TYNEDALE parents are being warned after reports of a 'suicide game' swept social media.

Parents across the UK have shared posts about what is known as the Momo Challenge, an online game that is played via social media platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube.

The challenge encourages children to hurt themselves after they have been invited to take part by an anonymous controller.

The game is illustrated by a terrifying bug-eyed female face and shares violent images and threatens its users.

It is thought that instances of the game have been reported in Colombia, Australia, Mexico and has been linked to at least two deaths.

What is Momo?

MOMO is a brown haired young woman, with bulging eyes and creepy bird like legs. She was originally created by Japanese artist Midori Hiyashi for the Link Factory, none of which have any connection to the horrifying game.

The game hides itself in the form of other normal looking games so that parents do not suspect it. MOMO then asks the player to add a number on WhatsApp, which may also be found on YouTube.

After adding the number, the scary doll like figure sends graphic violent images, and starts by asking them to complete odd tasks like waking up at random hours.

MOMO becomes sinister after a series of texts, and tasks start to become more dark and dangerous, before finally ending by challenging them to take their own lives.

Various forms now exist both on the internet and via app stores, but the more sinister ones remain hidden.

The character was picked up by the Creepy Pasta series, a collection of horror stories and fan fiction writing, where characters like MOMO and Jeff the Killer become disturbing figures of legend.

Jeff the Killer is one of the most popular protagonists. He is obsessed with death after being attacked one day, where the character ends up killing the attackers. Later, he realises he likes the thrill of it.

Creepy Pasta websites often remind readers that the work online is not real, and they do not encourage acts of violence towards anyone, but in a world where fan fiction lets anyone post dark literature online, the creepy games and stories will continue to resurface.

How to keep your child safe

To stay safe, parents are warned to always be aware of what their children are watching and reading online, and if possible, limit the apps they can access.

If a parent suspects a MOMO is targeting their child, police advise to delete and block the number immediately.

In Northern Ireland police released a statement warning parents.

Detective Sergeant Elaine McCormill said: "I am disgusted that a so-called game is targeting our young children and I would encourage parents to know what your children are looking at and who they are talking to. Whilst the threat of a curse may sound silly to an adult, it could be a very frightening prospect for a young child and they may feel under pressure to carry out acts to protect themselves or family from further harm.

"The most fundamental piece of advice that I can offer is to speak with your children – let them know that they do not have to deal with any concerns on their own. It is crucial that parents are involved with their children’s online lives and I’d urge parents to make children aware of online dangers and ensure they know that they can speak to someone if anything or anyone online causes them concern.

“I would also advise parents to ensure that any devices used by your children are restricted to age suitable content. However, I am aware of media reports that the “Momo” challenge has popped up even when these controls are in place so there really is no substitution for supervising the games that children are playing and the videos that they watch online."


If adults are concerned or have any questions on how to approach the subject with their children you can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit the NSPCC website.

Children who are feeling worried about their activity on apps or online games can contact Childline 24 hours a day, online and over the phone, on 0800 11 11 or by visiting www.childline.org.uk