The creepy character from the Momo Challenge has been showing up in “Peppa Pig” and other kid-friendly videos in the United Kingdom, according to unverified social media rumors that have been reported by numerous British media outlets.
Parents are warning others on social media to be on the lookout. You can see one of the alleged videos in the first section of this story. So far, parents have only made reports about seeing the videos in England. No reports have been made of this happening in the U.S.
Heavy.com has reached out to YouTube for comment about the alleged presence of the Momo Challenge in kid-friendly videos.
One Disputed Video, That Purported to Show the Occurrence, Has Been Deleted From Facebook
This is one of the videos allegedly showing Momo showing up during a Peppa Pig video. However, this video does not show what happened immediately after or before the video, so it can’t be confirmed this definitely happened during a “Peppa Pig” video. The poster, Xsarah Gibson, wrote on Facebook that her son John was watching Peppa Pig on Kids YouTube when the video showed up in the middle of a Peppa video. You can hear a voice saying in a singsong manner “Momo’s gonna kill you.” That video was later deleted from Gibson’s Facebook page without explanation. Here’s a screenshot of what the post said before it was deleted:
You can watch a YouTube version of that original post above.
“Peppa Pig” is a British children’s animated series that follows the adventures of Peppa Pig, her brother George, their parents, and other animal friends like Candy Cat, Rebecca Rabbit, and Suzy Sheep. The first episode debuted in 2004 and it’s a popular children’s series. The series has also aired on The Cartoon Network and on Nick Jr. in the U.S.
At least one Facebook user questioned the video and said they needed proof it occurred during a “Peppa Pig” video.
It appears that more than one version of this video is circulating, judging by this Facebook post from MKim Kim.
One School Warned Parents About the Videos
Haslingden Primary School executives in Rossendale, in the northwest of England, issued a warning to parents that the terrifying figure was telling children to take tablets or turn the gas on in the house. They wrote:
These video clips are appearing on many social media sites and YouTube (including Kids YouTube). One of the videos starts innocently, like the start of a Peppa Pig episode for example, but quickly turn into an altered version with violence and offensive language.
Another video clip is going by the name of ‘MoMo’ which shows a warped white mask which is promoting children to do dangerous tasks without telling their parents. Examples we have noticed in school include asking the children to turn the gas on or to find and take tablets.
As you can imagine, this is highly distressing for the children to view. We encourage you to be vigilant when your child is using any device or watching any clips.
So far, the appearances have not been authenticated yet.
A Viral Warning That Helped the ‘Momo Challenge’ Appear in the News Again, Was Misconstrued. But Other Parents Are Insisting They’ve Personally Seen the Video.
That information was based on a Facebook post that appeared in the “Love Westhoughton” group page. Heavy.com has not seen this post. Westhoughton is located 25 miles southwest of Rossendale, where Haslingden Primary School is situated.
The Bolton News quoted the original post from a mother in the area who said her son had been influenced by the Momo Challenge. The real post saw the woman say that her son had been told to watch the challenge by classmates, not that he was directly influenced by it. The post read:
When I collected him from school the teacher asked to talk to me. When we got home I spoke to him about this and he told me that some kids at school had told him to look at the Momo Challenge, which he did.
When ***** watched a video the Momo character told him to tell everyone to fear Momo or it will kill him in his sleep.
So I have one very frightened little boy and some deep concerns about the kids in his school.
Parent controls are as tight as could be and this s*** still slips through. So if you have a child it would be well worth it to open up a dialogue about idiots online and try to get ahead of this.
Numerous people have posted online saying that their children have personally seen the videos (mostly within the England area.) However, none of these reports include actual proof that it happened during a children’s YouTube video.
Some of the reports don’t indicate an actual Momo video, but do say that Momo shows up “in the corner” of the video. For example, on Reddit, one user wrote the following, saying that her niece was watching Minecraft on her mom’s cellphone and a Momo picture was in the corner of the screen. “It was just there edited onto the video. I took the cellphone from her and gave it back to my mom.” So this commenter is saying she saw it personally.
Another person wrote that her daughter showed her a Momo picture on a video that she was watching too. The picture was also in the corner. “Video had no challenge or demand outside of the game,” they wrote.
This next one is second-hand information from a commenter saying that their neighbor’s friend’s son saw Momo talking to him in the middle of a Peppa Pig video. Since the original source is so far removed, it’s unclear if this is accurate.
Despite all the reports, there’s still no proof. There is one video circulating that shows a Momo photo edited into a Kinder eggs video. But this video is so open about the whole thing that they even label the video “Momo Kinder Joy Surprise Egg vs. Chupa Chupa Trolls Surprise Ball Toy.” The video was shared on YouTube and got a lot of attention, but the account later took it down. Heavy saved a copy of the video, which you can watch below.
The YouTube account is called “Video for Kids.” These videos, however, don’t show any of the Momo content that parents have been warning about.
Other accounts are sharing similar “Momo surprise” videos that are creepy and weird, like Egg Family’s here:
Some have theorized that certain channels might rip a legitimate children’s video and re-upload it with disturbing content edited in. It’s not known if this happened with Momo, however, since it’s not yet proven that the spliced videos actually appeared. But it has happened with other YouTube content. Just a few days ago, YouTube Kids removed children’s videos that contained disturbing content with suicide instructions in the middle, ABC News reported.
A few days after the hype started, parents did start sharing a video that actually shows Momo during a Peppa Pig video. But since we don’t know when this was originally uploaded, it could have been created by someone trying to take advantage of all the hype. The video is very different from the original one that was circulating.
The Momo Challenge Tries To Coerce or Threaten Children Into Doing Harmful Actions
The Momo Challenge is another suicide challenge app similar to the Blue Whale Challenge, according to authorities and media sources from around the world. The Momo Challenge typically starts out when people add or message a Momo-associated contact on their WhatsApp. Users who interact with the Momo profile are sent disturbing and graphic photos. The “game” sets objectives for the users, similar to the Blue Whale Challenge, and may coerce them into following the objectives after gaining access to personal information, The Buenos Aires Times reported.
La Republica suggested that the series of photos (or challenges) that Momo sends may actually be steps toward committing suicide, such as sending a photo of someone tying a sheet around their neck.
Sometimes users are doxxed and convinced to harm themselves or else their private information will be shared publicly, according to 9News. Other times, the app may threaten to hurt people they love in order to coerce them into doing what the app says. The messages can be so frightening that young teens, who don’t know better, may feel like they have to respond.
One Person Shared a Video Showing Them Communicating with the Momo Challenge, But the Video Is from a Game
One person shared a video on Facebook showing someone talking to the Momo Challenge and what the account responded. It’s not clear if this is similar to what happens every time or who is behind Momo. The number for the Momo Challenge sometimes changes.
UPDATE: An alert reader informed Heavy that this video does not show Momo actually texting people, but is taken from a little-known game called Momo.Exe.
Here’s a screenshot from the game:
It’s not apparent exactly where the challenge originated. According to 9News, the challenge appears to have originated in Japan, however this may just be assumed because the profile photo originates from Japan.
Mexican police have said that the game started in a Facebook group, La Republica reported. They said that members of a Facebook group were challenged to establish communication with an unknown number. Users told authorities that if you sent a message to Momo from your cell phone, it responded with violent and aggressive images.
The app was especially popular in Spanish-speaking countries last year, but now it appears to be an issue in other countries too.
It’s not clear if any actual deaths have occurred as a result of the Momo Challenge. Argentina authorities said a teen’s death might have been connected, Fox News reported. She filmed her activities just before hanging herself and police believed she intended to upload her suicide video as part of a response to the Momo Challenge, The Buenos Aires Times reported. The police statement reads: “(Her) phone has been hacked to find footage and WhatsApp chats, and now the alleged adolescent with whom she exchanged those messages is being sought.” Police also said they believe the teen intended “to upload the video (of her suicide) to social media as part of a challenge crediting the Momo game.”
An 11-year-old boy’s death in Zapala might also be connected to the game, Diario Popular reported, without elaborating.
This is a developing story.