What is the #charliecharliechallenge and why is a priest warning against it?

TrendingBy Shuki Byrne

A new game conducted chiefly on Twitter is causing some hysteria online, and it's even ruffled the feathers of a Catholic cleric who is warning people against engaging in it.

It's the number one trending topic worldwide on Twitter today. But what exactly is behind the mass frenzy?

Basically, the 'challenge' is an old Mexican game which supposedly summons the demonic spirit of a young boy named 'Charlie'. 

In order to play the game, participants need just a sheet of paper and two pencils. They draw draw two lines on the paper to form a cross and then write 'yes' in the top left and bottom right squares, as well as 'no' in the other squares.

Next, you place one pencil on the horizontal line and balance the other pencil on top of it to cover up the other line in an X shape. 

Participants then chant “Charlie, Charlie, can we play?” twice and wait for the 'spirit' to respond with an affirmative or negative. You then proceed to ask the 'demon' questions. 

It is not unlike the Ouija Board in which people spell out the letters of the alphabet and summon spirits to communicate with. However, it seems a simplified version with just a 'yes' and 'no' answer. 

According to a reddit user: "You can then ask the spirit of Charlie yes or no questions, and he will respond by moving the pencils. Charlie is kind of like the spirit world version of a Magic 8 ball.

"To end the game, both players must chant: “Charlie, Charlie, can we stop?” After the pencils move, both players drop all of the pencils on the floor to break contact with Charlie."

Many skeptics on social media have laughed off the insinuation that users around the world have been steadily contacting the supernatural since last week, but some are properly freaking out. 

Also, a number of 'Vines' have appeared online which show these exact people freaking out. And it's all on film, it's great viewing; enjoy. 

The Catholic Church is quite obviously terrified by the craze among the youth, as is their custom. 

In an open letter to pupils at the Saints John Neumann and Mario Goretti Catholic High School in Philadelphia, Father Stephen McCarthy said there was no way of knowing what could happen if people took the challenge.
The letter said: "There is a dangerous game going around on social media which openly encourages impressionable young people to summon demons.
"I want to remind you all there is no such thing as 'innocently playing with demons'.
"Please be sure to NOT participate and and encourage others to avoid participation as well.
"The problem with opening yourself up to demonic activity is that it opens a window of possibilities which is not easily closed."
So, there.