Breaking the fourth wall for something in the real world that needs addressing:
Two 12-year-old girls from Wisconsin have been charged with first-degree attempted homicide for attempting to stab their friend, also 12, to death in order to appease the mythological Internet creation Slender Man. The victim suffered 19 stab wounds, one of which just barely missed a major artery near her heart. The stabbing occurred in the woods, where she was left for dead; however, the victim managed to crawl to the road, where a bicyclist found her on the sidewalk. She’s currently in stable condition—thank goodness—but obviously this is a horrible thing to have happened. The girls who committed the crime have been taken into custody; one of them told a detective they were trying to become Slender Man proxies, while the other said that she sees Slender Man in her dreams, that he watches her, and that he can read her mind and teleport.
I’m not here to point any fingers, and I’m not playing the blame game; I don’t know any of the details other than what’s on the news, and I don’t know anything about the histories of any of the people involved. But I do know this: Stories are powerful things. They have the power to change how we think, what we see, and even how the world works. This is the beauty of them: They open our eyes in ways other things may not. But if we don’t keep our wits about us, they can also get the better of us—something which we should never let them do.
Some of the stories on this site—mainly those discussed in Abandoned and Haunted Road Trip, as well as a few of the Encyclopaedia entries—are real; a great deal of them, however, are fiction. The same is true of the countless other sites out there who also enjoy sharing spooky stories in the dark of night. But causing harm to any living creature because of something read on a page or heard in a tale can never be justified. We only need to look at our own pasts to know that: The Salem Witch Trials. Bridget Cleary. Any of the other historical personages and events that fell prey to mass hysteria or something like it.
Come here, and to other sites like it, to have fun; come here to learn something; come here to give yourself a chill; but know that at the end of the day, they’re all just stories told round a campfire—nothing more. And make sure that anyone you share these stories with, whether children or adults, knows it as well.
I’ll be refraining from posting for the rest of the week out of respect for the victim and her family. In the meantime, always remember: Fiction is not fact, and we are the only ones responsible for our own actions.
Take care of each other. Be well.