Inspired by their favorite YouTubers, kids are waking up in the middle of the night to go hunt for ghosts.
It may only be the first day back at school in many parts of the country, but there's already another weird new social media challenge making the rounds. It's called the "3 a.m. Challenge," because kids are basically waking themselves up in the middle of the night to sneak out of their houses and go hunt for ghosts.
Nope, not joking.
Apparently, the whole thing started with a bunch of popular YouTubers like ImJayStation's Jason Ethier trying to catch paranormal activity on camera.
"I make the challenges because I have always been interested in ghosts and spirits," Ethier explained to Today. "What makes them scary is that when you are doing things to attract ghosts into your house—even if you don't believe in ghosts—it's always in your mind that it could be real."
The problem, of course, is that while Ethier is an adult, many of his followers are young kids who view him as a role model and therefore want to try and follow in his metaphysical footsteps by creating their own 3 a.m. videos.
Check out this one, from 11-year-old Ruby Coker, who runs the YouTube channel Ruby Rube.
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Pretty creepy. And she's uploaded about 40 more just like it!
Obviously, no good can come from our young kids waking up at 3 a.m., let alone leaving the house to go wander around the neighborhood in an attempt to bust some ghosts. But these YouTubers have major influence with the kiddos, so it's probably a good time to sit down with yours, tell them you know about the challenge and explain that you most definitely are not on board.
Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more.