The Charlie Charlie Challenge - What The Hell Is It?
The Debrief: In short: it's like a Ouija board, but with pencils.
The ‘Charlie Charlie Challenge’ is being mentioned all over the web and #charliecharliechallenge has been trending on Twitter, and chances are, you’re wondering what the hell it is. I was. Turns out it’s a traditional Mexican game, usually played by children, which is pretty similar to a Ouija board. Just simplified. There are two variations...
How to play version one
You’ll need six pencils and a partner. Face each other and hold three pencils each (two in one hand, one in the other). Arrange them so they create a rectangle-shaped box.
If the pencils have rubbers on the end, make sure that end is pointed towards your partner on the short side, while on the long side, the erasers on each pencil should point away from each other.
Make sure all the ends are touching so that you’ve formed a complete rectangle.
Chant ‘Charlie, Charlie, can we play?’ If the pencils move inwards or up, that’s a ‘yes’. If they move outwards or down, that’s a ‘no’. If the pencils move to different sides it means ‘maybe’, and the question can’t be answered right now.
You then go on to ask ‘Charlie’ yes or no questions and see how the pencils respond to determine the answers.
To end the game, the players chant ‘Charlie, Charlie, can we stop?’ and once the pencils move, the players drop the pencils on the floor which breaks the connection to Charlie.
How to play version two
Balance one pencil on top of another to create a cross shape.
Write ‘yes’ and ‘no’ into each of the boxes (so the two ‘yes’ options are diagonal to each other and vice versa).
Start chanting ‘Charlie, Charlie, are you here/can you play?’ twice and then see where the pencil points. If it points to ‘yes’, you’re all set and you can start asking ‘Charlie’ yes and no questions.
To ‘end’ your conversation with Charlie, ask ‘Charlie, Charlie, can we stop?’ Naturally, you have to wait for the pencil to point to ‘yes’. The pencils must then be dropped to the floor so that ‘the demon portal to his or her own home hasn’t been left wide open forever’.
You’d think the obvious thing to do is to try it out myself but here’s the thing: I’m not going to because I’m a bloody scaredy cat and there’s just no way that’s going to happen, even though I know 100%, absolutely, sure thing, that it’s a load of bollocks. So here's a video of a guy called Nick Bean trying it out. He's pretty sceptical about the whole thing, although he does note that 'if you believe in angels, you've got to believe in demons.' Wow, Nick Bean's DEEP.
Anyway, while some people are freaking the hell out (because apparently they don’t know gravity can make stuff move or like, movement can?), others are using it as an opportunity to ask some burning questions like, when is Justin Bieber’s album going to be out? Or, which One Direction member should I marry? The really important stuff, you know.
However, some members of the Catholic church seem to be taking the game pretty seriously, with The Independent reporting that a priest at Saints John Neumann and Mario Goretti Catholic High School in Philadelphia, USA, has written an open letter to students warning them that the challenge is a ‘demonic activity’.
‘I want to remind you all there is no such thing as “innocently playing with demons”,’ he wrote.
So make of that what you will, but maybs just leave Charlie alone, yeah? You’ve got bloody work to do.
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