What’s so scary about kids with black eyes? That’s what you first think when hearing that there are people out there who are terrified of Black Eyed Children. The problem is that we aren’t talking about normal black eyes, which is to say a white sclera with a black iris and a black pupil in the centre. No. With these young terrors the entire eye is black, no white area at all.
Apart from their distinct eyes, the kids are also described as being between the ages of 8 and 16, very polite and well spoken, and as having a confident manner that belies their youth. These kids usually appear in the dead of night beside deserted roads or at lonely gas stations, asking drivers for a lift and telling them that they are lost and need to get home. In other words, they employ the kind of tactic that would cause most adults to let them into their cars.
The Black Eyed Kids first made their appearance in 1998, when a man called Brian Bethel took to an internet newsgroup to describe a meeting with two such children. According to Bethel, it was night time in a parking lot and he had been sitting in his car when he heard a knock on the driver side window. When he looked up, he saw two boys aged between 10 and 14. Almost immediately he felt an inexplicable sense of fear, as if he were in the presence of something strange and unearthly. When he rolled down the window and asked the boys what they wanted, one of them asked for a lift home,
explaining that he and his companion had forgotten the money they needed to pay their way into the local movie theatre. While struggling with his fear, Bethel suddenly realized that he had unknowingly started to open the car door. As the kid continued to plead to be let in, explaining that they had to be invited into the car before they came in, Bethel finally noticed their pitch black eyes. Fear stricken, he got the car into reverse and sped out of the parking lot as if hell itself was on his heels. As he sped away he looked back to where he expected to see the boys standing but all he could see was a deserted parking lot.
Another story is that of a camper who spent a terrified night in his tent, with two of the kids standing outside begging to be allowed to come in from the cold. Though the man feared they would come into the tent and kill him, that did not happen and in the morning the kids were gone. This re-enforces the idea that the kids need to be given permission to come in. It can’t be difficult to break into a tent.
Another case involves a woman who heard a knocking at her door late at night. When she looked out her window she saw two children aged about ten standing in her darkened yard. When the kids asked if they could come in to use the bathroom, she sensed evil and refused to let them in. Not long after, the kids vanished from her yard.
There is also the story of a marine at stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. This man claims that he was in the barracks late at night when he heard a knock at the door. When he answered the door he found not one of his fellow marines but two Black Eyed Children. He was immediately filled with terror, and though he wanted to close the door he found that he could not. In this case the kids did not ask to be let in, they just stood there, staring at him with those black, soulless eyes. As they took a step forward and he felt his life in danger, he finally found the will to shut the door. This account has one suspicious aspect to it, namely that LaJeune is French for “the young one” Coincidence? Or a prankster giving us a clue to his little joke?
One of the things you notice about all accounts of BEKs is that it is always a tale told by someone who does not allow them into the car or house. What this suggests is either that these kids are lousy at getting their way or that those who succumb to what seems to be a combination of ordinary persuasion and a mild form of mind control don’t survive to tell the tale. So, is this urban legend one to be taken seriously? In my view, the answer is no. As cool as this entire idea is, I have to call bull on this particular phenomenon. Start with the fact that the kids’ need to be invited in sounds like the hoary old vampire is simply being dressed up in new clothes. Add Bethel’s original horror-story style account, which seems to have been deliberately written not to inform but to scare. Then throw in the easy availability of scleral contact lenses, the scarcity of sightings, the lack of photo and video evidence in an age when virtually everyone carries a camera in their pocket, and i think it more likely than not that this one is pure cow manure. It would certainly make a creepy movie, though, or a great spooky tale to tell by the fireside during a late night winter gathering, especially if you get one of your buds to knock on the front door at exactly the right time!