‘Stop Charlie Charlie’

“Physically and mentally this may lead to anxiety, fear, phobias and unexplainable loss of sleep, appetite and habits. “Some usual behaviours may give way to new behaviours."
21 Sep 2022 13:00
‘Stop Charlie Charlie’
Permanent Secretary of Education’s Selina Kuruleca. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Psychologist, Selina Kuruleca, is calling on Fijians, especially children to “stop” entertaining the ‘Charlie, Charlie Challenge’, known to be popularised through social media platforms like TikTok.

This is after the game, which became popular the world over in 2015 and banned by the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, resurfaced in a prominent primary school in Suva.

As a result, a student was said to be acting out of the ordinary or seemingly possessed. Permanent Secretary for Education Anjeela Jokhan confirmed receiving a report adding that the ministry was conducting investigations.


Pschological Impact

Ms Kuruleca said: “Physically and mentally this may lead to anxiety, fear, phobias and unexplainable loss of sleep, appetite and habits. “Some usual behaviours may give way to new behaviours.”

“There may be a tendency to be on edge all the time and even fear attending school because it seems from the news that it occurred in a school.”

Ms Kuruleca said she had had some experience in the past with parents and families complaining of being possessed.


“The first step is to ask them why, what they have done to cause this, what can they do to stop it,” she said.

“We then explore other possibilities/ explanations: We also explore and try to complete a psychological or mental health and mental illness assessment or of the possibility of a psychiatric disorder.”

She said Fijians must be vigilant with this game and children must be supervised.


“These are our children. Ask them who they are with, what they are doing and why,” she added.

“Observe their behaviours, when it’s different from what it normally is. Say something about it. If you don’t have the patience or knowledge, get help, get support for them and for you.”

The school is understood to have sought assistance from religious representatives to pray over the school.


When visited yesterday, Fiji Sun witnessed a student weeping outside the classroom while a woman prayed and tried to comfort her.

The rest of the students were praying inside the classroom with a few young men from the New Methodist Christian Fellowship.

While it is only beginning to become the talk of the town, Ms Kuruleca has urgently requested parents, guardians and teachers to keep their children away from the dangerous game.


Charlie Charlie Challenge

Believed to be a demonic act, the game has been reported to have hospitalised teenagers around the world and has a long history as a schoolyard game in the Spanish speaking world.

It involves dividing a page into four quadrants with two sides having ‘yes’ written down and the other two quadrants with ‘no’. In the middle of the page two pencils or pens will be placed atop each other in an ‘x’ form.

The player(s) will then call out the name ‘Charlie’ two times then ask ‘Charlie, are you there?’ If the so-called ‘Charlie’ is present, it is believed that the top pen will move to the ‘yes’ quadrant without assistance.

Following this, the player(s) can ask as many closed-ended questions as a result generating much excitement among peers.


Use Your Time Better

Ms Kuruleca said: “There are more creative ways to use your time, for example, playing a sport, painting, religious practice, poetry, drama and dance.”

Another game which is being popularized on social media is Red Door Yellow Door. The game involves one person putting another in a mild trance and asking them to visualise walking through various doors and rooms.


Story By: Nacanieli Tuilevuka and Josefa Babitu


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