A Presbyterian minister has warned parents and teachers that schoolchildren must “avoid at all costs” the ‘CharlieCharlie’ phenomenon presently sweeping social media.
Rev Graeme Orr, from Magheramason Presbyterian Church in Co Tyrone, said: “Some people might see it as a bit of fun, but there is a very dark side to it.”
Rev Orr, who warned in March that ‘Temple’ – the 20-metre wooden tower burned in Londonderry – was “pagan”, spoke out as the new Twitter craze called the CharlieCharlieChallenge takes the internet by storm.
Whilst some commentators say the game is about gravity and others claim it is about making contact with a Mexican ghost called Charlie, Rev Orr said: “The Bible warns us to avoid this sort of thing at all costs.”
Rev Orr added: “What happens is that people can invoke an evil spirit in this game which is a simplified version of the Ouija board, but it is just as powerful at drawing people in. In Scriptures they tell us to stay clear of necromancy, getting in touch with spirits, and this is especially true for young people as it can open them up to that spirit world.”
A Catholic priest from Londonderry has also warned against the practice.
Fr Michael Canny said: “When I hear of such phenomenon I am reminded of the words of the Christian author C.S. Lewis who once compared people who get involved in this activity as entering into a ‘swampy jungle’. In other words - a very dangerous place. Sometimes people get involved innocently in the web of séances. Children may decide to play it on a rainy day; sometime teenagers may get curious to ‘see what will happen’, or to see if there is anything in it’. Sometimes the results are weak, something moves slightly. Sometimes the curiosity slides into a habit.”