Some of you may get this twice. Sorry. I'm mass-posting this. My apologies.
In short, for those in the know (most of you): They're back. Yes, I mean "they." Them. Those. The infamous black-eyed kids. But not to me. This time, they've appeared to a trusted friend who didn't know my orignal story.
I'm a channel operator on the Undernet #ghosts channel. Generally a fun time is had by all, but last night was not.
This is going to be very, very long, people. I'm sorry.
I'll repost my original story first for background.
Those who've read it hundreds of times can skip to the IRC transcript below
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 19:12:25 -0800 (PST)
From: "Brian Bethel" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Those Darned Black-Eyed Kids
Well, believe it or not, the Ram Page follow-up still languishes unfinished on my hard drive. I don't know when I'll have it done, and I'll probably have to break it up into multiple posts to get it in any way manageable. Patience, I pray.
But since a lot of people seem to be requesting this one, here's some info on those darned black-eyed kids.
I've just woken up from a mega nap. It's 1 a.m. I'll never get to sleep again. So why not write, eh? I guess I was exhausted from too many forays onto Sixth Street in Austin at my reporting conference.
Enjoy. Or whatever. :)
I don't really know what I'd call this story if I was submitting it for publication in Fate or something of its ilk. "Brian vs. the Evil, Black-eyed, Possibly Vampiric or Demonic But At Least Not Bloody Normal Kids" doesn't have much of a ring to it. (Shrug.) :)
But that's at least an accurate title.
As so many things do, it all started out innocently.
My Internet Service Provider used to have offices in a shopping center before they moved to their (comparatively) lush accommodations elsewhere. There was a drop box at that original location. The monthly bill was due, and thus, there but for the Grace of the Net I went.
It was about 9:30 p.m. when I left. From my relatively isolated apartments, it's about 10-15 minutes or so to downtown (Abilene has a population of about 110,000).
Right next to Camalott Communications' old location is a $1.50 movie theater. At the time, the place was featuring that masterwork of modern film, Mortal Kombat. I drove by the theater on the way into the center proper and pulled into an empty parking space.
Using the glow of the marquee to write out my check, I was startled to hear a knock on the driver's-side window of my car.
I looked over and saw two children staring at me from street. I need to describe them, with the one feature (you can guess what it was) that I didn't realize until about half-way through the conversation cleverly omitted.
Both appeared to be in that semi-mystical stage of life children get into where you can't exactly tell their age. Both were boys, and my initial impression is that they were somewhere between 10-14.
Boy No. 1 was the spokesman. Boy No. 2 didn't speak during the entire conversation -- at least not in words.
Boy No. 1 was slightly taller than his companion, wearing a pull-over, hooded shirt with a sort of gray checked pattern and jeans. I couldn't see his shoes. His skin was olive-colored and had curly, medium-length brown hair. He exuded an air of quiet confidence.
Boy No. 2 had pale skin with a trace of freckles. His primary characteristic seemed to be looking around nervously. He was dressed in a similar manner to his companion, but his pull-over was a light green color. His hair was a sort of pale orange.
They didn't appear to be related, at least directly.
"Oh, great," I thought. "They're gonna hit me up for money." And then the air changed.
I've explained this before, but for the benefit of any new lurkers out there, right before I experience something strange, there's a change in perception that comes about which I describe in the above manner. It's basically enough time to know it's too late. ;)
So, there I was, filling out a check in my car (which was still running) and in a sudden panic over the appearance of two little boys. I was confused, but an overwhelming sense of fear and unearthliness rushed in nonetheless.
The spokesman smiled, and the sight for some inexplicable reason chilled my blood. 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.
I rolled down the window very, very slightly and asked "Yes?"
The spokesman smiled again, broader this time. His teeth were very, very white.
"Hey, mister, what's up? We have a problem," he said. His voice was that of a young man, but his diction, quiet calm and ... something I still couldn't put my finger on ... made my desire to flee even greater. "You see, my friend and I want to see the films, but we forgot our money," he continued. "We need to go to our house to get it. Want to help us out?"
Okay. Journalists are required to talk to lots of people, and that includes children. I've seen and spoken to lots of them. Here's how that usually goes:
"Uh ... M ... M ... Mister? Can I see that camera? I ... I won't break it or anything. I promise. My dad has a camera, and he lets me hold it sometimes, I guess, and I took a picture of my dog -- it wasn's very good, 'cause I got my finger in the way and ..."
Add in some feet shuffling and/or body swaying and you've got a typical kid talking to a stranger.
In short, they're usually apologetic. People generally teach children that when they talk to adults, they're usually bothering them for one reason or another and they should at least be polite.
This kid was in no way fitting the mold. His command of language was incredible and he showed no signs of fear. He spoke as if my help was a foregone conclusion. When he grinned, it was as if he was trying to say, "I know something ... and you're NOT gonna like it. But the only way you're going to find out what it is will be to do what I say ..."
"Uh, well ..." was the best reply I could offer.
Now here's where it starts to get strange.
The quiet companion looked at the spokesman with a mixture of confusion and guilt on his face. He seemed in some ways shocked, not with his friend's brusque manner but that I didn't just immediately open the door.
He eyed me nervously.
The spokesman seemed a bit perturbed, too. I still was registering something wrong with both.
"C'mon, mister," the spokesman said again, smooth as silk. Car salesmen could learn something from this kid. "Now, we just want to go to our house. And we're just two little boys."
That really scared me. Something in the tone and diction again sent off alarm bells. My mind was frantically trying to process what it was perceiving about the two figures that was "wrong."
"Eh. Um ...." was all I could manage. I felt myself digging my fingernails into the steering wheel.
"What movie were you going to see?" I asked finally.
"Mortal Kombat, of course," the spokesman said. The silent one nodded in affirmation, standing a few paces behind.
"Oh," I said. I stole a quick glance at the marquee and at the clock in my car. Mortal Kombat had been playing for an hour, the last showing of the evening.
The silent one looked increasingly nervous. I think he saw my glances and suspected that I might be detecting something was not above-board.
"C'mon, mister. Let us in. We can't get in your car until you do, you know," the spokesman said soothingly. "Just let us in, and we'll be gone before you know it. We'll go to our mother's house."
We locked eyes.
To my horror, I realized my hand had strayed toward the door lock (which was engaged) and was in the process of opening it. I pulled it away, probably a bit too violently. But it did force me to look away from the children.
I turned back. "Er ... Um ...," I offered weakly and then my mind snapped into sharp focus.
For the first time, I noticed their eyes.
They were coal black. No pupil. No iris. Just two staring orbs reflecting the red and white light of the marquee.
At that point, I know my expression betrayed me. The silent one had a look of horror on his face in a combination that seemed to indicate: A) The impossible had just happened and B) "We've been found out!"
The spokesman, on the other hand, wore a mask of anger. His eyes glittered brightly in the half-light.
"Cmon, mister," he said. "We won't hurt you. You have to LET US IN. We don't have a gun ..."
That last statement scared the living hell out of me, because at that point by his tone he was plainly saying, "We don't NEED a gun."
He noticed my hand shooting down toward the gear shift. The spokesman's final words contained an anger that was complete and whole, and yet contained in some respects a tone of panic:
"WE CAN'T COME IN UNLESS YOU TELL US IT'S OKAY. LET ... US .... IN!"
I ripped the car into reverse (thank goodness no one was coming up behind me) and tore out of the parking lot. I noticed the boys in my peripheral vision, and I stole a quick glance back.
They were gone. The sidewalk by the theater was deserted.
I drove home in a heightened state of panic. Had anyone attempted to stop me, I would have run on through and faced the consequences later.
I bolted into my house, scanning all around -- including the sky.
What did I see? Maybe nothing more than some kids looking for a ride.
And some really funky contacts. Yeah, right.
A friend suggested they were vampires, what with the old "let us in" bit and my compelled response to open the door. That and the "we'll go see our mother" thing.
I'm still not sure what they were, but here's an epilogue I find chilling:
I talk about Chad a lot. He's still my best friend, my best ghost-hunting companion and an all-around cool guy. He recently moved to Amarillo, but at the time this happened was still living in San Angelo of Ram Page fame.
I called him and talked to him briefly. He had two female friends with him at the time, both professing some type of psychic ability.
I started telling him the story, leaving out the part about the black eyes for the kicker. One of the women (we were on a speakerphone) stopped me.
"These children had black eyes, right?" she asked. "I mean, all-black eyes?"
"Er ... Yes." I said. I was a bit taken aback.
"Hmmm," she said. "One night last week, I had a dream about children with black eyes. They were outside my house, wanting to be let in, but there was something wrong with them. It took me a while to realize it was the eyes."
I hadn't even gotten as far as them wanting to come in.
"What did you do?" I asked.
"I kept the doors and windows locked," she said. "I knew if they came in, they would kill me."
"And they would have killed you, too, if you had let them into your car."
So, from this extra-long post, we have three unanswered questions:
A) What did I see?
B) What would have happened if I opened my car door?
C) Why does Chad always get the cool psychic chicks? ;)
Well, there you have it. I'll write some more later. But for now, your comments are welcomed as always.
Okay. Original's there. Now check this out:
I should preface this by saying that Jon Northwood is one of my very good Internet friends. A gentleman of high intelligence and candor, he's an investigator for SPIRIT, a pagan rights coordinator in his home state of Oregon and one of the nicest fellows I've ever met. He doesn't joke around about the paranormal.
Which is why this scares me to no end. I'm absolutely certain it's true.
Jon and I had never talked about the "black-eyed kids" before. In fact, he wasn't aware that I had an experience like his.
He swears that all of the text below is true.
I believe him
(I'm THOTH in the transcript, by the way.)
Webmaster's note: NOTE: Most off-topic dialogue was removed for length considerations, dialogue lines were rearranged for easier readability, and minor grammatical errors were corrected.
So, do any of y'all really believe in ghosts? Or, for that matter,
kids with funny eyes? (shiver -- never again, in downtown Portland
at night . . .)
<Lykaon> kids with....wha?...
<Thoth> Er ... Jon. You know I do. And I believe in kids with funny eyes,
<Thoth> Did you see some?
<Nancy-> Well, I guess I believe in ghosts. And I have seen kids with funny eyes. :-)
<JonNrthwd> Yes -- a week ago -- downtown Portland about 2330.
<Lykaon> i believe in ghosts....kids...like the ones from village of the damned?...
<Thoth> Indeed. Do tell, Master Northwood.
<Lykaon> it was like a bunch of 6-8 year olds with glowing white eyes...
* Thoth hmmms. (The children he saw had black eyes. Assuming, of course, they had eyes at all.)
<Hellraisr> ah I remember that Thoth
<Hellraisr> remember u telling it
<Thoth> It was most disturbing.
<Lykaon> just regular kids but with black eyes...
<JonNrthwd> I was in downtown Portland (Oregon) after a seminar series on software development. I'd grabbed a bite of dinner about 10pm, and when I left it was about 11(ish). I'd grabbed a bite of dinner about 10pm, and when I left it was about 11(ish).
<JonNrthwd> I'd gotten in my car, locked and belted up and just started the
engine when someone tapped on my window.
<Thoth> This sounds ... incredibly familiar, Jon.
<JonNrthwd> I was in an above-ground garage on the third floor, so I wasn't too freaked (good lighting, still some people around).
<JonNrthwd> It was one of the guys from the conference, so I rolled down my window and asked him what was up.
<JonNrthwd> He wanted a ride around the block a few times, as he was freaked about who was standing outside his car.
<JonNrthwd> I figured (so sue me) that it was some of Portland's homeless, or some punker kids. So, being a good Samaritan, I let him in and we took off.
<JonNrthwd> We drove by his car, and there were three kids around it, two boys and a girl.
<JonNrthwd> The girl was . . . weird. Just freaky. Y'know, clothes and hair and makeup -- Goth-O-Matic. <g>
<JonNrthwd> The two kids were . . . I dunno . . . just scary as shit.
<Lykaon> thats goths for ya..heh..
<Lykaon> how old roughly?...
<JonNrthwd> She was probably fourteen or fifteen, the oldest boy was probably fourteen(ish) and the youngest between ten and twelve.
<JonNrthwd> She looked bored and was smoking a cigarette, the two boys were just leaning against the car.
<JonNrthwd> They looked _way_ too intense for kids.
<JonNrthwd> Anyway, I started itching behind my eyes, like I needed to really look at them, so, like an ass, I slowed down.
<JonNrthwd> BIG mistake.
<JonNrthwd> The two boys sauntered over and the girl stayed against the car.
<JonNrthwd> The eldest was on Doug's side (the guy from the seminar) and the youngest was on mine.
<JonNrthwd> I made sure the doors were locked (I love electronic locks) and asked why they were standing around his car.
<JonNrthwd> The young one said "It's scary out there all alone, and we just wanted a ride home."
<JonNrthwd> The eldest one said "You promised you'd help us out" and Doug said "I don't even _know_ you."
<JonNrthwd> By this time, I was really on edge -- I felt caught between throwing up and jazzing -- adrenaline does that to me.
<JonNrthwd> All of a sudden Doug said he was getting out of the car, and I told him not to. As soon as he reached for the handle, the two kids . . . I don't know how to say this right . . . they looked a _lot_ older.
<JonNrthwd> Their faces were somewhat drawn, and their eyes were _solid_ black. Edge to edge -- no pupil, no iris -- nothing. Just a liquid black pool.
<JonNrthwd> I just about wet myself, slapped the car into reverse and burned rubber backing about sixty feet away. They started running after the car, so I spun around one of the support struts and we took off. I kid you not -- I was convinced that if they got ahold of the car, I was going to die -- and not in anything approaching a pleasant fashion.
<JonNrthwd> Anyway, the oldest one was at the bottom of the garage when we came out, and almost made it to my side door.
<Lykaon> preservation instinct prevails yet again...
<JonNrthwd> We'd gone down from the third floor doing thirty-ish, maybe thirty-five around the ramp. He'd _beaten_ us down the stairs and onto the sidewalk.
<JonNrthwd> Anyway, we left him on the corner, and when I turned to look -- nothing. He was gone.
<JonNrthwd> Doug just about passed out.
<JonNrthwd> All of a sudden, the feeling of menace -- left.
<Lykaon> i've never heard of a sighting of those entities in human bodies tho i've had my speculation on the fact that it could happen...
<Hellraisr> did you ever go back there?
<JonNrthwd> We went back about ten minutes later, nobody was around his car.
<JonNrthwd> He got out, got in his car, and drove home.
<JonNrthwd> He'd said that he had met the young one earlier in the evening, and had said he'd take him home -- had even given him a short ride in his car to the seminar and told him to wait. Apparently, though, the older brother scared him, so he felt that all bets were off.
<JonNrthwd> I was behind him about forty-five feet when the feeling of *menace* hit again. At that moment, Doug misjudged going across an intersection on a yellow light and his car was hit by a truck. He was killed instantly.
<JonNrthwd> I gave a police report, and the whole time, felt _really_ freaked out and very exposed.
<The_JAmis> that's one freaky ass story :/
<JonNrthwd> I got back to my car, got in, locked the door, and waited.
<JonNrthwd> I saw the kids again, from about two blocks away.
<JonNrthwd> I'm not making it up -- I'm not thinking they were "vampires" or something like that, but they weren't as pale, they weren't as skinny, and they felt a damn sight more menacing. I left, quickly.
<JonNrthwd> My only concern now, though, is that this upcoming Wednesday I'm going back to the area for another seminar, and I won't be leaving until 9:30.
<JonNrthwd> I'm _freaked out_, people.
As was I, for obvious reasons.
Okay, now, the commentary:
I've been haunted -- no pun intended -- by this story ever since I decided to share it. Rather than the ridicule I expected, it seems that it touches some sort of strange, primal chord in people.
I've been trying, of course, to move beyond and forget these events, but inevitably something comes along to remind me of it.
Apparently, I've become something of an urban legend. I have people ask me all the time on the Net: "Hey, did you read the ghost story about the guy who saw the black-eyed kids who wanted to get in his car?"
"Yeah, that was me."
And that's something I can't seem to get the point across about. This was not "cool." It was not "just like being in a Stephen King novel!" or any of the inane comments that sometimes go along with it. It was real, though sometimes it made me feel crazy.
And now, I have a report from someone I trust that an extremely similar event has occurred -- and even resulted in the death of someone, at least indirectly.
In a word: Help?
I need thoughts. I need ideas. I need to calm down. ;) But beyond that ... I just want to know what people think about this?
I've protected myself in my own manner. I am not worried about any danger to me. But this is too close to what I experienced to be mere coincidence.
Your thoughts are welcomed.
Copyright©1999 by Brian Bethel
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