The eerie and unexplained phenomena of the Black Eyed Children is a classic example of a story that has spread courtesy of the internet. While there are odd reports dating back before the times of the World Wide Web, the bulk of encounters have come since the 1990s and continue to increase. So is an encounter with a black-eyed child something to be frightened by or are we merely misinterpreting an unfortunate physical condition?
Black-eyed children, also referred to as BEK’s for Black Eyed Kids, appear to be young children or teenagers who are marked by a complete absence of colour in their eyes save black – they have no whites in their eyes, no coloured iris. Often reports add that their skin has an unhealthy bluish tinge to it not unlike that of a corpse.
When these children speak, their speech and mannerisms are that of an adult, occasionally even sounding like someone much older than they appear to be. While they may sometimes be seen playing games and singing, there is nevertheless something disturbing about them – perhaps due to their preference for abandoned spots where children would not normally be found. Their behaviour is likewise contradictory – they are confident yet avoiding meeting people’s gaze, as if trying to hide their unusual eyes. When they are ‘playing’ they often stop and stare unnervingly at people.
The other main element common to many encounters is the attempts of these strange children to either gain access to a property or to be invited into a car to be driven somewhere. Often they will use the excuse of needing to make use of a telephone in the house to save themselves from a vague threat of danger or needing to get away from an area for the same unspecified reason.
Nearly all the reports agree – these children make people feel uncomfortable and even threatened. The instant reaction to help a child in need vanishes when encountering these ‘children’ and most witnesses simply want to get as far away from them as possible.
The first real report to be classified as an encounter with BEKs came from January 1998 and a journalist named Brian Bethel. He was sitting his parked car one even when two olive-skinned boys approached him and asked for a ride home, saying they had been to the movies but forgot to bring bus fare to get home.
Bethel was overcome with the urge to flee from the boys but also resisted allowing them into the vehicle. The boys became agitated at his response and tried to insist they be allowed into the car. It was at this point that Bethel realised their eyes were completely black.
Perhaps his fear at the realisation was evident, because the boys began to intensify their requests, trying to force Bethel into complying. He decided that enough was enough and fled the scene.
Glimpses at BEKs
Nor is this the only type of encounter that people have reported. One woman was in bed, around 11pm when she heard a slow knocking at her door. Getting up, she was shocked to see two children but opened the window rather than the door to see what they wanted. They simply said ‘let us in’ and when she asked why, they claimed to need the bathroom. Unnerved at such a strange encounter, she told them no and closed the window. Glancing through the shut window, she finally saw their black eyes and was engulfed by a feeling of unhappiness and evil.
As with many things we encounter in the paranormal sphere, there are a multitude of possible explanations but no real definitive explanations. Like shadow people, black-eyed children have been categorised as everything from ghosts to aliens to demons. So which is these explanations hold water?
One of the oddest yet somehow most plausible explanations is that these beings are either some type of vampire or undead. This is due to their physical description and also associated with the old legends that a vampire cannot enter a house uninvited. Their hypnotic voices and insistent manner may also tie into this explanation.
Another possible explanation is that these children are actually children but those of some kind of strange human-alien hybridisation process. This can explain how they look like human children but act very different and the sense of disquiet their presence gives many people â€“ instinctively we know danger and when something is outside our world, even if we don’t consciously know.
Ghosts are a solid (joke!) explanation for some of the attributes of the encounters â€“ their sudden appearance and disappearance, the sense of otherness that witnesses have reported and the fact that they are found in strange locations. They may be haunting a building that no longer exists, trapped on an abandoned lot and seeking an adult to help them, as a real child would have.
For many people, demons are a fact of life and the idea that demons may try to fool humans by appearing as our offspring fits in with this theory. The trouble is, like many things associated with demons, they don’t get it quite right – the eyes!
Until one of these black-eyed children is captured and studied, the exact nature of what they are will remain a mystery. But the fact is, the number of sightings are increasing and their forcefulness towards achieving their aim is also increasing. So when you are walking home past that abandoned lot and see some kids playing, hesitate a beat before you agree to give them a lift home, at least until you have seen the colour of their eyes!