The Operator symbol, and Marble Hornets' official symbol
June 20, 2009
87 Entries with 3 half entries, 42 accompanying videos
Troy Wagner, Joseph DeLage
Troy Wagner, Joseph DeLage, Tim Sutton
Marble Hornets (abbreviated MH) is a Slender Man-based YouTube series/ARE (Alternate Reality Experience). It was the first Slenderman ARE to be created and set the trend for those that followed as well as bringing Slender Man to a wider audience and influencing canon. It is the leader of the Big Five and chiefly responsible for shaping the modern mythos. MH is based around the filmings of Jay, known as Entries. As of July 2014, there are 87 entries, along with three ".5" entries, the anonymous ##### entry, the unnumbered introductory video and 40 accompanying IG videos from the series' unknown antagonist, totheark.
After presumably ending with Entry #87, series creator Troy Wagner announced on October 31st, 2018 that the series will be returning in December, though later delayed to late February, in comic form.
Origin and History
MH gains its name from Alex Kralie's film project, Marble Hornets. The early entries in the series are clips from the filming tapes used in creating the Marble Hornets film. Alex ended the project due to being stalked by the The Operator frequently and handed the tapes over to his friend, and MH narrator, Jay. Alex told Jay that he planned to burn the tapes but, being a good friend, Jay was given the tapes and posted them on YouTube in the hopes others could possibly help him understand what was so distressing about these tapes. Alex transferred to another school shortly after, and Jay hadn't seen him since.
Early entries consisted of tapes from the Marble Hornets film and of those taken by Alex who obsessively recorded himself in order to capture The Operator stalking him. Eventually, the entries turn to videos taken by Jay, cataloging his efforts to discover Alex's whereabouts and unravel the mystery surrounding The Operator.
Over time, Jay follows leads to old buildings, former homes, and even defunct and abandoned locations, and begins finding this being stalking his old friend may be deeper and far more dangerous than he ever thought, and there is a very good chance that Jay may now be hunted for getting too involved..
Click here for List of Marble Hornets Entries
Some videos receive cryptic responses from a separate YouTube channel called totheark, which makes threats, predictions, and statements concerning the goings-on of the entries as they progress.
- Alex Kralie - Director of the Marble Hornets film, and victim to The Operator's stalking. In the beginning of the series it is Jay's motive to discover Alex and help him, but in the end that may be his undoing as to what Alex has become.
- Jay Merrick - Uploader of the series' entries. Jay is running constantly to try and locate what has happened to all the members of the film. Jay wants to uncover the truth and gets dragged into something sinister.
- Tim Wright - Marble Hornets film actor. Upon unknown circumstances, his mind is taken over by Masky. His personality switch is somehow triggered by The Operator, but his exact motives are unknown. He is revealed to show numerous symptoms of The Sickness, as well as numerous psychiatric reports, showing that he has probably encountered the Operator long before the others. He becomes a major character as the series progresses.
- Jessica Locke - A young woman who appears as a recurring character in Season 2 and a minor character in Season 3. She is the former roommate of Amy and a victim of The Operator's influence.
- totheark - A YouTube channel owned by a mysterious entity or person whom has been theorized by Jay and others to be multiple people. Their true identity was never confirmed.
- Brian Thomas - A Marble Hornets film actor. He has another masked personality similar to Masky whom is stalking both Jay and Alex. He appears to be assisting Jay in some capacity, but also instigates Tim to become Masky by stealing the drugs which suppress him. His identity is eventually revealed to be Brian, and his motives are unknown, but he is in direct conflict with Alex.
- The Operator - An entity of unknown origin or motivation which first came into contact with Alex during the shooting of Marble Hornets. Ever since Jay's encounter, Jay has been running for his life trying to figure out its mysterious connection to Alex. It is obviously based on the Slender Man.
- Amy - Alex's girlfriend and Jessica's former roommate.
- Seth - Cameraman of the Marble Hornets film. Suspected to be a third member of totheark.
- Sarah - Marble Hornets film actor. Suspected to be a third member of totheark.
- Unnamed man Number One
- Unnamed man Number Two
- Unnamed man Number Three
- Unnamed Woman
- Unknown Masked Figure
- Alex's House
- Brian's house
- Amy and Jessica's House
- Jay's Apartment
- Alex's Apartment
- Tim's Apartment
- Rosswood Park
- The Hotel
- The Mental Health Clinic
- The Antique Shop
- The Red Tower
- The Abandoned House
- The Maintenance Building
- The Abandoned Hospital
- The Unknown Building
- The Tunnel
Style and Canon Influence
MH, being the first Slender Man ARG, set several trends emulated or made use of by future ARGs. Every entry opens with a black screen and white wording for an introduction, which was borrowed for use in TribeTwelve.
MH created canon by introducing noise and video distortion when looking at Slenderman or in its vicinity- this was solidified by its usage in TribeTwelve, EverymanHYBRID, MLAndersen0, and DarkHarvest00. MH, however, is unique in that it only uses this distortion selectively- it sometimes appears heavily and other times not at all.
The idea of a Proxy, in MH's case that of Alex, was lifted, used and termed by DarkHarvest00, in the form of their Unknown Proxy, as was the use of a antagonist's YouTube account (MH's totheark and DH's KindVonDerRitter.) The idea of a proxy was also used in TribeTwelve as the Observer, but it is much more of a hive-mind than a single entity.
Some symbolism created by MH is included in TribeTwelve and DarkHarvest00, such as the Operator Symbol.
Skully, ToTheArk's Identity, and Multiple Maskys
Three details regarding the series were briefly touched upon by the creators, before being debunked entirely at a Q&A panel.
A face with an odd design, nicknamed "Skully", can be briefly seen in Entry #26 before the footage cuts to Amy. Troy Wagner (who plays Jay) admitted that the character in this shot was a stand-in option for a backup character if they ever required an explanation for specific situations in the plot they couldn't explain, at one point even possibly being to Jay what Masky is to Tim. As it turned out, the character was never needed, and is entirely non-canon.
ToTheArk was never confirmed to have any specific identity. The creators even admitted they know individually who it is, but likely would disagree with each other, meaning there is no correct answer as to the identity of ToTheArk.
At one point during filming it was discussed the possibility of multiple Masky characters whom all wore similar masks. Although the exact reasoning for this was never explained, the only detail that was discerned by the creators was that they could have the character never technically be unmasked as it could be anyone. This idea was also scrapped, and is non-canon. As far as the series is concerned, only one Masky and one Hoody exist.