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
Now at this point I was freaking out a bit, after all, the hotel required a keycard to operate the elevator to get to the second story where my room was which made it rather odd that some random kid (who we never did see with any parents) would follow me and Caleb halfway across Rome and end up in the same hotel, on the same floor and randomly knock on my door. And not just knock but knock and stand there for at least a couple of minutes (I didn’t say anything to indicate that I’d be coming to the door). At this point I double checked the chain lock to make sure it was secure but I think the kids must have thought I was going to open the door when I heard the boy’s voice (or at least I assume it was the boy’s voice as it certainly didn’t sound feminine) say “Aren’t you going to let us in? We’re lost”
Now, prior to hearing about the Black-Eyed-Kids, I thought this was the creepiest part of it because after four days of being in Rome, outside of Caleb, pretty much everyone did not speak good English and the ones that did speak decent English had a very clear accent of some sort. This though did not, it was clearly the voice of a native English speaker and I couldn’t detect that there was really any accent (as in, it didn’t sound like anyone from England or have a noticeable southern accent).
I decided that I’d had enough and just didn’t make another sound and moved to my bed, I must have just sat there waiting for an hour or so trying not to make a noise or make any indication that I was in the room hoping that they’d decide that their prank or scam wasn’t having any effect and leaving me alone. I decided against texting Caleb about it, after all, I was probably just paranoid about nothing and it was just me being nervous being 5000 miles away from home mixed with what I probably would have considered rather funny or mildly annoying rather than scary if it was back in the US.
I suppose eventually I fell asleep and tried to wipe the memory of it from my mind, Caleb never mentioned anything about it so I didn’t mention anything to him either but the memory has stayed around and really has only gotten fresher and a lot more terrifying after listening to that podcast episode, (about Black-eyed Kids) so I figured I needed to post this somewhere and let someone else know about the encounter I had in Rome. The rest of my time in Rome (and my time in Venice and Naples) were without any incident and I haven’t encountered anything like this in the US.”
Okay, so I’m not going to visit Rome, especially the Termini area.
Ready for the next one?
“Hello everyone, I live in rural Vermont and am an amateur author, it’s my hobby you could say. But I’ve been interested in black-eyed kids for quite some time and wanted to write a book about it. However, I’ve been doing research on BEK’s for about a week now and two nights ago my wife and I were awoken by a knock on our front door at about 2:40 am. It was a pretty loud knock, not smashing but just loud thuds in threes. I told my wife I’ll go downstairs and check it out. However, when I got closer to the door I had an odd sensation of fear come over me, it was a very strange feeling that I can’t really explain. I hesitated for a moment, ten seconds or so. But then I “bucked-up” and opened the door and to my surprise, it was just a kid. At first, I thought it was the neighbor’s kid who lives down the street as he’s around that age, 13 or 14. He had his head down and was wearing a dark grey hoodie on. I asked him kind of angrily what he wanted, he then continued to stand there and say nothing. I then raised my voice and said, “his name” and that’s when he looked up at me. I don’t believe I’ve ever felt fear like that before in my life. His eyes were completely black, not to mention his pale skin. I slammed the door in his face and locked the deadbolt. It was defiantly NOT the neighbor’s son. I then proceeded to run back upstairs right by my wife to get to the window to see if I could see him, but he was gone, just like that…gone. I’ve gotten barely any sleep and cannot stop thinking about this and just can’t make sense of it. I’ve since stopped all research for obvious reasons, but I thought I would share this experience with you and share this to get your advice and thoughts.”
Now, a lot of people on Reddit thought, “Hmmmm, amateur author, are you perchance trying out your newest plot on us?” And, it could be true. But, what was even more interesting was one of the responses he received.
“Your encounter is one of the creepiest accounts I’ve read, so far… I’m writing to you because something similar happened to me after I researched the BEKs also. Although the amount of fear and dread was so extreme and unexpected-my Fiancé and I literally couldn’t bring ourselves to answer the door. We teased one another about it afterward… but during the actual ordeal, we were completely terrified. This happened during New Year’s Eve of 2018. I just posted the story in the main sub area. I’ve never been afraid to answer the door, ever. Granted, I’m a cautious person. Generally, people who come by the house unannounced will ring the doorbell. At which point, I’ll then ask, “who’s there?” but this experience was super strange. My instincts told me to be quiet… not to make a sound… don’t leave the bedroom… don’t answer the door, under any circumstances. My curiosity wasn’t peaked. I was terrified. It was bizarre. Thinking back, I don’t recall really ever being that scared of anything before. Scary movies are actually a bit humorous to me, partly since I know they’re fake. This was primal fear that I felt. My Fiancé is way braver than I am, and he wouldn’t budge… he was equally bothered and was in agreement to be quiet and to stay put. Your thoughts? High five to ya for raising your voice at the BEK saying “his name?” in an annoyed angry tone… that part of your story is awesome!”
You probably want to read her whole post – don’t you? I did!
“During the most recent New Year’s Eve, my son, myself and my Fiancé had a quiet night at home… we watched movies, made dinner… my son went to bed fairly early since he was only 5 years old. No wild party.
We were marathon watching Netflix while laughing/chatting in the Master Bedroom, well after midnight – at which point, there was a confident (yet, creepy) solid knock at our front door.
Boom, Boom, Boom…Boom…Boom.
We live in the county and it’s a bit remote… all of our neighbors were friendly enough, but they wouldn’t have knocked that late as it would be perceived as rude. Our Jeep was parked in the garage, so it wouldn’t be related to a car having lights left on etc. I’m listing this cuz that happened once. The keys to the Jeep and the house were securely hung in place. The fun time we were having quickly shifted to an odd feeling of confusion, coupled with unusual terror. It was really odd. We aren’t fearful people. We simultaneously checked our smartphones for anyone stopping by, unannounced. Nothing… except a few well-wishing friends’ texts due to it being New Year’s Eve and all.
I got up to stretch and my Fiancé made sure I wasn’t about to answer the door. “Hell no,” I said. We laughed uncomfortably. I joked with him saying, “Cuz, you’re going to…” I teased. He scowled and then smiled. Knowing full well he would have normally. Why were we so on edge? We both remarked how odd we felt about the knock and the late hour. In fact, we didn’t budge from the master bedroom… neither of us felt good about checking the door and figured whoever it was had the wrong house.
2-3 minutes passed.
Then another knock. Boom, Boom, Boom…Boom…Boom.
We were getting agitated and that strange feeling of terror was back, strong as ever. I’ve never felt that way about someone knocking on the door before, nor have I not felt safe to answer… it was really odd. I’ll paint a clearer picture… good neighborhood… our front porch light bulb needed to be replaced…so it was dark as hell out there. I thought it was really weird that someone would be standing out there in complete pitch-black darkness, for three minutes… knocking like that. I mentioned this to my fiancé… the peephole would give us away if we stole a look since lights were on throughout the house. We didn’t dare check. Why? That senseless feeling of fear was disabling. It made it so two grown very capable-at-defending-ourselves adults were essentially cowering in fear, after 2 knocks at the front door, late at night.
What gives? It took about a half hour, but I eventually felt a lot better…no longer felt afraid… and felt that whoever it was had left. I checked the front of the house through the kitchen window…no cars…no neighbors…no parties…just the calm sound of crickets. I proceeded to open the front door (after listening to make absolutely certain no one would surprise me…like a drunk ex-boyfriend passed out on the porch or something equally hilarious) Satisfied, I opened the front door. It was quiet. In fact, too quiet. No crickets no sound at all… that’s odd, I thought. I had a feeling instantly of being watched. From where? Who? What? I got the chills and shut the door… then armed the alarm system. I thought to myself, if they come back we can call to report suspicious activity to the police; however, it then occurred to me that we wouldn’t get through…it was New Year’s Eve after all. Awesome – right?
Even to me, it sounds like I’m overly paranoid and getting spooked for no reason. I would think the same thing had it not happened to me. When the 2nd knock took place, for a split second I thought “oh shit-what if?” regarding the Black-Eyed Kid stories I’ve read… mainly it was the remarkable senseless fear we felt, that tipped me off. My son slept through it. No, I didn’t share this epiphany with my Fiancé at that moment… we were too terrified to make any noise. I felt ridiculous, but it’s true. No doorbell used at all. What’s strange is that the only light in the porch area would have been the illuminated button for the doorbell. Why wasn’t the doorbell pushed? No porch light out there. It was super late at night also. I’ve lived here for 8 years and that’s never happened… my instincts were going nuts. We’ve since installed a security camera and restored the porch light. Your thoughts? Thank you.”
My thoughts? I wonder how many people have had encounters with Black-Eyed Kids on Halloween night and never even knew it? Boom! Boom! Boom! Trick or Treat!
Like what you read? Find more stories by Terri Reid here.