LAMAR COUNTY, Texas — In the Mounsey home, the children are allowed one hour of iPad time a day.
To most kids, that's never enough time. But that changed three weeks ago when Haley Mounsey says her 6-year-old daughter saw the "Momo Challenge" character pop up during a game.
"She said, 'Mama can I sleep with you please?' I'd wake up and she'd be asleep on my bedroom floor. It's just crazy," Mounsey said.
Mounsey says her daughter is terrified. She told her mom she was playing a game through the gaming app Roblox when the frightening fictional character popped up.
Momo went viral in 2018, but it started as a piece of art two years before that. The claim is the video involving Momo teaches children to hurt themselves and commit suicide.
"Kids that young, they see something scary and they're terrified," Mounsey said.
But her daughter never told her about seeing Momo. Mounsey noticed her daughter was playing outside more often and spending less time on the iPad.
Mounsey never knew until one day after school she was curious and showed her Momo and asked her on camera.
"She said to kill myself," the daughter said on a video Mounsey took.
Mounsey posted her daughter's answer to Facebook. "There's no words to describe the look on her face whenever I asked her," the mother cried.
Momo has recently resurfaced. Parents are claiming it's showing up on games and children's YouTube videos. YouTube told our Verify team there is no evidence of it. And Roblox, which is an online gaming platform that is user-generated, sent us this statement:
"We proactively moderate and filter out negative Internet memes, like the Momo Challenge, including associated words or images. We have significant restrictions for what users 12 and under can share including potentially dangerous words or phrases and as such, the chat as described would not have occurred on Roblox."
Roblox did talk with Mounsey. The company asked for her username and said they will look into it further. Mounsey said she believes her child is telling the truth.
There is talk this phenomenon is social media driven. There are posts on many mom groups and neighborhood groups throughout the nation.
Whether this is real, it is a reminder that we need to watch what our kids are watching.