Posted on: October 3, 2014

The legend of the Black-Eyed Children is a uniquely modern phenomenon.  Reports of sightings of these sinister little characters have only been around in the past 20 years or so.  I’ve resisted writing about them up until now because I thought they were very much an Urban Myth, a bit like alligators in the sewers, that sort of thing.  But reports of them have been pretty steady in recent years, and just recently a few British newspapers have actually been headlining with them.

The details around them are quite unsettling.  They usually appear as small children, around the ages of 6 or 7.  They seem to be wearing nightclothes, or tatty clothing.  Their skin is unnaturally pale, and their eyes are completely black, with no whites to them.  Their modus operandi is usually to appear at someone’s front door late at night and ask to be let in.  Witnesses speak of being thoroughly unnerved by them and refuse to do so.  This of course sounds remarkably like the old vampire legends of old.  According to vampire folklore, a vampiric creature can’t enter your house unless given permission to do so.

Reports of the Black-Eyed Children first began appearing in the early years of the Internet in the mid-90s, when chat-rooms and message boards suddenly began to fill up with tales of encounters with them.  The first acknowledged sighting of them is usually thought to be that of journalist Brian Bethel, who claimed to see them in Abilene, Texas, in the spring/summer of 1996.  He said he had gone to pay a bill one evening, and had stopped near a local theatre, so that he could use the light of the marquee to write out a cheque.

There was a knock on the side window of his car, and he found himself facing two young boys, aged around 9 – 12 years old, and both wearing hooded jackets.  Bethel thought they were trying to hassle him for money, but one of the boys said they wanted to see a film, ‘Mortal Kombat’, but they didn’t have any money to get in, and they needed to get back to his mother’s house so they could get some money, and so could they give him a lift.

Bethel claimed he was gripped by an overwhelming fear at this encounter.  He looked up at the cinema marquee, and saw that the film had already started it’s last showing of the day.  By the time he’d driven the boys to the house and back, the film would probably be almost over.  It was then he noticed the boys’ eyes, completely back.   “Soulless orbs like two great swathes of starless night”, was how he (somewhat poetically) put it.  Panicking, Bethel plunged his car into reverse gear.  One of the boys said “we can’t come in until you tell us it’s OK, let us in!”  Bethel drove away at high speed.  When he looked in his rear-view mirror he claimed the boys had vanished.

When Bethel released this story onto the Internet in 1998, it opened the floodgates, and tales of sightings of sinister black-eyed children have kept up a steady pace ever since.   The Your True Tales website has more tales of Black-Eyed People than you can shake a stick at.  And not just children either.   One lady related the disturbing story of how when her violent father abused her and her siblings when they were kids, his eyes would turn completely black.  She firmly believed he was possessed by demons.

There is the frightening tale of a woman who encountered one such creature in a bookshop in the spring of 2011.  She had taken her family to a local second-hand bookstore in Tucson, Arizona.  She said she saw a young woman standing at the end of one of the aisles.  The witness’ husband was walking towards her down the aisle, and the strange girl began following him.  She said the girl came up close to them.  The witness noted that she was dressed oddly, in a clothes that seemed out of the 1960s, and wearing several coats, even though the temperature wasn’t remotely cold. The strange girl had the requisite coal-black eyes, and when she moved it was in a weird, circulatory manner, like a panther stalking. The witness went to find her son.  She saw a man leaning down towards him and saying “I see you. She can’t hear you, but I can”.  The witness said she rounded up her family and went home, thoroughly unsettled by the evil she felt she had encountered.  The witness was convinced that the girl was preying on them, as though they were at the bottom of the food-chain, and they were to be her next meal.

There are numerous other stories of people encountering them in lifts, coffee-shops, supermarkets, public toilets, car-parks, and petrol stations.  It has to be said that a vast majority of these stories emanate from the United States.  Now I don’t know what conclusion to draw from that at all.  I’m sure everybody has their own theories on that one.  Just occasionally I’ve read ones from elsewhere though.  A few years back I did read a tale from a guy in Britain (details are sketchy though, I’m recalling this entirely from memory), who was sitting in his flat watching TV one evening when there was a ring at the communal front door to the flats below.  He went down, and found a young girl standing there, asking to be let in.  Far from this being the answer to a young man’s dreams, he said he felt repelled by her black eyes, and refused, closing the door on her.

Very recently (October 2014) there have been reports of a ghostly little black-eyed girl making a reappearance at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.  According to local author and paranormal investigator Lee Brickley, the spectral child was first seen back in 1982, and now after a gap of over 30 years she has now been seen again.  It is claimed that she also haunts the ‘Four Crosses Inn’ at Cannock, and that is why nobody can be found to buy the pub.  Cannock Chase is an area of High Strangeness, a paranormal term for an area which has an abnormally high level of unexplained activity.  Reports of UFOs, strange animals, ghosts, a grotesque Pig Man, even bizarre reports of underground cavemen have all been linked to this very beautiful part of England.

The story has captured the attention of newspapers both here and in the United States.  The ‘Daily Star’ ran a front-page story with the sensational headline of ‘PLAGUE OF BLACK-EYED GHOST CHILDREN. SHOCK RISE IN SIGHTINGS AROUND THE WORLD’. Well if it did at least distract me from watching BBC Question Time for a few minutes! If nothing else, it proves that the modern legend of the Black-Eyed Children has got plenty of juice left in it yet.



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