If you're not familiar with Slenderman and Creepypasta, let me explain. Slenderman is a fictitious stalker/serial killer that someone came up with on Creepypasta.com and became a viral internet meme where Slenderman is photoshopped into the background of pictures with friends. It's a stupid, silly internet meme. Everyone knows that internet memes are for laughs and no one takes them seriously. Creepypasta is a website that is dedicated to horror stories, ghost stories, and other disturbing stories that people come up with all year round, and gain popularity around Halloween.
I remember reading a Legend of Zelda Creepypasta many years ago and got spooked out by it, but I knew that it was just a spooky myth that someone came up with just to get a rise out of people. Hell, me and some friends at Queens College participated in a Halloween themed radio show and some of us read horror stories off of Creepypasta.com. It's all fun and games, and none of these characters or stories are based on facts. Myths, maybe; but they're not real. Especially Slenderman of all Creepypasta characters. No one is that tall and that thin to be considered a real human being. But what happens when children take those stories too far and end up hurting someone or themselves?
On Saturday, May 31st, two twelve year old girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, attempted to murder their "friend" by stabbing her 19 times and leaving her for dead in the woods. That wasn't exaggerated. NINETEEN TIMES. Thankfully, the victim was found and rushed to the hospital where she lies in stable, but critical condition. She survived 19 stab wounds and was milometers away from dying. The suspects just missed a vital artery. These two attackers have apparently been planning the victim's murder since December and pretended to be the victim's friend; such as inviting her to slumber parties, birthday parties, etc. They were going to tape her mouth shut and kill their friend in her sleep, but they decided a bathroom would be a better place to do it since apparently cleaning a bathroom is easier than cleaning a bedroom. Their reason behind the attempted murder? They wanted to prove that Slenderman was real.
|My reaction to their reason behind the attempted murder.|
Yes, children imitate what they see and read. Yes, they pretend they're their favorite super heroes or villains, imitate them, and end up getting hurt. No, they absolutely shouldn't do it, but at least they learn a valuable lesson afterwards: don't take anything you see on television seriously. The exact same thing goes for books and other fictitious content online; if it's fake, don't take it seriously. But preteens can distinguish the difference between fact and fiction. Apparently Morgan and Anissa didn't.
Why these two girls believed in a ridiculous Creepypasta story is beyond my wildest dreams. Kids getting entertained by horror stories is completely acceptable; playing around and imitating is okay too. But literally taking a knife and attempting to murder someone based on what they read on a website? Absolutely not. Should they be tried as adults in the court of law? Yes, definitely. That's not harsh at all. I don't believe in "kids will be kids" anymore; especially if they pull something like this. I don't believe in giving them a slap on the wrist for committing something so disgusting and vile to an innocent girl who thought these girls were her best friends.
Now here's the question that everyone asks after reading this horrific article: Should we blame Slenderman and Creepypasta.com for their behavior? Should we make a petition to get Creepypasta.com off the internet? My answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT.
People have the right to post and create stories on Creepypasta.com, Fanfiction.net, Fictionpress.com, etc. I don't care how messed up those stories are; people can create whatever horror story they want. But don't you dare blame media for your child's delusional, sadistic behavior.
"Oh, but Dana, that's inappropriate content! Someone PLEASE think of the children!"
No, how about you curb your child and teach them that fiction is not real? Why don't you tell them that MURDER, let alone hurting someone, isn't a joke? Blaming a fictitious character for your child's behavior is the equivalent of blaming a pack of cigarettes for lung cancer. If you chose to consume it, YOU are to blame; not the content. There's a little something monitoring your child's internet history content. If you see something that's questionable, TALK TO THEM. Ask them what the content is about, and explain to them that it's fake and should never be taken seriously. Don't shelter them; let them experience things in life and then teach them what to take into consideration. It's simple. Talk to them.
My final thoughts on this? If you go to their website, the very first thing you see is "CREEPYPASTA.COM --Scary paranormal stories and Short Horror MicroFICTION." See that, ladies and gentleman? FICTION. I rest my case. Good night.