Nightmare Fuel:  Black Eyed Kids



Hello Addicts.

I thought I’d ring in the new season’s Nightmare Fuel with a creepy bang by looking at the phenomena known as The Black Eyed Kids, or BEKs for short.

Picture if you will, it’s ten o’clock at night, and you are sitting in your living room reading a book or watching television.  You wonder who is bothering you so late, and, when you look out the window, you find a couple of children standing on your porch with their heads bowed.  Knowing no child their age should be out so late, you feel a strong urge to open the door to find out what is wrong.  Instead, you ask them through the closed door if you can help with something and why they are out so late in the first place.  They answer with, “Please let us in,” or, “Can we come in and use your phone”.  You feel a  strong compulsion to open the door, but there is also a weird or bad vibe from them.  Instead of opening the door, you make sure the doors are locked before telling them you can’t help them.  When they do finally look up, your blood chills.

black eyed kids.png

What you thought were normal children are now staring at you with eyes so black you wonder if they are empty sockets.  The smaller of the children asks again, “Please let us in,” and you feel a stronger urge to open the door.  Instead, you shout at them to leave or you will call the police.  You look away long enough to get your cellphone, and find an empty porch when you return to the window.

That is but one of the many stories that have been circling since the first reported sighting of the Black Eyed Kids in the late 1990s. The stories share many similarities with some encounters dating back to World War II.  Skeptics regard these stories as merely victims of pranks, urban legend, or just campfire stories, but to the people who have reported these encounters, they all are quite real.  Stories detailing what happens when the children are allowed inside are very rare.  What stories I have found detail the death of the home’s occupant circumstantially linked to the BEKs.  One story where the homeowner claims to have allowed these children inside, and then felt a menacing vibe from them.  It was so strong, she left when the kids refused to. By the time she returned home with the police, the kids were gone.  All reported run-ins with the BEKs have related tremendous feelings of terror and dread, which lead some believers to speculate that the kids are demons, alien/human hybrids, or something much more terrifying. Reports of run ins with the kids are still shared and reported to this day, and they don’t always stick to houses.  Some have even shared stories taking placed in empty parking lots late at night.

So, when Halloween around on us this year, keep in mind that the child asking for candy at your doorstep may be in costume, possibly even wearing a pair of all black contact lenses.  Then again, they may be the real deal.

Until next time…

D.J. Pitsiladis

April’s Demented Children by Alex S. Johnson

Come Out and Play

This month’s theme on is demented children. Creepy kids. Scary small ones. Terrifying tots.

How did this enduring horror trope come about? From Henry James to Shirley Jackson, Ramsey Campbell to Stephen King and beyond, hundreds of 80s midlist paperbacks–and that’s just the literary end of the seesaw–kids have been frightening us, haunting our imagination. Carrie. The Omen. The Exorcist. The Bad Seed. The Brood. Let the Right One In. Children of the Corn…the list goes on and on. And that’s not even touching the plethora of powder-faced ghosts with eyes like piss-holes in the snow, courtesy of J-Horror.

The Exorcist

Who will ever be able to forget, to scratch out the brain cells permanently burned with images of Linda Blair as 12-year-old Regan McNeil in The Exorcist, welts scrawling out the words “Help Me” on her skin, tumbling backwards down the stairs, her head twisting 180 degrees, as she suffers the agony of demonic possession? Never mind the scene with the crucifix. How about little Damien Thorne in The Omen, whose idea of good fun at a birthday party is watching his nanny hang herself from a window? And Michael Myers, standing in front of his house in a clown outfit, fresh from slaughtering his older sister in Halloween?

Childhood is supposed to be a golden time in our lives. A time of innocence and play. Exactly how did it become corrupted? What is the resonance in actual life of these abominations?

“Come and play with us”

The real horror, I suspect, lies in the way the evil of the adult world seeps into that golden realm. Try as we might to protect them from harm, children are victimized psychologically, sexually, physically and in other ways. The fallout from this trauma becomes compressed in narratives that detail our deepest fears. These children are aspects of ourselves, writ large. Because nobody escapes childhood unscathed. Even if we’re popular, well-liked, we see how bullies mistreat the weaker kids (Carrie, Christine, Evilspeak), and the subconscious projects means of, if not righting these wrongs, at least a good, satisfying round of havoc, blood, fire and the creative use of cutlery.


As with many aspects of life, denial of the problem is no solution. Children are our most vulnerable citizens, and it’s little wonder that they serve so often as the source of fear. As of 2015, statistics indicate that at least 1,500 children die of abuse yearly in the United States alone–a collective wound that festers and burns.

This assumes that all children come into this world a blank slate, and it is purely environment that shapes them. And that is much too simplistic. Part of the fun of child-themed horror–for after all, we are talking about entertainment, however dark its roots–comes from the recognition that kids aren’t innocent in a metaphysical sense. Rumors of demon broods are more factual than they appear.

Have you Seen this Baby?

Children arrive smeared with blood and mucus, chaotic blocks of potential awareness, maturity, intelligence and empathy. Playful mischief can and does register as cruelty. Witness your normal baby, the ultimate megalomaniac, demanding all to serve him, worse than any tyrant.

So, as Facebook relationship status has it, “it’s complicated.” Horror gives us a means to deal with our helplessness in the face of core human evils, gain some kind of catharsis and challenge the fears that might otherwise overwhelm us. We were all children once, and the choice is perennial: giving in to the dark side of adulthood or finding some means to free ourselves from the contagion.

April is the start of Spring; new life flourishes where the old dies. So let’s enjoy a month of enfants terribles, sanguinary small fry, knee high nemeses, miniature malefactors. The stories we tell about the younger versions of ourselves can be a source of healing and pleasure.

And now, without further ado: presents April’s Demented Children.