Two 12-year-old girls have been charged with the attempted murder of a friend who was stabbed 19 times in the woods.
The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the police they wanted to offer their friend as a sacrifice to a mythical online creature known as Slender Man.
They lured the girl, also aged 12, to a park to play hide-and-seek, then pinned her down before stabbing her repeatedly in the legs, arms and torso.
The victim was left trying to crawl out of the woods and only survived after being found by a passing cyclist.
The two girls were later arrested and a knife was also recovered, the New York Daily News reports.
Police say one of the girls told a detective they were trying to become “proxies” of a demon-like character called Slender Man, which they read about online.
Creepypasta.wikia.com – a website about horror stories – describes the creature as a black-suited male with 4 to 8 tentacles who preys on children.
It continues: “It is often thought as well that he enjoys stalking people who become overly paranoid about his existence, purposefully giving them glimpses of himself in order to further frighten them.”
“For this reason, it seems like Slender Man very much enjoys psychologically torturing his victims.”
One of the girls told police she believes Slender Man can read her thoughts.
The pair, from Waukesha, Wisconsin, planned to run away to his forest mansion following the killing.
They have been charged with attempted murder as adults and face up to 60 years in jail if convicted.