“My girlfriend and I were staying at the hostel on Glisan Ave in NW Portland. It’s a very nice place in a hip and fun, if a little yuppyish section of town…
…at about 2:30 AM, we suddenly realized that there was no more beer left and none of us really felt like calling it a night just yet. Well…I had bought a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir from a little place called the City Market earlier in the day, but they were still in the trunk of her car. So she tossed me the keys and I ventured out to make the hike to where the car was parked.
…we ended up parking in a spot off a side street about four blocks from the hostel. It’s not really a bad area, nightlife was still winding down not too far away…I could hear the random noises of revelry off in the distance. But as I walked to the car, I found myself feeling very alone.
As I turned down the street to where the car was parked, a misty rain filled the air, not really drops, but a kind of misty directionless rain. The streetlights lit my path and reflected their dim glow in the wet pavement. As I reached the car and slid my keys into the trunk latch, I heard this voice call out.
…I was very startled, and I whirled around to be greeted by the face of an adolescent who gazed at me intently from just a few feet away.
…I jumped back then grabbed my chest and said something like, ‘Jesus man, you just scared the shit out of me’. The kid just kept looking at me undaunted. He appeared to be between the age of 11-14. And he wore old jeans and a hooded sweatshirt.
His hair was black and his skin was tan. He had a Mediterranean look about him. It was then that I noticed that his eyes were all black. My first thought was that he was on LSD…But this kid didn’t seem to be on a drug, he seemed very calm and confident. It was kind of unnerving to have a kid act like that.
He said, without looking away, ‘I’m lost and scared, do you think you could give me a ride to my mom’s house?’ But this kid didn’t look scared at all. Masked behind those youthful features, was the expression of a wolf leering at me. I’m a fit 28-year-old man, and what I felt was real fear. He kept moving closer and closer to me.
Quickly I broke eye contact…It was difficult though because those eyes were compelling. Deep pools of black, they looked ageless in contrast to that young face. They stared at me reflecting the streetlights. It was like gazing up at a star sprent sky on a clear night.
I backed off up onto the curb and stammered, ‘Uh no..Really I can’t, I have to go..Sorry’. I kept looking at the ground because I had the feeling that if I kept looking at his black eyes I would become trapped like a fly in a spider’s web.
I heard him say..’Oh that’s OK, here come my friends.’ I quickly looked up past him down the road and I saw another young boy and a girl about a block further down in the middle of the street. I didn’t have my glasses on and I have trouble seeing clearly off that far. But I’ll be damned if it didn’t look like they were floating towards us a couple of inches off the ground.
I turned around to run and I heard a guttural growling behind me. I ran faster than I ever ran in my life straight towards the hostel. I kept feeling like they were right there, behind me..clawing at the back of my neck….I will never forget that feeling as long as I live.
It was the closest I ever experienced to true terror.”
Black Eyed Kids: Real or Myth?
Known as Black Eyed Children (BECs) or Black Eyed Kids (BEKs), these strange individuals usually appear as young children, typically around the age of 10, with black eyes, completely devoid of color.
But they’re not just children: there have also been reports of adults, and even elderly, with solid black eyes and pale or olive skin.
They dress in understated, often worn-out clothing — jeans, hoodies, or old, overused rags — and appear somehow out of place. They’re calm, and insistent. They’ll ask if you need help, or a favor, or to be invited into your home.
Their most curious characteristic, however, is how their presence causes an unexplainable feeling of terror, an instinctive, primal desire to run. To get away. Every reported encounter with Black Eyed Kids ends the same — the person avoids the BEKs, terrified for his or her life.
No one knows what happens if someone accepts their help or their dark favors. That’s up to your imagination, I suppose.
So, what are they?
Some believe they’re husks, devoid of souls. Others suggest they’re hybrid beings who feed on souls. Neither possibility seems very comforting.
Or perhaps they’re reptilian in origin, extraterrestrials of some kind. Given that they often ask to be invited into homes, parallels have also been drawn between Black Eyed Kids and the myths and legends of vampires.
Could they be evil spirits, or demons, taking on the appearance of innocent children to confuse and deceive humans? Either way, they don’t seem to have the illusion quite right, as anyone who encounters a Black Eyed Kid feels that unsettling fight-or-flight response. Something like the uncanny valley, only more terrifying.
Or perhaps they’re simply an urban legend.
A modern myth.
If you ever see the Black Eyed Kids, accept their help or invite them in.
Perhaps then you’ll find out.
Images credit: D. Sharon Pruitt