Share the Lore!
By: Alex Postrado
Is The Scariest Urban Legend From Texas Real?
It’s 3 o’clock in the morning and you are home alone — in your bed, doing your usual routine of social media scrolling before you finally doze off.
Lying quietly in the dark when — suddenly — a series of faint knocks start to turn up at your front door.
You reluctantly get up to see who could be paying you a visit at such wee hours, only to be greeted by two unattended, young kids.
They ask you to let them in.
However, you just can’t shake off the impression that there is something ominous about them.
They look up to face you, and right there and then, it clicked!
They are the Black-eyed Children the internet has been warning everyone about.
A folk phenomenon that has been shared on the web countless times now — concerning strange, forbidding children with coal-black eyes.
While the story of the Black-eyed Children is generally considered to only be a popular urban legend, some still maintain that their encounters with the kids were real and far from imaginary.
If you were in fact in the situation brought up earlier, though, what exactly would you do?
Meet the Black-Eyed Children
There is a slew of creepypastas circulating around the internet, but — perhaps — one of the oldest among them is the legend of the Black-eyed Children.
Claimed to be first recorded around the late 90s, the story tells people about several pale-skinned kids — ages 6 to 16 — asking strangers for favors that typically include them and the victim, being alone in a somewhat confined space.
A few examples of that would be asking to be taken for a ride home or begging to be let inside a house, either to make a phone call or to use the washroom.
Considering human’s natural instinct to help children, allowing them to enter would seem like the right decision — of course, until you discover their pitch-dark secret.
They have completely blacked-out eyes!
Though it is quite obvious by their name, the Black-eyed Children, it frankly isn’t as easy spotting them out in real life.
The first reason for that is because — like vampires and other night-lurkers of lore — they generally hunt in hours of darkness.
And when they appear — out of the blue — in front of parked vehicles or at the doors of residential houses at night, it is far too dark for the possible victims to distinguish whether or not there is something off about them.
When someone answers them, they would insist upon being let inside.
On some occasions, they would even get impatient if the person hesitates despite the clear-as-day fact that random kids don’t just pop up in someone else’s front lawn in the middle of the night.
The second reason why some people don’t — right away — notice the menacing, coal-black eyes, is because, according to some, the Black-eyed Children can hide these otherwise noticeable features.
And once they do that, there isn’t a hint left for us to set them apart from real human children.
Well, unless they indeed have talon-like feet, similar to what others allege.
Though, most say, that part of the story is drawing the longbow.
But, the last yet simplest reason for failing to realize how the seemingly normal kids, approaching are — in fact — the Black-eyed Children is the thought that they are just children.
And what harm could a couple of children do?
For ages, we have viewed children in a light that generally makes them look unquestionably innocent no matter the situation.
And whatever the Black-eyed Kids are, they probably already know about that.
So, they have used their childlike appearance to their advantage — ironically making this, not their soulless eyes, the scariest thing about them.
Internet’s First Urban Legend?
Author Sharon A. Hill concludes that the Black-eyed Children are only part of the typical “friend-of-a-friend ghost stories” that may never even be real in the first place.
Contrary to that, however, the person that is credited to be the first to write about the mysterious kids on a “ghost-related mailing list” around 1996 claims — even to this day — that his encounter with two Black-eyed Children actually happened.
His name is Brian Bethel — a reporter from Abilene, Texas who recounts how one late evening in a movie theater’s parking lot, two young boys suddenly approached his car to ask him if he could give them a ride.
He said that he did not initially notice the kids. It was only after the older of the two knocked on his window that he finally saw them.
Without having said anything yet, Bethel immediately felt a “soul-wracking fear” start to creep upon him.
At first, he did not understand why.
But, when the older boy proceeded to ask him for a ride home in an unusual, monotonous voice, his fear came across as something that — at that specific moment — was called for.
Bethel tried to make excuses for why he could not help them, but the kids only countered with three, disconcerting arguments:
The ride would not take long, they were just two kids, and they did not have a gun.
By that time, an all-consuming fear already enveloped Bethel, and to his further surprise, immediately after breaking eye contact with them, the kids’ eyes suddenly turned pitch-black.
That was when Bethel realized it was time to tear out of the place.
After surviving that encounter, Bethel decided to publish his story on the internet — while also claiming that a similar, yet unrelated run-in happened to an anonymous person from Portland, Oregon.
As time went on, the popularity of Bethel’s confrontation with the Black-eyed Children grew and became one of the earliest internet urban legends.
What Happens if You Let the Black-Eyed Children In?
Sure, Brian Bethel did not let the kids inside his car, but what do you think would happen if he did?
The answer to that may lie in a certain Week In Weird report, where an elderly couple from Vermont allegedly met two Black-eyed Children.
The couple remained anonymous, but the woman detailed how a “sudden, loud bang” woke her from her sleep one dead night.
When she opened the door, two children stood in the doorway — a boy and a girl — but neither of them made eye contact. Instead, one of the kids said, “Parents will be here soon, may we come in?”
At first, hesitant, yet greatly worried about the kids and about why they were alone in a dark, snowy night, the couple eventually lets them inside.
The woman went on to make some hot cocoa for the children, while the man tried to ask them some questions — which, as expected, were left unanswered.
A few moments later, the couple noticed that one of their cats seemed restless and even angry at the kids.
It was only when the two children looked up to ask if they could use the bathroom that the couple finally saw their black, void-like eyes.
Still, the woman directed them to the bathroom. She quickly came back to see her husband completely frightened and with hands “full of blood from a nosebleed“.
At that point, the power went out.
The woman, then, went on to check on the kids, only for them to tell her:
“Our parents are here.”
The kids exited the house and followed two very tall and slender men, wearing black suits, and without saying anything more, they drove off in a car.
It is said that after the incident, among the couple’s four cats, three went missing.
The last cat — the one that was noted restless in the presence of the Black-eyed Children — was ultimately found drowning in its own blood.
As for the couple, the man developed rapidly-advancing skin cancer and the woman similarly obtained health issues — though, notably less serious than her husband’s.
Theories About the Black-Eyed Children
No one really knows where the Black-eyed Children came from. And so, one can only make a guess at what they actually are.
Several conspiracy theorists believe that the Black-eyed Kids are aliens of some kind — pointing out the black suits involved in the stories.
Demonologists, on the other hand, believe the kids may be the “children of the devil, himself” — saying that letting them in means “allowing the devil to enter your life“.
Others think they are ghosts.
But, folklore enthusiasts claim that the Black-eyed Children could be vampires — noting their pale skin, predilection to hunt at night, and the need to ask for permission first before entering a place.
Regardless though, fact-checking site Snopes marks the Black-eyed Children as a legend.
One that spiked up in popularity, probably, due to human’s innate fear of strange children — the epitome of innocence — being sinister, as well as the deep evolutionary unease of being subjected to the “obstructed gaze“.
Still, in the end, it is up to you whether or not to believe in the Black-eyed Kids from Bethel’s story, the Vermont couple’s story, or from countless others that are scattered all over the internet.
Accounts that remind us that evil lurks everywhere and may even lie beneath the most guileless-looking faces the world has ever seen.
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