A TERRIFYING Michael Jackson “Momo-style” video has appeared online threatening to enter children’s bedrooms screaming “hee hee”.
Police in Mexico have been forced to issue a warning after the meme claimed a distorted Jackson will come into their home at 3am.
The creepy clip shows the bizarre statue slowly swinging from side-to-side as the song Smooth Criminal plays in the background.
As the camera pans in on the figure’s waxy face and blood-red eyes, bone-chilling screams ring out.
The meme reportedly originated in 2009 – the year Michael Jackson died – and has been branded ‘El Ayuwoki’ in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur.
The name Ayuwoki comes from the song Smooth Criminal and is how the lyric ‘are you okay’ would be spelt phonetically in Spanish.
‘THERE IS NOTHING SUPERNATURAL’
A police statement says: “Although a lot of people believe this is a kind of demon or ghost from the Internet, there is nothing supernatural in this matter.
“The kids and teenagers are looking to share it and believe in it because it is trendy, which could generate sleep issues, panic or anxiety.”
FOR KIDS: How to say no
It can sometimes be hard to stand up to your friends, so Childline offers the following tips on how to say no:
1) Say it with confidence:
Be assertive. It’s your choice and you don’t have to do something which makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
2) Try not to judge them:
By respecting their choices, they should respect yours.
3) Spend time with friends who can say ‘no’:
It takes confidence and courage to say no to your friends. Spend time with other friends who also aren’t taking part.
4) Suggest something else to do:
If you don’t feel comfortable doing what your friends are doing, suggest something else to do.
Any child worried about peer pressure or online worries can contact Childline on 0800 1111.
According to reports, the Jackson meme has spread after the release of the Leaving Neverland documentary about alleged child abuse carried out by the singer.
NEW MOMO FEARS
There are fears the eerie video could become the new Momo – a sinister bug-eyed character that encourages children to hurt themselves.
The original work, called Mother Bird, was built in 2016 and exhibited at an alternative art gallery in the Japanese capital.
But after snaps of the bird woman were posted online, it began to appear in children’s games and on YouTube as a sick “suicide” challenge.
Is the Momo Challenge a hoax?
THE Momo Challenge is believed to have originated in South America.
The creepy face of a Japanese sculpture was hijacked and spread on WhatsApp – reportedly with instructions enticing children to perform a series of dangerous tasks including self-harm and suicide.
In recent days police and schools have issued warnings about the challenge arriving in the UK and a number of parents have said their children have been exposed to it.
Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom even told MPs the Government is “extremely concerned” about it.
But confusingly UK charities and internet experts have suggested the challenge is a hoax.
The Samaritans and the NSPCC said there is no confirmed evidence anyone has come to physical harm.
And YouTube claimed: “We have found no evidence of videos showing or promoting the Momo challenge on YouTube.”
While it appears the challenge itself may not have reached Britain, sick copycats have been traumatising children by splicing a ghoulish video of a bug-eyed girl into Peppa Pig cartoons and Fortnite gameplay footage.
Although there were suggestions kids had hurt themselves or others after watching the footage, charities have said there is no evidence of harm being done.
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Children have still been left terrified by the chilling face, with schools and the government issuing advice to parents over the clip.
Sculptor Keisuke, 43, said recently that he felt “responsible” for terrifying children after his work was hijacked by online trolls who used it for the so-called ‘Momo Challenge’.
He told The Sun that kids should be reassured and not to worry as Momo is dead.
SAFETY NET: How to keep your child safe online
The Internet can be an amazing tool to help children learn and play.
But with the digital world changing all the time, how can you make sure your child is safe?
Set up parental controls
- Parental controls can be used to block upsetting or harmful content, control in-app purchases or manage how long your child spends online
- The filters can help control what time of day your child can go online, and to stop them from downloading apps they are too young for
Talk to your children
- Have regular conversations about what your child is doing online
- Explore sites and apps together
- Talk about what personal information they should share online
- Create a family agreement about what behaviour is appropriate when they are online
Do your research
- Check through websites your child will use through the Net Aware
- Change privacy settings and turning off location sharing
If you need help now, you can phone experts on the free NSPCC & O2 helpline 0808 800 5002
To contact NSPCC, you can call the helpline on 0808 800 5000 or children under 18 can call 0800 1111
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans can be contacted on 020 7734 2800