LAFAYETTE COUNTY, Wis. (KFOR) – Parents across the nation are taking a closer look at what their children are watching on YouTube following a warning from a Wisconsin law enforcement agency.
The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office says it is investigating fan-made videos of a character named ‘Huggy Wuggy.’
Officials say the character is from a survival horror video game called ‘Poppy Playtime.’ In the game, players play as a former employee revisiting an abandoned toy factory where employees vanished without a trace.
“The player navigates through a first-person perspective and must solve puzzles to progress further while avoiding various enemies, such as Huggy Wuggy, a blue bear-like character, with razor sharp teeth. Huggy Wuggy and other animated toys stalk players in an abandoned toy factory,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook.
The video game is rated for children ages 12 and above.
However, law enforcement officials warn that some fan-made videos featuring the character start out with very child-friendly visuals that quickly turn nightmarish so younger children may access them without realizing their true nature.
“The videos include, but are not limited to offensive language, cartoon representations of alcohol use, blood, stabbings, decapitations, attempted murder, murder, and the bloody aftermath of a car crash,” the post reads.
In one video, the sheriff’s office quoted a character as saying, “My hugs don’t hurt one bit, you’ll be dead before the pain comes!”
In another video, the sheriff’s office says a female character is drugged and sexually assaulted.
“In the same video, the female character’s husband sees a video of the sexual assault and believes the female character had committed adultery. The male character then hits the female character and divorces her,” the sheriff’s office posted.
Officials stress that the videos cannot be accessed through YouTube Kids.
However, the videos were some of the first ones listed when you search ‘Huggy Wuggy’ on YouTube.
After the sheriff’s office posted the warning on Facebook, many parents said their children had stumbled upon the videos and were experiencing nightmares.
“My 6 year old son recently started being scared of the dark out of the blue. He finally told me it was videos he had seen that had him scared. I couldn’t get any details out of him but maybe it was this character bc I had seen him watching stuff on my cellphone with this Huggy Wuggy,” one mother commented.
“Same with mine and I didn’t know until I heard them a couple weeks ago talking about huggy wuggy and I looked it up and they are terrified to even see his picture. My daughter hasn’t been able to sleep in her room since then,” another wrote.
The sheriff’s office says parents should monitor their children’s use of YouTube and other video sharing social media platforms.