Several years ago, I was listening to a podcast about Black-eyed Kids or BEK phenomenon. It was an occurrence that I’d never heard of before. But as I listened, I felt the chills creep up my spine and I found myself watching out the window, just to be sure there were no black-eyed kids in the vicinity. So, in all fairness, I thought I’d share this creepy story with you.
The podcast was one of my favorite shows, Astonishing Legends and they ran a three-part series about the idea of these strange children. The idea behind the black-eyed kids really started to gain some traction when Brian Bethel, a journalist, had an encounter with two of them one evening in 1996.
According to investigative journalist, Ryan Sprague what happened next would change Bethel’s life forever.
“Brian Bethel was a journalist out of Abilene, Texas. It was believed that the BEK phenomenon had stemmed from a story Bethel recounted to colleagues in a personal email almost two years after the incident had occurred. It was 1996 when he was on his way to pay an internet bill at a local provider’s offices. He pulled over near a movie theater, using the marquee’s light to write a check. It was in this moment when a knock frightened him, a pair of pale knuckles tapping his driver’s side window. Bethel looked up to see two young boys with hooded sweatshirts covering their faces. An immense rush of fear suddenly rushed over him. The fear, as Bethel remembered, was incomprehensible at the time. The boy who seemed to be the leader of the two had curly hair and an olive complexion. The other boy stood in the background, red hair and freckles. Their appearance, though average at first glance, soon sent even more fear through his bones. The boy’s both had eyes that lacked any substance. They were just large swathes of pitch black. No life to them whatsoever.
Frozen in his car, Bethel listened as the leader asked if they could have a ride to their mother’s house. They wanted to get money to see a movie at the nearby theater. “It won’t take long,” the boy assured Bethel. “We’re just kids,” the boy would continue. Though these words were perhaps meant to ease Bethel’s obvious terror, it only made him panic even more. He rolled the window up and put the car in reverse, ready to drive off. The boy yelled at him through the window of the car. “We can’t come in unless you tell us it’s okay. Let us in!” He drove away, quickly glancing one more time for the boys. But he saw nothing. Within seconds, they had completely disappeared out of sight.”
Bethel was interviewed by the Astonishing Legends folks and he added a few more details to the story. “The boys asked for a ride because they said they had forgotten their money and needed to get home to get it,” he recalled. “I looked at the marquee and the last movie of the night was already playing. By the time I could have driven them home and back, the movie would have been nearly over.”
He also said from the very start he felt uneasy about the boys but couldn’t really place why. Then he looked into their eyes and saw that they were completely black – no whites, no irises, no pupils, – just a black void. Chills ran up his spine and the boys seemed to sense his terror because that’s when they pleaded that they were just kids and that they couldn’t enter his car unless he invited them.”
Ryan investigated further and found a similar experience twenty years earlier in the Picardi region of Aisne, France. “According to an early witness report from the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (N.I.C.A.P), two men known only as Alain and Patrick were making a leisurely drive through a small village, enjoying the autumn weather. It was around 3 pm when they decided to turn around and take a different route. Upon turning, Patrick noticed something near the last house in the village that made him hit the brakes. There, in the courtyard of the house, were five small figures. Three of them stood in the background, huddled together. Another was tracing its hands along the home. The last figure stood facing Patrick and Alain. Alain rolled down his passenger side window to get a better look. “He reports that his blood ran cold when faced with the being,” Weatherly would tell me. “The appearance of the five characters was as strange as their behavior. They were all just over four feet tall. They were dressed alike in long garments that almost reached the ground. These garments were decorated with multicolored spots. The beings themselves had earthy yellow skin and long hair that fell down their backs and to their waist. Their noses were compressed inwards, and their eyes were described as enormous, solid black hemispheres, the size of billiard balls.”
Soon, the being closest the car began to wave to Patrick and Alain, gesturing to come closer. The motion of the being scared Alain so much that he screamed in terror for Patrick to drive away. Patrick hit the gas pedal and they sped out of the area to a nearby town. They told several locals of what they had witnessed. They returned hours later to find no sign of the small beings anywhere. “Eight months later, an investigator finally made it to the scene and spoke with nearby residents,” Weatherly recounted. “Interestingly, he found a neighbor who had noticed the beings on the road in front of the home. He reported that he thought the beings he saw were ‘children dressed in yellow oilcloth’.”
So, how common are the encounters with Black-eyed children?
I decided to check Reddit and see if there were any posts about other people’s encounters and these are a couple of the ones I found:
“So this was August of last year, I had just graduated about a week prior from college (summer classes) and as part of my graduation gift my parents and grandparents went in together to buy me a flight to Rome, I’m a major history buff so I’ve always wanted to go to Europe and Rome/Italy especially, one of my friends also went along with me (I’ll call him Caleb so I don’t have to type out “my friend” a ton but not his real name). Anyways, as both Caleb and I were recent college grads, we didn’t exactly have a ton of money to spend on vacation, so we stayed in the area of Rome by Termini in a budget hotel.
So, before I proceed, a few things about Rome because there were some misconceptions I had before going. The first is that Rome is dirty and just “feels” sketchy, because of this you instinctively are looking over your shoulder and I just felt paranoid. The area that Caleb and I stayed at, was near Termini, the main train/bus hub of the city, while it was a super convenient location (less than a 5 minute walk and we could access the metro or a bus to anywhere in the city or a cross-city train) the area just felt run-down with graffiti all over (I mean, more than usual than Rome). The other thing you should know is that Romans like to eat long meals and eat very late, whereas back here in the US I typically eat dinner around 5:30 to 6 and generally finished well before 7:30, some of the restaurants in Rome don’t even open until 7 which lead to you being out a lot later than you had intended.
So, one evening after dinner (it was probably around 9:30 or so) Caleb and I were leaving the restaurant to the metro station to head back to Termini when we noticed two children were following us. Now, you hear online that a lot of scammers use children to distract you, so I put my hand in my pocket around my wallet and walked a bit faster. Both of the kids were probably around 10 or 12, the lighting wasn’t the greatest and the sun had set but they were dressed in dark clothing (whether it was black or brown or even maroon I couldn’t really tell at the time). One was a boy and one was a girl, the boy had a very short haircut only slightly longer than a buzz cut whereas the girl was wearing a beret (dark colored) and had long, slightly curly hair. I felt a bit of unease because something didn’t seem “normal” at the time, I didn’t think anything paranormal but was worried about being mugged or pick-pocketed. Anyways, eventually, I stop hearing their footsteps behind me and when I look back I don’t see them or anyone. The metro ride back to Termini was uneventful, I didn’t particularly look for the children, but I didn’t notice them if they were around.
Once at Termini, it was only a couple of minutes to the hotel, despite it being rather dark (Rome doesn’t seem to have adequate street lighting for a city that eats so late!) nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Anyways, I went to my room and Caleb went to his. At this time, it was probably around 10:00 at night. So, I go to take a shower before bed and midway through my shower I think I hear a knock on my door, I don’t think a whole lot about it, this is a cheap hotel and I doubt that its soundproof enough that someone standing outside of my door couldn’t hear the shower running. So, two minutes pass and I don’t hear any more knocking and I finish my shower, put on sweatpants and a t-shirt and look out the peephole and I see the two children from earlier just standing there.
Now the peephole distorts things, so I really didn’t think I saw what I saw, but let me try to describe what I saw:
The boy was wearing a maroon button-down shirt with brown pants. He had black hair just barely longer than a buzz cut. But what stood out was his white skin, maybe it was the lighting in the hall, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone with as white of skin as his (and his female companion) it was almost as if someone had painted their skin white, it’s very hard to describe without seeing it, it looked almost, bloodless? There was just no warmth to it. His eyes looked to be black, almost like if someone was squinting in that the eyes looked like they weren’t there, it wasn’t like someone had colored contact lenses at all, it was a very, very strange thing indeed.
The girl was standing behind the boy, so I didn’t get as good of a look at her, but she had very dark brown hair (clearly different than the color of the boy’s hair) and it was curly, she was wearing a black beret and a black dress. She had the same weird artificial-looking white skin and the same eyes that looked like someone was squinting