I’m sure you have all seen at least one of the thousand videos on YouTube called the “Charlie Charlie Challenge” or “The Pencil Game Challenge”. A lot of YouTubers that I follow made this kind of video so out of curiosity I decided to do some research about this “spooky” situation.
Basically, this challenge consists in a some sort of a séance where one (or more persons) uses two pens and a piece of paper to create a makeshift version of the Ouija board. A grid is drawn on paper to make four panels, two of which are labelled “yes” and the other two “no.” The pens are then put on top of another, positioned like a cross. After that you can start to ask questions and “wait” a reply from the hereafter.
The main point here is: Where did this come from? Does this game have an origin or it was all created for (or from) the web?
From what I uderstood this game has a long history as a schoolyard game in the Spanish-speaking world, traditionally this version with the crossed pencils was called ‘Juego de la Lapicera‘ and ‘Charlie Charlie‘ was a distinct game, played with coloured pencils but in a completely different way (click here and see the difference). At some point the two games merged together and… well, the web did the rest, making it a viral phenomenon.
Thankfully is an harmless challenge, given that no one’s deforming their lips or suffocating themselves with cinnamon. Still, according to popular legend, Charlie haunts players who fail to say goodbye before they close out of the game. Better be polite if you’re thinking of playing this game!
Why did I write about this? Because I have a soft spot for urban legends.