Criminal Minds will be taking on its own Slender Man during Wednesday's new episode, who has a mysterious link to one of the members of the team.
In a clip for Wednesday's episode — appropriately titled "Tall Man" — the team is getting briefed on the mysterious case of missing girls.
"Last night, three teenage girls went searching for the Tall Man," Prentiss said, when JJ (AJ Cook) steps in to give context on the mysterious figure.
"It's a regional ghost story, according to the survivor recovered this morning they found him," as the screen shows pictures of the only girl who survived, bruised up and with blood on her hands and face.
"She looks like she went through hell. She said what happened?" Alvez (Adam Rodriguez) said.
"That would be Ally McCready and, according to her, the Tall Man held them and cut them repeatedly," Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) added.
"That is consistent with the legend. The Tall Man is your classic 'don't go into the woods' dare," AJ said. "Survive the night, you survive him, he catches you, he cuts you until you reveal your darkest secrets."
Simmons asked, "Let's go back to the victims for a second, did they sneak out or did their parents know?"
"They told their parents they were going to a party and they actually did," Penelope said.
"O.K. so off the bat we have two theories about the unsub. One is that he knew they were planning this..." he said.
"Which puts him in the girls' inner circle," Rossi (Joe Mantegna) contributed.
"Exactly, or two, he waited in the woods opportunistically, but the strategy only works if he plays the odds right. So, how far-reaching is this story?"
"Maybe, I can answer that," Penelope said. "The story JJ grew up with, it's gone viral and the photoshop work is on fleek."
The disturbing images resemble that of the viral story of Slender Man, a mysterious figure that haunted teenagers and was the direct result of a tragic murder a few years ago, inspiring an HBO documentary in 2016 titled, Beware the Slenderman.1comments
The official CBS synopsis for the Halloween episode reads: "The BAU investigates a spooky local ghost story of the "Tall Man" and the clues it provides when two people go missing in the woods of East Allegheny's Dead Man's Conservatory, and a third mysteriously surfaces the following day with limited details as to what happened to her friends. To assist with the case, JJ reluctantly returns to her hometown, triggering emotional flashbacks to age 11 and her older sister's tragic death."
Criminal Minds airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.