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We wrote a story here on iHorror last week about the Charlie Charlie Challenge, which was sweeping across the internet at the time. The idea behind the challenge, according to internet urban legend, was to summon a Mexican demon, but it seems it was all one big marketing ploy.

It was revealed this week that the Charlie Charlie Challenge wasn’t thought up by teenagers with too much time on their hands, as we originally believed, but rather by some clever marketing executives. As it turns out, it was nothing more than viral marketing for upcoming horror film The Gallows, hitting theaters next month.

There’s a scene in The Gallows, we now know, where the characters conduct the so-called Charlie Charlie Challenge, attempting to contact a deceased high school student who serves as the villain of the film – not a Mexican demon with an oddly American name. And suddenly, it all makes sense.

The internet’s own version of urban legends like Bloody Mary, the Charlie Charlie Challenge dared teens to create their own makeshift Ouija boards, with the words ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ written on a piece of paper. Players were then instructed to form a cross with two pencils, and ask Charlie if he was present in the room.

Many players were spooked when the pencils pointed to the word ‘YES,’ and they’re surely feeling like idiots with the realization that the whole thing was a total hoax – exposing society’s collective lack of knowledge about simple physics. Well played, marketing dudes. Very well played.

Check out the aforementioned scene from The Gallows below, along with some hilariously idiotic Charlie Charlie Challenge reaction videos!

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Written/directed by newcomers Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff, The Gallows is set for theatrical release on July 10th.

Twenty years after an accident caused the death of the lead actor during a high school play, students at the same small town school resurrect the failed stage production in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy—but ultimately find out that some things are better left alone.

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