The Black Eyed Kids Phenomenon – Since releasing the Cookbook the most asked about entity is invariably the “Phantom Clowns” and the “Black Eyed Kids”. This Internet phenomenon rivals Chupacabra in recent interest without the coverage of conventional media.
The original story was told by Brian Bethel, a freelance writer who has had numerous pieces published in Texas papers. He really laid the groundwork, so we want to credit him appropriately. He relates an experience he had in Abilene, TX and one of a colleague in Seattle, WA. The tales are fairly typical in nature to most follow-up stories I’ve read and had submitted to me. They almost always pop up at night and most frequently near dusk and dawn.
Generally one night you are alone in your home or car when a group (usually two or three, occasionally an individual) will attract your attention by knocking on your door or car window.
You are inevitably startled, and at first you feel silly for being spooked by a couple of kids, usually teenagers and often of a Lenny and George “Of Mice and Men” dynamic. The bigger one seems slower and quiet, while the smaller one is more vocal, obviously in charge, and seems somewhat manipulative in his behavior. Invariably, they will ask you to let them in; this is one of the only constants in the reports I have come across. Sometimes this request is communicated telepathically, but more often asked aloud. At this point your average person is feeling increasingly anxious. You offer to call their ride or direct them to a nearby pay-phone, but they are PERSISTENT. “Just for a moment” is what they tell you. Sometimes they claim to have had an accident and those they “just need to inform the authorities.” As the story goes, if you allow them entry … THEY GET YA! This smacks of Urban Legend with a rehash of qualities found in demon and vampire lore.
Their most striking feature is their totally black eyes – iris, pupil, the “white” of the eye, the whole shebang-a-bang. This is reminiscent of “The Children of the Corn,” or the eyes of the aliens in “The X-Files.” Of course the seeking permission for entry is a very common theme in vampire lore. They have a tendency to disappear when pursued, even when there is no place they could have gone or hidden. This same behavior is reported in Men in Black/Vampire/Ghost Hitchhiker encounters. This seems to just be a composite of elements ascribed to other demonic type entities in supernatural literature. This has to be fake, right?
Not so fast there, Quick-Draw McGraw. There are other features that are either VERY obscure or that have not been raised in association with any phenomena I am familiar with. For one thing, they dress as you would expect a normal teenager to dress (contemporary) with one exception; they seem to have a definite fashion statement in the wearing of checkered shirts or pants. We see this to be recurring theme with the “Grinning Man” and bridge walkers in the “The Mothman Prophecies.” We will also point out the checkered shirts worn by Bigfoot in the ‘70s, the checkered robes in some higher masonic and magical rituals and the Phantom Clowns (which we will discuss in a future article). This indicator is a piece of information rarely known to the general public. It is a little more familiar in the circles I travel in, but not much. So this is a consistency that your average hoaxer would have very little awareness of, at best.
The images that most of us would associate with vampires, as well as “The Children of the Corn” motif, are of people with pale, pasty complexions. This is an understandable preconceived notion, but incorrect. In 60 percent of the cases I’ve received, these young-uns were described as “dark” in skin-tone. I have heard Brazilian, Samoan, Indian (Hindu) and Dominican from witnesses attempting ethnic categorization. In 30 percent of the cases, the witnesses described the eyes as having a subtle but defined slant. They are often described as having foreign or exotic facial features. When we look back to Keel, this description seems to be close to descriptions of MIB types who look like “Gypsies, Oriental and Persian” in appearance. So, again if these are hoaxers, they’ve done their homework.
They have been reported in 23 states to date throughout the country but the most reports come from the cities. They seem to be a metropolitan/contemporary manifestation versus the MIB of Rural WV. Hot spots ar Boston,NY and Philadelphia in the East and Portland and Seattle in the West.
They sometimes wear dark-colored long-sleeved shirts with the hoods up or stocking caps. The hood is evocative of the Grim Reaper. I had a case where a thin, almost “sickly” looking 14-year-old was dressed all in black. His face was very gaunt and his eyes seemed almost sunken into his head. He asked permission for entry while learning on a large “walking stick.” So, those of you who have a functioning imagination can visualize this and see the obvious connection. The next observation is a subjective one, but very common. There is a feeling that these children are “predatory,” as I am often informed. The majority of the witnesses felt compelled to “stand their ground” or to “not show fear” because this would result in their “being marked.” I know it’s hard to hang your fact-checking hat on a “feeling,” but I also know that in investigating these matters it is important to note any and all patterns, be they statistical corroboration or intuitive assessments. Another one of these is that when they are observed in a public place, no matter how crowded, they have no one seated at the tables next to them. I have also been informed that when they walk about, people seem to make a clear path for the, even in a crowd; again subjective but interesting.
The last aspect we will touch on is that, for some reason, Black-Eyed Kids seem to have an affinity for coffee houses. I have three cases in my files of encounters at Starbucks (which seems appropriate considering one of the first reported sightings occurred where this company originated in Seattle, WA). Two were outside a Dunkin’ Doughnuts and another two were at an unnamed coffee establishments. Maybe it’s an exhausting, late night gig being a damned soul and they need their caffeine fix. They also show up outside convenience stores with some frequency.
Just so the reader can have a feeling of the texture of these experiences, we are going to relate a couple of cases from the SPOOKS archive.
This BEK tale comes from Ken who is the head of security(loss prevention) at a large retail store in Michigan, this was at the end of October in 2007. Ken was walking around his store and kept noticing a couple of young men around the age of 15 one large one short. He did not recognize the pair noting “they looked like some of those goth kids” dressed in dark clothes (he couldn’t recall the specifics).
The big one seemed nervous glancing over his shoulder every time Ken passed them. To Ken this was a sign of a guilty conscious, a few minutes later he approached the pair. The bigger boy seemed nervous but not “oh shoot I’ve been caught” scared. Ken had the pair empty their pockets and the boys obliged. They indeed had several items from the store with the price tags still affixed. Ken took them back to his office to call the police, he began by questioning them the smaller of the two done all the talking and seemed “amused” by the situation. Ken thought they were on drugs because their pupils seemed fully dilated.
While waiting for the police to show up, the head of security began to review the tapes of the boys. And upon viewing the tapes, he got his first real indication that something out of the ordinary was going on here. While the boys were on tape almost every second in the store, they were never “caught in the act”. So Ken was faced with a peculiar situation,with cops on the way, he had these kids on possession of stolen property but no other evidence.
The Head of Security then locked them in his personal office, other than a steel door the only other exit was a window with wire embedded in the glass. He went to talk to the night manager about the situation (as he didn’t want to talk over his radio) and when the two of them returned to his office the two boys were gone and the window had been shattered(inward) but the WIRE WAS STILL IN PLACE. And while the video was still in the main office the whole system was ruined in a way that would be consistent with a “magnetic rinse” (where you take a magnet and run it over computer,tv etc) leaving Ken with only this fantastical story and circumstantial evidence at the scene.
Our next BEK account comes to us from Gerald in Ohio. Gerald is a trucker doing long hauls. After making a delivery around midnight, he decided to drive back home to see his daughter. He did this about half the time, especially when he was within 200 miles of home. Otherwise he would bed down at a weigh station or occasionally a cheap motel. He had been on the road for a little over two hours and decided to stop and get an early breakfast. He pulled into a truck stop diner that was still open, with that charming promise of “Eat Here, Get Gas”, always worth a chuckle. Gerald entered the restaurant and noticed the lights seemed to be especially dim. The sign said “Open” but he saw no-one. Finally a waitress came from the back. She greeted him and the two spent a couple of minutes in “light conversation.” She seemed “very bright” and knowledgeable, so much so that Gerald inquired if she was from a trucker family, since she had an “extremely good understanding of routes”, but she told him no, that she was an Army brat and had done a bit of traveling “in her day.” This from a girl who “looked 17 in a bad light.”
She took his order and went back to the kitchen. At this point, the driver realized that the situation was a little peculiar. A teenage waitress being the only person in the restaurant? He said he waited around 20 minutes, trying to think of a slick way to ask her for her number. She was unlike anyone he had ever met. Not only was she just smart in general, but he felt that they “connected, that she knew me.” She guessed his birth day and year, and she seemed very intuitive. This wasn’t what bothered him; what kept nagging him was how, when he ordered a chicken fried steak, she informed him “you can’t have that it’s fried in peanut oil.” Gerald was deathly allergic to peanuts but he never told her that. The more he thought about it, the more perplexed he became.
Finally he decided to go back and ask the young lady how she could possibly know about his allergy. And here I will let him tell the story in his own words.
“So I got up, went to the back where there was a little office for the manager, ya know? I knocked on the door, kinda soft at first, then harder. I knocked three different times, but I got no answer. I kinda nudged the door open just a bit – I didn’t want to catch her changing clothes or nothing – and she was standing with her back towards me. ’Missus.’ I say, and then she turned around. I freaked. Her eyes were totally black; I mean no white at all. Her skin was so dry, her OLIVE (my emphasis –B-) complexion was full of cracks, not wrinkles, mind you but cracked skin like you see on chapped lips, ya know? She was all dried out like a mummy, and her mouth was stretched. I mean more than anyone I’ve every seen. It was way too wide to be normal, seemed like she was grinning ear to ear, literally. Then she left out this, like, inhuman sound. Kinda like a coyote’s yip, but deeper sounding, ya know? I took off so fast that I forgot to pick up my keys. They were sitting on top of my logbook. But when I got to my rig, they were sitting right there on the front seat. I know for damn sure I never leave my logbook in the cab. I looked up at the diner, and I could see her moving from one spot to the next. It was so fast that she seemed almost blurry, like when a hummingbird flaps its wings, ya know? I think she had that same look on her face, like it was frozen. I decided to get the hell outta there. I started my rig and rolled to the exit. I looked into the sleeping area, and there she was, that smiling devil girl. I tried to take off, but I forgot to look. Nearly hit a state trooper, and then she was gone.
The trooper seemed, uh, doubtful about my story, and it didn’t help that there was no one in the diner. It had been closed since midnight. I know what I saw; can’t no-one tell me different. The things she knew, the way she moved: It wasn’t human. But the worst of it is, when I close my eyes at night I see her grinning that really evil grin. I ain’t been able to sleep right since.”
So what are these BEK’s? The growing number of encounters suggests they are either a new phenomena or, as i suspect, new stage dressing behind a phenomena that has been experienced since the beginning of recorded history. Whether its Green Children, Men-in-Black or the Black Eyed Kids there is a history of mysterious folk who pop up from time to time, place to place and maybe the next time might be in your neck of the woods. Trick or Treat.