Herobrine is a widely popular creepypasta revolving around a ghost haunting the code of Minecraft. He is one of the major community icons of Minecraft. Herobrine has not been present in any version of Minecraft.
"Canon" of Herobrine is widely regarded as the first image/story ever posted about Herobrine, as well as the Brocraft stream. Anything posted after these two events are considered as fanmade adaptions/variations.
Herobrine first appeared in a single image detailing an encounter. It was posted on the4chan's /v/ board, and gained very little attention. It stated how Herobrine had appeared in someone's single-player game, littering the map with various pyramids and tunnels. It is the first media to name him as Herobrine.
It was only later that Herobrine grew in popularity, when the Brocraft streamer "Copeland" photoshopped Herobrine into several screenshots to show to his chat. He had recently taken a liking to the story, and wished to be a part of it. After getting largely good reactions, he decided to stage a hoax. He has explained exactly how that took place in an email.
Copeland had played through the world as a normal lets-player would, deliberately avoiding the work-in-progress room he had set up for the hoax. Herobrine was introduced to the stream here (at 20:45). He is confirmed to be a retextured painting. Copeland then screamed and ran out of the room, promptly ending the stream.
Copeland pretended to be shaken up in the chat, and later posted a message onto the forums, linking to the video to spread it around, in the hope to get similar reactions.
After a while, Copeland removed the painting and reverted to normal textures. He proceeded to stream further, pretending to be scared. He announced that he would delete the world to never meet Herobrine again.
Later on, Patimuss made a video showing Herobrine in a user-made lava field. This Herobrine was free-standing, unlike the previous video. Due to this, it is likely he was a retextured door. The livestream went down after Patimuss ran away and saved his game, only to resume ten minutes later, where Herobrine had disappeared.
Later on, during the second stream, Patimuss can be heard talking to his wife, stating he was trolling. This flooded the livestream chat with outrage. He then faked a game crash. Copeland disliked that Patimuss outed Herobrine as a fake.
It is unknown when exactly it happened in relation to Patimuss's video, but Copeland then posted links in chat, leading to http://ghostinthestream.net/him.html(archive). This is likely where the nickname "Him" originated from. The page features Steve's face, but with real, frantically rolling eyes in the place of his block eyes, modified to be completely black.
Below the face, there are a jumble of characters and letters. After removing all non-alphabet characters, the following message is revealed:
"It has been reported that some victims of torture, during the act, would retreat into a fantasy world from which they could not WAKE UP. In this catatonic state, the victim lived in a world just like their normal one, except they weren't being tortured. The only way that they realized they needed to WAKE UP was a note they found in their fantasy world. It would tell them about their condition, and tell them to WAKE UP. Even then, it would often take months until they were ready to discard their fantasy world and PLEASE WAKE UP."
The message keeps telling the viewer to "wake up", implying they're living in a fantasy world, and this text hidden in the page is their "note". The above text is from another creepypasta, entitled "Wake Up".
The stream proceeded later with no further Herobrine sightings. Copeland continued to adamantly state Herobrine was real for about a year onwards.
Since the stream, there has been a huge increase in his popularity, propelling Herobrine to meme status, and making him an icon of the community. There are several mods, animations, pieces of artwork and constructions of Herobrine that have been created.
Herobrine is a human entity, with exactly the same skin as "Steve". However Herobrine has bright white eyes that glow in the darkness, as if they are a light source. Herobrine can sometimes be seen holding tools, such as pickaxes. This stems from the widespread community belief that Herobrine was a miner. Usually, his hands are empty.
- Herobrine is Notch's dead brother, somehow embedded into Minecraft. While this is the "canon", this is also completely false in reality, as Notch has no brother.
- While Herobrine's creator is unknown, he is NOT a Minecraft character. There are no references to him at all in the source code, and there is no code to allow for any entity to act like Herobrine. There is no level terrain code to generate 2×2 tunnels or elaborate dungeons with traps.
There is no possible way Herobrine can ever exist in any unmodded clients or servers. Any claims that he is in Minecraft are completely false. Any appearances he may have are caused by either mods being installed or because of another player using the skin.
All signs of Herobrine, like trees with no leaves, random glowstone towers, suspicious messages on signs, etc. are either glitches, formatted naturally, or placed by another player to mislead you.
The Minecraft Wiki and Forums do not partake in any viral Herobrine hoax. Any deletion of Herobrine-related comments or stories are purely because Herobrine does not exist, and the stories are either fictional, with an intent to mislead others, or the result of users playing mods installed on their game (possibly without their knowledge).