Have you heard of the Charlie Charlie Challenge? If you work in education and haven't yet, get ready, because "Charlie" is coming to a classroom near you!
The Charlie Charlie Challenge is blazing across social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine and is rotating itself into K-12 classrooms across the country. The occult craze has rapidly become the new 'must-play' Ouija board of 2015 and, as happens with many viral fads or trends, Charlie Charlie has begun to spiral slightly out of control. Time, BBC, CNN, Huffington Post, and even the Vatican have commented on the challenge in the last couple of days. A quick web search yields over sixteen million hits, most of which include children or parents being upset, freaked out, or feeling that they are in danger. The game presents unique challenges to UCSN's population as rumor has it that playing the game summons, "a Mexican demon that stays around even [sic] the game is finished," according to one fourth grade student. This is, of course, ridiculous, but the challenge is being blown out of proportion and it's causing distress between amongst students, families, and classes.
For those unfamiliar with the game, here is how a fourth grader described how to play the challenge, quoted as closely as possible: "For Charlie Charlie, put a piece of paper and put yes, no, yes no. In the middle, put two pencils and balance them in a cross. Say, 'Charlie Charlie are you here?' and that supposedly calls a demon to use them. Ask questions and Charlie moves them."
So...draw the grid, balance the pencils, say the words, and apparently *poof* there's a demon.
After breaking up and confiscating the lovely construction you see in the picture, and recognizing the student for using the word 'supposedly' correctly, I decided to follow the directions and try the game out for myself after school. As one would predict, the pencils did indeed move...as I breathed out while speaking. Similar to a Ouija board, it seems that the Charlie Charlie Challenge is manipulated by the players, sometimes unknowingly, and I can see how the young, vulnerable, or impressionable could be spooked and easily lose their rationality.
As with many new and inexplicable phenomena, hopefully this is a passing trend. However, while students continue to play, it's important to appropriately contextualize things. Teachers must insist that this game has no place in the classroom and make sure parents are informed. Adults are responsible for calming children with quaking nerves and explaining that no, in fact, demons can't be summoned with basic school supplies.
If you're interested in reading more, the topic is trending wildly at the moment...most of what's out there is rather unbelievable.