This story was first published on October 5, 2012
According to this nasty Internet chain letter, which has circulated in various forms for many years, recipients who do not properly read the message and subsequently pass it on to at least ten other people will meet a grisly and terrifying end at the hands of the murderous and vengeful ghost of a ten year old girl named Clarissa.
The message claims that Clarissa, incarcerated in a mental institution for killing her parents, died slowly and painfully at the hands of the government due to a bungled execution.
Thus, claims the message, every year at the anniversary of her death, Clarissa returns to cut and slowly kill those unwise individuals who have failed to send on the message quickly enough or to enough people. The message explains that, by passing it on, you can ensure that Clarissa will haunt and hurt someone else rather than you. And, in fact, if you pass on the message to ten people within ten minutes of reading it, good luck will befall you and you will have the best day of your life.
Of course, the claims in the message are absurd and juvenile nonsense with nary a grain of truth. Such scary stories have circulated in various forms for decades. And such stories do have their place. In the right context, a good ghost story can be entertaining and ultimately harmless.
But, a problem with the wide accessibility of the Internet and the many methods by which information can circulate, is that impressionable children can and do regularly come across such violent and frightening material. And such material can have a quite negative and ongoing impact on at least some youngsters. Over the years, I have received many messages from concerned parents who have had their young children terrified by chain letters just like this one.
So, before passing on such material, do keep in mind that sending it on may cause real fear and anxiety for children who subsequently see it. The best thing to do with such messages is to break the chain and delete them. Parents of wide-eyed youngsters everywhere will thank you for your actions.
A note for younger readers:
The “Clarissa” message is just a silly story that people have sent around for a long time. Don’t worry, absolutely nothing whatsoever will happen to you if you don’t send the message to others. I know because, doing this work, I have received hundreds of these messages and, even though I have never sent even one of them on, nothing bad has ever happened to me as a result. These messages are just meant to scare you for no reason. And sending them on will just scare other kids as well. The best thing to do is just delete them so that no other kids will get scared or have nightmares.
An example of the chain letter:
WARNING! Carry on reading! Or you will die, even if you only looked at the word warning! Once there was a little girl called Clarissa, she was ten-years-old and she lived in a mental hospital, because she killed her mom and her dad. She got so bad she went to kill all the staff in the hospital so the -government decided that best idea was to get rid of her so they set up a special room to kill her, as humane as possible but it went wrong the machine they were using went wrong. And she sat there in agony for hours until she died. Now every week on the day of her death she returns to the person that reads this letter, on a monday night at 12:00a.m. She creeps into your room and kills you slowly, by cutting you and watching you bleed to death. Now send this to ten other people on this one site, and she will haunt someone else who doesn’t.
This isn’t fake. apparently, if u copy and paste this to ten comments in the next ten minutes u will have the best day of ur life tomorrow. u will either get kissed or asked out, if u break this chain u will see a little dead girl in your room tonight. in 53 mins someone will say i love you or I’m sorry
Example 1: Jenny didn’t believe this and deleted it without even reading. the whole thing! A few days. later on the monday night, she was woken up by loud footsteps. and heavy breathing, there was. Clarissa standing there with a huge knif