What’s the Charlie Charlie Challenge, and where did it come from?
The Charlie Charlie Challenge — or variants of it — has been around for some time. It’s claimed that the game is an old Mexican tradition, but there’s no trace of that on the Internet, but it seems to have been around for years before it took off this week.
To play the game, you grab a sheet of paper and draw two lines on it to make a cross. Put a “yes” in the top right and bottom left hand corner, and a “no” in the remaining two.
Then put a pencil right on the line going across. Balance another pencil on top of that, along the line going downwards.
To properly summon the demon, according to the game, you then have to ask: “Charlie, Charlie, can we play?”
The pencils should then start moving. If they go to yes, the demon is ready and willing to answer your questions — put the pencil back, and use the same technique to get answers. If it’s a no, then you’ll have to come back later, or try again.
What’s actually moving the pencils?
Gravity, and the awkward positioning of some pencils. They just wouldn’t sit still even if you wanted them to.
The arrangement of pencils that the game requires means that they’ll always move, because it’s just not a natural position for them to be in.
Some people have reported strange goings-on. These seem especially scary if people don’t chant the important words “Charlie, Charlie, can we stop?” and say goodbye when the demon says yes.
It’s possible that strange things are happening. But it’s equally likely that after playing the game the brain gets itself into a state that makes it extra suggestible and fearful.
That’s the same thing that makes people more likely to hear strange noises when they’re on their own or in the dark. In both of those situations, people are genuinely more in danger — so the brain thinks itself into a special fight or flight state that makes it extra-vigilant to noises, so that those dangers can be avoided.
Who is Charlie?
As with most urban legends, the actual fact of who Charlie is seems to vary depending on who’s telling it. Some claim it is a child that took his own life, others a demonic Mexican man with black and red eyes.