Black Eyed Kids

No, it's not the name of a punk rock band. For some it's an urban legend. Others say they have faced the Black Eyed Kids. If the Men in Black don't scare you, these devilish imps will. They may be dressed in out dated clothes, or be wearing the latest children's fashions. They knock on doors asking to use the phone, the restroom or say they are lost. Their objective is to gain entrance to your home. Likewise, they hitchhike or beg for a ride. Again, they want to get into your car. Are they devil's? ghosts? ETs? ghouls? You decide...

Black-eyed children (or black-eyed kids) are supposed paranormal creatures that resemble children between the ages of 6 and 16, with pale skin and black eyes, who are reportedly seen hitchhiking or panhandling, or are encountered on doorsteps of residential homes. Tales of black-eyed children have existed since the 1950s. More recent interest began in 1996 with postings written by Texas reporter Brian Bethel on a "ghost-related mailing list" relating two alleged encounters with "black-eyed kids." Bethel describes encountering two such children in Abilene, Texas in 1996, and claims that a second person had a similar, unrelated encounter in Portland, Oregon. Bethel told his story on reality TV series Monsters and Mysteries in America.

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One night in Abilene, Texas, Bethel left his apartment around 9:30pm to go drop a payment for his internet service with Camalott Communications in a dropbox at an old location of theirs on North 1st Street in a downtown shopping center. The center was next to a $1.50 movie theater which, on this particular night, was showing the movie "Mortal Kombat." Bethel passed the theater, and parked in an empty space at the center where he could use the light from the theater's marquee to help him write his check... then someone knocked on his driver's side window.

A little surprised, Bethel turned to find two boys, aged somewhere between 10-14, he guessed. One boy was taller than the other, and was wearing a pull-over hooded shirt with a gray checked pattern; he had olive colored skin and curly medium-length brown hair. The second boy had pale skin "with a trace of freckles," and pale orange hair; he was wearing a hooded shirt that was light green in color, and he looked around nervously as the other boy talked to Bethel. Bethel's first impression was that they were not related to each other... and that they were going to ask him for money.

Then Bethel's feelings on the whole matter shifted to an unreasonable fear for no apparent reason. The tall boy smiled, which Bethel stated "chilled my blood." As Bethel explained it: "I could feel fight-or-flight responses kicking in. Something, I knew instinctually, was not right, but I didnít know what it could possibly be." Bethel rolled the window down slightly, enough to talk to the boys. The tall boy smiled wider, showing very, very white teeth. The boys wanted to see the movie, but had forgotten their money; they needed a ride home to get the money, and wanted Bethel to give them a ride... and while the voice was that of a young boy, something in how the words were being said felt wrong. The tall boy was too confident; not acting like a child asking a stranger a favor. He was acting as if Bethel was required to let them in the car, and the question was a mere formality.

Bethel hesitated to answer the request; then he noticed the second boy eyeing him nervously with "a mixture of confusion and guilt on his face." Both boys seemed a bit surprised that Bethel had not agreed immediately. The tall boy spoke again, assuring Bethel that they just wanted to go to their house, and that they were just two little boys. Bethel was sure something was wrong, so stalled for time by asking what movie they were going to see. The tall boy said they wanted to see Mortal Kombat, of course. Bethel looked back at the theater and realized that the last showing of the movie for the night had started an hour previously... so the boys could not possibly see the movie that night. The silent boy was looking increasingly nervous. The tall boy started talking soothingly, assuring Bethel that they couldn't get in his car unless he let them; and that they would just go to their mother's house and then the boys would be gone "before you know it."

Bethel realized his hand was on the door's lock and that he had started to open it; he jerked his hand away violently, then looked back up at the tall boy to try and explain his action. In the moment he had pulled his hand away from the lock, Bethel had broken eye contact with the tall boy for the first time in the conversation; now when he looked back he saw what he had failed to notice to this point. The eyes of both boys were just coal black orbs with no irises or pupils. The silent boy now had a horrified look on his face; Bethel guessed that the look on his own face had given away his discovery. The tall boy was now clearly angry, but continued to ask Bethel to let them in the car: "we won't hurt you. You have to LET US IN. We don't have a gun..."

That was enough for Bethel. The car was still running, as he had never turned the engine off when he initially parked. As Bethel reached for the gear shift, the tall boy started to yell in anger, with a touch of panic, that Bethel had to let them in the car; they could not enter unless Bethel told them they could. He slammed the car in reverse and tore backwards out of the parking lot... and the boys were gone, and the sidewalk near the theater was deserted.

Sometime after his strange encounter with the two black eyed children, Bethel called a friend of his named Chad who he had gone on ghost hunts with previously. Chad had two female friends with him, both of whom claimed to have psychic abilities. During the call, Bethel started to describe his encounter above to Chad, when one of the women stopped him early on in the narrative to ask if the children had black eyes. Intrigued, Bethel admited that they did then asked why she asked. The woman, a week earlier, had a dream about children wanting to be let into her house... and, though it took a little while for her to realize it, the children had black eyes. She kept her house locked up tight; she intuitively felt that if they were let into her house, they would kill her. In finishing this story, the woman then told Bethel that, had he let them into his car, they would have killed him too.

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In 2012, the horror film Black Eyed Kids was produced with Kickstarter funding, its director commenting that the black eyed children were "an urban legend that's been floating around on the Internet for years now, I always thought it was fascinating". A 2013 episode of MSN's Weekly Strange that featured reports of black eyed children is thought to have helped spread the legend on the internet.

During one week in September 2014, the British tabloid Daily Star ran three sensationalistic front-page stories about alleged sightings of black-eyed children, connected to the sale of a supposedly haunted pub in Staffordshire. The paper claimed a "shock rise in sightings around the world". Alleged sightings are taken seriously by ghost hunters, some of whom believe black eyed children to be extraterrestrials, vampires, or ghosts.


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