Black-Eyed Kids: Exploring the Unexplained Phenomenon of the Haunting Children With Black Sclerae

Black-eyed children: do not let them in, warn those who claim to have encountered them.

Children have been the object of horror stories for decades. However, they are experiencing a new reincarnation as objects of terror, in the form of black-eyed children.

Reports of these terrifying entities span the globe. Although some label these beings as merely the stuff of fiction, an urban legend which has spiralled out of control, there are many who claim that black-eyed children (also called black eyed kids or BEKs) are real.

What happens when black-eyed children visit?

Encounters with black-eyed children usually happen late at night, and begin with seemingly innocent questions, such as a request for a lift home or to be allowed inside to use a bathroom.

These children appear normal at first glance. However, upon speaking, witnesses report a bizarre mechanical nature to their speech, with smooth, almost otherworldly, manners. There is also something rhythmic, almost hypnotic, in the way their words are pronounced. Something which triggers an instinctual sense of dread in all who encounter these beings. Animals are said to panic in their presence, either by becoming intensely guarded against these creatures or by simply running away.

Yet, this is not the most horrifying part, for their most chilling feature does not become immediately apparent. As the children tend to look down, or it is too dark to see them fully, it is not until later into the encounter that the pitch-black depths of their eyes are revealed. These children are claimed to have no sclera – no whites of the eyes – only blackness.

When their eyes are revealed, true panic follows. Those who have lived to tell of black-eyed children stress how sheer terror grips ever fibre of their being. Their eyes seem to have a hypnotic quality apart from their speech: they are said to be able to influence those that look upon them. A person might find their hand unconsciously reaching for the car door handle in order to allow a black-eyed child inside…

It is only after a person realises that they in the presence of a paranormal force that they deny these beings entry. After this, the black-eyed children will begin to be more forceful. Witnesses report them demanding entry, stressing that they can only come in if they receive verbal permission.


Should at this point the person shut the door to them or drive away, the black-eyed child will vanish without a trace.

Are black-eyed kids real, or just an urban legend? (Image credit: MegaMoto85/Wikipedia)

What do black-eyed children want?

Who these children are or what they truly want is never revealed in the course of their  conversations.

Most reports of these beings come from those who have denied them entry. But, there are some who describe letting these peculiar children into their homes. The results are usually devastating.

One report which has been circulating on the internet is said to come from a woman in rural Vermont. According to multiple sources, the woman allowed two black-eyed children access to her home.

Eyewitness reports of black-eyed children

It was two o’clock in the morning, and the lady was awoken by the sound of loud banging on her front door. Looking out of the window, she saw that there was a snowstorm outside, and that there was a trail of footprints leading from the road to her house. Her husband went to open the door. Outside, in the cold of the storm, were two children: a boy and a girl, no more than 8 years of age. Both were dressed strangely and had odd haircuts. They would not make eye contact with the lady and her husband.

She recalled feeling unnerved by the children. Although her instincts told her not to, she invited them inside out of the cold. Upon asking them where their parents were, the children simply stated: “They’ll be here soon.” Despite trying to find out where they had come from and if their parents had been in an accident, the children only ever said the same thing over and over again in a “sing-songy voice”.

Whilst in the kitchen preparing hot drinks for the children, her husband was overcome with dizziness. He quickly recovered and said he was fine. However, upon passing the drinks to the children, the woman was shocked: when they looked at her, their eyes were completely black. No whites, just giant, black pupils. When the children saw she was scared, they got up and asked to use the bathroom.

After they left the room, the woman’s husband’s nose began to bleed. In her account, she stated that, as long as she had known him, he had never had a nosebleed. At this point, she knew that this had something to do with the children. She rushed to get a tissue for her husband. It was then that the power cut out.

All the lights went out and there, at the end of the hallway, were the two onyx-eyed children, unmoving, staring straight at her. Absolute terror washed over the woman.

Finally breaking the silence, the boy informed her that their parents had arrived.


When she looked outside, the woman saw two men, both dressed in black suits, standing besides a black car at the bottom of the drive. Both men were at least six feet tall. The children and the men got into the car and drove away.

Over the next few months, the woman’s husband’s nosebleeds became a regular occurrence. Eventually he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer, the type more commonly associated with people who use tanning beds or are exposed to radiation. The woman reports that he never had so much as worked in the sun before. She herself reported that she is not well, and too experiences regular dizziness and nosebleeds. At the time of writing her account, she stated that she feared that her state of health would only get worse. 1

The woman’s message to others: “Feel free to publish this as a warning to others about the Black Eyed Kids. My advice would be to lock your doors, call the police, and wait for morning. Don’t make the same mistake that I did.”

This chilling encounter is not the only one to be said to have resulted in illness.

Another report from Arcata, California describes how a young, healthy man encountered several, fear-inspiring black-eyed children in a woman’s home after spending the night with her. Presumably, the woman must have let the children in some point in the past. A month or so later, the unfortunate man was diagnosed with bladder cancer, which he would die of six months later. Until his dying day, he maintained the belief that his illness was a direct result of his encounter with the black-eyed children. 2

Black-eyed children and aliens

Alien “Greys” are often described as having black eyes, similar to reports of black-eyed children.

If these accounts are to be believed, the result of allowing black-eyed children access to one’s home seems to be consistent with the consequences of radioactive exposure, in particular the diagnosis of cancer.

Strangely, some report that this is in fact similar to the claimed effects of witnessing a UFO at close proximity.


Known as “Moonburn Syndrome”, alleged witnesses of alien spacecraft report symptoms akin to radiation poisoning, said to be caused by the radiation emitted by the engines. Even more peculiar are the similarities between reports of black-eyed children and alien “Greys”: both are said to have oil black eyes and pale or olive skin. Not only that, the reported hypnotic quality of the children’s black eyes is in line with what some abductees report of their experiences with aliens. These connections have led many to suggest that black-eyed children are in fact Alien-Human hybrids.

Yet, this notion fails to account for the permission which black-eyed children appear to need in order to enter people’s homes. Reports of alien abductions rarely ever begin with permission being sought. In fact, one famous abduction case had Linda Cortile pulled through the window of her home, after which she floated 12 stories above the ground near the Brooklyn Bridge.3 There was no permission sought here!

Because of this, reports of black-eyed children seem to follow folklore associated with various supernatural beings, including vampires, witches and evil spirits. In mythologies, it is often the case that such beings will try to gain entrance by tricking a person into believing they are someone else. Once invited in, these beings cannot be uninvited.


This being said, one cannot rule out the alien theory entirely. Indeed, one can speculate and ask the question: could the seeking of permission be their attempt at human etiquette? After all, how could an alien race possibly understand the subtleties of human manners. Whilst persistent, textbook manners may come across as creepy to us when applied in the real-world, an alien race may see this as an accurate attempt at human courtesy. After all, if they exist, they most likely have an entirely different code of etiquette than us.

Alien-human hybrids

It may even be the case that black-eyed children are an experimental step in an attempt by Alien “greys” to assimilate with mankind. After all, black-eyed children seems to be a relatively new phenomenon. Many alleged alien abductees report being shown black-eyed alien-human hybrids. One, Karen Morgan, reported seeing these black-eyed beings on a spaceship, which were described to her by the aliens as “the children of the future”. 4

Are black-eyed children ghosts?

Another possible explanation is that black-eyed children are spirits of the dead.

One of the locations where there is said to have been multiple reports of black-eyed children is Cannock Chase, England. 5 Do black-eyed child spirits wander this forest? Chillingly, this very same location was the haunt of the notorious “Monster of Cannock Chase”, a serial killer who preyed chiefly on children in the 1960s. 6.

Besides this serial killer, Cannock Chase is known to be a hotspot for nefarious occultists. Some claim that a demon haunts the forest, a result of a long history of human sacrifices and dark rituals, that date back to when pagans resided in the area.7

Yet, before one gets overly carried away with theories about the origins of black-eyed children, one crucial element remains to be addressed. Are reports of black-eyed children real? Can the evidence be trusted?

The earliest known report of black-eyed children

A lot of reports of these beings stem from fictional creepypastas. Other, more convincing accounts, are often anonymous. The idea of a child being a source of fear by haunting people is nothing new though. Thus, the addition of unsettlingly black eyes is not a huge creative leap. One can build an urban legend very easily from this societal preconception. In fact, when one looks to the earliest known report of black-eyed children, there is some evidence to suggest that black-eyed children are a fabrication.

In 1997, a journalist by the name of Brian Bethel posted a chilling true story on an internet forum. He described how he was out late one night to deposit a cheque at a drop box in the middle of town. As he was sitting in his car writing the cheque, two children in hooded sweaters appeared. Both were boys and had pale and olive skin tones. They knocked on the car window and said:

“You see, my friend and I want to see the films, but we forgot our money, we need to go to our house to get it. Want to help us out?” 8

Bethel was immediately suspicious. The film at the nearest cinema was already one hour in, being the last showing of the night. After the first communication, the encounter played out like many others: shaken, Bethel denied the boys entry to the car, they became increasingly forceful, until he eventually drove away.

Can we trust Bethel’s testimony?

It is not the story itself which places Bethel under suspicion. Rather, a month prior to posting this story, Bethel wrote a long post about magick and the creating of an entity through collective thought. He ended his post with a series of questions:

“So, can we create something like [bloody] Mary just by collective force of will? If not just childhood legends why not gods and goddesses as well? Are they all just expressions of enough collective reality shifts? Or can they somehow exist on their own?” 9

Thus, it would seem that Bethel was interested in the creation of a Tulpa, or a mentally-crafted apparition. If this is what he was aiming for with his tale of black-eyed children, it is merely then a question of belief: can a fiction become reality if there is enough belief in it?

Black-eyed beings in folklore

Describing their grandmother’s beliefs, the responder stated: “She always had to check the child’s eyes… to make certain they weren’t black. Seems only the Changelings of the Unseelie Court (for those of you not much into Celtic lore, these are the malicious faeries) had eyes such as that.”

There is one more thing to consider in regards to black-eyed children. When Brian Bethel first posted his encounter on the forum, the first response he received was from someone who was familiar with such black-eyed beings. The responder described malicious faeries in pagan Irish folklore, which are said to have eyes such as those which Bethel encountered.

The faeries of Irish folklore are no Tinkerbells: they come in a variety of shapes and appearances, one such appearance being black-eyed. In fact, the responder even went on to say that their own Irish great-grandmother made the habit of checking the eyes of every newborn-baby to make sure they did not have black eyes. 10

It seems, then, that there are precedents of such black-eyed entities, which adds legitimacy to Bethel’s and others’ reports. Whilst anecdotal evidence is always the most dubious form, when there are enough reports of the same phenomenon, further investigation is required. It could be that some malevolent being manifests in different ways according to what society finds most terrifying at a given time. Dark-eyed faeries have transformed into black-eyed alien-human children hybrids – for this is what modern, Western society, influenced by film and TV, has learnt to fear the most.

Are seemingly different entities throughout history actually the same beings appearing in different forms? If such reports throughout the ages can be substantiated, this would be truly terrifying. Especially when one reads the works of some ufologists who insist that Irish folklore had faeries flying around in aerial boats or “spectre ships” 11 Naturally, one cannot help but draw links to many modern-day UFO reports. This, when combined with the similarity of black-eyes between modern black-eyed children and malicious faeries of pagan folklore, is the stuff of nightmares. Which, if the notion of cultural metamorphosis is correct, is precisely what it should be.


As the years go by, more will be uncovered about black-eyed children. After all, it is said that black-eyed children – whatever they may be – only appear to those that know of them…


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About Erik Rowton 61 Articles
A life-long dabbler in the paranormal, Erik researches other-worldly phenomena to sate his curiosity. A habitual fence-sitter, he is of the opinion that only through science can the reality of the paranormal be confirmed. Some of Erik's main interests are demonic possession, occult groups and the possibility of parallel dimensions.