REGGIO CALABRIA, Italy (ChurchMilitant.com) - A school in southern Italy called in an exorcist after students allegedly summoned demons with an occult game.
Students at Telesio Primary School in Calabria played an occult game called "Charlie Charlie," also known as "the Charlie challenge." Functioning much like an Ouija board, this game can be used by demons as a gateway into people's lives. Participants propose questions to a "spirit," and a pencil will mysteriously rotate left or right over a piece of paper, indicating "yes" or "no."
In 2016, the occult game spread like wildfire among youth via social media and is still well-known. This year, a teacher at Telesio caught students playing the game on November 21. In response, the school's principal brought in a Catholic priest to talk with faculty and parents about his experience as an exorcist and the dangers of the occult.
The exorcist brought in for the December 4 meeting was Fr. Piero Catalano. Father Catalano was a pupil of a leading exorcist in Rome, the late Fr. Gabriele Amorth. (A Pauline priest, Fr. Amorth passed away in September 2016 at the age of 91.)
In the weeks following his talk with teachers and parents, Fr. Catalano spoke with various members of the press, both Catholic and secular. He claims that St. Pius of Pietrelcina, known colloquially as Padre Pio, is a powerful intercessor for exorcists.
This was not Telesio Primary School's first run-in with the demonic game. According to anonymous tips to Italian media from teachers, one student in the past became possessed and needed an exorcism by a priest. On another occasion over a year ago, a student (possibly the same one) was allegedly seen suspended in mid-air as part of a stunt by demons.
Father Catalano told the press about these incidents, "It's not a game. 'Charlie' is Satan, and in this way, he takes possession of these boys. The problem does not concern only the Telesio school but many schools in Reggio, Calabria and, I would dare say, all of Italy."
More recently, the school administration has tried to avoid drawing attention to the story.
Occult games like this are commonplace in some schools. They draw in young souls by taking advantage of children's natural curiosity and sense of adventure.
Zachary King was once a high-ranking Satanist steeped in occult rituals. He got his start at the age of 10 with demonic games of this sort. Decades later, after a dramatic conversion to the Church, he became a Catholic speaker with All Saints Ministry.
King's first involvement in the occult was the so-called "bloody Mary" game with his elementary school classmates in the boys' bathroom. They would chant something into the bathroom mirror, and sometimes a demonic face would appear, and then the little boys would all race out of the bathroom. Around the same time, King also dabbled with Ouija boards.
For King, that was the beginning of 26 years in the occult. At the age of 13, he entered a Satanic coven. By the time he was 16, he had broken all Ten Commandments. After college, King became a Satanic high priest. He did "spells" for pay on behalf of powerful figures and secret societies. He also was involved in efforts to break up Baptist churches. His usual tactic was entering a local church claiming to be a fellow Christian, becoming a member of a church committee and then using gossip to turn the community's leaders against each other, thus splitting the congregation.
He had a miraculous conversion experience in 2008. During his shift at a jewelry kiosk, a Catholic lady looking to buy some earrings told King about the many grave sins he had committed and gave him a Miraculous Medal. When the medal touched his hands, he had a supernatural vision of Our Lady and Jesus Christ. After the vision, the customer gave King a "Catholic gift bag" with apologetics materials, sacramentals and the like. He found a supernatural sense of peace. He fell in love with Our Lord in the Eucharist and claims he would always see Our Lord appear in the Eucharist at the moment of consecration. He entered the Catholic Church in May 2008.