Monday, 12 July 2010

Black-Eyed Children

Dear Bishop Manchester, let me start off by saying what a pleasure it is to be coresponding with you. I am a great admirer. The question I have is about a somewhat recent phenomenon refered to as "the black eyed children". The first occurrence took place in Abilene Texas, January of 1998 where two young teens between the ages of 12 and 15 show up at a persons house or car and demand to be let in, they clearly state that they cannot come in unless they are invited. The common thread linking all known sightings is all witness' claim to experience a grave sense of fear, the "flight or fight" feeling when first meeting the black eyed children; the coal black eyes; the witness' always smell a foul odor coming from the kids, and every instance that's occured the kids have stated that they need permision to enter. I was just wondering what your take on this whole thing might be and if there's something that could be done to combat these things in case of an encounter with one. - Derek

The term has floated across the internet since 16 January 1998 when journalist Brian Bethel first posted his chilling encounter with overly-lucid children whose eyes were dead and coal black; without a hint of iris or white. Since that time many people have reported encounters with black-eyed children who approach them, make demands and terrify them out of their wits. Theories have been proposed to explain this strange phenomenon, but the answer remains elusive. Could it be nothing more than internet "mass hysteria"? Could it be that out of all the accounts that have been discussed only a small number are based on something real, the remainder having been fabricated? People who experience demonic possession know that something does come over the eyes when possessed, but surely these are not swarms of demonically possessed children on the rampage?

There are so many similar accounts that it is hard to look past the fact that something very disturbing is happening. Fabrications notwithstanding, I would not rule out the possibility of demonic interference or even possibly vampirism, but without close examination of an actual case it is pointless to speculate. 

As already stated, the first well documented and discussed account came from a journalist named Brian Bethel in January 1998. In his story, two children (aged twelve and fifteen) approached him as he sat in his car while parked in a parking lot. At first glance, they looked normal, wearing clothes that were fashionable, and had a pale, olive-coloured skin. In acknowledging the two boys, Bethel was overcome with a peculiar fear which he describes in his account: "I could feel fight-or-flight responses kicking in. Something, I knew instinctually, was not right, but I didn't know what it could possibly be."

Claiming that they were on their way to the cinema, but had left their money at home, the two boys asked Bethel for a ride back to their house. When he did not allow them into his car, the youngsters appeared to become annoyed and repeatedly asked for a ride. As Bethel's fear and panic increased, he found himself wanting to open the door, but was unable to do so. Then he noticed their dead eyes, and a primal fear took over and momentarily paralysed him. The children had coal-black eyes, completely lacking pupils and irises.

As if sensing that their opportunity to gain admission into the car was being thwarted, they grew more urgent and demanding. Bethel was finally able to overcome his fear and managed to drive away. While his story might sound far-fetched and too much like horror fiction for sceptics and cynics, there are just too many accounts of a similar nature to completely dismiss them out-of-hand. These accounts have now multiplied to become a new urban legend.

Tales involving black-eyed children generally do not explain the cause of the children's eye colour or the origins of the children themselves. Some imply they could be ghosts or demons, specifically vampires: the tales frequently emphasise that the children must be admitted or invited into the house or car in question, and in this way are reminiscent of vampire folkore. Are they vampires? I suspect for the most part not, but an open mind is essential when consdering anything which might possibly have a supernatural source.

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