The true story of Charlie Charlie, the ‘demonic’ teen game reaching Kenya 5 years after trending globally

By K24Tv Team On Mon, 11 Jan, 2021 16:32 | 2 mins read

Superstition, the belief in things that are not real or possible, is still commonplace in Africa, especially about topics touching on magic, spirits and demons.

It is not surprising then that many parents are concerned about the re-emergence in popularity of Charlie Charlie, a game/internet urban legend that spiked to the top of the worldwide social media charts five years ago on the Spanish language internet.

As the game became more and more popular, some people started claiming that it was demonic or that it had demonic or supernatural connotations.

But first, how is the game played?

Step 1: Open Vine and get the camera rolling.
Step 2: Draw an X on a piece of paper.
Step 3: Label two of the resulting quadrants “no,” and the other two “yes.”
Step 4: Place two overlapping pencils on each axis of your grid, crossing them in the middle.
Step 5: Say “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” and ask a question. (i.e., “is one of my friends going to die soon,” “will I go to prom next May.” )
Step 6: Scream, probably.

But where did the game come from? According to The Washington Post, Charlie Charlie has a long history as a schoolyard game in the Spanish-speaking world.

The version with crossed pencils, The Washington Post says, was called the ”Juego de la Lapicera” and Charlie Charlie was a different game played with coloured pencils.

Nonetheless, whether the two games merged at some point in history, they both carried demonic or supernatural connotations.

The demonic connotations derive from the belief in Spanish-speaking internet that Charlie refers to a child who committed suicide, the victim of a fatal car accident or a pagan Mexican god who now meets with Satan, the Christian devil.

According to the Post, the Mexican part of the belief is false.

But why should the game raise the alarm? So far no one’s killed themselves or done silly things in the name of the game but knowing our culture to be deeply religious (Christian) chances are that parents worry children are into devil worshipping or demons can turn out of the blue and order children to take their own lives or worse, possess them.

Many Netizens have been left wondering why the game was trending in the Kenyan Twitter space four years after the hullabaloo ended in the global arena nearly five years ago.

There seems, for now, no sensible reason to explain why Charlie Charlie was trending among African teenagers. Maybe, someone lacking sense but with a huge following started the trend.

Are you a Kenyan in the diaspora with a story to tell? Do you know someone of Kenyan origin doing something remarkable in the diaspora? Do you have an opinion that you would like to share? Email us at [email protected]