Let's be honest: Smartphone apps are technology's gift to busy parents everywhere. Long car ride? There's an app for that. Nap time? There's an app for that. Don't get us wrong: We're not saying every time there's a problem you should stick a phone in your child's face — but sometimes, a little Paw Patrol can go a long way.
But before you decide to lay back and relax, make sure you know what apps your kid is downloading... or you might end up in Donna Lisle's shoes — getting a call from a satanic monster.
Yes, you read that right. A couple of weeks ago, Lisle (known as Kebz Lisle on social media) posted a disturbing video on Facebook of an app that her daughter downloaded. Lisle says that the app looked harmless at first. Not only did the app's design remind her of one of her daughter's favorite shows, Blaze and The Monster Machines, but the app was actually titled "Call Blaze and The Monster Machines 2018." Seems pretty innocent, right? Wrong.
Lisle says she heard a "demonic voice" coming from her daughter's bedroom and went to check it out. That's when she realized the bone-chilling voice was coming from the new app her daughter had just downloaded.
“I’m like, what on earth is my daughter watching?” Lisle says in the video. “That sounds really evil!”
It does sound really evil. This is exactly what Lisle heard:
Once Lisle snatched the phone away from her daughter, her fears were confirmed — the demonic voice was in fact coming from what she thought was a "child-friendly" app. The app apparently works as a matching game. Once the game is completed, the child will then receive a phone call from "Blaze" as a reward. When the child answers, however, a creepy male voice says:
“Hi kids, I’m your new friend Happy Slappy, or whatever you want me to be called. You see I want to play with you, kiddo. Maybe we could perform some fun games together. What’s this hogwash? You look afraid. Is it this knife in my whirly twirly hands? Making you a little nervous, huh? That’s all right ’cause this knife is gonna improve your look — when it’s sticking right out of you."
Lisle wasn't the only mother who was outraged by this creepy recording. Another mom, named Jane Diya, said she had the same experience with her seven-year-old daughter.
“I was absolutely livid when I heard it," Diya told the New York Post. “It is so creepy. To hear a call come from a phone on a kids' app threatening to knife a child — I could barely believe my ears. It’s completely unacceptable.”
Angry and confused by the app's rating — Google rated the app as PEG13, which is the European equivalent of an "E for Everyone" rating here in the states — both mothers went straight to the source, reporting the app to Apple and Google. Though Apple has yet to respond, Google has since removed the app from the Play Store.
What a horror story! We're thankful that Lisle and Diya raised their voices about this — clearly, app stores and rating systems need an overhaul to keep our kids safe when they're using their phones. But in the meantime, make sure you know exactly which apps your child is downloading before they start playing.