Tuesday, May 26, 2015
The Charlie Charlie Challenge
If you spend any amount of time on the internet, you've probably heard of the "Charlie Charlie Challenge" - a Ouija board/spirit writing inspired game in which you supposedly summon a Mexican demon named Charlie (really, guys? Charlie?) whom you can ask yes or no questions and Charlie is supposed to move the pencil to the correct answer.
So what IS the origin of this newly popular phenomenon. Well, according to Spanish internet users, the modern take on this "game" actually merges two different activities - Juego de la Lapicera, which has always had a supernatural bent and is sometimes referred to as the poor man's ouija board; and Charlie Charlie, a creepy school yard game played with colored pencils. How the two merged into this one Tumblr-frenzied experience is hard to pin down, but speculation has it that this became popular after a news station in the Dominican Republic aired an alarming broadcast about this "Satanic" game being played in schools.
It took one English speaking blogger to play the game and put it up as a Vine.
So who is Charlie exactly? No one's really sure - it could be the victim of a suicide, a child who died in a car accident, or even a Mexican deity convening with the Christian devil - the latter is obviously untrue, but there's no doubt it makes for a scarier time believing you've got a demon telling you whether or not you'll go to prom with your crush or die in seven days.
Wanna play? It's real simple:
You take a piece of paper and draw an X to divide it into quadrants. You write YES in two of them and NO in the others. Then you lay two pencils, one of top of the other, over the dividing lines. Then it's a matter of simply asking: "Charlie, Charlie, are you there?" If you get a response (like the pencil rolling toward one word or another), go ahead and start asking some simple questions for Charlie to answer. But be warned, the whole of the internet is convinced that if you don't say "Charlie Charlie, can we stop?" and bid the affair goodbye, you've effectively kept open a demon portal and all sorts of nasty things will happen to you....
But just like Bloody Mary and the Ouija board, the Charlie Charlie game has been around for a very long time and has only now crossed cultural and language borders to become the new teen phenomenon in the English speaking quadrant. (See what I did there?)