Some have laughed off the "Charlie Charlie Challenge" — a social media craze that encourages kids to try and summon a Mexican demon named Charlie by forming a cross with two pencils, though not everyone is taking the viral phenomenon so lightly.
In the wake of warnings from Vatican-approved priest and exorcist Jose Antonio Fortea, televangelist Pat Robertson and others, some parents are allegedly claiming that there's already been a very real impact on some who have taken part in the Ouija-like game.
From overwhelming fear to claims of demonic possession, Charlie Charlie is sparking some bizarre stories, to say the least.
To begin, four kids from Columbia were reportedly brought to the emergency room a few weeks ago as a result of the game, being diagnosed with "mass hysteria," according to the Daily Mail.
And some kids in the Dominican Republic have purportedly also had similar issues, with a school leader there detailing the purported impact.
"Three students were absent from class because their parents believed they were possessed by the devil," deputy headmistress Jovita Jimenez of the Juan Pablo Duarte Primary School in Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic, told the Daily Mail.
Jimenez added that students at her school "have been terrified" since the Charlie Charlie phenomenon spread, and that some have ended up with unexplained bruising on their body after partaking.
While the craze officially went viral last month, its online emergence appears to date back to a YouTube video that was posted in 2014, though some claim that it has been played for many years in some Spanish-speaking countries.
In early 2015, Pencils.com published a blog post that described the so called "pencil game" as a "traditional Mexican ritual. That blog post also claimed that some young people have reported negative experiences after taking part.
"Some kids have talked about strange things happening after playing this game, like seeing shadows or hearing a child’s laughter. Others didn’t experience anything at all," the blog post read. "Just in case, I don’t recommend trying this with children that are prone to nightmares or with the kinds of imaginations that will have them seeing Charlie’s ghost in their closet until they’re eighteen."
As mostly young people across the world continue to Vine, Facebook, Tweet and Instagram photos and videos of their #CharlieCharlieChallenge to supposedly summon the Mexican demon, warnings continue to emerge from faith leaders who believe that the activity is far more than a mere game.
"This could be an entry into something deeper. Of course, as a pastor, if you believe in God there is also this awareness out of the scripture that there are demons in this world," Pastor Tim Rolen of New Hope Community Church in Clovis, California, told KFSN-TV. "You're asking children to pray to a demon, for a demon to give you directions."
He continued, "That could be pretty damaging and pretty powerful in certain situations."
As TheBlaze previously reported, individuals who choose to take part in the Charlie Charlie Challenge are instructed to form a cross with two pencils on a piece of paper. Inside the four boxes created by the pencils, one is supposed to write either “yes” or “no” and then ask "Charlie, Charlie, are you there?" If the pencil moves toward a box with “yes” that supposedly indicates the demon’s spirit is in the room.
There are other derivatives of the game as well, though, at the moment, this appears to be the most prevalent form of playing.
In the end, the Charlie Charlie Challenge has proven itself both highly attractive to kids — and immensely controversial.
But while some continue to issue warnings, others dismiss it all as mere fun. Either way, science has it's own explanation for what's at play, with experts noting that the pencil antics really all come down to simple gravity.
We'll leave you with some more terrified reactions below:
(H/T: Daily Mail)