Slender Man Obsession Inspires Teen to Set House on Fire as Family Sleeps

Lily Marie Hartwell, 14, admitted to Pasco, Fla. police that she set her home on fire as her mother and 9-year-old brother slept. The teen decided to soak a blanket and towel with rum and light them on fire in the garage.

“Mom I’m so sorry I don’t know why I did it,” she texted her mother after she ran away. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Hartwell was found in a nearby park with “clothes, bottled water, cookies, knives, lighters and flashlights.” She decided to sleep in a public bathroom and then develop a plan of action the next day.

Hartwell told police that she decided to start the fire after she read Soul Eater. This “made her upset about past bullying and her mother disciplining her prior to bedtime.”

Police also found her journal, which details her thoughts of killing. “If this keeps up there will be no one safe in this house,” she wrote. “Mom if you ever find this before it happens I’m sorry…”

It has been concluded by police that the Slender Man sites were a direct influence on Hartwell’s decision to set her home on fire. She has been charged with one count of arson and two counts of attempted murder.

This is the fourth time Slender Man has allegedly influenced people to commit violent acts. In May of this year, a 12-year-old girl was stabbed 19 times by her classmates because they wanted to meet and live with the dark fictional character.

A Las Vegas man was accused of killing two policemen and civilian before committing suicide with his wife. His neighbors told KTVN that he often dressed up as Slender Man.

And finally, a Cincinnati mother is convinced her daughter was obsessed with the character when she tried to kill her a knife point. The girl was wearing a hood and white mask when she attacked.

Wonder who the heck Slender Man is? CNN explains in this special report.