We’re all familiar with playing Bloody Mary as young kids, and back in the day, that alone was enough to scare the pants off of anyone looking to contact the dead. Personally, I remember my friends trapping me in the bathroom and crying like a baby, despite not having actually done the ritual or anything. The moral of this story? Kids are jerks, and I finally understand why I’m so scared of mirrors.
Kids of the new age aren’t as spooked by simply chanting something in front of a mirror and allowing their scared minds to play tricks on them, though — and from that has birthed a number of “games” to be played in order to achieve the same effect. Even as a grown-ass woman, I don’t think I would have the guts to go through with any of these. Just reading about them spooks me enough, thanks. Although now that I think about it, maybe that would make for a fun series? “Spooky Saturday: Grown-Ass Woman Plays Bloody Mary and Cries on Camera.”
1. Charlie, Charlie
You might already be familiar with Charlie, Charlie, as it was pretty popular across the web a few years ago. To play, you only need a piece of paper and two pencils. Draw a cross on the piece of paper, and write Yes/No in this order:
yes | no
no | yes
Next, cross the pencils, one on the other, so that the one on top balances and can be easily spun. With everything set up, you chant, “Charlie, Charlie, are you here?” or, “Charlie, Charlie, want to play?”
Assuming Charlie has come to pay a visit, the pencil should ominously turn so that tip and eraser both float over your yes boxes. After this, you’re free to begin asking yes/no questions, to which Charlie should answer accordingly by moving the pencil.
It sounds innocent enough, right? Charlie is a pretty innocuous name, and the simplicity of the board and use of pencils almost makes it seem like you’re communicating with a little kid; that’s far from the truth, though, as according to its origins in Spanish-speaking culture, what you’re summoning is actually a demon.
Because of its popularity on social media, it’s a little unsettling to think of how many young kids and teenagers were purposefully playing this “game” to feel a little spooked at slumber parties, when in reality they might have been summoning evil entities into their homes. What’s worse, if you don’t properly say goodbye to Charlie after playing, odds are you’ll find yourself with a haunting. A demonic one, at that.
Ultimately, I wish there was a way to warn kids who don’t know any better and want to participate in this kind of stuff. Just because it looks like fun on the internet doesn’t make it harmless, unfortunately. Where’s my flashing neon sign when I need it?
2. The Midnight Game
If I had to choose between letting kids play Charlie, Charlie or The Midnight Game, Charlie, Charlie would be sold in birthday party aisle at the nearest party store. The Midnight Game is nothing to mess with, and certainly not anything I would ever suggest anyone actually doing — but, here we go, nonetheless.
In this game, you’ll need more ingredients than those needed for playing Charlie, Charlie, including:
- 1 candle
- 1 lighter or book of matches
- 1 piece of paper
- 1 writing implement
- 1 pin
- 1 wooden door, closed
Optional ingredient: a smoke alarm, probably.
To play, write your first, middle, and last name on the piece of paper, followed by a prick of your finger and a drop of blood. Do this before midnight. Next, place the paper with your name and blood in front of the closed wooden door you’ve designated, and light the candle. Assuming all of the lights are already off in your house, begin knocking. Knock 22 times, ensuring the final knock occurs exactly at the strike of midnight.
Open the door, blow out the candle, close the door. Immediately relight the candle, and congratulations — you’ve invited the Midnight Man to play a game.
With the candle in your grip, and the lighter and salt nearby, begin wandering around your home. The goal is to avoid bumping into the Midnight Man. Continually move about your home, as this makes it more difficult for him to find you.
Should the candle go out, quickly relight it within 10 seconds. If you can’t make the time, draw a protective salt circle around yourself and wait until the game ends, at 3:33 AM. Once the game ends at 3:33 AM, it’s safe to step out of the circle and turn on the lights. Congratulations again, you’ve won!
You can find more in-depth instructions here, but once again, to reiterate: I don’t recommend playing this game. Listen to me. Don’t do it. Where’s my neon sign!?
3. The Doors of Your Mind
This game doesn’t invite entities into your home. Instead, it explores those that are already inhabiting your head. Considered to be a “low-risk” game, the object is to render a person into a deep meditative state where they’re allowed to openly roam the subconscious rooms of their mind — though not everything there wants to be found.
To play, you’ll need:
- A quiet room
- A few candles
- Matches or a lighter
- An alarm clock
- A pillow (optional)
- A recording device (optional)
The game is broken into three parts: The Prelude, The Exploration, and The Return.
The prelude consists of your partner lulling your into a relaxed state, where you’re allowed to completely sink into your subconscious mind and not be bothered by any outside noise or movement. With your head on your partner’s lap, they will gently and methodically rub your temples until you drift, after which they’ll recite the following:
“You are at one end of a very long corridor. There are numerous doors on both sides of this corridor, spanning the entire length. I want you to explore these doors and the rooms behind them. Describe to me what you can see, hear, touch, and feel with great detail.”
Assuming your descent has been successful, you’ll find yourself in a hallway with doors on every side. The doors may take on different appearances in color, shape, and size, and each should be described out loud for your partner (and optional recording device) to hear. Is the temperature of the doorknob unusual? How do you feel, standing outside the door? Do you feel comfortable opening it, or no? Why or why not?
If you choose to enter one of the rooms, don’t hesitate in describing it, either. What color are the walls? Is it carpeted, or hardwood floors? Does the ghastly decor itself scare away any demons or entities who may have been hiding there, anyway? Maybe the ceilings are stucco’d, and the carpet is stained?
When you’ve spent enough time exploring, your partner will speak words of their choosing in order to bring you back, but the words should fall along the lines of closing the corridors and the doors behind you, and slowly pulling you out of it.
Some warnings come with this game, however, as laid out by Paranormal-Encounters.com:
- If you enter a room filled with clocks, do NOT touch any of the clocks and leave the room immediately.
- If you encounter an old woman, do NOT speak to her and leave the room immediately.
- If you encounter a man in a suit — particularly one who inspires feelings of unease or dread — describe him immediately to your partner. Your partner should then end the session, regardless as to whether the alarm has gone off. If your partner is unable to end the session, do NOT speak to him and leave the room immediately.
- Some doors may be locked, blocked, or otherwise barred. Check your person to see if you have a key; if you don’t, however, do not worry — you may simply not be ready to deal with whatever is behind it yet. Leave the door closed and move on.
4. Musical Chairs Alone
While this game is simple and can be played alone, it is considered HIGH RISK and is NOT RECOMMENDED. Straight up, listen to me. I’m going to peel away my humorous-writer facade and pull you into a side-bar: Don’t play this game. Seriously, just don’t.
Are all of those warnings making you want to play it even more? Well, I tried to warn you.
Musical Chairs Alone is simple, and requires only a few components:
- A chair.
- A match.
- Something with which to play music.
- A recording of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.”
- A quiet, dark room — empty if possible.
The game begins at Midnight, similar to The Midnight Game. Assuming the room in which you’ve decided to play is dark, quiet, and you’re alone, you can begin.
With a match in your hand, arrange the chair in the middle of the room, and begin playing the song Tiptoe Through the Tulips on repeat. Walk around the chair six times.
If the music stops on the sixth turn: Take a seat and light the candle. Congrats, you’ve won!
If the music continues to play: You’ve invited something into the room, and it’s not interested in participating.
If the chair falls over: Leave the room immediately. Do not look at the chair. Never enter the room alone again.
Do you now understand why this game is considered high risk? Of the three possible outcomes, only one ends without incident. The other two are dangerous, though the third instance is far more than the second. Should you enter the room again after playing, chances are you’ll come face to face with an entity who is none too happy with you, and who knows how they’ll react.
There are no instructions for what to do if the music continues playing, and that’s what makes this game so dangerous. You’ve invited something into your home, and it’s not happy about it; chances are, it’ll continue being unhappy until you’re able to cleanse the space, either by burning sage or performing some other ritual of removing dark energy. But, those are only guesses, as it’s never explained anywhere what to do specifically.
If you really do insist on trying this game, I have only one suggestion: don’t do it in your own home. In fact, probably don’t do it in a friend’s home, either, or any home where people still reside. Just because you’re not allowed to enter a room where the chair fell, doesn’t mean it’s safe for others to. Honestly, if you can swing it, the safest bet would be to purchase a home already abandoned for cheap and perform the ritual there. Then, you can decide if you want to renovate it into a cute little cottage or just burn the thing to the ground.
5. The Shoebox Telephone
The Shoebox Telephone is more similar to Charlie, Charlie than any of the others, in that it’s actually about making contact and getting answers over just playing stupid games with demons for kicks and giggles. But, I digress.
For this game, you’ll need:
- 1 “phone booth,” like a closet or armoire.
- 1 paper cup
- 1 shoebox
- 1 length of thread, two to four feet in length
- 1 needle
- A pair of scissors
- 1 power object, something that has a strong connection with the person you’re trying to contact.
- 1 sheet of paper
- 1 pen. No pencils.
- 1 flat surface on which to write
Similar to The Doors of Your Mind, this game is split up into different parts: The Outbound Call, The Inbound Call, and Ending the Call.
The Outbound Call consists of all the preparations needed to make the call.
First, make sure you’re performing this part of the ritual at the end of the day, usually right before you head to bed. It doesn’t matter what hour, the lights can remain on, just make sure all other distracting electronics are turned off. Don’t try and force the outbound call, as the proper time to do it should feel right.
Once the “right time” comes, begin writing your letter to the person you wish to contact. Don’t think too much about what to write, don’t worry about editing mistakes or crossing anything out, just let the words flow from you. Address the person, tell them why you’re contacting them, and everything else you’d like to say, including why they should call you back.
Once your letter is finished, take your thread and tie one end to the power object you’ve chosen. Using a needle, thread the opposite end of the string into the bottom of your paper cup, and tie it off. Next, read your letter into your cup, mistakes and all. This is your outbound call.
After you’re done reading, place the power object and the letter inside your shoebox, allowing for the string to escape over the edge so the cup can remain outside. Close the box, but don’t seal it. Place the cup on top of the shoebox, and leave your “phone booth.”
Wait for the phone to ring.
The call should come the following night or so, and you’ll know it’s ringing through a dream where the person you want to contact is trying to get in touch with you. You’ll wake up, and know it’s time. So, crawl out of bed and return to your phone booth to take the call. Don’t turn on any lights, and don’t speak.
According to TheGhostInMyMachine, watch out for these warning signs upon re-entering your phone booth:
Do NOT proceed if any of the following occur:
- You find the shoebox open.
- You find the paper cup knocked over.
Should you encounter either or both of these incidents, do not place the headset anywhere near your ear. Keep the shoebox closed and snap the string with your hands. If you are unable to snap it, use the scissors to snip it.
But, if your cup remains where you left it, you’re safe to continue. Close the door of your phone booth and get comfortable. Raise the cup to your ear, and diligently listen. If you’ve successfully performed the ritual, you should hear the voice of your intended contact through the cup, but don’t attempt to hold a conversation — you’ve already told them everything you wanted to in your letter. Instead, only listen, never responding, even if asked questions.
To end the call, firmly press down on the lid of your shoebox, and either snap the thread or cut it with your scissors. Remove the shoe box to a place where it won’t be disturbed, and leave it there untouched for a few months. DO NOT open the shoebox, or leave it in a place where it might accidentally be opened by someone else. Burn the cup, and never place it to your ear again.
In terms of dialing a “wrong number”:
- The person on the other end might not be the one you intended to contact, but will try to trick you into thinking they are.
- The person on the other end might attempt to misinform you, or in general feed you false statements.
- The person on the other end might ruin your night and give you a bad time.
If any of these occur, immediately and properly end the call.
I really only have one thing to say here: if you insist on messing with this kind of stuff, know what you’re getting yourself into. Know the risks and possible consequences, and don’t treat them lightly. Also, just don’t play the musical chairs game. Don’t do it.
Read more about these types of games/rituals on TheGhostInMyMachine’s blog here!