Guys, you’re not summoning Charlie Charlie, you’re summoning Isaac Newton
(Isaac Newton - Godfrey Kneller)
Actually, you’re not even summoning him…
Overnight, my social media has become full of this “Charlie Charlie Challenge”. There are vines and facebook videos of people balancing pencils on top of each other and then dropping their camera as they run screaming, out of the room. Some people say “Charlie” is then haunting their house, causing doors to slam or pictures to fall off the wall.
Apparently, it is an old Mexican tradition that will summon the ghost of young Charlie, if you draw a grid with the words “yes” and “no” in each cell, then balance a pencil on top of another in a cross pattern
(Photo via donthavetobebrave)
and chant, usually with your friend, “Charlie Charlie Are You Here”, it will summon Charlie, who will spin the pencil to a “yes” or “no”, and from there on you can ask him any yes or no question.
Of course, the pencil can land on “No” but the mere fact that it moved is sometimes enough to scare people into believing that he is there.
(NatalieHolmqvist on vine.com)
Now, I want you to get two pencils out. Don’t worry, there will be no demon summoning happening here. First of all, look at the sides of the pencil. Pretty smooth huh? This means that when rubbing against each other there is little friction. They’re also pretty light, very good qualities for an object to move “by itself” (the smaller the mass, the less force required to make it move)
But why do the pencils move at all?
Again, there is no ghost or demon behind this, just simple Physics. Our friend Isaac Newton, from the top of this post, is behind describing the laws of motion. The first law states this:
In plain speak, an object will stay still until some force is applied, and will keep moving until another force stops it. In the case of the pencils, which are precariously balanced on top of each other, the force is the chant itself. There is nothing supernatural or special about this force other than the fact that you are basically blowing the pencil to move.
Place the pencils in the “charlie” setup (note the pivot point where the pencils cross) and say “Ha. Ha. Ha.” Nothing special about that chant, but they still moved right? Did you ever wonder why a Mexican ghost would be called “Charlie Charlie”? It’s because saying the word “Charlie” creates more of a force of wind out of your mouth than, say, “Miguel” (I’m guessing the reason it wasn’t something like Jose is because some people in the world don’t know how to pronounce it)
If you were to leave the pencils like that and not say anything at all, a breeze from an open window or the air from a fan/aircon could potentially make it move without you even noticing.
If there’s no spirit, why is my house haunted?
It’s not. Correlation is not causation. The problem is, now that you’ve done this spooky supernatural ritual, you are now in a suggestible state and hyper aware of anything happening around you and blaming a “spirit” is the first thing in your mind. Had you not done the ritual, you’d probably dismiss the slamming door as a breeze, or the picture falling down as a sign that whatever was holding it up has weakened. There is also the possibility of you unconsciously causing things that could be seen as supernatural, like how the Ouija board - from which this was derived - is often just ideomotor action of the participants.