top of page
  • Writer's pictureJohn Wick

What Are Black-Eyed Children?

The black-eyed children are a bunch of horrific children who have their eyes covered entirely with pupil. They knock on doors in the dead of night and they strike overwhelming fear to those who look upon them. In this post, we dive deep into the phenomenon of the black-eyed children.

When we think of children, we often conjure up an image of friends and family playing together at the park, the sounds of laughter and excitement, a sense of warmth and belonging and maybe even grass-stained knees thrown into the mix. Their world is generally one of fun and innocence, of love and security. Of course, this is unfortunately not true for every single child. Some are raised in broken or abusive homes, some live in poverty or are abandoned at birth, some are born into third world countries where they never even make it to adulthood. The world can be a cruel place and many children are lumbered with burdens they themselves never asked for.

The Black-Eyed Kids

Truly, no child should suffer. But what about when children inflict suffering upon others, whether it be through outright fear, illness, or even death? For one group of children, this would seem to be a way of life. That is, of course, if they are even alive to begin with. Thought mainly to venture out at night, black-eyed children also known as black-eyed kids or BEKs have become associated with strange deaths, hauntings and have even been linked to the Men in Black. They have been seen all over the world in many different countries, knocking on doors and windows, approaching people in secluded woodland areas or whilst they are in their cars. They always ask to be let in or to be given access to something their victim owns.

The most obvious characteristic is unsurprisingly their extremely dark and oversized eyes. Eyewitnesses often report them traveling in pairs and are said to be struck with an inexplicable fear whilst in their presence. Accounts regularly state that they speak only in monotone, that they often seem to be in a trance like state, gesturing repetitively, devoid of emotion and otherwise barely engaging with the world around them, focused only on their victim.

Brian Bethel's encounter

The most recent spate of sightings is thought to have started back in 1996 when Brian Bethel shared his account online. His post on the Forum "Creepypasta" is said to have scared and inspired an entire generation all at the same time. It also affirmed the existence of black-eyed children to others who had witnessed them, but had thought they were suffering from some sort of psychological episode at the time.

Brian's account recalled events earlier that year, when he had attempted to post a cheque one evening at North First Street, Abilene, Texas. Two young boys-thought to be between the ages of 9 and 12 approached his car and knocked at his window. One of them explained how they had wanted to go and see a movie, but had left all their money at home. They asked Bethel for a lift making an obvious effort to reassure him that they were just children and that they didn't live far away.

Bethel was taken in by the boys' story and especially their vulnerability, but just as he went to open his car door, he caught sight of their coal-black eyes. He was suddenly struck with an irrational fear as the boys became angry, ordering him to let them into his car. Understandably, he locked his doors and sped away. When he looked in his rearview mirror, the children were nowhere to be seen.

Besides the eyes, Brian's description of the children was pretty unremarkable. One of the boys was said to be redheaded, pale-skinned and freckled, whilst the other was curly haired and olive-skinned. Of the Black eyes themselves, Brian described them as "soulless orbs; like two great swathes of starless night".

Following his post, the internet would prove a useful platform for like-minded people to share their own experiences. The number of other BEK sightings has grown rapidly in the past 20 years, perpetuated by the growth of social media, though contrary to what you may think, the phenomenon of black-eyed children is by no means modern. Encounters with BEKs stretch back over a century or more, peaking in certain decades and then declining over time, but never quite disappearing altogether.

Questions have obviously arisen over exactly who or what these entities are, with theories ranging from the paranormal to the supernatural. Some even postulate that they are entirely human, but are suffering from some form of ocular disorder,

It is believed that their eyes could be affected by black pigmentation due to complex problems with the iris, sclera and pupil. This would render one's eyes completely black, the appearance of which would be extremely shocking and could cause feelings of fear to manifest in those who saw them. So if BEKs are human and the black eyes are merely the result of a defect, do black-eyed children grow into adults?

The Black-Eyed Teenager

This is a much debated theory amongst investigators and internet forums, with witnesses themselves reporting considerably fewer black-eyed adult sightings. But the experience of a middle-aged apartment manager, a woman from Portland, Oregon, USA, added weight to the idea that these children do indeed grow up. Due to her occupation, the 47-year old woman often had to meet or open the door to people she had never met.

However, one afternoon in 2004, she was approached by a youth who asked to access one of the properties. Said to have been between the ages of 16 and 18, the woman recalls being completely overcome by just how black his eyes were. Wracked by fear, she remembers feeling how she was going to die. In the face of what she felt was extreme danger, she slammed the door in his face rather than inviting him in and was in a state of distress for hours afterwards. Upon contacting her daughter for reassurance later that night, the woman came to learn about other BEK sightings. Indeed, there are a multitude of incidents involving black-eyed children reported within Portland itself.

Whilst it is not known for certain, it is thought that black-eyed children may grow into black-eyed teens and then black-eyed adults. In both the Bethel and Portland examples, the victims felt fear, almost as if they were under some form of psychological assault and again like Bethel, many of the witness accounts describe a delay in even noticing the eyes of black at all. This has led some people to theorize that as BEKs get older, they may develop the ability to hide the fact they have black eyes altogether.

In contrast to the theory of these children developing into adults, there are claims from the United Kingdom that the same black-eyed child has been haunting the same area for the past 35 years. The woods at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, are said to be haunted by three dead children- murdered by serial killer Raymond Morris in the 1960s-and chillingly, the black eyed-child in question, a young girl, alerts people to her presence by screaming for help until somebody comes to her rescue.

The wider area of Staffordshire itself has become a hotspot for paranormal sightings and has become notoriously linked with black-eyed children, especially following the publication of a book by author Lee Brickley entitled UFOs, Werewolves and The Pig Men. One particular sighting at Cannock Chase woods on the 10th of October 2015 drew worldwide interest, when paranormal Investigator Tom Buckmaster announced that he had caught a black-eyed child on camera. Reported in the national press, the short clip was filmed in the Staffordshire Woodland at around 7 p.m. and shows a white silhouette in the distance. The outline is clear to see, but could this really be the same black-eyed girl first spotted back in 1982?

Buckmaster's team from Haunted Finders suggests that the figure is likely not human, as it is capable of producing its own light source. A modified radio system, also known as a 'spirit box' also revealed the sounds of footsteps and voices saying "we're watching, we're looking". As at Staffordshire, Intrepid black-eyed children investigators monitor peaks in the number of reports being made. They may even visit sites where sightings are known to have occurred in the hope of finding a clue or even having an encounter themselves.

The Characteristics of the BEKs

The majority of BEK sightings, however, occur during the dead of night, most notably in the early hours of the morning. Most witnesses report being awoken or disturbed by a knocking at the door or window, only to see two children standing outside. A large number of witness accounts describe BEKs wearing old-fashioned clothes. In the postwar 1940s, sightings increased further, with descriptions including pasty skin, black eyes, monotone voices and a foul odor. This odor is said to resemble sulfur and remains long after the children have left. It is a common feature in modern-day sightings too.

With suspicion heightened surrounding the findings at Roswell in 1947, it is notable that the majority of BEK locations at this time were near to military sites and airports. Sightings of black-eyed children continue to progress into the 1950s, perhaps slightly elevated by the wider interest in extraterrestrials and UFOs in Hollywood. Links have often been made between black-eyed children and aliens, particularly as the smell of sulfur is said to be so

prominent in many alien abduction cases.

Incidentally, BEKs have also been seen riding in cars with Men in Black. The lack of substantial video and photographic evidence does simply make the case for black-eyed children both more mysterious and more difficult to prove. Despite the large number of sightings, there are a number of convincing arguments to add reasonable doubt as to whether the BEKs actually exist at all.

Firstly, many supposed encounters have been dismissed due to it being dark at the time of the incident, that the child was too far away to be sure, or that there were discrepancies in the witnesses' recollection of events. Secondly, controlled tests as far back as 1939 have shown how tricks of the light can make certain colors appear darker or brighter than they actually are. One particular experiment showed how people saw things the way they expected to see them, with the majority of subjects believing a leaf shape was greener than a donkey shape even though both shapes have been cut from exactly the same cloth.

Also, according to social scientists, imagery of Black-eyed children has now become so intertwined with mainstream culture that it is virtually impossible to decipher the miniscule amount of genuine footage from artwork or photoshopped images produced for film, music or online publications. Regardless, there was a huge rise in sightings in the early to mid-1990s and again in the early 2000s.

These eyewitness accounts continue to generate interest and have grown considerably from the depths of Cult minority. In 2012, a film entitled black-eyed kids was produced using Kickstarter funding. In February 2013,even mainstream search engine MSN listed an article entitled: 'Spooky sightings of Black-Eyed children', though it appears the story was removed just a few hours later.

Despite suggestions that many BEK sightings are simply copycat stories of those that have gone before, an account given by the people of a remote reservation at Pine Ridge, South Dakota, USA does not seem to fit with this explanation. The native Oglala Sioux people live a humble lifestyle and claim to have never heard of the BEK phenomenon before. The Sioux were left shaken and were said to fear a return visit from small children who apparently had soulless black eyes.

Multiple witnesses who live on the reservation state that the BEKs attempted to interact with the Sioux children on three separate occasions. They asked for access to the home, but were always refused. They spoke robotically, in monotone, and asked for food and even blood on the final attempt. The adults also reported pets going missing at this time. In January of 2017, it is reported that they called in a Shamon to bless the reservation. Though most feel compelled to refuse the children's requests for entry, the question on many people's lips is: what happens if you let them in?

Although hard to believe, there are those who have apparently granted these children access to their home. Accounts vary, but once inside, the children are said to become either frantic or completely unresponsive, or a said to scream or convulse in a seizure like state, whilst others report that the BEKs are somehow able to inflict pain or illness.

The Rural Vermont BEKs

One such example involves an elderly couple from rural Vermont, USA. Their home was situated some way off the beaten track, so when the door knocked unexpectedly at about 2:00 a.m., the residents were surprised as they were not expecting guests. As there had been recent snowfall, they suspected it maybe someone seeking assistance with a broken-down vehicle. Looking out of the bedroom window, they could not see any cars, but did notice two sets of footprints in the snow. The husband went to the door and was greeted by a boy and a girl.

Both were said to look rather old-fashioned, with the boy having a bowl haircut and the girl having straight, long hair. The children didn't seem to make eye contact, and there was something about their behavior which made the couple more cautious about letting them in. The husband asked where their parents were. The children were extremely vague in reply, but told the couple that their parents would be there soon to pick them up. With that, they grudgingly allowed the children into their home, but they continued to ask them questions about how they had arrived at the house.

By all accounts, they became unresponsive and simply sat on the sofa staring straight ahead. Before long the husband began to feel dizzy and in a mixture of anxiety and shock, the woman caught sight of her visitor's completely black eyes. The children then asked to go to the bathroom, and whilst the wife attended to her husband, he started to have a heavy nosebleed.

The encounter itself appeared to come to an abrupt stop when all of the lights in the house suddenly went out. The children, who were now stood in the dark hallway, announced in a sing song voice that their parents had arrived. They then walked out the front door, leaving it open as the terrified couple witnessed them climbing into a vehicle driven by two men in black. The power came back on roughly 30 minutes later.

In the time following this visit, three of the couple's four cats disappeared, whilst the fourth developed a fatal hemorrhage. It was found dead on the floor of the living room not far from where the children had sat. The woman also started to experience nosebleeds and severe bouts of dizziness, whilst her husband has developed skin cancer for which he is now being treated. Both husband and wife are convinced that these strange children are responsible in some way.


So who are the black-eyed children? While we know small details about these entities from the reports that we have heard, the number of black-eyed children is unknown, their location is unknown, their agenda is unknown. They could just as easily be a complete fabrication with no basis in reality; simply the product of overactive imaginations and copycat storytellers.

On the other hand, some have suggested that they are vampiric or even demonic in nature, that they are paranormal entities, which exist on a different plane altogether. There are those that say they are evil spirits who call upon the vulnerable in order to draw strength. Others suggest that they are children who have been experimented on by clandestine government agencies, who have been either been released or have escaped into the wide world. And of course, there are the links to UFOs and extra terrestrials, due to a variety of characteristics such as the black eyes, foul odor, psychic and telekinetic abilities and the fact that they have been seen riding in cars with Men In Black.

If the black-eyed children do indeed exist, their origin and purpose is still largely unknown. We would hope that as time goes on, we will be able to prove or disprove their existence altogether. Only then can we start to question their motives if they are, indeed, shown to be real.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page