It’s late, it’s dark and you’re in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps you’re walking down a lonely stretch of moonlit road, maybe you’re in a desolate parking lot trying to get your car started or perhaps you’re nestled in the warmth of your own home reading yourself to sleep; whatever the circumstance, you find yourself in an isolated locale when you’re suddenly startled by a sharp knock at the door or window. You look up from your steering wheel or cautiously pull back the curtain to see… wait for it… a pair of thin, trendily dressed, usually olive skinned teenagers.
Sounds pretty anti-climatic, right? But just wait; these aren’t your average, ordinary scallywags. These adolescents have something horribly wrong with them — something almost none of the witnesses notice at first glance — it’s their eyes. These “creatures” have no white corneas, no colorful irises, just a pair of big, black, shark-like eyes that inspire abject horror in all who have claimed to have seen them.
What’s worse is that these bizarre younglings aren’t content to scare you and continue on their merry way; no they are insistent that you help them. They stare through you with those dull ebony orbs and demand you let them in your car and give them a ride home or that they be allowed into your house to use your phone. The most horrifying aspect of all of this is that those who claim to have encountered these sinister kids swear that they’ve had to actively resist the temptation to do their bidding, as if their voices carried some sort of hypnotic influence.
ORIGIN OF A LEGEND
Stories of Black Eyed Kids — or BEKs as they were swiftly dubbed — have been popping up all over the internet for over a decade, but have yet to achieve any real pop culture notoriety… you’ll know when that happens as soon as you start seeing commercials for a Wes Craven’s or Eli Roth’s new movie based on the “horrifying, real-life phenomena!”
This strange trend was first reported by journalist Brian Bethel on January 16, 1998. According to Bethel, two boys approached him while he was sitting in his parked car. Bethel described the kids in prototypical BEK fashion as stylish, olive skinned kids. The boys asked for a ride home explaining that they were on their way to the movies, but had forgotten their money.
Bethel claimed that he was overwhelmed by a “fight-or-flight” response, but was nevertheless tempted to allow the boys entrance into the vehicle. He resisted the urge, which seemed to only agitate the boys, who grew ever more adamant that they be allowed into the car. It was then that Bethel finally noticed their “coal black” eyes, whereupon he was momentarily paralyzed with fear.
Several cases and scores of others have been reported from all across the globe with very few variances. Some neglect the olive skin, while other reports state that the BEKs were dressed in fashionable clothes of another period rather than contemporary trends. Most of these cases involve a pair of boys, but there are also reports of adult women and even one bizarre account by an elderly couple concerning group of black-eyed teens that pulled in front of their house in a new van. While a pair of BEKs attempted to gain access to their home they noticed that the rest of them were walk a dachshund in front of their house. Needless to say these cases represent the exceptions and not the rule.
So presupposing this phenomenon is not only real, but increasing in frequency we are forced to ask the most basic question…
What are these things??
This query is as fascinating as it is frustrating, as it would seem that BEKs dwell in that nebulous void between demonology, ufology, cryptozoology and the plain old paranormal. This is a dark and perplexing realm wherein the most eccentric entities — such as the New Jersey Devil or Point Pleasant’s Mothman among others — are said to exist, carving their own unique niches in these distinctly different disciplines.
Having yielded a better part of my misspent youth to monster flicks such as “The Lost Boys” and televisions shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” I have to admit that there is a certain horrible appeal to the notion that fashionable, charismatic vampires may be stalking our streets.
To begin with the bulk of BEK encounters consist of youthful, usually dapper young men who employ hypnotic voices and mesmerizing black eyes to try and coerce their “victims” into doing their bidding. Secondly, these beings have displayed an evident inability to enter someone’s property without first being invited. It’s difficult to argue that these attributes aren’t vampire-like.
Still, as scores of scholars have noted in the past half-century, the concept of the seductive, chic, trance inducing vampire is more the product of modern fiction than ancient legend. Traditionally speaking vampires are not young and suave Edward Cullen types, but bestial creatures that look like bloated corpses with blood slathered maws.
While, to date, attempted blood consumption has not figured into any reported BEK encounters, it bears noting that there is not a single account from anyone who has succumbed to the demands of these black-eyed beings and actually allowed them into their home, car or tent. When speculating as to why this is, it is difficult not to assume the worst… there is a real possibility that exsanguination may play into the ultimate fates of those who indulge these creatures, but that, of course, is pure conjecture.
So, assuming we’re not dealing with vampires, then how about the equally outlandish possibility that these entities may be…
The scant bit of evidence that suggests that BEKs might be a the result of a strange synthesis of human and extraterrestrial DNA comes not from any reported UFOs seen at the sites of BEK encounters — which, as far as I know, has never happened — but from the vague reference some female alien abductees have had toward encountering half-human, half-Grey alien babies that were allegedly created utilizing their unfertilized eggs, which were extracted from them during the diminutive extraterrestrials’ notoriously invasive examinations.
More than a few of these unfortunate women have claimed to come into contact with humanoid babies,which they described as having olive shaded skin and jet-black, almond shaped eyes. Frankly, this wild supposition offers barely enough data to even call it a theory, but a more plausible explanation might be that BEKs are actually…
While some might be tempted to think that BEKs are merely the lost spirits of departed children who are sorrowfully wandering the Earth seeking help from adults, it should be noted that in each and every case the eyewitnesses have claimed to have felt an almost overpowering rush of fear when they came into contact with these beings. It’s as if they instinctively knew that they were not dealing with harmless children, but dangerous predators in disguise.
Admittedly “gut instinct” is not easy to classify as evidence, but the universality of this feeling in those who come across BEKs makes it difficult to dismiss. I also find it hard to believe that lost children — be they alive or dead — would consistently inspire such terror in adults. Wandering spirits may not be the answer in this case, but that leaves open the alternate paranormal possibility that these beings might just be…
DEMONS IN DISGUISE
Like the existence of Noah’s Ark or the stone tablets that Moses retrieved from the peak of Mount Sinai, belief in demons is a matter of faith. If one is predisposed to believing in the existence of angelic or demonic entities, then one would be hard pressed not to consider the fact that BEKs might be old fashioned, shape shifting critters from the bowels of hell.
This theory is no more or less reasonable than any other, in fact, when one considers the permeating aura of evil given off by BEKs it becomes downright plausible. Of course, if these are demons in the guise of young humans, one must wonder why they aren’t plying their nefarious charm rather than employing palpably eerie personas like the ones described. Still there’s no telling what goes on in the mind of a devilish denizen of Hades.
This is a very real possibility. As we all know every genuine paranormal event is riddled by scores of pranks and copycat reports. It is, as they say, par for course, but that does not mean that the genesis of this phenomenon is not authentic. It simply means that investigators need to be all the more cautious when separating the truth from the exaggerations or outright fabrications.
But whether BEKs are ghosts, vampires, demons, half-aliens, internet hoaxsters or prank prone teens with black contacts, anthropologists and folklorists should take note as this marks one of the few times in recorded history when a legend can be traced to a specific time, place and individual.
Whether or not this phenomenon proves to be true — and, like most of its ilk, the evidence will likely never confirm any solid conclusions — stories of BEKs will remain a fascinating and frightening addition to the hallowed halls of Fortean research and will no doubt send chills up the spines of children for generations to come.