Parents in Russia are being warned of a viral internet "game" encouraging children to secretly turn on gas burners late at night while their families are sleeping.
Terrifyingly, the unknown individuals behind the deadly game are using images from the popular Italian animated television show, "Winx Club: School of Witches," to draw children in. While Rainbow, the company responsible for the Winx Club brand on social media, has nothing to do with the game, the Russian Investigative Committee has not yet found where it originated. Some believe the objective is not to harm children, but to cause panic among parents. Regardless of intention, at least one child has been seriously injured.
Five-year-old Sofia Ezhova was severely burned after sneaking into her family's kitchen late at night and turning on the stove's gas burners. Although the game says to "breathe the gas in" rather than light the burners, either act can be deadly.
Investigators found one search engine in Russia to have thousands of requests in the last month for "how to become a fairy." The meme with the deadly instructions is an appealing search result to young kids, especially due to the inclusion of "Winx Club" characters.
The instructions read:
"At midnight when everybody is asleep, get up from your bed and go around the room three times, then say the magical words 'Alfey kingdom, sweet little fairies, give me the power, I'm asking you.'
Then go to the kitchen silently so no one notices you or the magic of the words will disappear. Switch on the gas stove, all four burners, but do not light it. You don't want to get burns, do you?
Then go to sleep. The magic gas will come to you, you will breathe it while sleeping and in the morning. When you wake up, say, 'Thank you Alfeya, I've become a fairy.' And you will become a real fairy of fire."
While little Sofia's burns are devastating, another Russian mom told Daily Mail that the game nearly killed her entire family.
She said, "I woke up in the night and felt the strong smell of gas. My daughter, seven, had just left the kitchen and went to her room. It turned out that she had read on the internet that to become the fairy of fire, you need to go to the kitchen when everyone is asleep and switch on the gas oven. If I had not gone to check, our family of eight would not wake up in the morning."