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On a Serious Note: The Slenderman Stabbing and Implications for Creepypasta and Horror

Some anvils need to be dropped.

In light of the recent decision that the two girls that attempted to stab their friend to death last May will be tried as adults, I think I will take the time to address some concerns that some people may have about the Creepypasta fandom and horror in general.

“Be careful what your children read! Monitor your children online!”, newscasters wail, building fear in parents and children. But is that really why these children did what they did? Did Slenderman really make them do it? Is Horror somehow harmful to children? The answer is a short, simple “NO”. There are many other factors that can lead a person to want to commit a murder, but the “trigger” has to be there in the first place. When one is aged 12, one should understand right from wrong and know that murdering someone is a horrible act. I did. Every child in my class did. We punched each other, made fun of each other, but we knew that murder was horrible.

So then what about kids and horror? Shouldn’t kids not be exposed to scary things? Well…I think the Nostalgia Critic explains it well. We SHOULD scare our kids, but at levels they are comfortable with:

But what happens when kids get older and they still crave that adrenaline rush of terror? Well, they become horror junkies, like yours truly. I was into Goosebumps books, the Wyrd Museum books, and of course, Scary Stories to tell in the Dark. But because I was raised well, not sheltered from horror, (Thanks for showing me the Sleepy Hollow cartoon when I was a young child, mom /sarcasm), and understood the divide between reality and fiction at a young age. I gradually challenged myself and found my limits as I grew older, and now I feel I have a healthy relationship with horror. It just requires a healthy support system and good parenting, which I feel that these girls were deprived of. We shouldn’t censor horror for our children, but we should support them when they are scared We should reassure them that these things are fictional and sooner or later, they will learn this as well.

I can’t say why these girls killed their friends, but I am sure Slenderman, the Creepypasta community, and horror writers did not tell these girls “Hey killing your friend is a great idea!”. I hope that those conducting the case realize this. Not everyone who likes horror is some messed up person who is a threat to society. In fact, most of us are normal, everyday people who wouldn’t dream of causing harm to another. living being. There is something wrong with these girls and I hope the victim gets the justice she deserves.


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