Black-Eyed Children: Fact or Fiction?

Brian Bethel, a journalist from Abilene, Texas; posted an online account of his encounter with ‘the Evil, Black-eyed, Possibly Vampiric or Demonic But At Least Not Bloody Normal Kids’ in January of 1998. Since then, several other stories have emerged of encounters with black-eyed children, sometimes black-eyed adults.

As recently as 2009, a marine in North Carolina reported finding two little kids outside of his room in the infantry barracks at Camp Lejeune. In 2004, a woman by the name of ‘Tee’ from Oregon posted an online account with her own experience regarding a young man of about 17 or 18 outside her door, requesting information about an apartment to rent.

Tales of Black-Eyed children have several common factors. Stories about black-eyed people of all ages ran rampant online, all of them share some common bonds. Others have noticeable differences from the other stories. What are the shared links in each tale? Do the many differences indicate that there is more than one ‘type’ of these creatures, if they even exist? Or are they just another urban legend?

If one were to read stories on just the black-eyed children, then the mythos remains mostly the same. Apparently, the BEKs cannot enter a domicile (or car) without permission, which brings to mind vampires. It’s said they appear as other children do in physical appearance, except for their eyes. The entire eye of one of these children is completely black. The sclera, more commonly known as ‘the white of the eye’, is not white, but pure black. They seem to be well-spoken, and possess a formality that the teller of the tale notes seems to be ‘odd’.

Black-eyed children must politely ask to be let inside, to use a phone, for a ride, to read (the reasons vary but all seem strange given the time of night these encounters take place) and when they are refused, it’s said that they seem to become insistent and almost mildly threatening in their wording and tone.

People report feeling a sense of dread, fear, and a feeling of being in danger when in the presence of these children. Most stories also state that when the child is speaking, it is almost as if their speech is laced with hypnotic suggestion; causing the person to want to let the child into their home.

Are BEKs aliens, pranksters, or demonic, possessed kids? Opinion on the true nature of a BEK is varied; some believe they’re aliens, the result of demonic possession, while others chalk it up to kids playing pranks.

Theories about BEKs have been debated ever since Bethel’s 1998 encounter was first posted. Some people believe the black eyed kids to be an alien/human hybrid; others think it is the result of demonic possession.

The idea that there are aliens adopting the form of children is certainly a disturbing one, and the BEKs’ pure black eyes do nothing to disperse that theory. What would be the purpose, however, of adopting a child’s form? Why would they be prohibited from entering homes or cars without permission? This seems to contradict what is presented as ‘usual’ alien behavior.

It would seem far more likely that BEKs are either a demon adopting a human form or possessing a child. Some sources say that demons cannot enter a domicile without an invitation, others suggest the opposite. If a BEK is a demon, or is a child being possessed, what is the ultimate purpose of getting an unsuspecting adult to let them inside? One would think there would be more effective ways of going about whatever business the demon is seeking to conduct.

A more realistic view is that BEKs are nothing more than children and young adults playing pranks on people. Black sclera contacts are available for sale, but a prescription is required as the contacts are designed to fit each individual’s eye respectively. Or perhaps the entirely black eyes are nothing more than dilated pupils and an overactive, fearful imagination.

The fear and feelings of danger could be attributed to a person’s own psyche. Horror movies, novels, the news, some types of music can all have an effect on a person. A particularly gruesome or scary movie can make some people jump at the sight of their own shadow and feel like they are ‘being watched’, or maybe believe that they are not alone in their house.

A child with black eyes, asking to be allowed in complete strangers houses, and doing so in a formal, almost polite way could certainly have a disturbing effect on someone.

Are BEKs an urban legend or something more? Since Bethel’s account with the BEKs, stories have been popping up online on and off. They have expanded to include adults as well as children with the strange, pure black eyes. The idea of demonic little children running around at night -occasionally, but not often, during the day- and asking for permission to come inside a person’s home seems like an urban legend.

If the existence of black-eyed kids is taken as a fact, then the question of their being unable to enter a building or vehicle without voluntarily expressed permission raises questions. Most vampire lore agrees that a vampire cannot enter a home without the homeowner’s permission; is this coincidence? Could BEKs be a strange mixture of horror folklore and urban legend?

Children in horror movies often have a profound effect on the viewer, tearing the viewer in several directions. On one hand, it is just a child, and on the other, that child is thoroughly evil. People war with themselves as to a child’s nature in the film. Is the child as innocent as she or he appears, or is there something decidedly evil lurking beneath the sweet smile and shining eyes?

Children can tug at emotions, are very easy to sympathize with, and often rouse a protective instinct in an adult. BEKs seem to target the protective instinct or sympathetic nature of adults, at first. Most urban legends have a moral or warning to tell, and are usually meant for younger generations.

Perhaps the tales of black-eyed children are an urban legend geared for the adults, the stories all have similar overtones to them and all seem to end with the teller closing a door or walking away from the black-eyed children, sensing that something is not right with the kids.

Whatever they are, or are not, tales of the black-eyed children are still being spread along the internet as more people contribute their own eerie stories to the phenomena that allegedly began in 1998.


Brian Bethel’s account of the Black-Eyed Children and FAQ regarding the BEKs.

The marine’s account of BEKs.

Tee’s account of an encounter with a BEK.

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