Saturday, October 11, 2014

Festival Of Fear: Day 11: Superstition Saturday: Black-Eyed Kids

~ by Marie Robinson 

I have an obsession with myths and urban legends, considered by some to be “modern folklore”. I’d like to share with you one of my favorite stories…

It’s no secret that children can be creepy; horror movies have been using them to scare the crap out of people for decades. Perhaps it isn’t surprising then that there are many rumors being passed around about a special breed of freaky youths, known only as the “Black-Eyed Kids”.

While the name gives most of it away, there are a few more details that go along with people’s alleged encounters with these strange beings. The “kids” are between the ages of 6 and 19 and usually travel in pairs. When approached by them (always in the wee lonely hours of the night), one is overcome with an overwhelming sense of fear or dread, like their life is at stake. It isn’t until you notice their eyes that you realize the source of your terror, for their eyes are always completely and utterly pitch black.

Recounts of BEK encounters all follow the same vein with slight deviations, but the most common encounter usually starts with a knock on the door very late at night. The kids, of course, are on the other side, calmly asking if they can come in to use the phone. For whatever reason, the homeowner has a gut feeling (and paralyzing fear) that they should not let the kids in. However, they often find themselves opening wider the door, or undoing the chain, until they break gaze with the hypnotic children and realize what they are doing. It is when they look back that they notice the horrible eyes. They finally refuse and the shut the door, only to look out a moment later to find the kids gone without a trace.

No matter how many of these stories I read they always manage to really creepy me out, and fascinate me at the same time. The fact that in every tale the BEK’s need permission to enter the home (or occasional vehicle) has led to the theory that they are vampires. Others believe that they are extraterrestrials or ghosts. I love the mystery behind them because it leaves you free to speculate and create your own theories and details. Could they be the tormented spirits of lost children? Or are they inhuman beings that take on the form of kids to give victims a false idea of innocence? And what would happen if you were to grant their permission?

This legend’s popularity sparked in the mid 1990’s when journalist Brian Bethel shared his encounter and since then stories have been springing up all over the internet. Thought Catalog writer Chrissy Stockton has collected over a dozen encounters off of Reddit and compiled them here, and paranormal researcher Lee Brickley writes about their appearances in England here .

Whether you believe in them or not is up to you, and if you have a story of your own please share in the comments!

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