I remember using a pendulum at Girl Scout camp.

That’s right, my descent into darkness began in the backwoods outside of Binghamton, New York.

Sorry, mom.

I was maybe 10? I remember it was a pencil tied to some string. I have no idea what we were scrying for and it definitely didn’t amount to anything. I mean, I almost feel slighted; Jensen Ackles most certainly did not show up later in my life with a Chevy Impala.

Meme and Internet memory are a weird thing. When the #CharlieCharlieChallenge stuff started hitting my feed, people were hand wringing like this is some sort of occult invasion that’s never been seen before. -We- never did such things. -We- never messed with such things.

Oh no. Back up a second. -You- may not have, but -we- most certainly did. One man hide and seek, the midnight game, bloody Mary, those silly paper things that asked who we were going to marry…we most certainly did. We are the generation that spawned Buffy, Supernatural, and know that Ripley has nothing to do with belief. Even the Victorians, for all of their straightlaced reputations, were exceptionally into divination games.

If you’ve missed this particular social media frenzy, the basic idea is that with enough determination, two pencils, and a couple of friends you can summon a…group?…of Mexican demons named Charlie that will answer questions…and do demonic things. Cue a mass frenzy. I’m not going to tell you how to do it, for a number of reasons, including the fact that as with most media frenzies this is just silly.

There’s also one other big fact that I’m not going to explain the details of the thing: viral marketing is a thing that exists in 2015. Yes that’s snark.

There is a movie, called The Gallows, which will drop fairly soon, involving a Mexican demon called Charlie [or not, depending on source it’s a single ghost by that name] and the antics he/it/whatever gets into. And there’s this wonderfully creepy game involving a pencil, Charlie, and the Internet.

Here’s where I’m not sure it works though: we’re still talking about Charlie, but we’re not talking about the film. So points for creating an urban legend, but try again for the marketing?


Because I’m always willing to adjust stance when presented with new evidence.

Snopes has finally weighed in on the viral marketing angle. #charliecharliechallenge didn’t start out as a marketing technique, but after it came out that it was effective, the marketing team rolled with it. So yes, the movie and the meme actually are referring to two different things but Warner Bros seems to be okay with not questioning it. Hence why the movie and the game, while both referring to a Charlie, are talking about two different entities.


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