From a distance they look normal and unassuming. They often approach homes or motorists alone on the side of the road. They ask for help, or to be let in.  Instinct dictates we help these children but self preservation reacts strongly to the fear they cause. Black Eyed Children are an increasingly popular and mysterious encounter with the unexplained.

In 1998 journalist Brian Bethel shared the startling story of his encounter with two boys. His story is widely accepted as the beginning of the phenomenon known as “Black Eyed Children” (Black Eyed Kids or BEKs for short). Not all BEK encounters are exactly the same but they do share similarities.

These black eyed beings appear in the form of older children or young teenagers. They are commonly male and polite. Though BEKs are persistent, they do not tend to attract the attention of neighbors.  One very common thread amongst encounter stories is isolation.  Often times a single eyewitness or a couple will be the only ones to notice the children.  After the incident there is little to no evidence left behind. The entities appear as perfectly normal children save for their all black eyes. After a BEK begins to interact with an eyewitness, their “otherness” becomes more apparent. The children are often described as speaking in a somewhat adult manner. BEKs request favors such as a place to read, which seem a bit of step with the current interests of children. They may not be human children at all.

Many people believe BEKs are related to alien activity on earth. The famed “Men In Black” that appear at UFO sightings are often described as having all black eyes as well. Their need to be “invited” into the space of a human causes some to believe they are related to the traditional vampire. Still others note the similarities between Black Eyed Children and ghosts. Supernatural or otherwise the unsettling nature of the BEK remains consistent. The horror eyewitnesses experience upon realizing the children have all black eyes is also a very strong central current. Though there are certain medical conditions (Aniridia for example) and contacts that could account for a loss of color in the iris, the BEKs have eyes with contain no color or white. It is this state of appearing at once human and completely inhuman that may be at the root of the terror. The eyes of the BEK are similar enough that we insist there must be an explanation- when there is none to be found.

The eyes of the Black Eyed Children are confusing, enigmatic and a perfect symbol of their relationship to humans. There appears to be very little concrete evidence of what these beings want with us. Why they appear as children is equally puzzling. Why appear as children and then act and speak like adults? Why are they so insistent but give up without resorting to violence? The goals and ambitions are as difficult to read as their opaque black eyes.