30 years ago, “Bloody Mary” or contacting spirits using a Ouija board were considered “dangerous games.” They really weren’t of course but at a sleepover, nothing scared pre-teen girls more than standing in front of a mirror in a dark bathroom saying “Bloody Mary” three times because what if it actually worked? The same can be said for the talking board, whose roots actually date back to the late 1800s and no one ever contacted spirits, it’s been studied that players basically got the answers they wanted, subconsciously. They were both pretty innocent, but the rise of the 80s slasher films made them terrifying to young kids.
Enter the Digital Age, and terrifying took on a new identity, and a more realistic one, aided by the advent of the Internet. At first, the challenges that went viral on social media were good-natured in their premise. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” raised money and awareness for ALS research. The “Harlem Shake” “Running Man”, and the “Mannequin” challenges may have gotten a little annoying after a while, but no one was getting hurt or worse participating in them. It was all about having fun.
Then things took a very dark turn along the way. A couple of years ago a frightening new “game” hit Russia, then swept across the globe, called the “Blue Whale Challenge.” If you’ve never heard of the Blue Whale Challenge please take note of what it is: it is a so-called “game” that takes place over 50 days, starting out innocently until on the 50th day your child is forced to take their own life. It’s targeted at teens, mainly girls, with some emotional and self-esteem issues. The statistics regarding the number of kids that actually carried out the “Blue Whale Challenge” are scary as is the fact that anyone would willfully take part in such a “game.”
Last year, other stupid “challenges” surfaced online like the “Cinnamon Challenge,” “Eraser Challenge,” and “Salt and Ice Challenge.” All three can cause harm which is apparently part of the attraction to them, for some reason.
But 2018 ushered in even more dangerous and idiotic challenges like the “Tide Pod Challenge” and the “Hot Stove Challenge.” Make no mistake, these are not “challenges,” they are guaranteed to cause pain, sickness, or even both.
One of the most tragic of the “challenges” seemed to fade last year, but experts are warning, it’s back with a vengeance and parents are pleading with others to heed their warnings.
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