“The ministry issued the ban following reports from several schools across the island of very disruptive behaviour by students who engaged in the game. Some reports intimated that students displayed demonpossessed or paranormal behaviour while playing the game”
Release from the Ministry of Education advising Jamaican Schools against allowing children to play the Charlie Charlie Challenge
Do you believe in the Paranormal? Well, I don’t but today I’ll play the part of Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme as I talk about the latest craze to hit Jamaican Children other than smartphones: the Charlie Charlie Challenge.
A lot of little children in Jamaica are dabbleing in the latest global trend to sweep the world called the Charlie Charlie Challenge that is a simplified version of an Ouija Board. Blessedly simple, you take two (2) pencils and placed them in a cross on a sheet of paper marked as shown below.
Then the initiates call upon the name of a fabled Mexican demon named Charlie with the words, “Charlie Charlie can we play? Charlie Charlie are you there?”
As can be expected, it’s all the rage with children all over the world, not just Mexican or Spanish speaking Children, as it’s similar to another chant of “Bloody Mary” which when spoken in the dark three (3) times, is supposed to cause a spirit from another dimension to appear to the Initiate.
It’s especially popular Jamaican Children, who have ready access to pencils and paper to create the Charlie Charlie Challenge and may be the only toys they have to play with that do not require a smartphone or an expensive tablet, making this game an easy distraction.
So why the uproar over this innocent Game?
Catholic Church Bans Charlie Charlie Challenge
Reports of demonic possession and children showing abnormal behaviour after playing the game are sporadic (Griffin, 2015) and as hard to pin down as the Game’s origin, albeit it’s clearly similar to an Ouija Board.
Here in Jamaica, the Ministry of Education, headed by Rev. Ronald Thwaites, who is also a Catholic priest has issued a directive to all schools to stop children (The Jamaica Gleaner, 2015, May 30) from playing the game.
The Ministry of Education has issued an advisory to High Schools to be vigilant of high school children playing the Charlie Charlie Challenge, as it may result in Psychological and physical hard to children, to quote the release: “The education ministry is also calling on parents and guardians to monitor their children carefully outside of school as based on the reviews of the Charlie Charlie Challenge, there can be serious psychological effects on children. Parents and guardians should note that the playing of this game can also result in serious physical harm to our children”.
There is no real evidence that the Charlie Charlie Game is causing demonic possessions, as it may merely be a case of Mass Hysteria brought on by collective group stress, as explained in the video above.
As for the pencils moving by themselves, that’s just gravity (Palermo, 2015) and a draft in the location wherever the game is being played. Throw in a bit of mass hysteria and a spooky setting and when the pencils become unbalanced, you mind can convince you that demons exist.
Still this scientific explanation may not satisfy the superstitious among us, who are now watching our children’s use of pencil and paper.
Ministry of Education issues advisory as Caribbean goes Charlie
Reports have been circulating that children from across the Caribbean have also being acting strange after having taken the Charlie Charlie Challenge specifically from following islands:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St Lucia
- Trinidad and Tobago
Many of the islands listed above have banned the game as children have been fainting and experiencing seizures which many mistake for demonic possession.
Similar reports have also been coming from Jamaican schools, drawing concern from the President of the National ParentTeacher Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ) Everton Hannam, who is warning parents to be vigilant of their children carrying the Charlie Charlie Challenge home, quote: “News of the Charlie Charlie Challenge in a number of our schools has been met with concern by the NPTAJ. If the allegations are correct, there seems to be some intent to introduce games which are not of the kind that we would want to welcome in our school. The ministry has asked parents to be vigilant of these kinds of introduction of these games and we would want to endorse that call and expand it to ask all parents to monitor our children carefully”
So is the Charlie Charlie Challenge just a harmless children’s game for underprivileged and bored children who do not have access to an Ouija Board? Or is this spreading trend truly set to become the next dangerous distraction that will have you in the Hospital Emergency Room this Summer of 2015?
I’ll keep track of it and do a follow up if that begins to happen.
- The Jamaica Gleaner. (2015, May 30). Charlie Demon Education Ministry Warns Of “Paranormal Behaviour” Among Students. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20150529/why-education-ministry-has-banned-charlie-charlie-game-schools
- Griffin, A. (2015, June 1). Charlie Charlie Challenge: everyone on the internet thinks it’s a marketing stunt, but it probably isn’t. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/charlie-charlie-challenge-everyone-on-the-internet-thinks-its-a-marketing-stunt-but-it-probably-isnt-10289424.html
- Palermo, E. (2015, June 3). Charlie Charlie Challenge: Can You Really Summon a Demon? Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/51069-charlie-charlie-challenge-explained.html