Bogotá, Colombia, Jul 15, 2016 / 06:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Colombian news outlet has reported convulsions and other strange behaviors in 22 local teenagers who allegedly played “Charlie Charlie,” a simplified version of Ouija that became popular a year ago. The game consists of a pair of pencils or pens, a piece of paper and the invocation of a demonic spirit named “Charlie” who answers “yes” or “no” to questions put to him.

Several days ago, almost two dozen young people between 12 and 15 years-old from the same school started to convulse and behave strangely. They were taken to the health center in the town of Nóvita in Colombia, not far from the Pacific coast and Panama border.

Caracol News reported that the girls may have been “possessed” due to playing the game. One of the affected youths, whose identity has been withheld, told the outlet: “you can end up dying from those games because you know this is something from the devil, and you don't play around with the devil.”

Claudia Patricia Asprilla, the mother of one of the girls involved, said that her daughter “said she doesn't want to go to school because she's afraid, she's frightened and last night she started to (get scared again). I'm worried about this because this is a scary thing.

It's something you can't explain.” Jorge Hurtado Bonilla of Nóvita's Family Protective Services explained that “last year we had a similar situation because the girls at a school apparently played what's called 'Charlie Charlie' and there were about seven isolated cases, but since then nothing on this large a scale has happened.”

Father Wilson Tamayo, pastor of Divine Child Church in Istmina, about 15 miles from Nóvita, told Caracol News that “all this happens precisely because we have closed the door of our hearts to God, and so I invite you to welcome God's message which is salvation, mercy and freedom.” Caracol News reported that local authorities are visiting the affected girls' homes, bringing psychological, social and spiritual help.

Last spring, Charlie Charlie became popular among young people worldwide, as social media posts of the invocation went viral, prompting a wave of concern over the potential risk of being exposed to demonic possession.

Consulted by CNA in May 2015, noted Spanish exorcist Father José Antonio Fortea warned that the so-called #CharlieCharlieChallenge “does indeed involve the invocation of spirits.” Even though he believes that those who play it “won't be possessed” necessarily, the spirit invoked “will stay around for a while.”

Frequently playing the “game,” the Spanish priest pointed out, may make “other spirits enter into even more frequent communication. And then yes the person can suffer much worse consequences from the demons.”

A news video documenting what happened to the teens can be viewed here: