Outraged residents of the Wisconsin town where two 12-year-old girls allegedly stabbed a classmate to please an online character called “Slender Man” have prompted local shops to stop selling Halloween costumes that depict him.
WITI-TV first found the costumes at a Party City and Spirit Halloween in Brookfield, Wis., 10 miles outside of Waukesha, where the stabbing occurred in late May. The two stores have since agreed to remove them.
Some local retailers, such as Halloween Express, had refused to stock the costume this year. Store owner Jon Majdoch told WISN-TV: “We don’t mind scary, but we try not to be sick. I have two daughters and I try to run my business so that they would be proud. So we try and carry a selection of stuff that is appropriate for families and having fun.”
He told WITI-TV: “We don’t want customers to come in and have any sinister feel. We want to be bright and sunshiny. We want music to be playing and a happy feel.”
The two girls allegedly stabbed the 12-year-old victim 19 times in a wooded park after a slumber party in May. The girls told police they planned to kill their classmate to gain favor with Slender Man and then run away to his mansion, which they believed was somewhere in the Wisconsin woods. Once they fled, the victim crawled to a road, where she was found.
Both girls have been charged with attempted murder.
On Monday, a judge halted court proceedings until one of the girls completes a competency evaluation. The other girl has already been evaluated and found incompetent to stand trial, the Associated Press reported.
The victim has recovered and returned to school.
Jodi Didenko told WITI-TV selling Slender Man costumes near Waukesha was a bad idea.
“Just the reaction with the neighborhood and the girl’s finally back in school and feeling good and I just think this would set her back,” she said.
Party City released a statement saying it was removing the costume:
Our thoughts and condolences go out to family and friends of the victim and the entire local community. The local area stores have pulled the costume in question. Party City sells merchandise and costumes for all types of Halloween customers, and nothing we carry is meant to be offensive.
And a representative from Spirit Halloween told ABC 13 that the store will be pulling the Slender Man costume from stores in that area.