Perhaps one of the first urban legends of the Internet, stories and claims of encounters with black-eyed children can arguably be traced back to a report of an incident in 1996 involving a man named Brian Bethel.
Bethel claimed he was sitting in his car going through paperwork when a knock came at his car window. He looked out to see two young boys, around 12 years old, who asked the journalist for a ride to a local movie theater. He might have agreed, had he not noticed that where their eyes should have been were soulless, deep black stones staring back at him. He sped off as fast as he could, and since his account, numerous claims of sightings have flooded Internet chat rooms and alternative media sites.
While most, probably rightly, put these reports down to mistaken copycat sightings or out-and-out hoaxes, some have investigated deeper, and several sightings predate Bethel’s by decades. Whether they’re ghosts, demons, aliens, or simply the product of people’s overactive imaginations, the stories are all interesting and equally chilling. Here are 10 of them, and if you hear a knock at your door while reading these, maybe think twice before opening it.
10 Black-Eyed Girl Of Cannock Chase
In September 2014, tabloid newspaper The Daily Star ran several full front-page stories of a black-eyed girl who was terrorizing the area of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, England. Lee Brickley, a paranormal investigator, examined the case. He claimed that a local woman had suddenly heard a terrifying scream, which she believed to be a child in danger. She ran in search of the child, and after initially not seeing anyone, she noticed that a girl dressed in white stood behind her. She stated that the young girl had her hands over her eyes “as if she was waiting for a birthday cake” and was silent.
The woman, who also had her young daughter with her, asked the strange girl if she was okay, which seemed to prompt her to take her hands from her face, and open her eyes. “That’s when I saw they were completely black, no iris, no white, nothing,” the witness told Brickley. “I jumped back and grabbed my daughter. When I looked again, the child was gone. It was so strange.”
Brickley also told the media that his own aunt had witnessed this same girl over 30 years earlier in 1982. He stated that she had heard a young girl calling for help before seeing a girl dressed in white running away from her. Brickley’s aunt caught up to her and placed a hand on her shoulder to see if she was okay. When they girl turned around, his aunt could see that her eyes were completely black. The girl then turned and continued to run before disappearing.
In April 2015, a video taken from a drone flying over the fields of Cannock Chase appeared on YouTube. In the background, some believe that the drone unintentionally caught a strange girl, dressed in white and matching descriptions of the alleged black-eyed girl of Cannock Chase.
Medium Christine Hamlett believes that the she managed to capture a photograph of the spooky specter. She also believes, in part due to her gift to connect with the other side, that the girl is the spirit of a child who died of diphtheria during the Victorian era. Those who do suffer from the disease also suffer from a paralysis of the eyes, which makes them appear dark and sunken.
9 Strange Figures In Courtyard
According to David Weatherly’s investigations, a strange encounter involving black-eyed children occurred in the small village of Aisne, France, in 1974. The case was originally investigated by Joel Mesnard and Jean Marie Bigorne and involved two men named only as Alain G. and Patrick V.
While leisurely driving around the small village, the two men stopped their car in front of a house while attempting to do a turn in the road. As they glanced into the property’s courtyard, they saw five mysterious figures, who appeared to be looking at them. The figures were around 1.3 meters (4 ft) tall and were all dressed in the same long garments. Their hair was long, seemingly right down to their waists. The strangest thing by far, however, was their solid black eyes.
The figure closest to the men’s car gestured to them to come into the courtyard. Unnerved and frightened, the men sped away from the scene. It is claimed that they returned later with more people with them, but there was no sign of the strange figures they’d seen earlier that day.
When investigators spoke to people in the area, one neighbor stated that he had also seen the strange figures. He believed they were children and had seen them playing in the road.
8 US Marine Receives A Knock On His Door
While based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, an unnamed US Marine stated that in November 2009, he had a strange encounter with black-eyed children near the barracks where he lived.
The anonymous witness stated that he was alone in his room one evening watching a movie when a knock came at his door. Expecting it to be his roommate, who had forgotten his key, the Marine opened it without hesitation. When he did, though, he was presented with the sight of two small children standing outside. As soon as he saw them, the man stated that he was filled with dread and had an impulse to slam the door shut as fast as he could. That was before he realized that both children had jet-black eyes.
Despite his fear, the Marine asked the children what they wanted, to which they responded, all the while staring straight at him, that it was cold outside and that they wanted to come inside and read. The Marine suddenly realized that no one else was within sight, and as the children took a step toward the room, he gave in to the impulse that was racing through him and shut the door quickly. The knocking continued for several minutes, in addition to a “rattling” from his window, before the noises stopped, and the children appeared to be gone.
The Marine made some idle inquiries the following morning, but the few people who had been on-site during his strange encounter stated that they hadn’t seen or heard anything strange.
7 The Strange Tale Of Kerrie Kisner
On her way home one afternoon from Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina, 20-year-old Kerrie Kisner took a detour and stopped at the Triangle Town Center mall. After visiting the mall, she made her way back to her car in the parking lot. As she did so, she noticed a strange, almost sick-looking boy talking with an older lady. The boy looked pale with dark rings around his eyes, and he appeared to have a rigid and unnatural posture.
The old lady appeared to be searching in her purse for something to give to the young boy, whom Kerrie estimated to be around 12 years old. Kerrie suddenly became more acutely aware that there were very few people around, and the place seemed to take on an almost sinister feel. She quickened her pace to reach her vehicle, but as she passed the pair, the young boy locked eyes with her. Kerrie couldn’t help but stare back. They boy’s eyes were completely black, like gaping holes in his head.
She moved away as quickly as she could, while the boy suddenly turned and walked away from the scene, not waiting to receive whatever the old lady was searching in her purse for. Kerrie stated that she had the strange impression that while she was staring at the child, he could read her mind and knew what she was thinking about him.
6 Black-Eyed ‘Ghost’ Caught On Camera
Although she was technically an adult when she was executed at age 21 in 1542, the child-like black-eyed alleged ghost of Catherine Howard is said to appear regularly at Hampton Court Palace.
Recently, 45-year-old Trevor Tyre managed to snap a photograph of the dark-eyed specter, kneeling in the gallery and seeming to peer over the railings. They story goes that after she was imprisoned at Hampton Court, Catherine momentarily escaped from her guards and took this route in a desperate search for King Henry VIII in order to beg for her life to be spared.
Tyre, who is a coach driver and decided to take some pictures of the impressive building while he waited for his group to return from their sightseeing, said that when he took the picture, he couldn’t see the black-eyed apparition. Only when he returned home did he and a friend notice the strange girl staring down at them, dressed in what appears to be a white gown.
Whether it is indeed Catherine Howard or an unknown black-eyed child, several staff members at Hampton Court Palace have stated that the figure has been seen by many people over the years.
5 Woman Lets Black-Eyed Children Into Her Home
In January 2016, a report appeared on the Internet, said to have come from an unnamed woman who had not only encountered black-eyed children, but made the mistake of allowing them into her home. According to the report, it was a decision that she believed would have lasting implications.
The woman claimed to live in Vermont and told of how in the middle of a blizzard one evening around a year earlier, a loud knocking sounded at the front door of the house she shared with her husband. Thinking that someone had been in a motor accident due to the weather, the woman went to answer the door. A quick look out of the window revealed footprints in the snow leading to the house, but there was no sign of a vehicle on the road. Now a little unnerved, she awoke her husband. As the banging on the door continued, he went to answer it.
Two children were stood on the doorstep, a boy and a girl looking to be around eight years old. The woman recalled that they were not dressed for the cold conditions outside and that she felt instantly unnerved by their presence. Despite her probable better judgement, she invited the two children inside.
As she ushered the two children into the living room, she noticed how her cats appeared to be afraid of the visitors, with one in particular hissing at them as they passed. She offered to make the pair a cup of cocoa to warm them up and recalled that whatever she asked them, their reply was always the same: “Our parents will be here soon.” She came into the room with the two cups of cocoa, and as they looked up at her to take the drinks, she noticed with horror that where their eyes should have been were two jet-black balls like giant pupils.
As she stared at them, they both suddenly asked if they could use the bathroom. She tried to remain calm and directed them to it. A moment later, her husband’s nose began to bleed, and then the power suddenly went out. As the woman attempted to make her way to get her husband a tissue, she noticed both children standing at the end of the hall, motionless and staring at her.
They suddenly broke the silence and said, “Our parents are here,” before opening the front door and making their way back out into the night. Even stranger, as she went to close the door, she saw the children getting into a black car as two tall men, both dressed in suits, stood next to it. They, too, entered the vehicle and drove away.
In the months following, the woman’s husband was diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer, and although she didn’t go into specifics, stated that she also suddenly began to suffer from regular nosebleeds and described herself as being in the “worst condition of [her] life.” She is convinced that both her and her husband’s ill health is connected to that snowy night when they allowed the two black-eyed children into their home.
4 Harold Meets The Devil
One of the earliest known accounts of black-eyed children dates back to 1950 in Vriginia and concerns a 16-year-old boy, known only as “Harold.”
According to the story, which was researched and investigated by David Weatherly, the teenager was walking home one afternoon when he came across another boy leaning against a fence, as if waiting for someone. Harold attempted to speak to him but received no response. He was about to walk off and go on with his journey, when the strange boy suddenly stated to Harold, “I want to go to your house. You’re going to walk me up to your house.”
It was then that Harold noticed the blackness of the boy’s eyes. There was no white, just solid black. Then something even stranger and more chilling happened: Harold had begun to contemplate turning and running home as fast as he could when the boy blurted out, “Now, don’t you run away from me. You’re going to walk me up to your house.”
Harold turned and ran anyway, faster than his legs had ever carried him before. He later recalled to his parents that as he did so, he heard a scream behind him—a scream that sounded very similar to that of a bobcat.
Interestingly, his parents believed their son’s account, so much so that his father was said to have grabbed his gun and immediately gone out looking for the menacing boy who had demanded his son take him to their family home. His mother apparently thought her son had an encounter with the Devil himself and stated that she would take him to see the local priest.
3 Black-Eyed Children Approach Gas Station
A strange tale of a black-eyed children encounter was broadcast on Darkness Radio in September 2015 and was said to have taken place in a gas station in Northeast Louisiana. The encounter took place in November 2012. The gas station was a lonely building just off the highway and was the only service station for miles around. It was around 3:00 AM, and the attendant was going about his normal duties when the power suddenly went out, plunging him into darkness.
Using his phone as a makeshift torch, the attendant made his way back to the backup gas generator and switched it on. The backup lighting came on, but only the parking lot and the hall to the register was lit up. The rest of the gas station remained enveloped in darkness.
The area had experienced heavy winds that evening, so the attendant wasn’t terribly uneasy, figuring that the bad weather was probably to blame for the power outage. That was until he saw something moving at the edge of the darkness. He watched intently for several moments, eventually making out what looked to be three children riding bikes.
Almost as soon as he saw them, two leaped from their bikes and made their way over to the gas station. They stopped at the doorway and stood staring at the attendant. Now a little unsettled but still not overly concerned, he made his way to the door and opened it, asking the two children if they were okay and stating it was late for such young kids to be roaming around near the highway.
One of them, a young girl, asked him if she could use his phone. As he handed her his mobile phone, her eyes met his, and the attendant saw that they were solid black orbs. “No,” the girl snapped, “I need the real one!” motioning to use the landline phone in the gas station itself. At this point, fear finally overtook the attendant, and he pushed the door shut and locked it in one move, shouting as he did so that the girl should go home.
The children stared at the attentant through the window for a moment longer before turning around, getting on their bikes, and riding off into the darkness. The following morning, the attendant told his boss of the ordeal and requested that he go through the security cameras. However, they had been off due to the power outage. It is not known if the power going out was connected to the alleged black-eyed children’s arrival or if it was just a bizarre coincidence.
2 Strange Teenagers In Ohio
A report from an Ohio man who was given the pseudonym “Noetic” told of a strange encounter in July 2010 with two black-eyed teenagers outside the data center where he worked. Noetic was taking a break during his night shift and was smoking a cigarette outside the building at around 5:00 AM when he noticed two teenage boys across the street from his building. He felt immediately unnerved as soon as he noticed them, perhaps because they appeared to be staring straight at him but were otherwise motionless.
He quickly finished his cigarette and went back inside the building and back to work. Around 10 minutes later, however, the intercom from the front door buzzed, and as Noetic turned to observe the monitors, he could see that it was the two boys who had been staring him down earlier. He pressed the talk button and asked what they wanted, stating he was busy. Neither of the boys spoke, but one of them motioned to the camera for him to come outside. He pressed the talk button again, told them they would have to leave, and then went back to work.
The two boys continued to stare into the camera as though they were looking through the TV monitor into the room where he worked. After another 10 minutes or so, Noetic decided to go to the front door and ask the boys to leave and to let him get on with his job. Before he opened the door, however, he sneaked a look at the two boys through the one-way glass. They looked normal enough, apart from the fact that they had completely black eyes. This made him feel even more on edge, but he decided to open the door anyway and tell the boys to leave or he would have to call the police.
As soon as he opened the door, one of the boys said to him as if he had been reading his mind, “That will not be necessary sir, we simply need to use your phone, can you let us in?” Noetic declined, saying that nobody was allowed in. The boys asked again to be invited in to the building and then stood there staring at the now distressed man. Noetic pulled out his mobile phone, repeating his threat to call the police and pulled the door shut again.
He went back to observe the pair from the safety of the monitor. One boy remained at the door and stared into the camera, while the other boy made his way to the back of the building and stared into the camera there. Noetic called the police, all the while watching his monitors. The boys made their way to a “blind spot” on the system’s security cameras, but while Noetic waited for them to reappear on one of his monitors, they seemed to have simply vanished. By the time the police did arrive at around 6:00 AM, there was no sign of either of the two strange teenagers.
1 Nightly Smoke Turns Into Strange Sighting
One of Jim Stills’s daily pleasures was to step outside of his house and enjoy a cigar in the open air of the early evening. At some point during his nightly smokes, Stills began to notice a strange young boy walking along the street awkwardly. He saw the boy night after night, and for reasons he couldn’t explain, he felt more and more uneasy with each passing evening, so much so that he gave up on his nightly pleasure and stayed indoors instead. He kept watch from the safety of his home on the young boy, who continued to appear each night, roaming the street with a “stiff” walk, sometimes remaining outside until the early hours of the morning.
Time passed, and Stills’s interest in the boy declined, until he eventually forgot about the strange sightings altogether. That changed one evening, when he stepped outside of his front door to have a cigarette and stopped dead as he saw the boy standing directly in front of him. He stared at him with eyes that were completely black and lacked any type of emotion.
The boy asked Stills in a matter-of-fact tone to let him inside his home. The demand prompted Stills to rush back inside the house and slam the door on the terrifying child. He began to keep a nightly watch again for the strange boy, and although he didn’t see him again, he apparently never again dared to venture out from his home after dark.