The internet is fun, but it can also be a really scary place if you wander too far, and some people take the creepy stories they see on the web a bit too seriously.
Here are 10 horrifying incidents based on stories from the internet:
1. Girls stab friend to death to appease Slenderman
In 2014, a 12-year-old girl was stabbed 19 times by her two friends. They claim they did it to appease Slenderman – a fictional creepypasta (scary internet story) character with long limbs, a black suit and no face.
The girls claim they did it to gain permission to live in his mansion in Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin, USA.
2. Laughing Jack tells 12-year-old to kill stepmom
Laughing Jack is the story of a clown who befriends children before invading their dreams, slicing them open and replacing their innards with candy…
In Indiana 2015, a 12-year-old girl was convicted of murdering her stepmother by stabbing her to death and subsequently setting her apartment on fire.
She was later diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder and deemed unfit to stand trial for her crimes.
3. Walking Sam drives people to suicide
In Sioux, South Dakota, between December 2014 and May 2015, at least 103 people committed suicide by hanging themselves and at least 241 people had attempted to do so.
Those who were unsuccessful had blamed their suicidal tendencies on an internet story/urban legend known as Walking Sam.
There are many versions of Walking Sam’s story, but the most widely accepted one depicts him as a malevolent spirit cursed to wander the world collecting human souls.
Sioux tribal police reported finding 4 nooses hanging from trees in a nearby forest. It is unknown who put them there.
4. The Pope Lick Monster
Named after the creek in Kentucky where it lives, the Pope Lick Monster is a story about a goat/human hybrid living underneath a railway bridge. The monster supposedly hypnotizes people to climb to the top of the bridge, where they usually get hit by a train.
A 26-year-old woman who was exploring the area with her boyfriend was killed by a train after the couple had climbed to the top of the railway bridge, not knowing that the seemingly abandoned bridge was still in use.
Her boyfriend survived and the local government declared the area off limits to civilians.
5. Burn it down for Slenderman
In 2014, a 14-year-old girl from Florida attempted to set fire to her house, nearly killing her mother and 9-year-old brother. Police believed that her obsession with the fictional character is what drove her to arson and attempted murder.
6. “My Dead Girlfriend Keeps Messaging Me On Facebook”
The name says it all. The creepypasta centers around a young man whose girlfriend died and yet continues to send him messages on Facebook.
This story was (sort of) brought to life in 2016 when a real estate agent and serial criminal kidnapped a couple and attempted to fool their friends and family into thinking all was well by posting updates on the girl’s Facebook page.
In reality, the man was murdered and the woman kept chained up in a shipping container. Police eventually found and arrested the perpetrator.
7. Somebody’s watching…
A popular theme in creepypasta is stalking. An unseen person or force watching an innocent person, leaving creepy messages. For a 16-year-old girl in England, this became a terrifying reality.
She received a text one day from an anonymous number, saying: “I’m watching you.” She was understandably freaked and decided to sleep in her mom’s room that night.
Later, she received another text saying her “admirer” was inside the house, but did not take it seriously.
The next morning, she found a teenage boy about her age sleeping underneath her bed…
8. Mom attacked by daughter dressed as Slenderman
In 2014, a 13-year-old attempted to kill her own mother by stabbing her to death.
The mother said she came home from work that day and found her daughter wearing a faceless white mask, much like that of Slenderman.
She sustained only minor injuries, and survived the assault.
The creepypasta known as Balloons is about a boy who finds polaroid photos of himself in his mailbox.
In Connecticut, 2014, the principal of an elementary school was found to be stalking children around their local Walmart and taking pictures of them. Luckily, he was arrested before he harmed any of the children.
10. Wrinkles the Clown
Creepy clowns were all over the internet last year. Following this trend, a video of a little girl sleeping in her bed made the rounds on the internet.
As she slept, the drawer underneath her bed opened up and man dressed as a clown began to creep out. He didn’t do much, apart from walking up to the girl’s bedside, placing a stuffed toy next to her and then turning off the camera.
The girl’s parents later admitted that they hired Wrinkles the Clown to scare their daughter and stop her from acting up.