Momo no more

Viral urban legend suspected to be a hoax


Sydney Byerly, Sports Editor

Reports of the “Momo Challenge” spread through the U.S. in February.  There has been little to no evidence to prove that the challenge is real, prompting some to think the challenge is a hoax.

Momo was the name given to a sculpture of a woman with long black hair, large eyes, a wide smile, and bird legs created by Keisuke Aisawa who works for a Japanese special effects company called Link Factory. Momo is apparently based on horror characters like Samara from The Ring and other creepypasta urban legends. Rumors circulated that images of Momo pop up in Youtube Kids videos and on messaging services like WhatsApp with creepy messages and commands that are said to escalate to extreme violence and terror.

A flurry of parents posted on social media fears of their children being haunted by the creature or committing violent acts. The images first began circulating as early as 2016, according to CNN, but have supposedly only recently taken a turn for the worst.

Last year, news reports started appearing of a “WhatsApp terror game” after the suspected suicide of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina, but police reports never officially tied a connection to the challenge. Other reports of a supposed suicide pact in Colombia emerged hinting at a viral risk for other areas. Once again months later, authorities in Mexico reported that children were being targeted and threatened by “El Momo” on Facebook.

Momo officially made her comeback in early 2019 after panic swept across the UK and within a matter of days, the craze spread throughout the United States. While millions of parents were on the lookout for Momo, there have been no confirmed reports of the viral social media hoax.