The spirit-summoning game known as ‘Charlie Charlie’ or the CharlieCharlieChallenge has since blazed a trail across the internet in recent days. It went viral after one video surfaced in the Dominican Republic where it was taken probably a little too seriously by parents, priests and teachers. The game involves balancing one pencil on top of another and daring a demon called Charlie to answer questions by making it point to pre-written answers on the paper below. Hundreds of teens have uploaded videos – from the UK to the United States, Sweden and Singapore – in which they ask, ‘Charlie, Charlie, are you there?’ and then flee in terror when the pencil appears to move by itself.
Parents at the Juan Pablo Duarte Primary School in the town of Hato Mayor in the Dominican Republic, where the original video came from, say their children were ‘possessed by Satan’ after playing the playground game. ‘Three students were absent from class because their parents believed they were possessed by the devil,’ deputy headmistress Jovita Jimenez said. Ms Jimenez’s school is one of various throughout the Hato Mayor region of eastern Dominican Republic, a country where voodoo black magic is common, that has been subjected to what she describes as the ‘satanic craze’. The pastime has since gone viral over social media, as people film themselves asking ‘Charlie’ whether he’s there to hurt or kill them, and then uploading their terrified reactions to YouTube marked with the hashtag #charliecharliechallenge.