The Slender Man scare: What parents need to know
The two 12-year-old girls from Wisconsin who are both charged with stabbing their friend in the woods, told police they were doing it for "Slender Man."
The fictional character is part of an online fictional culture sometimes called Creepypasta. Thousands of fans create videos, websites, graphic images, and write stories that are often violent with characters like Slender Man.
Psychologist Lianne Lennert told KATU this type of violent fantasy can feel real to people, especially children who don't have a reality check from parents.
"We all as human beings are vulnerable to unmet needs. We want to belong. We want to feel a part of something important. We want to be cared about. ... For kids who aren't getting those needs met somewhere else, anything like that can start to seem appealing," Lennert said.
The Portland based psychologist provides therapy for children as part of her private practice. She said parents need to be vigilant about watching their kids' every move online.
"Spend time with your kids. Love your kids. Teach them about what's real and not real. Help them to pay attention to consequences and think through consequences," she said.