The Black-Eyed People

Written by . Posted at 4:01 pm on January 17th, 2012

Recently, I was listening to a series of radio show episodes from Darkness Radio that have been put online as podcasts. For those of you familiar with Art Bell’s Coast to Coast (now hosted by author George Noory), this show is slotted the hour before and deals with the paranormal as well. It is hosted by “Darkness Dave,” who is also the Senior Judge on Paranormal Challenge and is at least acquainted with, if not friends with, a lot of the bigger names in America’s paranormal scene.

Dave was talking about a phenomenon that he said has come to his attention fairly recently (within the last six months, I believe). The phenomenon goes by two similar names, “The Black-Eyed Children,” or “The Black-Eyed People” (commonly shortened to BEP). One of the large collection of stories regarding the BEP can be found at Encounters With the Black-Eyed People.

If you’re not familiar with this phenomenon, the rundown is this: Most people describe going about their day, doing mundane things. They might be reading a book, grocery shopping, buying coffee, jogging on a trail, or just settling down for bed at night. Suddenly, they become aware of another presence, or if they are home, they hear a steady knock on the door. Often it is two or three children, sometimes a single child, or sometimes one or two adults. The other “people” (I put this in quotations for a reason) approach them and ask something persistently, often for help. “Can you help me?” “Can I borrow your phone?” “Can we come in your house?” When seen outside the home, they typically request to be able to come in your home. When seen out in public, they often want you to follow them somewhere to help them or one of their friends.

What really sets this phenomenon apart from a homeless person on the street asking for change is the almost tangible, dark aura that seems to emanate from them. Most of the stories talk about a feeling that starts with uneasiness and grows to downright “get me the hell out of here” dread. They also feel that whatever these things are, they are certainly not human, no matter how humanoid they appear.

And that’s before they see the eyes.

The eyes are the dead giveaway (pardon the pun). When they get a good look at the eyes of these entities, they describe a sinking, horrid feeling, as if their very soul is in danger. The eyes are black from corner to corner. Not just black irises, not black holes where eyes should be, but black orbs like polished balls of obsidian in their eye sockets.

The physical description sounds a lot like occasionally-used contact lenses from film and television. Obviously with any type of newly cropping-up phenomenon, there is a chance that people have been ordering these professional-grade contacts online and wearing them to scare people. I’m not going to discount that possibility, because it is very possible. Even the feelings of dread that seem to accompany these sightings could be explained by a psychological trigger from the unknown—you see someone wearing those contacts when you’re the only other person in sight, and you’re going to be a little unnerved. In fact, I’d love to try an experiment by buying these lenses and then approaching people at night to gauge a reaction. Have someone who doesn’t know about the “plant” interview them and see what types of psychological feelings they describe at just seeing a person with these contacts on.

Simply because these types of contacts are available for purchase, however, doesn’t mean that all of the stories are suddenly false. One story recounts the eyes changing from normal human-looking eyes to jet black and then back again. Another good indicator is the price. The site I have linked in the last paragraph sales these contacts for (at the time of this post) $134/pair. Now, consider that many of the stories describe not one, but several children wearing these contact lenses. That begins to escalate the total cost of these alleged “pranks,” and while I have known a child or two in my life who’s allowance would let them save for a month before they could afford something like that, what is the actual percentage? 1%? The number of stories doesn’t justify that many kids in the country running around with contact lenses.

If this phenomenon, then, isn’t caused by pranksters with contact lenses or tricks of lighting (many of these sightings happen in the middle of the day or in a decently-lit room), then what is it?

Some people may know that I have spent, off and on, the last 10 years investigating paranormal occurrences involving the spirit world, starting with a haunted apartment that I lived in with my ex back in Logan, Utah in 2002-2003. I’ve belonged to several incarnations of different groups and investigated residences, abandoned buildings, cemeteries, and ruins, from the northern to the southern tips of the state (which is not small). The first thing I can say about the BEP phenomenon, with surety, is that this is not the work of human or non-human spirits, unless these are real people who have been possessed by a non-human entity. The first thing that clues me into this is that they appear in broad daylight and have never been described as translucent, ghostly, or in any other way see-through. The second clue, related to the first, is that they touch and interact with physical objects. One story has a BEP pushing a shopping cart, one claimed that a female young adult BEP touched his arm, many others describe them knocking on their doors, and one lady who said she saw one while picking up a hot beverage at her local Starbucks saw one sitting at a table, very alone, drinking coffee and seeming amused that no one would sit near it, whether consciously or not. Despite the fact that some people describe the BEP suddenly popping up in a place like a public bathroom, when they swore they were alone only moments before, could just mean that they are incredibly stealthy.

There are a few theories out there, based on the collective stories. One story was reported by a man who was unfortunate enough to tell two black-eyed children that they could come in his house, on the pretense of letting one use the bathroom and the other the phone to call their parents. They had their faces turned down, as if they were shy, so he didn’t see their eyes until they were already in the house. After seeing the blackness, he suddenly felt uneasy and wanted them to leave, but they had him trapped in a hallway. He turned to the one that seemed the most vocal and asked, “What do you want from me?” The response was something along the lines of, “We’ve come to collect you.” Another story talks about a man spotting a solitary BEP across the street that begins following him, until another man shows up out of nowhere and says, “We have this under control,” to which the BEP stops in mid-street, with traffic racing around it, and then quickly walks away. One theory is that the BEP are somehow disguised Gray aliens, a commonly seen form of alien that abducts humans and seems to treat humanity as a hill of ants. Grays are often described as having large, jet-black eyes. Another theory that I was made aware of today, and this resembles the “Grays” theory, is that they are shape-shifting aliens left over from the ancient aliens that elevated humanity by modifying the DNA of an already evolving species of homo-sapien (modern humans are considered “Homo-homo-sapiens”), left as “watchers” of our race.

The last theory is the most basic—that these are common people who have had something possess their bodies, sold their souls to the devil, or in some other way are being controlled by pure evil.

What do I believe? I really don’t know. Again, as an investigator of the strange and paranormal, I try not to jump to too many conclusions. Even when I do reach something plausible, I leave the door open for more data to modify what I find in my own mind. I’d like to say that if I ever had a knock on my door and saw a BEP or Black-Eyed Child standing on my porch, I would do my best to stay calm and rational. I’m highly interested in talking to them to try and discover their real purpose, who or what they really are, etc.

I’m just not letting them in.


  1. Blackgriffin

    I have read a few accounts which claim that thinking very hard about BEPs and your desire to meet one will bring them to you. Perhaps you could try this and then write about the experience.

  2. That’s a good point. I’ve debated it. I’ve used spirit boards and automatic writing, things that we’ve been conditioned to believe are gateways to evil, and never had an issue. Manifesting whatever these things are doesn’t seem inherently wrong, but given that they are asking for permission to enter, it sounds a little like demons or djinn. Summoning demons is a bit out of my comfort zone, but I’ll think about it. Thanks for the comment!

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