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Black-Eyed Children, also known as Black-Eyed Kids and its acronym BEK, is an internet urban legend in the form of creepypastas and alleged first-hand reports of encounters with strange pale-skinned children having deep black irisless eyes extending to the entirety of the sclera. Starting in a Usenet newsgroup mailing list in the end of the 1990s, the stories became quite a curiosity online following the release of an indie film as well as several news articles covering strange phenomena taking place in Cannock Chase, UK in the early 2010s. They eventually led to alleged spin-off sightings of other entities known as White-Eyed Kids (WEKs), some kind of opposite demonic faction to the black-eyed ones.
On January 16th, 1998, writer and Abilene Reporter News journalist Brian Bethel wrote a lenghty post in the alt.folklore.ghost-stories Usenet newsgroup (archived 6/11/2001) recounting a strange event that happened to him two years prior, in which he claimed to have met two black-eyed boys asking him to let them into his car in a parking lot in front of a theater in Abilene, Texas.
My Internet Service Provider used to have offices in a shopping center
before they moved to their (comparatively) lush accommodations elsewhere.
There was a drop box at that original location. The monthly bill was due,
and thus, there but for the Grace of the Net I went.
It was about 9:30 p.m. when I left. From my relatively isolated apartments,
it's about 10-15 minutes or so to downtown (Abilene has a population of
Right next to Camalott Communications' old location is a $1.50 movie
theater. At the time, the place was featuring that masterwork of modern
film, Mortal Kombat. I drove by the theater on the way into the center
proper and pulled into an empty parking space.
Using the glow of the marquee to write out my check, I was startled to hear
a knock on the driver's-side window of my car.
I looked over and saw two children staring at me from street. I need to
describe them, with the one feature (you can guess what it was) that I
didn't realize until about half-way through the conversation cleverly
Both appeared to be in that semi-mystical stage of life children get into
where you can't exactly tell their age. Both were boys, and my initial
impression is that they were somewhere between 10-14.
Boy No. 1 was the spokesman. Boy No. 2 didn't speak during the entire
conversation -- at least not in words.
Boy No. 1 was slightly taller than his companion, wearing a pull-over,
hooded shirt with a sort of gray checked pattern and jeans. I couldn't see
his shoes. His skin was olive-colored and had curly, medium-length brown
hair. He exuded an air of quiet confidence.
Boy No. 2 had pale skin with a trace of freckles. His primary characteristic
seemed to be looking around nervously. He was dressed in a similar manner to
his companion, but his pull-over was a light green color. His hair was a
sort of pale orange.
They didn't appear to be related, at least directly.
"Oh, great," I thought. "They're gonna hit me up for money." And then the
I've explained this before, but for the benefit of any new lurkers out
there, right before I experience something strange, there's a change in
perception that comes about which I describe in the above manner. It's
basically enough time to know it's too late. ;)
So, there I was, filling out a check in my car (which was still running) and
in a sudden panic over the appearance of two little boys. I was confused,
but an overwhelming sense of fear and unearthliness rushed in nonetheless.
The spokesman smiled, and the sight for some inexplicable reason chilled my
blood. I could feel fight-or-flight responses kicking in. Something, I knew
instinctually, was not right, but I didn't know what it could possibly be.
I rolled down the window very, very slightly and asked "Yes?"
The spokesman smiled again, broader this time. His teeth were very, very
"Hey, mister, what's up? We have a problem," he said. His voice was that of
a young man, but his diction, quiet calm and … something I still couldn't
put my finger on … made my desire to flee even greater. "You see, my
friend and I want to see the films, but we forgot our money," he continued.
"We need to go to our house to get it. Want to help us out?"
Okay. Journalists are required to talk to lots of people, and that includes
children. I've seen and spoken to lots of them. Here's how that usually
"Uh … M … M … Mister? Can I see that camera? I … I won't break it or
anything. I promise. My dad has a camera, and he lets me hold it sometimes,
I guess, and I took a picture of my dog -- it wasn's very good, 'cause I got
my finger in the way and …"
Add in some feet shuffling and/or body swaying and you've got a typical kid
talking to a stranger.
In short, they're usually apologetic. People generally teach children that
when they talk to adults, they're usually bothering them for one reason or
another and they should at least be polite.
This kid was in no way fitting the mold. His command of language was
incredible and he showed no signs of fear. He spoke as if my help was a
foregone conclusion. When he grinned, it was as if he was trying to say, "I
know something … and you're NOT gonna like it. But the only way you're
going to find out what it is will be to do what I say …"
"Uh, well …" was the best reply I could offer.
Now here's where it starts to get strange.
The quiet companion looked at the spokesman with a mixture of confusion and
guilt on his face. He seemed in some ways shocked, not with his friend's
brusque manner but that I didn't just immediately open the door.
He eyed me nervously.
The spokesman seemed a bit perturbed, too. I still was registering something
wrong with both.
"C'mon, mister," the spokesman said again, smooth as silk. Car salesmen
could learn something from this kid. "Now, we just want to go to our house.
And we're just two little boys."
That really scared me. Something in the tone and diction again sent off
alarm bells. My mind was frantically trying to process what it was
perceiving about the two figures that was "wrong."
"Eh. Um …." was all I could manage. I felt myself digging my fingernails
into the steering wheel.
"What movie were you going to see?" I asked finally.
"Mortal Kombat, of course," the spokesman said. The silent one nodded in
affirmation, standing a few paces behind.
"Oh," I said. I stole a quick glance at the marquee and at the clock in my
car. Mortal Kombat had been playing for an hour, the last showing of the
The silent one looked increasingly nervous. I think he saw my glances and
suspected that I might be detecting something was not above-board.
"C'mon, mister. Let us in. We can't get in your car until you do, you know,"
the spokesman said soothingly. "Just let us in, and we'll be gone before you
know it. We'll go to our mother's house."
We locked eyes.
To my horror, I realized my hand had strayed toward the door lock (which was
engaged) and was in the process of opening it. I pulled it away, probably a
bit too violently. But it did force me to look away from the children.
I turned back. "Er … Um …," I offered weakly and then my mind snapped
into sharp focus.
For the first time, I noticed their eyes.
They were coal black. No pupil. No iris. Just two staring orbs reflecting
the red and white light of the marquee.
At that point, I know my expression betrayed me. The silent one had a look
of horror on his face in a combination that seemed to indicate: A) The
impossible had just happened and B) "We've been found out!"
The spokesman, on the other hand, wore a mask of anger. His eyes glittered
brightly in the half-light.
"Cmon, mister," he said. "We won't hurt you. You have to LET US IN. We don't
have a gun …"
That last statement scared the living hell out of me, because at that point
by his tone he was plainly saying, "We don't NEED a gun."
He noticed my hand shooting down toward the gear shift. The spokesman's
final words contained an anger that was complete and whole, and yet
contained in some respects a tone of panic:
"WE CAN'T COME IN UNLESS YOU TELL US IT'S OKAY. LET … US …. IN!"
I ripped the car into reverse (thank goodness no one was coming up behind
me) and tore out of the parking lot. I noticed the boys in my peripheral
vision, and I stole a quick glance back.
They were gone. The sidewalk by the theater was deserted.
I drove home in a heightened state of panic. Had anyone attempted to stop
me, I would have run on through and faced the consequences later.
I bolted into my house, scanning all around -- including the sky.
What did I see? Maybe nothing more than some kids looking for a ride.
And some really funky contacts. Yeah, right.
A friend suggested they were vampires, what with the old "let us in" bit and
my compelled response to open the door. That and the "we'll go see our
I'm still not sure what they were, but here's an epilogue I find chilling:
I talk about Chad a lot. He's still my best friend, my best ghost-hunting
companion and an all-around cool guy. He recently moved to Amarillo, but at
the time this happened was still living in San Angelo of Ram Page fame.
I called him and talked to him briefly. He had two female friends with him
at the time, both professing some type of psychic ability.
I started telling him the story, leaving out the part about the black eyes
for the kicker. One of the women (we were on a speakerphone) stopped me.
"These children had black eyes, right?" she asked. "I mean, all-black eyes?"
"Er … Yes." I said. I was a bit taken aback.
"Hmmm," she said. "One night last week, I had a dream about children with
black eyes. They were outside my house, wanting to be let in, but there was
something wrong with them. It took me a while to realize it was the eyes."
I hadn't even gotten as far as them wanting to come in.
"What did you do?" I asked.
"I kept the doors and windows locked," she said. "I knew if they came in,
they would kill me."
"And they would have killed you, too, if you had let them into your car."
So, from this extra-long post, we have three unanswered questions:
A) What did I see?
B) What would have happened if I opened my car door?
C) Why does Chad always get the cool psychic chicks? ;)
On November 14th, 1998, Bethel came back to the mailing list to add IRC chat logs with a friend of his reporting a similar encounter with two boys and a girl in Portland, Oregon that year. Three years later, on June 14th, 2001, a user by the handle Harvestwind replied to the post by sharing another similar story happening in Portland in 2000.
The mailing list, while archived, remained quite scarcely shared online for some time. On April 22nd, 2004, a thread was launched in the discussion board of Democratic Underground linking to a now defunct story webpage titled "Evil kids" on the Ghosts.org website, in which Bethel reposted his initial story. On October 23rd, 2004, the link was posted to a thread in the Paranormal Soup forums, leading to about 29 pages of comments and it was again posted to the Snopes forum on November 12th, 2005, discussing the validity of Bethel's testimony.
Also in November 2004, another story, from an alleged 47-year-old woman by the handle Tee was posted to the Paranormal section of About.com.
In 2008, alternative news site Rensee.com's writer Ted Twietmeyer wrote a piece compiling several sightings of black-eyed beings of different ages and genders.
Eventually, more stories were brought from various parts of the US, which were shared by paranormal enthiusiasts and ghost bloggers.
In early 2013, MSN show Weekly Strange ran a short documentary on the phenomenon (shown below, uploaded October 2013).
In May 2013, a sub-reddit was created to collect first-hand accounts from people allegedly surviving encounters with black-eyed kids.
In 2014, an entire website dedicated to the phenomenon and reports of sightings was created.
As a Creepypasta
On August 6th, 2008; Bethel's story was reposted to the Creepypasta compiler Creepypasta.com, where it received a 7,9/10 rating based on more than 1 000 reviews.
On April 21st 2011, an original story about Black-Eyed people was posted to the Creepypasta wikia site. An alleged sighting in Kansas was also posted the following day.
In 2011, amateur filmaker Matt Matzen directed a 15-minute-long film titled The Black-Eyed Children (trailer shown below, left). In 2012, a full feature film, titled Sunshine Girl and the Hunt for Black Eyed Kids was directed by Nicholas J. Hagen (trailer shown below, center). The film premiered at Kiggins Theatre in Vancouver, Canada, on December 20th, 2012. Finally, in 2015, another indie film was released, titled Black Eyed Children: Let Me In (trailer shown below, right).
Cannock Chase Reports
On June 10th, 2013, English paranormal author and investigator Lee Brickley published, on a blog compiling paranormal stories involving Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, UK, an alleged story involving his aunt encountering black-eyed children in the woods one night in the summer of 1982. The blog post was further updated with a link to a 2014 video interview with Brickley (shown below) concerning his career as a paranormal investigator who has reported on multiple cases of paranormal activities (including UFOs, a strange humanoid creature with the head of a pig, werewolves, the Bigfoot and even the Slender Man) in Cannock Chase.
As more stories were posted to the blog, regional news outlets picked on the urban legend, including the Daily Mirror on September 29th, 2014, The Huffington Post UK that same day and The Daily Star on September 30th.
In April 2013, hoax-debunking website Snopes issued an article about the legend that analyzed its progression as an urban legend on internet and questioned the authenticity of the stories, but without any conclusive evidence to reach a definite answer. However, seven years prior, a similar question was posted to the Hoaxes website, on August 6th, 2006. On October 24th, 2007, user DB left a comment linking to several newsgroups archives dating back to July and August 1997, especially the following extract hinting that Brian Bethel, the first original account on the legend, may have fabricated his story entirely (shown below) in order to create a spreading scary tale.
" The will, in this case, is the belief, especially among those who
were brave/foolish enough to try the ritual itself. The method by which
the necessary reality shift would be accomplished is the fear the story
and the (imagined?) entity produced.
Can such a thing happen? I don't mean necessarily that thanks to me
and my pals there's some ancient hag that can zap in through mirrors and
grab children running around. But I know lots of magi who work with
archetypical spirits and such, and it occurs to me that such an entity
would have considerable potential for such workings. (Although I'd
consider it ill-advised to use her.)
So, can we create something like Mary just by collective force of
will? If not just childhood legends why not gods and goddesses as well?
Are they all just expressions of enough collective reality shifts? Or
can they somehow exist on their own?"
(bold added for emphasis)
On March 26th, 2013, an alleged story describing what happened to someone who let one of the black-eyed kids enter their home was posted to the Pararational website. On May 25th, user Spirit posted a comment asking about the existence of WEKs, or White-Eyed Kids. It was the first reported instance of a name given to a new kind of paranormal entity related to the legend, although with their eyes entirely white instead.
While not being as prevalent on the net as the former legend, WEKs began circulating on the Pararational website and other paranormal-related hubs.
 Democratic Underground – Favourite truly disturbing supernatural tales? Black Eyed Kids for me
 Mysterious Universe – Black Eyed Kids: Insidious Threat or Myth in the Making?
 The Daily Mirror – Chilling sightings of 'Black Eyed Child' ghost spark paranormal hunt
 The Huffington Post – Mystery Of Ghostly Black-Eyed Child Sightings On Cannock Chase
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