In the late ‘90s, a girl on the playground told me I could speak with the ghost of a queen who died from soaking in a bath that was too hot by spinning around in front of a mirror and repeating “Bloody Mary” three times. Afraid of getting grounded for summoning demons, I snuck into the bathroom one night after my parents were asleep and performed the ritual, subsequently freaking myself out for weeks to come. Nearly two decades later, teens are entertaining themselves with the same spooky lore, but this time they have the internet to help them freak each other out.
Okay, what’s the newest teen occult trend?
It’s called the Charlie Charlie Challenge, where teens share videos of themselves summoning demons using the devil’s tools, two pencils and a piece of paper. For some unclear reason, the demon is supposedly a “Mexican demon,” which honestly seems a little offensive, teens.
How do you do the Charlie Charlie Challenge?
Take a piece of paper and draw a square separated into four sections. Write “Yes” in two of the sections and “No” in the other two, then take two pencils and lay them on top of the paper in the shape of a cross. Say, “Charlie, Charlie, are you here?” and wait for the pencils to move to either “Yes” or “No.”
Does it actually work?
Spoiler alert: No. Whatever scared teens may say, most of the videos are likely doctored to make the pencils appear to move, or they moved by sheer coincidence. Sorry, Charlie.
How did this trend even start?
It’s been online in various forms for a while, but it resurfaced online last Thursday and spread across the web over Memorial Day weekend. Now the media and even churches are all up in arms about it. “There is a dangerous game going around on social media which openly encourages impressionable young people to summon demons,” a priest at a Philadelphia high school wrote in a recent letter to students. “I want to remind you all there is no such thing as ‘innocently playing with demons.’”
Are teens channeling their creativity into coming up with variations of the game?
Why, yes, yes they are. Sometimes instead of summoning a demon, they will use the Yes/No format to ask spirits important life questions:
Anything else I should know?
If teens are this bored before summer vacation even starts, we can surely look forward to a season full of ridiculous antics.