Sick suicide challenge Momo is being inserted into children’s YouTube shows such as Peppa Pig , a school has warned.
Parents think their child is safe watching a normal episode of their favourite programme – but a ‘Momo’ clip has been spliced into the YouTube clip.
The ‘Momo’ character – a scary doll’s face – interrupts the show and threatens the viewer into contacting a number on WhatsApp.
Some parents say their children has been told they will be “killed in their sleep” if they do not contact ‘Momo’.
Once the child has connected with ‘Momo’, the person behind the account can send what they like to the child on WhatsApp.
Users are told to harm themselves and even kill themselves and are threatened if they refuse to follow ‘orders’.
The ‘challenge’ has recently made its way to the UK, having already been linked with the suicide of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina.
A French father filed a complaint with the State Department in November, after his son took his own life.
And the Belgian Public Prosecutor’s Office reported in November 2018 that a 13-year-old boy had been the victim of the “Momo Challenge” and hanged himself.
Northcott Community Special School in Bransholme, Hull, told parents about the “disturbing” phenomenon disguised to “avoid detection by adults,” reports Hull Live .
In a tweet, the school said: “We are aware that some nasty challenges (Momo challenge) are hacking into children’s programmes.
“Challenges appear midway through Kids YouTube, Fortnite, Peppa Pig to avoid detection by adults.
“Please be vigilant with your child using IT, images are very disturbing.”
The ‘Momo’ character is symbolised by a haunting woman with grotesque features and bulging eyes.
The avatar was taken from the work of Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who is not associated with the game.
The doll entices children to contact her via social media, before sending them graphic images and ‘orders’.
In a recent letter to parents, St Bedes RC Primary School in Carlisle, Cumbria, also warning about the “distressing” game.
The school said: “Light-hearted and fun at the outset, this game experience quickly darkens, absorbing players who are encouraged to perform acts of violence and self-harm through a series of progressively risky challenges.”
It added: “The challenges issued in this game present a serious risk to the safety, welfare and well-being of children and young people in our schools here in the UK, as does the distressing content when a player refuses to carry on.