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?
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.
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…
What 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.