May 03, 2017 I Micah Hanks

Urban Legend Come to Life? Eerie Mugshot of “Black Eyed” Offender Goes Viral

An incident that was recently reported in the Charlotte Observer discusses the bizarre story of an attempted kidnapping and armed robbery gone awry, resulting in the capture of a decidedly eerie-looking young criminal.

Identified as 24-year-old Morgan Joyce Varn, she was arrested in Lancaster County, South Carolina recently, where she remained in jail over the weekend. Her mugshot reportedly went viral after appearing online, due to her "striking" appearance: namely her lightning blonde hair, tattooed forehead, and (you guessed it) evil-looking black eyes.

Speculation was rife as to whether Varn had been wearing contact lenses, or if she had actually undergone an extreme form of body modification that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Known appropriately as "eyeball tattooing", ancient procedures that involved tattooing of the cornea to hide various ocular conditions date back as far as 150 AD, although the more recent practice of tattooing the white areas of the eyeball have only existed for a few years.

According to, the earliest attempt at performing eyeball tattoos of this sort was done by a tattoo artist called "Howie", as performed on "Pauly Unstoppable," who is known for undergoing a number of very extreme body modifications that include piercings and tattoos.

Tattoo artists Emilio Gonzalez and Roni Lachowicz apparently have performed eyeball tattoos in recent years as well, which is reportedly painless, due to no nerve endings existing in the areas where the ink is applied.

There is, of course, a decidedly Fortean tie-in with all of this. For years now, we've been hearing urban legends about "Black Eyed Kids", the strange little denizens of darkness that some people have claimed to have met under a variety of eerie circumstances. According to the mythology surrounding these stories, the children are said to appear with completely blackened, demonic-looking eyes, often presenting themselves by knocking and asking to be invited into the would-be victim's home (there is, of course, some dispute about what, precisely, would happen if anyone were actually crazy enough to invite these little demons in for cookies and tea).

Despite the popular legends about Black Eyed Kids, there have been very few instances where photos have accompanied the reports... until now. Well, sort of.

Varn, it was reported, was arrested near Indian Land, South Carolina, along with another 23-year-old named Jonathan Robinson, who was charged with kidnapping, armed robbery and weapons charges, the Charlotte Observer reported. The incident that led to their arrest was proceeded by a SWAT situation.

It remains a matter of question as to whether Varn had actually undergone the eyeball tattooing procedure, or if she was merely wearing contact lenses at the time of her arrest. Either way, her mugshot is one that will likely haunt our collective dreams for all eternity.

Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts.

Join MU Plus+ and get exclusive shows and extensions & much more! Subscribe Today!