WARNING: This post has details of a violent crime and may be distressing for some readers.
It is an unusual background image for a 12-year old girl’s iPad – that of a mythical online bogeyman called the ‘Slender Man’.
It is of a thin, unnaturally tall man with a blank and featureless face wearing a black suit.
The Slender Man.
Said to stalk, abduct, or traumatise people – mainly children.
This particular character features heavily on the website Creepypasta, where people share their own short stories about the paranormal.
For two 12-year-old girls the fictional Slender Man was so real they were willing to kill to appease him.
These two 12-year old girls are described as being normal, and as being “so nice they would not even give a paper cut to someone”.
But they were obsessed with Creepypasta – and eventually they came to believe that they needed to sacrifice blood in order to appease Slender Man. To enter into his world, they needed to murder someone. So they planned it.
For months the pre-teens from Milwaukee, Wisconsin plotted every detail secretly.
They planned to kill a close friend and then move to the Nicolet National Park, where they thought Slender Man owned a mansion. They were so wrapped up in this online fantasy world that they never seemed to stop for a minute to see it was just that – a fantasy.
Their first plan, according to Prosecutors, was to gag their friend as she slept before stabbing her in the neck as she lay in bed.
CCN reports that they told police they thought a bathroom would be a better scene for the crime, because it would be easier to clean up after.
After consulting each other, the girls ditched their original plans and instead decided to kill their close friend in the woods following a game of hide-and-seek. The victim had a sleepover with the two girls on a Friday night — before they stabbed her on Saturday.