Two 12-year-old girls stabbed their friend of the same age 19 times in an attempt to please a fictional internet character, prosecutors in the United States say.
The girls were said to have taken the victim to a park in Waukesha, Wisconsin after a slumber party, where they are accused of attacking her with a knife during a game of hide-and-seek.
The victim is now said to be in a stable condition in hospital, after doctors told police one of the stabbings missed a major artery near her heart by one millimetre.
Having been left lying in the woods, she crawled to a nearby road where she was found by a cyclist, the Associated Press reports.
A court heard that the attempted homicide - which could see both girls sentenced to up to 60 years in prison - had been planned for several months and was related to an online meme known as Slender Man.
It was reported that one of the girls had told a detective they were attempting to become "proxies" of the mythological character, who they had learned about on a horror website called Creepypasta Wiki.
In the website's stories, Slender Man is the 'leader' of to imaginary world of Creepypasta, and devotees in the stories must kill to show their dedication to him.
According to the complainant, the girls planned to escape after the attack to the imaginary demon's forest mansion, where they hoped to live.
A statement from Creepypasta Wiki expressed "deepest sympathies" to the young girl and her family, but insisted: "We are a literature site, not a crazy satanic cult"