Real or Rumor: Child psychologist speaks about the 'Momo' Challenge

A social media hoax is getting a lot of real attention. The viral "Momo Challenge" is said to encourage kids to hurt or even kill themselves, but now, the image that's behind all of this is dead. The creator behind the ghostly girl with a bird body says Momo is no more. This comes after the picture and story about the creepy-faced figure has gone viral on social media, saying she is appearing to kids online.

It seems this tale is much more rumor than reality. Even though it's said to be a hoax, it seems most parents have now heard of the "Momo Challenge."

”Yes, I have,” says one Houston mom. 

“We didn’t have to worry about weird stuff like this when I was a kid,” adds another.

The image that's called Momo is extremely ghastly. It supposedly pops up on YouTube during children's videos and tries to tempt kids to commit suicide. 

However, YouTube says this is a rumor and has never happened. In fact, the Momo image first popped up about a year ago internationally, then made its way to the U.S.

”It's a very ugly face. I'm sure if my kids would see it, they would definitely let me know about it,” says a Houston mother. 

Although the bulging-eyed sculpture with no eyelids is not actually popping up and encouraging harm, Child psychologist Dr. Leslie Crossman says parents should to talk with their kids about it. 

”Because they're going to hear about it from their friends or from school and it will probably be a lot less scary coming from their parents,” Dr. Crossman said.   

So, you did have the conversation with your kids? 

“Yes. I spoke with my son. He's eight. He says he heard of it, but he never saw it,” explains Houston mom Twanna Barber.

The statue with the frightening face was actually created by Japanese horror artist Keisuke Aiso for a special effects company and Aiso has now destroyed it.

Dr. Crossman says this is a good time to remind your youngsters what they should do if they encounter bizarre behavior online or anywhere. 

“If it's something that's going to be harmful to them or anyone else, they shouldn't pay attention to it and they should talk with their parent or another adult about it,” Dr. Crossman says.      

Aiso says he feels responsible for the widespread fear over the last few weeks. = He says children can rest assured Momo is now gone and so are any curses that may have lived with her.