Written by Nikki Newbrough, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Two 12-year-old middle school students are being charged as adults with attempted homicide in Wisconsin. The two girls took their classmate and friend into the woods and stabbed her 19 times. The victim survived and recovering in the hospital.
The students say something on the internet prompted them to try and kill their classmate. It centers around a fictional online horror character named "Slenderman."
"Don't play it. Or look at it," said Sydney Burt, Hoover Middle School student.
Students at Hoover Middle School in Waterloo may not be big fans of "Slenderman," but that doesn't mean they don't know who he is.
Slenderman was born five years ago through an online Photoshop contest. Now he is in computer games and YouTube videos.
His audience has grown to be more middle school students and they say the goal of Slenderman's existence is to scare you.
"It's a guy chasing you in the woods with no face," said Anel Cufurovic, student.
"I've seen these videos on YouTube and he goes around the neighborhood scaring people," said Morgan Self, student.
No where in the game does it encourage you to kill others.
"It's about you going in the woods or in a house and there's this really tall guy named Slenderman. No face and he comes around and you try to stay away from him and if you get caught by him he kills you," said Dillon Sampson, student.
For these students, Slenderman is a topic of discussion with some of their friends, but they say it's important to not take these fictional characters seriously.
You can help the stabbing victim in this case by sending hearts, made of paper, fabric or wool. Her family says they plan to put them all over her room.
These "hearts of healing" can be sent to this address: P.O.. Box 407 Waukesha, Wisconsin, 53187-0407
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