Lima, Peru, May 27, 2015 / 15:14 pm
A game that purports to invoke a Mexican demon – known as "Charlie, Charlie" and considered to be a simplified version of the Ouija board – has gone viral on social media among young people, prompting one exorcist to warn of its dangers.
The game, which has gained significant traction online in recent days, involves a pair of pencils or pens, a sheet of paper, and the invocation of a spirit named "Charlie."
Scores of short video clips, posted mostly by teens, show players shrieking and running out of view when the pencil apparently moves on its own and points to a "yes" or a "no" after they say a phrase inviting the demon.
Spanish exorcist Jose Antonio Fortea told CNA that the so-called #CharlieCharlieChallenge involves the very real, occult practice of "calling on spirits."
In an interview May 27, he warned that "some spirits who are at the root of that practice will harass some of those who play the game." Even though the priest thinks that players "won't be possessed" necessarily, the spirit that has been invoked "will stay around for a while."
Fr. Fortea also warned that playing the game "will result in other spirits beginning to enter into even more frequent communication."
"And so then the person really can suffer much worse consequences from the demons," he said.
Catholic experts have noted that occult activity and the resulting need for exorcisms has reached a critical level worldwide.
The International Association of Exorcists (AIE) met for their 12th annual conference in Rome last October. According to AIE spokesperson Dr. Valter Cascioli, an increasing number of bishops and cardinals asked to participate in the conference due to an increase in demonic activity.
"It's becoming a pastoral emergency," Cascioli told CNA. "At the moment the number of disturbances of extraordinary demonic activity is on the rise."
The rise in demonic activity can be attributed to a decreasing faith among individuals, coupled with an increase in curiosity and participation in occult activity such as Ouija boards and seances, Cascioli said.