Playing Charlie Charlie

Charlie Charlie challenge: How to Play

Rebecca Doughty
By Rebecca Doughty . Updated: January 20, 2017
Charlie Charlie challenge: How to Play

The Charlie Charlie challenge is a creepy game that recently took the internet by storm. Based on the traditional Hispanic pencil and pen game Juego de la Lapicera (game of the pens), the game first originated in Mexico and is thought to work a little like a ouija board, summoning the spirit of an ancient evil spirit named Charlie. But does it really work? Well here at OneHowTo, we're going to explain the Charlie Charlie challenge and how to play, so you can try it for yourself, if you dare!

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Steps to follow:


To play the Charlie Charlie challenge you will need the following:

  • A blank piece of paper
  • Two pencils

The first thing to do is to get the paper. On it, write the word 'Yes' in the top left and bottom right corners, and the word 'No' in the top right and bottom left corners. This is so Charlie can answer your questions. Create one vertical and one horizontal line in the shape of a cross to separate the different words.

You then balance one pencil on top of the other so the two make a cross in the center of the paper.

Charlie Charlie challenge: How to Play - Step 2

Now it's time to contact the spirit of Charlie.

All participants must gather around the paper and together chant 'Charlie Charlie can we play?'

If Charlie is there, the top pencil will spin on top of the other. You can now ask the spirit a question.


When Charlie answers, the pencil will usually move to one of the sections on the paper, answering 'yes' or 'no'. Ask as many questions as you wish to.

When you have finished communicating with Charlie, you must say 'Charlie Charlie can we stop?', and drop a pencil on to the floor to signal the end of the game.


If you try this and find it does work, don't freak out too much, there's actually a perfectly reasonable explanation to Charlie responding to your chants and questions. And it involves gravity, not an exorcism. And because this game is a little creepy, it's a perfect Halloween game for a children's party.

If you want to read similar articles to Charlie Charlie challenge: How to Play, we recommend you visit our Toys & Games category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
nihad bayramli
Idk how to put the pencils on top of each other
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Victoria,

It won't work if the pencils are completely round, only of they have straight sides.
Emma Mabel
you put them in a plus ➕
Yeah I have the same question! What do you do?
what do u do if Charlie doesn't answer?

Yeah I think u try to continue the same question and if it doesn't work that time just quit and play the online game
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Charlie Charlie challenge: How to Play