kralie was making a film. In the process of making the film, he found himself haunted by a strange and sinister figure known as “the Slender Man,” a tall, blank faced apparition that began to appear mysteriously in the background of his footage. After a series of strange events, Alex transferred to another college, leaving all of his tapes with his friend J. J reviewed the tapes and began to post key moments of Alex’s footage on YouTube, moments that he found particularly disturbing or inexplicable. Many of them feature the sinister character of the Slender Man. J also posts comments to Twitter about how he doesn’t know where Alex is now, how he himself has begun to experience weird occurrences, and how he’s beginning to suspect that Alex was caught up in something truly dark and otherworldly. It’s a totally convincing, hair-raising story, and it’s told entirely through YouTube videos, some Twitter posts, and a wide ranging Internet back-story.

What does this have to do with Vook? Marble Hornets is a new kind of narrative, a new kind of story, but it’s just as horribly, horrifically effective and frightening as an ancient ghost story. Whoever is behind Marble Hornets has figured out how to tell the perfect tale for our fractured digital lives. If you think storytelling is being destroyed by hyper connectivity and short attention spans you haven’t experienced Marble Hornets.

Of course I’d love to see this story become a vook. The potential to really crank up the horror and the dark history and the strange coincidences are unlimited on the Vook platform. For now, I’ll have to be content waiting with everyone else for a new Twitter or YouTube post.

Which, I’m beginning to suspect, is exactly what the Slender Man wants.

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