Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.

SIGN UP FOR SNEAK PEEKS OF MY NEXT BOOK + NEWSLETTER-ONLY UPDATES.

Black-eyed kids: fact or fiction?

Picture this…

It’s late at night. Perhaps you’re alone, or maybe your spouse or roommate is sleeping upstairs.

There’s a knock at the door.

Instead of acting protective, your pet runs away or hides nearby, whining and cringing.

You check the peephole, or look out the window, and see two kids. They’re probably blonde, with long bangs hiding their eyes. Without you saying a word, they know you’re there. They ask to use your phone. They’re in trouble, they say. Their mother is waiting for them. Please, can they come in and use your phone?

As you begin to open the door, a terrible sense of fear and dread overwhelms you. You want to help those children–anyone would–but every instinct you have is screaming at you, warning you not to open that door.

When you back away, the children get less polite and more insistent. You must let them in.

And then you see their eyes through the peephole. They are solid black, with no whites visible.

You’re unable to sleep for the rest of the night, even though you watched through the window as they finally left your house and walked down the street.

The next morning, you find a word carved into your door.

Soon, it says.

I’ve just described a typical encounter with the black-eyed kids. Many say they are an urban legend, but there are hundreds–if not thousands–of so-called true encounters on the Internet. Reddit has a large thread where people regularly report their personal stories.

Sometimes the kids’ eyes are described as all black, other times as having black irises or weirdly dilated pupils. In each case, the person felt like they were in a trance, compelled to help the children and open the door, until they saw the strange eyes.

If black-eyed kids are more than legend, what are they? There are many theories, ranging from aliens to ghosts to vampires, which I suspect came about because the kids have to be invited in, much like Dracula and his buddies.

And even more intriguing, what happens if you do let them in? I could only find one such account, and the guy said he fell into a trance where he felt like he was being torn apart before his girlfriend came home and rescued him.

Have you met a black-eyed kid, or do you know someone who has? What do you think these children are after? What are they?

PS: For more creepy children, check out this post.

1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.

63 Comments

  1. This is as scary as all hell … no, I’ve never seen one nor will I seek one – but it seems as if ‘they’ do the seeking …

    Reply
    • JH

      It is pretty scary, Susan, especially since most people’s first instinct would be to help a child in trouble.

      If it’s true, it’s terrifying, and if not, it’s one spooky urban legend!

      Reply
  2. Geez, this is a thing? I thought it was just a horror movie thrill, not an urban legend. How creepy!

    Reply
    • JH

      It’s definitely a thing, Elle. If you have time, check the Reddit feed. There are tons of stories on there.

      It is totally creepy, I agree. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  3. I’m so glad I read these posts in the daytime. Although, this one creeped me out anyway. I’m really hoping no one rings the doorbell today…. 😮

    Reply
    • JH

      Me too, Madeline. Remember to always check your peephole. Good rule to live by!

      Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  4. Now, THAT’s scary!!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Kath! If you have a blog, I’d love to support you as well. Feel free to link to it.

      Reply
  5. OMG I hope to never see one of them!

    Reply
    • JH

      Me too, Alice. I would freak! But also be curious, I have to admit.

      Reply
  6. Here from/for A to Z. Gah. Now I never want to go to my front door again.

    Someone carved something on my front door before we moved in. The previous owners tried to fill it in and paint it over but slowly it’s pushing its way back to the surface. And now you’ve scared the bejebus out of me.

    I read your “A” post as well. I write science fiction, but because I’m a former historian, I know lots of readers. Several have begged to read my book draft saying they don’t like sci fi but they would probably like my book since they liked my non-fiction…. and are now avoiding me. I told them it’s not lit fic, it’s sci fi. Very, very much of a nerdy genre. I’ve had really great, positive but honest feedback from friends who also like sci fi and fantasy so I’m excited to finish and send it on. People who don’t surprise, apparently don’t like it but are afraid to admit it. I’d never dump a friend for not liking my writing though.

    Reply
    • JH

      Welcome, Rory! I hope to see you back here again. Always great to meet another writer and a historian–I love history and have a keen interest in it, as you’ll see in a lot of the upcoming posts.

      That story about your door is freaky! Can you tell what the word was?

      Well, I’m pretty open when I don’t read or care for genres, but I’ve edited romance books for friends (I don’t normally read romance) and loved them. In this case, we wrote the same genre, which is one of the reasons I could see a lot of problems. Problem number one–the book wasn’t scary.

      I’ll glad you’ve been able to get some great feedback on your work. Good beta readers are worth their weight in gold.

      Reply
      • The letters come through more clearly with each change in the season (nothing scary there, just the contraction/expansion of wood) so eventually we might be able to. Thanks to you, I’m going to start taking pictures of the door to document the change. It better not say soon! I’ve always figured it’s some kid’s initials.

        Reply
        • JH

          Well, let me know when you find out, Rory! I’m intrigued.

          Reply
  7. This one made me laugh. I’m sure it’s freaky, but after having two babies who woke me every two hours at night I can’t help but giggle. I would stumble into the room to pick up my screaming infant, who would then suddenly stop crying and would stare at me with black eyes. Their pupils are huge and seem to absorb whatever little light filtered into the room. I never turned on a light. Moonlight could make them glow as it reflected off the back of their pupils.

    Now, saying that, there is no way I would open the door to the freaky black eyed children in this legend!

    Reply
    • JH

      As someone who doesn’t have children, that sounds pretty freaky to me, Bonnie, but I’m sure the Black-Eyed Kids are a little more unusual. I’m guessing you didn’t feel a horrific sense of dread when you approached your infant…or at least, I hope not! 😉

      Thanks for commenting. You rock!

      Reply
  8. One look at your image I’m already under the desk. Don’t let them come to the door.

    Reply
    • JH

      Welcome to my blog! Hope I didn’t freak you out too much…maybe I’m doing my job too well. 😉

      Reply
      • JH

        PS – I love your blog and your theme! I’ll definitely be back.

        Reply
    • JH

      What was it about this one that turned you off? Too scary?

      Reply
  9. Oh, that is creepy. I got chills! Now I know to look at the eyes of any kids, especially blonde-haired kids, who knock on my door.

    Reply
    • JH

      It’s definitely the safest course of action, Chrys! Thanks for commenting.

      Reply
  10. Scary children get me every time–even in otherwise cheesy horror movies!

    Reply
    • JH

      I wonder what it is about children that makes them so darn creepy!

      Reply
  11. Yeah.. one second, I just need to go and remove the door bell and cover the glass in my front door.

    OK. Done.

    Another brilliantly freaky myth. I had heard of this one. I think, maybe from a Ghost Hunters type show on TV.

    I actually had a prompt today for tomorrows post that could have lead to a “supernatural” path, but for some reason I just couldn’t walk down there. I blame what was on TV at the time which was a whole other horror story.

    Reply
    • JH

      True crime, I’m guessing?

      Glad I inspired you to prepare your door. You just never know…

      Reply
  12. Oh my goodness, that picture is creepy!

    Reply
    • JH

      Hi Katy! Welcome to my blog. Yes, I may have overdone it. I’m really freaking people out today.

      Reply
  13. Is it abuse if you hit a ghost child? I’m not someone that is moved by children being in danger. Children being the danger freaks me out almost as much as clowns.

    Reply
    • JH

      Brr…clowns! I hate clowns! Even before I knew about John Wayne Gacy, I hated clowns.

      If you trounced one of the black-eyed kids, I think the world would forgive you.

      Reply
  14. They’re probably stoned, thus the weird eye dilation – and they’re being used by adults to convince people to open the door. Once the door is opened, it’s easier to gain entrance to rob the place.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses use the same schtick – they put a child in front of the door to be seen with the adult standing off to the side, out of sight. People are more prone to open their door for a child than a strange adult. When the door is opened because someone sees a kid on their doorstep, then the adult steps out from beside the door and begins to proselyte.

    Reply
  15. I came across these while researching for my NaNo project. There are also adult versions too and black hats. Then there are the Cherokee legends that talk about similar beings.

    The thought of them scare the crud out of me.

    Reply
    • JH

      They are pretty terrifying. Who are they, and what do they want?

      I didn’t know about the adult versions…I’ll have to look into that!

      Reply
      • They are called shadow people.

        And I meant Choctaw not Cherokee. Similar to shadow people. They are called nalusa falaya.

        Reply
        • JH

          Thanks for the info! I’ll check it out.

          Reply
  16. I’ve always been fascinated by the black eyed kids. I’m torn as to whether I believe in them. I do mostly think it’s an urban legend and I think a lot of the so called encounters are made up, but I could just be being cynical. I can’t help but think that in this day and age, if it was true, at least some of theses people who report sightings would have video evidence to back it up
    Debbie

    Reply
    • JH

      True, but whenever there is video evidence of something, everyone says it’s a hoax. Hard to win these days.

      Reply
  17. First I have heard of this, but my question would be ‘What were they smoking?’ Aliens I can buy into; weird kids at my door only happens at Halloween.

    Reply
  18. Are we talking a black sclera and black iris and black pupil, or the idea that the entire eye is pupil? It’d be interesting to explore what each one would mean, biologically. (All-iris would mean you’d see great at night, I imagine, but during the day you’d be blind.)

    You do come up with the most interesting topics, J!

    Reply
    • JH

      Ha ha, trust you to go for the technical question, Randee. I believe it refers to the entire eye being black, as in–no white of the eye showing at all. But that would be a tad obvious, so perhaps it was just a strange kid with really dark eyes that sparked this entire legend.

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m happy my blog be thought of as interesting.

      Reply
  19. I saw the title for this post in my email, but I hadn’t had a chance to check it out yet. Then I’m on the FB and I see someone else posting about the same subject! Too weird. Did you know there is a coloring book? 🙂 I’ll share the link on FB messenger.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks for sharing the link, Heather, but I have to say, that seems like a boring colouring book. I guess the choices in the eye color would be fairly limited. 🙂

      Reply
  20. Ah! That’s the stuff that produces nightmares. It’s probably a story of prankster teens gone viral. Eep. I will freak if anyone rings my doorbell after dark, now.

    Reply
    • JH

      Probably a good rule of thumb, unless you live in a small town (and sometimes even then). Here in the city, if someone rings your doorbell at night and you’re not expecting anyone, you do not answer. Ever. And it’s not because of black-eyed kids, either.

      Reply
  21. I love these stories, but I had no idea there were so many accounts of Black-Eyed Children. Which got me thinking: are all reports from the Americas? I’ve heard plenty of urban legends in my time, but I have never heard of any accounts like this taking place in (Western) Europe. A bit like Slender Man doesn’t seem to pop up in the “Old World”. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • JH

      Hmm…good question, Chris. The answer is, I’m not sure. This could be a North American legend, but I find most of these kinds of stories have variations all over the world. Here they’re known as black-eyed kids, but maybe where you are, they’re called something else and there’s a different aspect that’s a bit off.

      Reply
  22. Never say never, states the old saying, and I think it is a wise advice. Fortunately,I have never seen one of these beings, though my father, as a surgeon, has told me that he, a convinced atheist, has witnessed many strange events related to the unknown in the special atmosphere of a surgical room…Whatever the truth is about these supposed night-eyed kids, the only story is at least disturbing.

    Reply
    • JH

      Ooh, that sounds really interesting, María. I’d love to hear more about your father’s stories. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  23. I think out of all things horror, creepy kids do me in the most. *shudder* Thankfully, we haven’t had any of those black-eyed kids popping up in our neighborhood.

    Reply
    • JH

      Yet. You haven’t had them popping up YET.

      Reply
  24. There are too many comments to read through, so I won’t be sure I’m not repeating the words of others but, GOOD HELL! I”M NEVER GOING TO SLEEP WELL AGAIN! That was too creepy and you know damn well Imma look up all these stories and creep myself out.

    Reply
    • JH

      Ha ha! That’s my job, Ryan. Good to hear I still got it. 😉

      Reply
  25. Seems like a very clever way to start a dialogue about an upcoming horror flick, or book. This could be such a huge idea, where the legend crosses over into real life. Start the idea on Reddit, chat rooms, etc. and watch it blossom. Or maybe I’m behind the times and there’s a book/movie already? Good idea. 🙂

    Reply
    • JH

      I believe there is. There’s probably a few, since this is an older urban legend. I know there’s a colouring book. 🙂

      Reply
  26. When I read through the whole post, I kept wondering what would happen if one lets these kids in. Or, what happened “soon” in the event of the carved door. Creepy stuff! I would feel haunted for quite a while after sending the kids away. You can decipher a lot from the pets’/dogs’ behavior in situations like these. I’d trust their instincts.

    Reply
    • JH

      It’s certainly an interesting question. I’m guessing nothing good would come of it, but what if they’re just poor little lost alien children trying to find their parents? It would put a different spin on the myth, that’s for sure.

      Reply
    • JH

      That might be for the best…especially since you live on a boat. 😉

      Reply
  27. Blackeyed kids are definitely one of the urban legends that hit me on **that** level. They sorta linger in the back of my conscious, they way that Slenderman or other boogeymen just don’t.

    Reply
    • JH

      They are pretty darn creepy, Karen.

      Reply
  28. Bizarre, but hard to take seriously. Still, I don’t think I’ll be answering the door after 9 pm unless the knocker is holding an Amazon box.

    Reply
    • JH

      Sounds like a good plan, Tamara.

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Rory Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *