Karen Belz
Updated February 02, 2018 9:16 am

Many of us were shaken when we first heard about the 2014 Slender Man stabbing. The case involved two pre-teens who tried to stab their friend to death as a “sacrifice” to the fictional character Slender Man. Not only was the event horrific in and of itself, but it led to a wave of fear in terms of what children and teens were consuming on the internet.

The concept of Slender Man is credited to Eric Knudsen, who drew images of the character for a contest held by the website Something Awful. The drawings were haunting. Slender Man appeared to be tall, thin, and faceless, and his backstory included stalking children. Slender Man, and the mythology around him, soon began to gain online traction and popularity.

Wisconsin natives Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, both 12, were especially fascinated by the mythologized monster. The friends allegedly believed that they could become “proxies” of Slender Man if they sacrificed someone for him. The girls lured a third friend, Payton “Bella” Leutner (also 12), into the woods in May 2014 under the pretense of playing hide and seek. They proceeded to stab Leutner 19 times with a knife.

Leutner was left for dead, but she miraculously survived the attack. She crawled out of the woods and got the attention of a cyclist.

Geyser was diagnosed with schizophrenia shortly after the incident took place, and as of today, February 2nd, she has been sentenced to up to 40 years in a psychiatric institution.

Weier has since expressed remorse for her actions, and after pleading guilty to second-degree attempted intentional homicide, was sentenced to spend 25 years within a mental health facility.

Leutner had to undergo several surgeries after the attack and is now doing well.