Ask a Wizard: What the %@($ are the Black-Eyed Kids?

Ask a Wizard: What the %@($ are the Black-Eyed Kids?

The Vicar does not generally believe automatically in anything paranormal, which some might think an odd viewpoint for a man to adopt when he is a self-described Wizard. Of course, to be entirely fair to my masters, mentors, and brethren, the title is not really self-bestowed. Moreover, the members of my specific order are the most skeptical of sorcerers, so if the dear reader understands Athena’s Men, then he or she is likely to understand our bizarre position as occultists who regularly question things occult or otherwise unknown.

Having dispensed with that little formality, let’s get down to cases, shall we?

mcaulay caulkin bek

The Black-Eyed Kids phenomena is not what it sounds like – which for the Vicar’s money is some sort of New Wave Hip Hop Fusion act. Rather, these are beings that appear generally in child form, complete with perfectly black eyes that seem initially not to be noticeable. The accounts we have available to us are heavy with an omnipresent fear and a sense of menace. Typically, the hapless adventurer intends no adventure at all, and the witness is generally engaged in some mundane activity when – POOF – the WEIRD decides to intrude.


At first, many higher-level occult and esoteric practitioners discarded these stories out of hand. Less established researchers and magic users insisted upon looking into the reports, however, eventually forcing the phenomenon to go mainstream. Here’s what we know:

1.) An individual is alone, usually at night although not necessarily.

2.) The individual may be at home or out and about; reports of both kinds exist.

3.) Human-looking entities show up, either knocking on the witness’ door or trying to get into the witness’ car.

4.) Initially, witnesses indicate that they do not see anything specifically wrong with the entities, but often there is the sense that something is a little off about either the beings, the encounter, the circumstances, or the mood.

5.) Sometimes, the human-looking entities are full grown. More often than not, they appear to be children. As a general rule, the “kids” will appear to be between the ages of 8 and 15. Hence the term, “Black-eyed Kids“.

6.) The BEKs will at first ask, then implore, and eventually demand to be let in. Often they tell a story about being lost, or scared, or simply needing to use the phone. The undercurrent is more critical than the overt message: “Let us IN.”

7.) The witnesses we have are the ones we can presume had the good sense to not let the BEKs in. More directly, we only hear stories from the living, the survivors. The hanging “participle” of this phenomena is an implication that we never hear what happens to those who let the BEKs in, because they do not live to tell the tale. (There are other options, however, addressed below.)

8.) The whole phenomena could be nothing more than a cleverly composed hoax that has gone viral. Some evidence indicates that the first BEK story was a fun late-night tall tale spun by Brian Bethel for his own amusement and for the entertainment of his newsgroup audience. And by “some evidence” it should be understood that we are talking about the natural opinion of skeptics in these cases, as well as what our good logical sense should at least suggest to us as a possible solution.

9.) There are no “credible” accounts and no physical evidence exists.

Therein lies the whole of our knowledge on the topic, insofar as the Vicar can tell. Some online accounts claim to explore what happens if one lets the BEKs in, but these seem far-fetched and little more than efforts at sparking a writing career or getting a little fanbase going (which can be said of any writer on any topic, I suppose).

A thorough occult education provides us with a range of possible explanations for this phenomenon, and the immediate default is the assumption of hoax or legend-spinning. Neither are without their mystical elements, though. A good hoax captures the imagination and does not simply deceive; it must suggest, as well, playing upon the genuinely probable rather than the merely possible. Furthermore, a legend has its strength not only from the general possibility of genuineness, but also from the reality of emotional power. If a story frightens us, it also weakens our psychic defenses, and this permits the WEIRD to get a foot in the proverbial door of our consciousness. To the skeptic, this is known as “setting up conditions” for one to be deceived or misled, either by an unscrupulous person or by otherwise natural phenomena that strike us at a particularly vulnerable moment.

vampire chick

We cannot ever forget about the Others, however, those numinous beings of the outer dark who have from time immemorial plagued, educated, and assisted certain human beings for reasons entirely the Others’ own. But in the case of the BEKs, the Others are really not indicated. The primary element of the ecology and phenomenology of an Other is its disembodied nature. When an Other takes on a physical form, this can mean that something very serious is afoot; the BEKs are by now far too common for something more stupendous not to have occurred, forcing us to address the reality of the situation. Either we are dealing with a few root reports of total veracity, or else the whole thing is a bit of a sham.

For the sake of argument and a spooky good time, let’s pretend that at least a few cases are what they seem at face value: paranormal experiences involving a physical entity or entities with which we are previously unfamiliar. Operating under this aegis, please consider the following options:

1.) The BEKs are Vampires

Most modern people do not believe in Vampires, at least according to the conventional wisdom. True Blood is a damned fine show in the eyes of some, but it’s hardly a thoroughly believable record of the doings of dark heroes and dread villains. The Vicar leaves distinctions like that to other forms of literature and art, like the Bible, for example. Just because the Vampire is a popular element of fiction and has become culturally enshrined through the efforts of Stoker et. al. does not mean that it is entirely a fantasy. In fact, the Vampire is a very real possibility if it is a being that comes from outside of the biosphere with which humanity is currently familiar. We are speaking here either of alien life or of “dark biology”, a kind of compendium of living things that do not appear in the biological catalogue and which do not obey the typical rules. Since we live on a planet in space, it is not an impossibility at all that some kind of parasitic or otherwise predatory species shares the planet with us and feeds upon human beings. As the Vicar has pointed out previously at the Lamp, such a thing is a distinct possibility. Moreover, the longer this species has operated among us, the more likely there are to be a long list of identified characteristics and traits contained within our myths and legends. Perhaps this particular predator needs our consent in order to feed (if its “food” is somehow consciousness energy, perhaps our consent weakens us), hence the necessity of being invited in.

2.) The BEKs are Inhabited Humans

If a BEK walked up to the Vicar, and it were possessed of these precise qualities as identified above and throughout the BEK corpus, then the Vicar would instantly conclude that he was dealing with what is known in the business as an “inhabitation”. We tend to associate this very real and largely common phenomenon with the religious term, “possession”, but unlike that quaint concept, an inhabitation is not so easily resolved. Chanting Latin phrases and waving around various symbolic implements does not dislodge a discarnate intelligence from its host. If the belief of the exorcist and the victim is sufficiently strong, then the Vicar recognizes the validity of the ritual, but we must ask in turn how it is that so strong a believer came to be inhabited in the first place. The reality is a very different matter; inhabitation involves a discarnate being of significant power taking over completely the body of a material creature. Displacement of this sort is not a spiritual attack, since it is instead a form of predation and not subject to the rules of religion. It is entirely possible that some Others or related beings are drifting around, seizing control of children aged 8-15, and terrorizing marines, pizza delivery drivers, and paranormally educated journalists in search of a good story.

3.) BEKs are Fae

This, for the Vicar’s money, is the most likely explanation in the absence of a hoax. If the BEK phenomenon is real, then the schooled occultist knows that the best explanation is that they belong to a humanoid species that has cohabitated with humanity on this world for as long as the memory of homo sapiens has endured. Theoretically there are several of these, and whole mystic schools are dedicated to connecting with certain members of these races, known as ascended masters. Before the skeptic sneers too much at this notion, they should pause to consider this: we have no capacity as a species to establish with certainty that a similar species to us does not exist out of our view, due to their unique abilities. This is a weak argument, of course, since the absence of evidence always and only means that evidence is absent. We can infer nothing from the void. But the argument goes deeper still. We have a long mythic tradition in most cultures implying that we are not alone on this planet with respect to equivalent – or superior – life forms. This is precisely in the realm of the physical Fae, Tolkien’s “Elven” race, a species similar to our own but sufficiently older and more advanced such that it is able to hide from us with ease.

Should a BEK encounter happen to anyone who has read this piece, I would respectfully insist that an effort be made to gather information. It can be useful to remember that the Fae are both powerful and capricious, but only rarely malevolent. These encounters seem focused upon a pair of goals. The first is to inspire fear. The second is to cement a view that allows for the unknown and the strange. One report – impossible to validate and linked above – even suggests that if you let a BEK in, they will tell you that they are sent to “collect you.” The Fae were once known for taking people back to their realm, a kind of extra-dimensional reality alongside our own. This is an excellent explanation for why Oisin was taken out of time when he went off with his Fae woman, but it makes for a difficult case if we are to validate such a thing. The temporal displacement experienced by those who traveled to a Fae kingdom was said to be measured in centuries. The Vicar is sure that none of us are willing to wait around 300 years or more for BEK victims to start turning up…

464px-William_Fettes_Douglas_-_The_AlchemistWhat we rarely consider is the possibility that certain entities in this universe actually require our own unique electrochemical interactions in order to exist. Our thoughts and feelings – especially in a collective sense – may be essential for the survival of those beings our ancestors regarded as mystical in nature. How this might operate on a scientific level is anyone’s guess, and we can be sure that the scientist who would even entertain such a thing is both a rare bird and serially unemployed. But the fact remains that the Fae have always seemed to need human beings to recognize their existence, and this suggests that the encounters we so often read about may have some validity after all. Some creatures may subsist on our essence, but others may actually need our faith in order to even operate. Perhaps this is the whole point of the BEK experience: it reminds us all that there are things out there we do not have logical explanations for.

But until somebody brings the Vicar a BEK body, there can be no chance of verification for this Wizard.

Also, as a disclaimer: do not send me a body, as I will report you to the police if you do. Wizards, after all, know very well which side the bread gets buttered on. That’s how we survived the Inquisition.


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  1. Coppertop

    04/16/2013 at 8:07 AM

    This article, Bethel’s report on reporternews, that Mysterious Universe article, the recent David Weatherly podcast on… whatever paranormal podcast show it was… there’s a lot of news about BEKs lately. Did something happen that I’m not aware of? Did one of them try to sell Alex Jones girl scout cookies or something?

    • Greg Newkirk

      04/16/2013 at 8:27 AM

      Strap in, because we even have a photo to post that was sent in by a reader who claims the BEKs have been bothering her friend..

      • Coppertop

        04/16/2013 at 1:43 PM


        • StunRegan

          04/24/2013 at 4:58 AM

          BLackEKS, WhiteEKs, BlueEKs, GreenEKs, NonEKs, DraculaEKs NeonEKs does exists as much ghosts, poltergeists, ETs, IntraTs, in non/all dimensions.

    • jani

      04/24/2013 at 12:50 PM

      Listen, you don’t know what you are talking about unless you study, study and research. And, if you don’t believe IN GOD, you probably don’t believe in Satan or his influence on earth either. This is a total Satanic takeover. Just because you don’t literally see the gates of hell opening and monsters flying out, does not mean these demonic beings don’t exist and aren’t trying to influence us and invade humanity. This is the plan of the evil one. Satan, the Antichrist, the False Prophet and their minions take every form possible (human, animal, etc.) Your only way out is the Lord Jesus Christ, prayer, fasting, repentance & conversion. God bless you. I hope you turn to Our Lord.

      • Darren

        04/25/2013 at 2:48 AM

        Every time I hear that I just think why does he need you to believe in him? Must be some sort of entity that feeds off human belief the christian god that is..

  2. KM

    04/16/2013 at 8:44 AM

    If I were a kid and had a malevolent sense of humor, I might be tempted to get these and scare the crap out of some people just for fun. It would be awesome until somebody didn’t find it funny.

  3. A Keller

    04/16/2013 at 10:06 AM

    Fantastic article, Vicar. Well spoken and thought provoking. BEKs are certainly an intriguing topic.

    • Vicar Lee

      04/16/2013 at 12:07 PM

      Thanks. I was going for something Ron Burgundy might call, “Compelling and rich.”

      All kidding aside, though, just researching the topic is enough to make one re-check the locks on all the doors and windows on a dark and stormy night.

  4. KM

    04/16/2013 at 12:36 PM

    Has anyone tracked down when the first account of this phenomenon was? I remember reading about it as far back as the ’90s, but I wonder if the BEK thing pre-dated the internet or not. For me, the biggest problem with taking this seriously is just how low the bar is for faking it. When the only thing you would need is for sale on the internet, who is to say that the experiencers aren’t merely being hoaxed by some malicious kids? I know when I was fifteen I’d have likely thought this would be a great prank. Why are most of the sightings kids? Could it be because kids think things like this are HILARIOUS?

    • Vicar Lee

      04/16/2013 at 12:54 PM

      The Bethel account is supposed to be the first and it dates to 1998. Some unsubstantiated claims say there are accounts from the 1980s.

      The phenomenon is entirely ripe for being exploited as a fraud. But the experiential read of witnesses – or should we say victims? – is of something distinctly inhuman, predatory, and genuinely Fortean.

      Now I’m wondering if the BEKs asking to be let in is just the way in which they feed. Perhaps you don’t have to let them in – they get enough fear off of you just by making the request.

      Or maybe this is all the work of sadistic 12-year-olds with sclera lenses… who need to stop before they mess with the wrong person and get killed.

      • KM

        04/16/2013 at 1:29 PM

        Interesting. I thought I had read about it by ’97 and I’m going to say the first time I saw it mention was on Jeff Rense’s site. For what ever that’s worth. It seems strange that if these are some paranormal manifestation that they just cropped up in the 90s. But you make a point about the knowledge of their existence being the point of the encounters, which makes the information age fertile for weirdness. I’ve seen/experienced enough weird stuff that I’m not calling anyone a liar or anything.

        And yes, people have said that the encounters are freaky in a non-human way, but then encountering a group of Marilyn Manson fans wearing those contacts on a dark and stormy night might have that effect. Particularly as the witnesses are usually alone.

        You’re not kidding when you say anyone doing this is putting him or her self in grave danger. But when did kids ever do stupid things without thinking about consequences, right?

  5. Stormeye

    04/17/2013 at 8:22 AM

    Well said, Vicar.

    I tend to be a bit less skeptical about the BEK than some due to the almost universal terror that these beings inspire. If you’ve read Gavin De Becker’s excellent book “The Gift of Fear”, I think there is good evidence to support the idea that humans recognize a real threat even without recourse to more arcane forms of perception. A child with sclera lenses might startle someone and might even make them feel skittish and more than willing to close the door but I don’t feel that it would awaken the kind of blinding fear that we see in at least some of the BEK cases.

    You state in the article “It can be useful to remember that the Fae are both powerful and capricious, but only rarely malevolent”

    I think that the Scots might disagree with you in that statement. They recognized two courts of the fae . . . the Seelie and the Unseelie. The Seelie Court seemed to pay little attention to humans or, if they did, either rewarded them for favors performed or punished them for slights perceived. The Unseelie, on the other hand, were regarded as inimical to humans and were quite happy to lead them to their doom whenever they had a chance. I think our BEK’s might be a modern manifestation from this court; the fae are nothing if not good at shape shifting.

    • KM

      04/17/2013 at 9:05 AM

      I read some more accounts of this yesterday and I think you’re right. This isn’t about kids with funny lenses. It is either total lies or scary as hell. Right now I’m not answering the door.

    • Vicar Lee

      04/17/2013 at 2:39 PM

      Stormeye, you’re absolutely right about the Unseelie. The general rule with respect to issues Pagan is that a stark division does not exist, however, between good and evil. I’m not by any means trying to suggest that people need not fear the Faekind, but rather that approaching them with fear results in them being more likely to have a contemptible attitude toward one.

      Contempt from the Fae is nothing anybody should seek, want, or receive.

      I was kind of hoping to psychologically prep the audience for an encounter, should one occur.

      By the way, talking about these things sometimes summons them.

      It’s difficult in these kinds of scenarios like the ones we read about with respect to BEKs, but the best response is always to master our fear. For practical, mundane reasons, a calm response is generally better and more rational. That tends to equal survival. For mystical reasons, some things feed on fear and pain, so why offer something parasitic more of what it wants? Also, from a purely diplomatic perspective, the Fae who are more capricious than malicious tend to take a calm, curious human being more seriously than one with a rapid pulse and frantic breathing.

      The Unseelie you mentioned are unlikely in my understanding to take on physical form, however. I was taught that they are more often than not the basis for wraiths and shadow forms… And that the Scots simply described their own interactions with this “race” or “species” which is actually widespread and described by many cultures throughout history.

      The Unseelie were thought to capture people – to “collect” them – and thereby enslave them to become Unseelie themselves.

      Effective mystical defenses against the Fae include:

      Silver (although sometimes the Fae like silver, in which case you can barter for your life)
      Faith (doesn’t really matter in what, so long as it’s strong)
      A Circle (ideally standing inside of one, but just the symbol can chase all manner of nasty stuff off)

      Note also that, should you encounter anything you seriously believe to be Fae, the uglier it is, the friendlier it is likely to be, because the consciousness of the active universe is sometimes precisely inverse to what a human being might expect.

  6. Tim Whitcher

    04/21/2013 at 9:29 PM

    It was probably in the late ’90s that I saw a young teenaged boy in a Wal Mart in Michigan who had totally black eyes. I have to say, at first sight, I was freaked out, although I attempted not to show it when he made eye contact. I later wrote it off as contacts (a member of the band Korn wore such contacts, and I figured that was inspiration for the teen). But were these lens easily and cheaply available in the ’90s??

  7. Bryan Clark

    04/23/2013 at 9:30 AM

    Whatever these creatures are, they are not human and we should not interact with them. I do not believe that this in anything new, events such as this have been occurring for centuries, we live in a multidimensional plane of existence here on earth and should be prepared for such encounters. Whatever your faith is, have a mantra ready or be prepared to call upon your guardians or higher beings for assistance as there is as much or more good than evil in this plane of existence.

  8. Pearlie

    04/23/2013 at 10:08 AM

    Have noticed that some newer stories seem to be taking on racial or ethnic undertones. One I remember in particular described the BEKs as looking Asian. I think this is a fictional meme that is melding with real world uneasiness about a wave of immigrants now coming from parts of the world where very dark eyes are common with sometimes darker sclera as well. These non-European immigrants are bringing with them cultural practices and beliefs that aren’t widely known and understood. (How much do any of us who aren’t Muslim really know about Islam firt hand?) These immigrants behave in ways that are “strange”. Oh, and yes, they are “demanding” to be let in, just like the BEKs.

  9. Veritas2

    04/23/2013 at 11:29 PM

    Very interesting article.Tonight there was an almost full moon in the beautiful night sky here in Virginia. The air is crisp, making it perfect for a peaceful nighttime walk with the dog. Or so it would have been, if I hadn’t read about the BEK! This past week there was also a show on cable that featured stories about black eyed kid encounters. As a result, as I walked the streets of our quiet neighborhood with its houses set on large lots with trees and woods, I started to feel uneasy – almost paranoid. It was just chilly enough that the sounds of crickets and frogs that were abundant days ago, could no longer be heard. Just silence, except for the occasional twig cracking in the woods, or the odd birdlike noise. Ordinarily, I would think nothing of these random sounds, as we have all manner of wildlife around. However, I’ve now been primed, and so my mind considers the remote possibilities of otherwordly creatures as set forth in this article. My dog thanks you for cutting his walk short – lol.

  10. David Alois

    04/24/2013 at 2:05 AM

    I don’t have much to contribute except that perhaps we are beginning to merge with a higher(hopefully) dimension hence the more frequent reports of BEK’s, Others’s etc have become, or ,as Vicar rightly contends it is a load of BS and it is a desperate attempt for people who both invent the tales and those who give it the time of day to make their mundane existence a little less,.. well,..mundane. Great article ! Very nice read .I must say you have balls to openly admit to your obvious involvement in Majick/Magic or metaphysical science or however one wishes to define it. In my experience maybe 1 of 1000 to 1 of 10000 people would even have any concept of what you speak of bar the odd burnt out hippy suffocating in cheap incense, tripping over dream catches, with a penchant for crystals, native american posters and an over-inflated opinion of how spiritually advanced and serene they are, usually fueled by clonazapam, booze and way to much pot. Would you perhaps be able to recommend any web sites/books that could offer a less religious and perhaps unnecessarily convoluted way to use magic, thanks. My partner has had an unusually high amount of paranormal experiences, perhaps the most amazing of which she has several witnesses to and to date she has not found any account of another person who has experienced similar, we would appreciate any help with that.

  11. Leah Arielle

    04/24/2013 at 8:41 PM

    OK…I am going to go on a limb here…
    My theory is that the BEKs are the souls of children who have been abused unto death, or who were aborted perhaps. Their “hatred” is not one of blind malice. They simply want to have justice (or revenge).
    If i encountered one, I would swallow my fear, put my hands on their shoulders, look into their eyes and say “I love you. I am sorry for whatever pain you suffered.”

  12. JillV

    04/25/2013 at 3:24 PM

    the first story I heard about the BEK was from a woman in San Diego I think. she was at home the first time. she had multiple sitings around town right afterward. it really scared her. I think she even called the police when they were outside her house.

    I’ve also heard the fae don’t like iron. neither do the djinn. i’d place my bet on that as well as the silver.

    also i think the Vicar is right about this:
    Now I’m wondering if the BEKs asking to be let in is just the way in which they feed. Perhaps you don’t have to let them in – they get enough fear off of you just by making the request.

    i think they do it to terrorize rather than to actually gain access to someone alone in their house. most of these people seem to be alone as it is when this thing happens. why not just take the people out right there if you’re a paranormal entity. who would see it?

    unless the whole permission thing is important. they have to be invited inside to really feed maybe.

    I also like the story of the guy on the army base who met them one night while home alone.

  13. Cherie

    04/30/2013 at 10:54 AM

    Well, heck, why not throw in my two-cents… I’ve read a lot of the same stories everyone else here has. Central link is as written in the article; the stranger insists on being invited in (obviously not a burglar or assassin, then) or meets individual in the open and looks scary.

    Fear is hard-wired from birth (or maybe before), however… the learned habit of fearing wierd stuff (experience?) is often augmented with the subconscious ‘sumpin ain’t right here’ nudge I’m pretty sure everyone has felt, and usually prompts flight-or-fight.

    In nearly every story (okay – Every Story) I’ve read on the subject, the ‘flight’ response seems to be prevalent. If anyone has heard/read one where the frightened person chases the frightening person(s) away, I’d like to hear about it. Perhaps JillV has one (army base meeting)?

  14. Michael

    08/06/2013 at 4:24 PM

    BEK’s are cloned bodies devoid of human spirit that have been possessed by inter-dimensional demons. Check out L.A. Marzulli’s “Watchers” series and then follow up with Steve Quayle’s radio show concerning them. Stan Deyo might also have some information too. While your at it, “Messengers of Deception” by Jacques Vallee should be on everyone’s reading list. Have fun!

  15. Suzee

    03/20/2014 at 5:52 PM

    Okay; I haven’t seen black-eyed children, but I HAVE seen a couple of demons (including one which leaned out of someone’s chest, looked at me and snarled, and was also seen by two other people sitting at the table with me). They have solid black eyes. Upon discussing this sort of thing with others, I’ve heard (rarely) similar stories. Black eyes = demons. I know no one will take this seriously so I don’t know why I bothered posting it; but I guess I will just say if you are ever confronted by someone either with black eyes, or someone whose eyes flick from normal to solid black, do not engage.

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