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Creepiest Places in West Texas — Black Eyed Children of Abilene

Leading up to Halloween we’re taking a look at some of the spooky legends, folklore and place that are in our listening area. So basically, if it’s in west Texas and it’s creepy, we’re going to talk about it.

Long before there was Slender Man and CreepyPasta, Abilene had one of the first scary urban legends of the early Internet Age. It’s the Black Eyed Kids legend. Although it started in Abilene it has become a world-wide phenomenon and even has it’s own Wikipedia page.

There are a couple of factors in the BEK lore that are very unusual among urban legends. Unlike most urban legends, the BEKs phenomenon can be traced back to it’s original source. Also, the source has some journalistic credentials. His name is Brian Bethel and he’s a reporter for the Abilene Reporter-News.

Bethel’s story goes that back in 1996 he pulled into the parking lot of a movie theater to use the parking lot lights to write a check. While he was doing that, he says, two kids that looked to be about 9 to 12 came up and asked him for a ride. Bethel says he got a really bad vibe from the kids but it wasn’t until a few moments of conversation that he noticed something very eerie about them. Their eyes were completely black. The sclera, or the whites of the eyes, were completely black as were the irises.

Below is a segment from Monsters and Mysteries in America with Brian Bethel. He doesn’t come off as a liar or as somebody doing it for the fun of creating a new urban legend. As a journalist, really, this has probably done more damage to his career than good.

So, if you’re in Abilene maybe cruise around and wait for young boys to ask to get into your car. Er…on second thought…NO! Absolutely DON’T DO THAT!

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