Previously: Summoning The Red Man.
Judging by its appearance on rather a lot of Brazilian websites, it seems that The Compass Game, or Jogo do Compasso in Portuguese, is quite popular in that country; however, I’m not totally sure that’s where it originated. I found one source — a post from the r/Paranormal subreddit — that describes it as an Indonesian game. And there certainly does seem to be a connection between the Compass Game and the Indonesian spirit communication method known as jelangkung; the Compass Game just swaps out the dolls used in jelangkung for, well, a compass. (The kind you use to draw circles, not the kind you use to find true north.)
Jelangkung is ancient, by the way; according to Mysterious Universe, its origins lie 1,500 years in the past in a Chinese game called Cai Lan Gong. Additionally, Brilio notes that the first mention of jelangkung appeared in a manuscript from the fifth century — and, somewhat astonishingly, that the rules laid out there are the same ones that are used today.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
The Compass Game may be a little less overtly freaky than jelangkung due to the absence of dolls, but it’s functionally the same; it’s kind of like you’re making your own Ouija board and using a compass as the planchette. As such, the same warning that come with using a Ouija board or other similar communication rituals apply here: Be wary of any answers you get from it, because whatever you’re talking to… may not be what it says it is.
As always, play at your own risk.
- At least one principal.
- A compass.
- A writing implement.
- A sheet of paper.
- Questions. Queries. Conundrums to which you seek answers.
Making The Preparations:
- Fit the compass with the writing implement and use it to draw a large circle on the sheet of paper.
- Along the outer edge of the circle, write the letters of the alphabet, positioning “A” at the top.
- Along the inner edge of the circle, write the numbers zero through nine, positioning zero at the top.
- In the innermost section of the circle, write the words “YES” and “NO,” positioning “YES” at the top and “NO” at the bottom.
- Form the compass into a right angle.
- Stand the compass up on its point in the middle of the circle. The arm with the writing implement should appear to be pointing to the lines of letters, numbers, and words written around the edges of the circle.
- Using one finger placed on the hinge at the top, hold the compass upright. Hold it loosely enough that the compass may swing freely around the circle.
- Ask for permission to enter the game.
- If the answer is negative or nonsensical: Do not proceed. Destroy the paper. Try again another time.
- If the answer is positive: You may proceed.
- All players who wish to participate must ask for permission to enter the game.
If a player is denied permission: That player should not proceed. Instead, they should leave the room. All other players who have been granted permission may proceed with caution.
- Ask a question.
- Watch the compass arm.
- If it remains stationary: Ask a different question.
- If it swings: Pay attention to where it stops. It will tell you the answer. A second participant may write down the answers on a separate sheet of paper with a different writing implement than the one used in the compass.
- You may continue to ask questions for as long as answers are forthcoming.
- When answers become slow, disconnected, or nonsensical, or if they cease entirely, proceed to The Farewell.
- Ask permission to leave the game. When permission has been granted, you may exit.
- Thank the spirit for their time. (It’s only polite.)
- Destroy the sheet of paper.
Do not make jokes while playing the game.
Do not ask if you are speaking to a good spirit or a bad one.
Do not ask the spirit to prove it is there.
Do not play this game on a regular basis.
Do not follow any unsolicited orders the compass gives you.
Do not invite the spirit to enter your body.
Concerning The Compass:
Only the player holding the compass may ask questions.
Players may trade control of the compass; to do so, the player taking control of the compass should position their finger at the hinge of the compass while the player relinquishing control removes their own finger from the hinge. DO NOT let the compass drop during the trade-off.
If the compass drops, destroy the sheet of paper immediately, remove the writing implement from the compass, and evacuate the premises. Do not return to the premises until you have buried the writing implement and the compass in two different locations as far away from each other as possible.
Concerning The Spirit:
Don’t trust it too easily.
It might not be what you think it is.
Please don’t copy or republish this post on other sites. Linking to it or sharing the URL is fine (and encouraged!), as is writing your own unique version of the game, but copying/pasting, republishing, or otherwise reproducing the text of this piece in its entirety or near-entirety on other websites without permission isn’t.
Follow The Ghost In My Machine on Twitter @GhostMachine13 and on Facebook @TheGhostInMyMachine. And don’t forget to check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available now from Chronicle Books!
[Photo via vivekrajkanhangad/Flickr, available under a CC-BY-2.0 Creative Commons license.]