The Pale Man is a grotesque child-eating monster and the secondary antagonist of Guillermo del Toro's 2006 fantasy film Pan's Labyrinth. He was played by Doug Jones.
During Ofelia's quest to make sure she hadn't turned into an ordinary human, her second task was to get to the Pale Man's lair and retrieve a dagger which was kept locked down there. The Faun warned her not to eat anything from the luxurious banquet served at the sleeping Pale Man's table, and also let her take his pet fairies with her to serve as a guide during this journey. Once there, Ofelia quickly found the dagger with some help from the fairies, but when she was about to leave, she just couldn't resist temptation and ate two grapes from the banquet, in spite of the fairies reminding her not to do so. This, as expected, woke the Pale Man up, who quickly placed his eyeballs on the gaps of his hands and set off to find and eat Ofelia, who watched in horror as he devoured two of the fairies that were accompanying her. As Ofelia rushed to escape, the exit closed seconds before she was able to reach it. She quickly drew another one with a piece of chalk that she was carrying and both her and the remaining fairy managed to escape just in the nick of time, leaving the Pale Man behind.
Connection to Slender Man
The Pale Man is believed to be one of the inspirations for Slender Man due to their similar appearance and their preference for targeting children. This theory seems to be supported by early mythos stories having Slender Man aggressively attack its victims, similar to how the Pale Man would eat its victims alive. The paintings on the ceiling are also similar to the Der Ritter photoshopped images
- Doug Jones, the actor who played The Pale Man, also played The Operator in the Marble Hornets film Always Watching.
- He was probably inspired by a creature from Japanese folklore, Tenome.