The Occult Is Trending on Social Media

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by Ryan Fitzgerald  •  •  May 27, 2015   

And one Catholic school priest has a warning for his students

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A priest at the Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School in Philadelphia is warning his students to stay away from a demonic game that's been taking social media by storm.

The game, known as the Charlie Charlie Challenge, encourages young kids to “play with demons” in various trivial ways. It's similar to a Ouija board, only more accessible, since it only requires readily available materials like school supplies. It's already reached an estimated millions of people through YouTube and Twitter.

It allegedly calls on a “Mexican demon” by the name of Charlie to move a pencil and answer whatever questions one poses to it — no matter how trivial. It's precisely the apparent trivial nature of the “game” that seems to draw people in unsuspectingly. And most of them are teenagers.

Hence, Fr. Stephen McCarthy, minister at Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School, is reportedly telling his students not to engage in such occult practices. A letter to his students attributed to him reads, “There is a dangerous game going around on social media which openly encourages impressionable young people to summon demons.”

The letter continues: “I want to remind you all there is no such thing as innocently playing with demons.”

He tells them not to get involved with or promote the occult craze, which began in just the last few days. “Please be sure to NOT participate and encourage others to avoid participation as well,” he urges.

“The problem with opening yourself up to demonic activity is that it opens a window of possibilities which is not easily closed.”

Instead, he advises anyone seeking contact with spiritual entitities to go to Mass.

While most secular news outlets are taking a light and comical tone with regard to the phenomenon, the gravity of occult pursuits — no matter how seemingly innocuous — can't be overstated. Such pursuits are typically invitations to demonic harassment or even possession.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church condemns things like the Charlie Charlie Challenge as violations of the First Commandment. It states:

All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

Michael Voris has dedicated an entire season of The One True Faith to demonic activities such as witchcraft, fortune telling and Ouija boards. Sign up for a premium subscription to learn more about these increasingly common practices and the Catholic response to them.


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Ryan Fitzgerald is a staff writer and producer for

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanFitz1111