Friday, October 28, 2011

Spooky Stories 3: A Skeptic's Experience

I've wanted to write about the B.E.K.s (Black Eyed Kid)s for a long time. Even going back to my old blog where I loved to share my stories of the paranormal - especially during my Spooky Stories Series in October. With my previous blog, I actually had a pretty massive following, and I asked my readers for their stories.

When the old blog went into hibernation, my URL was still active and I still got comments all time time, as I was still getting over 1000 hits a day with new new posts for a year! I received a VERY long comment, and I decided to keep a copy, but delete it from my blog.

Below is an excerpt of what "Kim" sent to me last year. 

* * * *

I am not insane, nor do I take drugs. I consider myself to be of sound mind. I'm a professional, working for a Fortune 1000 company in sales/marketing. I don't believe in ghosts, UFOs, or Bigfoot. Other than growing up Catholic, I'm not a big spiritual fanatic or anything.

My experience with [what] they call the Black Eyed Children still terrifies me today. To the point that if I'm alone in my house late at night, I turn on every single damn light I have. After my experience, I've worked hard to debunk what I saw and felt, but I just can't.

Let me tell you, what I went through was very real

I live in a nice neighborhood where the houses are a little spread out. I've always felt safe, and I have great neighbors. But last Spring, just after sunset, a loud banging on my door startled me from my cleaning. It was more banging than knocking, as if someone was in trouble. So I hurried to the door.

My stupid door didn't have a peephole at the time or those little windows on the sides of my front door. But I do have a pretty sturdy storm door. It's screened, but it has a sliding glass part that I can open and close. When I opened the door, the glass was down, and I could see that there was a young man on the other side of my screen.
"Can I help you?" I asked.

"I'm looking for my dog. He's one of those hot dog dogs."

"A dachshund."

The boy just shrugged his shoulder.
It was dark, so I flipped the porch light on. It was the yellow porch light bulb that flickered on (the kind that's not supposed to attract bugs), so it wasn't too bright. The boy was a young teenager. Maybe 13 or 14. But it was bright enough for me to see that he was not right. 

He had dirty blond hair, his skin was normal. Not very [pale] nor tan. He wore regular clothes - a plain blue t-shirt and jeans. But it was his eyes that freaked me out. They were completely BLACK!!! No white at all. I don't know what the white of the eye is called, but I saw none. I stared at his eyes, wondering if the light play was doing something weird - playing tricks on me. But I know for sure his eyes were completely black edge to edge.

"I think he's in your backyard," he said.

I'm a dog person. In fact, I had a dachshund as a child. So it's not normal for me to not want to help a kid find his lost dog. But I was struck with such terror, like I was going to die. I couldn't stop staring at his eyes, and I felt like my heart was going to explode. 

I slammed the door on his face. Locked it. I kept the porch light on, and I ran to the kitchen to check on the sliding door that led to my fenced in yard. I don't know why, but I had the feeling that this kid had a whole army of black eyed children with him. It was locked, thank God. But I turned on the rear patio light and closed the large vertical blinds.

I immediately felt stupid. I had been irrational. I felt bad for the kid and I wondered if maybe I was having a panic attack. Work had been stressful, and I was really questioning my state of mind. But when I heard the knocking on the front door again, that same horror hit me again. And the boy just kept knocking!!!!

There was no way I was going to open that door. I turned on every light in the house and even grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen.

I picked up my cell phone and called my parents. I acted like everything was normal, just trying to keep talking and listening to my mom go on and on about stuff. I wasn't going to tell her I was afraid for my life because of a child with black eyes was at my door.

I wasn't really listening, and I kept waiting for more knocks to come from the front door. I just kept the fake conversation up, hoping I would get a grip. The boy's knocking stopped after several minutes, and I was on the phone with my mom for a good hour until I felt safe enough to hang up.

I never saw the boy again, and that was my one and only experience. My immediate neighbors never saw the child at all. I have no idea what these kids are, and it freaks me out to read the other stories online. But all I know is that they aren't normal. They are pure evil. I have nothing to base that conclusion on other than what I felt.

Thanks for reading my super long comment. 

****
I hope you enjoyed this fun spooky series. Happy Halloween everybody!

--Jay


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spooky Stories 2: The Marine and the Black Eyed Kids

I hope you enjoyed the first story of Brian Bethel's encounter with two Black Eyed Kids (B.E.K.)s, as it was the first verified documentation of such a story. Afterwards, the internet was flooded by people from all walks of life with stories about their own horrific tales of these "children." 

Here is a compelling account by a Marine who calls himself Reaper 3-1:

* * * *

I'm a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. I live in the infantry barracks off of River Road. I recently had a rather strange encounter with a pair of black-eyed kids.

I live on the third floor of the barracks that have open walkways on the outside and the rooms on the inside. This happened on a weekend back in November, 2009. It was a weekend, so almost every Marine was out, either home, drinking or sleeping; only a handful were left in the barracks awake. I'd stayed in that weekend because I was broke and had no money to go out.

I was watching a movie when I heard a knock at my door. Figuring it was my roommate who'd lost his key again, I went and opened it. Instead of a drunken roommate, I found two little kids standing on the walkway - only these kids freaked the hell out of me. I don't know what it was about them, but as a Marine we're always told to listen to that little voice in your head, because it just might save your life from an IED (improvised explosive device). Right then that voice was screaming at me to shut the door and lock it.

THE PLEA

There was also the fact that these kids had absolutely pitch-black eyes. I mean no white or any other color to them whatsoever - just black. But I pushed those things aside and asked them what they were doing there so late. They responded by saying that it was really cold out and they wanted to come in and read. I was confused as hell, because I've never met a kid that wants to read. Also, there was no mention of any parents or anything else you'd expect a lost couple of kids to say.

I couldn't take my eyes of their pitch-black eyes; it was like they were sucking me in. I felt horrible and was suddenly frightened for my life, like I needed to immediately take cover. They just stared at me, with those goddam eyes.

I took a quick look up and down the walkway to see if any other Marines were out, but there was nobody in sight [sic]. I turned back to the kids who I noticed had taken a step forward toward me. I got the feeling like I was being hunted, like these kids where predators and out for their next meal or something. Instinct gave way to reason and I decided to listen to that voice and shut the door and locked it.

I heard soft constant knocking for the next five minutes before I heard my window rattle and then nothing. I went down to the officer on duty the next morning and asked him about it and he said he hadn't heard of or seen any kids in the area at all, and dismissed it saying that I'd probably had too much to drink last night.

Only I hadn't been drinking at all or anything like that that night. I don't know what or who those kids were, but I doubt any of the families here would let their kids wander around at night on a military base.

* * * *
Starting to see a pattern here? 

Why do these B.E.K.s always ask to come in? It seems they're not allowed to just trespass and barge in. Every witness also feels such a heavy feeling of dread and panic when they're face to face with a B.E.K. Why?

And what would happen if you let one in your home or car?




3TBB4RGZPRBN

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spooky Story Series: The Black Eyed Kids

DO NOT READ THIS ALONE...IN THE DARK...

Several of you have been following me for several years (and I thank you!) and hopefully you remember my 'Spooky Stories' series I used to do during the month of October. For my new blog, I'd like to revive that fun Halloween practice. But this time, I'm going to stick to one theme.  And this year, I do have a scary one.


Not to be confused with the Black Eyed Peas.

The story of people running into these mysterious children date back only to 1998. The common thread among those that have encountered these freaky kids is that the ghastly children have black eyes, no white at all - no pupil or iris, and they always ask to be let in someone's house or car. Once story is of a camper where a pair of Black Eyed Kids ask to take shelter in his tent. Stories pop out all over the country, and despite some minor differences in people's stories, there's major similarities in all the witnesses' accounts.

Apart from the eerie look of these children and their strange request to be allowed inside, every "victim" also reports that their black eyes convey dread and absolute terror. It's as if they can actually feel death creeping through their veins when they look into the children's dark demonic gaze.

What do these kids want? Apparently, they can't just barge in - and they've even told their potential victims that they need to be invited in, with the full consent of the victim. And what would happen if you let these Black Eyed Kids in your home or car? And why the hell are their eyes black? 

Here's my first story of an absolutely terrifying encounter with the Black Eyed Kids. It was posted by a Texas journalist on a web message board from 1998. It is the very first documented case of a this phenomena. Since this story broke, similar testimonies have come from all over the country. Urban Legend or true story? You decide for yourself. Here's an excerpt from Brian Bethel's message board post:

* * * *

Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 19:12:25 -0800 (PST)
From: "Brian Bethel" (brianbet@camalott.com)
To: ghost-discuss@lido.com
Subject: Those Darned Black-Eyed Kids

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 [instinctively], 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. 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.

(Epilogue Below)

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." She paused. "And they would have killed you, too, if you had let them into your car."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Spooky Stories Will Return

Some of you remember my Spooky Stories from my old blog?  I would spend all of October posting some of the freakiest stuff leading up to Halloween.

Come back next week, as I bring it back in a new way.

Be afraid. Very afraid.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Steampunk 101

In the sixth grade, I chose H.G. Wells' The Time Machine to do a book report on. After reading this incredible piece of literature, I was hooked on science fiction and have been ever since. A year later, I read Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and was fascinated with the state-of-the-art submarine, The Nautilus.

Throughout the years, I've always been a fan of this certain subgenre of science fiction but never knew it's official name. I loved the idea where the Industrial Revolution meets sci-fi. Where steam is the main power source. And where anything is possible. And I have to thank long time blogger buddy Weird Girl for finally putting a name to the stuff I loved so much.

Steampunk, as it's called, is popular not just as a subgenre of science fiction, but also as a subculture. In books and movies, it's an awesome mix of science fiction and fantasy. Although the technology is certainly Victorian and 19th century, it is not exclusive to the Victorian Age as far as setting and culture goes.

Here are the basics of Steampunk, and why it's so damn cool:

1) Steam, steam, and more steam. Steampunk centers around the idea of a big what if:  instead of electricity powering everything, what if steam was the main source of energy? In a steampunk story, you might still see ray guns and computers, but powered by steam, clockworks, cogs, gears, and other cool stuff.

2) Airships, dirigbles, and balloons...oh my! I love me some airships. Whether they're powered by helium, hydrogen, or some other mysterious or other wordly gas, you gotta have cool airships in a steampunk setting. One of my favorites was in the movie, The Golden Compass. Jetpacks are cool too. Think The Rocketeer.

3) Gadgets! Remember that old TV show Wild Wild West. Yup, that was steampunk to the max. OK, so the movie with Will Smith and Kevin Kline was totally steampunk too, but just plain sucked (although the special effects were incredible). My favorite gadgets from the show had to be the sleeve gun, the exploding billiard ball, and the steam powered tank! The short-lived show The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. followed in its footsteps, and it's too bad the show was cancelled after only one season.

4) Robots and automatons. This is a relatively newer aspect of steampunk, but one of my favorites. Giant robots powered by gears and steam, how cool is that? Sometimes, you'll even see people with steampunk robotic parts - like a mechanical arm or leg. They're even steampunk-ing R2D2!

5) It's everywhere. Steampunk is in every form of media/entertainment. Steampunk isn't limited to just books, movies, and TV shows. It's a form of fashion, and pretty prevalent in video games, like Final Fantasy. I spoke with a Halloween costume website owner, and he said that steampunk costumes are flying off their virtual shelves.

If you're new to this awesome fusion of past and future, you might want to check out some of the following:

Movies: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Golden Compass, Sherlock Holmes (the new one), and the upcoming Three Musketeers is going to be a HUGE steampunk-fest. Check out the official Three Musketeers website.

Anime: Steam Boy, Samurai 7, Howl's Moving Castle, and Last Exile

Books: H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, duh. But Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is steampunk for sure. Newer titles include Scott Westerfield's Leviathan series, Cherie Priest Clockwork Century Universe series, and I plan on checking out Joseph Robert Lewis' Halcyon Trylogy series.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Review on Culture Brats!


Go check out my book review on Culture Brats of John Austin's newest book: MiniWeapons of Mass Destruction 2.

Love James Bond? Love MacGyver? Love terrorizing innocent people?

This book gives you step by step instructions and illustrations to build the neatest gadgets using household items like a pen, duct tape, a penny, a deck of cards, or clothespin.

I built a coin launcher using a couple giftcards and some rubber bands, and I tell ya, I could inflict some major damage with it!  Go to www.culturebrats.com to read my review.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Goodbye Steve Jobs

I was first introduced to computers when I was twelve years old. My father had entered a drawing at the local drugstore and won an Apple IIc. I remember celebrating when he brought it home.  We had IBM computers at school, but they were huge and intimidating. The Apple IIc was supposed to be semi-portible, so it looked more accessible and easy to use.

It was on that Apple that I first started writing short stories. I wrote so much, that I eventually learned how to type. Very fast, I might add.

With the passing of Steve Jobs, it's a good time to look back and really stop to think about how this man changed our world - and how the products he created have touched many of our lives. The Walkman made it cool to walk around with headphones on, but the iPod was so asthetically beautiful, it was as if wearing one was like wearing jewelry. But with earbuds instead of diamonds.

Why was Steve Jobs such a great visionary? I think it's because for some profound reason, the man KNEW what we needed and wanted before we did. He tapped into human nature, and bridged the gap between people and technology. He wanted to change the world, and I that's exactly what he definitely did.

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. And thank you.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Same Shit, Different Day

Why is it that short stories, books, TV shows, or films seem to have the same sort of plot over and over again? Can't anyone be original anymore?  Well, yes and no. There's really only so many kind of plots that exist in the universe, and the challenge is to find a way to be original despite the natural laws of story-telling.

The context surrounding the basic plot of a story might change, but the essential conflicts can fall into seven categories: 

MAN vs man, nature, self, supernatural, society, machine/technology, and fate (destiny)

Now if we take these types of conflict and expand them to plot, there's really only so many ways to go when telling a story. Many of these can be combined, but I subscribe to Ronald Tobias' 20 Master Plots:

1) Quest - where hero is looking to achieve a goal. Lots of fantasy/sci-fi use this one
2) Adventure - similar to quest, but objective tends to be less tangible
3) Pursuit - think Travolta/Cage in Face Off. Or Catch Me If You Can.
4) Rescue - fairy tales love this one. But many action films do too. The Princess Bride is my favorite.
5) Escape - self explanatory. Many stories will actually have the word "Escape" in it (Escape from New York, Escape from Alcatraz)
6) Revenge - a cornerstone plot in both Westerns and Kung Fu movies
7) The Riddle - Sherlock Holmes is a good one. So is National Treasure. Indiana Jones combines this one with Quest and Adventure
8) Rivalry - West Side Story. Sports stories love this one too.
9) Underdog - Rocky is one of the best. I'm a fan of Napoleon Dynamite
10) Temptation - Classic example is Homer's The Odyssey. Hell, The Odyssey pretty much covers every single one of these plots!
11) Metamorphosis - My daughter loves The Princess Diaries.
12) Transformation - Think coming of age stories. So many good ones to choose from. SE Hinton's The Outsiders is a great example
13) Maturation - See "Transformation" above.
14) Love - the most popular. I can watch Casablanca over and over again.
15) Forbidden Love - Romeo & Juliet set the standard. The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer made it relevant to many teens and their mothers!
16) Sacrifice - King Arthur. Many quest stories use this plot line as well
17) Discovery - dramatic stories use discovery. Especially those dealing with major life issues. Think Kramer vs Kramer
18) Wretched Excess - Arthur (the Dudley Moore original) is a good example. One of the best is Johnny Depp in 2001's Blow. Incredible.
19) Ascension - Love the movie Pursuit of Happiness. Excellent example.  This plot involves a "rags to riches" sort of storyline. Who can forget Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka?
20) Descension - To have it all, then to lose it really sucks. The Jerk is one funny example. The Bible has a bunch of stories depicting riches to rags too.

Ever read a book or watch a movie or TV show that just felt like something was missing? Chances are the plot line wasn't developed well enough, as we seek these plot devices. We've come to expect them, and without them, the story feels pretty pointless. We need them.

Think about your favorite story. The best ones utilize as many of these plots as possible. They keep us engaged and interested in the characters and their stories.