Violent Attacks Linked to Fictional Character 'Slender Man'
COLUMBUS (Lu Ann Stoia) -- Central Ohio counselors are warning families after at least three recent violent attacks are linked to a fictional horror creature "Slender Man," including one in the Cincinnati area this week. The Hamilton County mother said her 13-year-old daughter became obsessed with the Internet character before the girl stabbed her. The mother suffered multiple minor injuries, and now the girl is facing charges. "I came home one night from work, and she was in the kitchen waiting for me, and she was wearing a mask - a white mask," said the mother. "She was someone else during the attack." According to authorities, two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls stabbed a friend 19 times as a sacrifice to the mythical character. A man accused of killing two police officers and a civilian before committing suicide with his wife in Las Vegas on Sunday often dressed up in costume as Slender Man, said one of the couple's neighbors. Professional Counselor Tasha Cantor said from her Easton area office that while horror stories have been around forever, the Internet gives Slender Man massive appeal. "There's that shock value of, oh this is scary, this is something that I have never experienced this before and you know, it gets the adrenalin rush," said Cantor. "You've got our world which is very scary right now, with mass shootings, kids committing suicide, all sorts of things that are very unpredictable for anyone who is a teenager or younger . The kids are looking for an element of control and the Slender Man character is sort of a bogey man who takes on that element of control." It is not clear why the faceless Slender Man is linked to more crime, especially considering the character is not outwardly violent. Student Hayley Cox said she is concerned some kids will see the violence, and be fueled by it. But Cox said while she likes the scary stories and movies, she can tell fantasy from reality. "At first maybe they think something is fake, like Slender Man for example, then some other stuff happens, and they start to believe it."