The Mystery of Black-Eyed Children
Sightings of children between the ages of 6 and 16 with coal-like black eyes have been occurring since the late 1990’s, but are black-eyed children just a creepy urban legend or is there any truth behind them? Supposedly these children can be seen hitchhiking, panhandling, and even coming right up to residential homes and knocking on doors. People claim these children make them feel an overwhelming sense of panic and fear. There have literally been hundreds of sightings of black-eyed children, so why is Snopes calling them just a legend?
The History of Black-Eyed Children
It’s believed that the story of black-eyed children came out when Brian Bethel, a Texas reporter, sent his “encounter” into a ghost-related mailing list. Brian says this incident happened in 1996 and he was on his way to pay his bill at Camalott Communications. He was sitting in his car in front of a movie theater, it was at night and he was writing a check using the light from the movie theater’s marquee. The place he way paying his bill to was closed but he planned on dropping the check into the after-hours drop slot.
Brian says that he heard a knock on his window and saw two young boys between the ages of 9 and 12. They were dressed in hoodies, which concealed their face. Brian immediately felt a sense of fear, but he couldn’t figure out why. One of the boys had olive skin and curly hair, the other one had red hair, was pale, and had freckles. One of the children told Brian they needed a ride because they wanted to see a movie but they left their money at their mother’s house. The boy kept telling Brian that it wouldn’t take long, they were just two little kids, and they didn’t have a gun or anything. Brian briefly looked away, but then when he looked back at the children he saw their black coal-like eyes. Brian freaked out and gave the kids a list of excuses for why he couldn’t give them a ride. He rolled up his window, and one of the boys banged hard on the window and said, “we can’t come in unless you tell us it’s okay. Let us in!” Brian knew to get the heck out of there so he drove off.
He’s a writer, so, of course, his initial reaction was to write about his experience and then share it with people. He shared it first with a small group of people on an Internet mailing list. After that, his encounter spread to many others.
There are hundreds of encounters from individuals from many different locations. Most of them are very similar to one another. Late at night two children will knock on someone’s door. When the person answers the door, one of the children will tell them they need to use their phone to call their mother. They say their mother is very worried about them. If the person hesitates to let the children in, they begin to plead and say that they have to be let in because they’re very scared. If the person that lives in the home has a pet close by, the pet will act extremely terrified. The black eyes are never seen at first. It’s usually until after the person that lives in the home first tells them they cannot enter the house when they notice the black eyes. After a while, they’ll eventually leave.
But Are They Real…?
There’s no physical evidence to prove that black-eyed children exist, but there also hasn’t been anyone caught lying to people about a fake encounter with them just to scare people. One explanation for black-eyed kid encounters is something called priming. Priming is when an idea has been placed in someone’s mind, leading to a false connection. As one person explained, this is like when it comes to EVPs and investigating the paranormal. If there’s an audio clip from a paranormal investigation, you probably won’t be able to hear coherent words. But, if someone says that there’s a woman’s voice saying “you’re going to die,” you’ll suddenly be able to hear those words. Kind of like when people claim to see Jesus in their toast. It’ll look like an ordinary piece of toast until someone tells you what they see, and suddenly you can see it too. Right after Brian shared his story, many people also claimed to have seen black-eyed children themselves. More “real life experiences” with black-eyed children started popping up in 2013 shortly after a two-minute video was posted on “Weekly Strange” in the entertainment section on MSN. The video was about black-eyed children. This video, though, was posted the same year that an urban legend based film titled “Black-Eyed Kids” came out.
Is Brian just a storyteller? We’ll probably never know for sure. I personally think that black-eyed children were born as a fictional story and then expanded with more fictional stories. I don’t think they actually exist. But just to be on the safe side, if children with black eyes show up at my door at night, there’s no way in hell I’ll be letting them inside.