Call of the Cryptid has returned, and we’re broadening our horizons by expanding to include some more supernatural fare, such as so-called black-eyed children. What are black-eyed children? Well, they’re creepy, apparently ultra-pale little children, and yes, their eyes are completely black (at least sometimes).
Though they technically are not cryptids and certainly do not sound plausible, Call of the Cryptid has, in fact, previously explored creatures that were more supernatural than merely natural-sounding cryptids (such as Japan and Thailand’s Akkorokamui).
Thus far, black-eyed children appear to be chiefly American legend, though there’s probably no reason these mythic beings couldn’t end up “spotted” in other regions of the world. So, in case you haven’t guessed, black-eyed children are under the age of 18, at least in appearance, but the legend implies these beings might either be in an arrested state of growth or perhaps actually ageless.
In other words, their youthful appearance is like a trick, or bait, only not intended to get a pervert in jail, Chris Hansen-style. No, they want to trick you into letting them into your house, car, or other places of dwelling…
Wait…are the black-eyed children just a loose-fitting vampire rip-off?!
Where do they come from and what do they want? Well, all valid research begins with Wikipedia, right? Wait, I know what you’re thinking! In this case, Wikipedia has links that are no less valid than any other place I have looked, and they say the myth possibly originates with Abilene, Texas reporter Brian Bethel, who reported on them in 1996. (Scroll down about halfway to read the archived article here.)
Somewhat humorously, Bethel said the kids that greeted him (and scared the bejeezus of him) said they wanted to watch the fine film Mortal Kombat so they needed a ride. He described them as having “Soulless orbs like two great swathes of starless night,” and one of them angrily proclaimed, “We can’t come in unless you tell us it’s OK. Let us in!”
Now, honestly, what do these black-eyed kids (or BEK) remind you of? I’ll answer that for you: Vampires. That’s right, I am going there. Of course, one can play devil’s advocate in a different way here and propose that, just maybe, these kids were pulling a prank by wearing over-sized contacts and pretending to be vampiric (Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland is pretty famous for donning such contacts on stage, creating a persona that probably outshines that band itself).
The “Creepypasta” thing
It’s pretty easy to claim to have “witnessed” something and have some believe you, whether it’s “BEK” or something else. The whole “Let us in” thing not only connects with vampire lore but the phenomena known as “Creepypasta” (or creepy stories copied and pasted around the internet).
Brian Bethel’s “soul-wracking fear” serves a lot of the desires people have to be scared by a good story, and hey, I’m writing about them, too, so I shouldn’t whine too much about it. Like any good cryptid story, there are some positive and fun elements to these stories, even if they are decently creepy.
I try not to wear my skepticism on my sleeve too loudly, but a lot of creepy stories beckon us to ask questions. In this case, are there always 2 black-eyed children working in tandem, almost like a creepy tag-teaming scam? Also, some say their eyes turn black, rather than always being that way, which makes one wonder why that would happen. I hate to be that guy but, honestly, it seems they’d have more luck getting into buildings and cars if their eyes were normal and if they didn’t engage in creepy, threatening behavior.
It’s difficult to say how many believers are out there or how consistent their accounts are. However, most accounts insist these children have evil intentions (though none mention an impressive rate of success). Remember that, generally speaking, most cryptids and legends have variations. So, for example, one account might describe the appearance of these children as resembling that of an evil Faerie (and yes, we will talk about Faeries at some point!).
Personally, BEK’s remind me of Margaret Keane’s “doe-eyed waif” paintings gone sour. It doesn’t seem they are generally of a “disheveled appearance” and wearing ragged clothes, but I’ve read that their clothing often appears outdated, or “of another era.” Some also report that, when one of these children attempts to communicate with them, it is almost as if they are incapable of speaking back, as the sight of the BEK’s is too chilling. Still, much like Bigfoot, a reasonable person might ask: “Okay, but where are the Black-eyed kid turds and carcasses?” Or, if they’re ghosts, do they leave ectoplasm?
What kind of supernatural are they? Are they aliens or ghosts?
One might assume these children are supposed to be ghosts, but let’s face it: Many (if not most) accounts of ghosts suggest they are ignorant of their surroundings, or trapped between this world and “the next” (whatever that ultimately means).
In accounts of BEK’s, the children are actually intelligent and aware of their surroundings. Also, if they are asking about seeing a movie (as one account suggests), it seems they perhaps are capable of even knowing the pop culture or English slang (obviously, in a place like Mexico, they would most likely speak Spanish).
One needn’t be a cryptid expert or religious scholar to find it unlikely that descriptions given by witnesses or on internet message boards truly represent actual eyewitness experiences. In fact, even under more “real” and plausible circumstances, we know witnesses may not always include all of the pertinent details and nuances that are part of a reliable eyewitness account.
People can misremember and they are often vulnerable to suggestion. What I can say for sure: That black-eyed children have a childlike mentality is creepy enough. Kids are creepy.
What are your thoughts on Black-eyed children? Would you let one into your house? Would answering that place you on some FBI database? Let us know in the comments!