On Saturday, May 31st, two 12-year-olds attempted to kill their best friend in a wooded park. By a miracle, this young friend who was stabbed 19 times was able to crawl to a road and retrieve help. One of those stab wounds nearly missed her heart.
Many would ask, “Why?” To answer this question, they were doing it in proxy of Slender Man to prove that he was real. For those of you who are not familiar with Slender Man, he is an alleged paranormal figure developed in the web forum called Something Awful by the creator Victor Surge (real name – Eric Knudsen).
Believers in the Slender Man tie his appearances with many other legends from around the world. Victor Surge, the creator, shared that many of his written imaginations were brought on by his favorite author Stephen King. Although he never intended his work to go viral, many fans added to his story and so began the supernatural entities of this horror story.
Slender Man is an evil character who is tall and thin and can morph into an octopus like creature. In the stories, he is passive aggressive, stalking prey using selective invisibility. He can cause Slender Sickness (paranoia, nightmares, hallucination). He can change appearance and control a person’s mind. With Sigma Radiation he can inflict mental torturing and memory loss. He is known for impaling his victims as well as hanging his victims from a tree and removing their organs. In the on-line game, Slender Man’s goal is to stop you from retrieving items throughout the mansion before the time runs out. To know if your time is running out, you will hear the footsteps of someone coming. The louder they are, the closer he is to finding you and in the end, murder you. This summer, Lions Gate Entertainment will be opening the now produced movie starring John Lithgow as the Slender Man in another version of the story.
Many teens play for hours finding it creepy and scary. In fact, nightmares are to be expected. The game originally was targeted for ages 15-24, but these very young 12 year-old children took this fictitious game and made it into reality. By being proxy for Slender Man, their intent was to murder their friend. They were under the impression that if they didn’t follow through with the murder, Slender Man would kill their families. The one teen said, “It seemed necessary because Slender Man can teleport and read minds.” She was already experiencing in her words, “Slender sickness and radiation.”
Do I believe that there is a big concern spiritually for our teens and children in regards to allowing them to play this game? Yes, there is. At any time when you allow or invite supernatural entities in your life, there is bound to be an open door for chaos, deception, fear, and even murder.
One of the parent’s knew about their daughter’s involvement with this game and how deep they were in it too, however, I don’t believe they ever expected results like this from a game. This will lie heavily on the parents’ hearts and grieve them for a long time. Thankfully the victim will have a chance to live because of the immediate help she received. But how many others will fall victim in which death will be imminent.
Although parents are the ones who should oversee and be responsible in what their kids and teens watch and do, creators of supernatural entity type videos and games should also share in that responsibility in this issue. We have seen the rise of violence among youth through the avenues of video and computer gaming, but it was only a matter of time in which we would see a case such as this.
Do I believe that these girls deserve to be in jail for up to the next 65 years? No. They need prayer and psychiatric help to undo the mind control from this game and help them learn the difference between reality and fantasy. There are other ways to pay for this crime. Nothing good would come from them if they sit in a jail cell and only be more vulnerable to a hardened heart. I truly am saddened for these families who have been affected deeply from this event.
So what can we learn from this tragedy?
Be wise. Don’t expect teens and kids to understand the dangers of what is out there in the cyber world.
Question them. Don’t be naïve to think they comprehend the difference of reality and pretend. Not all kids think the same way.
Get Educated. Spend time on the internet to find out what your teens and kids are into on-line and videos games. You might be surprised at some of the things they are into that would give you grave concern.
Talk to other parents. Just because your kids aren’t playing these games doesn’t mean that other parent’s aren’t letting them. You’d be amazed as to how many parents don’t pay attention to what their kids are doing or watching or playing.
Pray. There is an all-out spiritual war on our children to demoralize, corrupt and brainwash their minds. We must do whatever is necessary to protect them at all costs. As parents, it is our responsibility to cover them in prayer and keep out anything that would hurt them spiritually, mentally, and physically.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12