One thing most people can agree on is that the idea of meeting a black-eyed boy or girl on a dark night is a scary proposition. Beyond that, there is little agreement on the paranormal beings known as the black-eyed children or black-eyed kids or BEKs. Did they originate in Texas or in England? Are they ghosts, demons, associates of the Men in Black … or something worse? A group of people in Cannock Chase, England – a scary place in its own right – claim to have witnessed and photographed a black-eyed girl recently in this enchanted and haunted area of Staffordshire. A drone video clearly shows … something or someone. But who or what did it see? Who or what is the black-eyed girl of Cannock Chase?
“We have had lots of reports of a "black-eyed girl" seen walking around. At first she appears like a normal girl and walkers are worried a little girl is lost in the woods. Then they see her eyes and she just disappears. It is terrifying.”
“Terrifying” is just part of the job for paranormal investigator Robert Pulme, who was interviewed by The Express about this and other sightings of an alleged black-eyed girl in Cannock Chase. He adds yet another twist to the “who or what” question with his theory that the black-eyed children seen in Cannock Chase are the ghosts of local children who died during the massive diphtheria outbreak in the area in the late 1800s. Diphtheria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae) is an acute bacterial infection spread by personal contact and was a horrific killer of children in the 1870s - one of every ten children infected died from it. The respiratory disease makes it hard to eat, swallow or even breathe, and one symptom is dark, sunken eyes … a combination that matches the pale, thin black-eyed children. Fortunately, treatments and vaccinations now exist and diphtheria is a rare disease.
However, many paranormal investigators disagree that the black-eyed girl of Cannock Chase is a Victorian diphtheria victim. They point instead to the 1967 murder of seven year-old Christine Darby by Raymond Leslie Morris, who was also suspected in the disappearance of two other girls in the area – and many who have seen black-eyed girls since that time think they are the ghosts of Christine and possibly the other girls. There have also been other photos of black-eyed girls in Cannock Chase (you can see some here). In 2015, one was taken which shows what appear to be a glowing white face with black eyes. Another in 2014 shows what might be a face hiding in a photo of young children playing. Neither are definitive proof. As expected in such a haunted area, there are many reports without photos of black-eyed children entering homes, cars, yards and other locations where they generally just stand and stare before disappearing – leaving the witnesses terrified.
As stated earlier, the black-eyed children are also a phenomenon in the United States. Most stories begin in the 1980s, but tales of the entities became popular after 1996 when Texas reporter Brian Bethel wrote of alleged encounters with "black-eyed kids" in Abilene, Texas, and Portland, Oregon. While some attribute the spread of these stories to the Internet and put them in the category of urban legends, there are plenty of people who believe they are ghosts of children either murdered along highways or killed in traffic accidents since so many black-eyed kids encounters occur on or near dark roads. However, because the apparitions appear to be sinister – a characteristic made even scarier by their black eyes – there are many who consider them to be demons, evil entities like the Men in Black, or possibly extraterrestrials. Some are even a combination of the two – there is a famous BEK story of kids named Josh Colins, his sister Emma Colins, and friends Jo and Remy, who died of foul play while getting lost in the woods while playing hide and go seek. While they appear as lost children, On streets and highways, they have been reported to appear as lost children or hitchhikers, only to attack those who stop to investigate. While Brian Bethel swore the stories he told were true, as do many witnesses, and there are photos which ‘could’ be images of black-eyed children, no real evidence stands up to scrutiny.
Which brings us to the video now making the rounds which allegedly was taken by a drone and appears to show what the owner says in a black-eyed girl in Cannock Chase.
“Drone footage taken over Cannock Chase forest shows what looks like the paranormal 'black eyed girl' rumoured to haunt the place.”
Most of the reports of the video runs something like that one. They refer to it being creepy, often mention the diphtheria and the murders, but not much else. A better source of info comes from the YouTube channel Furious Otter, which posted the video under the headline “Black eyed girl Cannock Chase ghost - quadcopter drone footage” and shows the entire one minute video with a freeze frame of the best image of the alleged black-eyed girl with the caption: “Who or what the hell is this!!!!”. (Watch the video here.) The description says:
“Is this the famous black eyed girl spotted at Cannock Chase. After uploading this footage we were contacted by a number of paranormal investigators pointing out that this could be the black eyed girl - crazy!”
If you are wondering how so many paranormal investigators were able to contact Furious Otter the same day as the article in The Mirror came out, it is because the video was actually uploaded in 2015! Yes, while extremely interesting when it comes to images of a black-eyed girl, this is not a recent sighting. Why hasn’t it been revealed by social media or tabloid media before? Perhaps it is because the drone did not get close enough for a positive identification. So we’re left with yet another blurred image of an alleged black-eyed kid.
On the other hand, the fact that it has been on YouTube for seven years and doesn’t appear to have been debunked by any of the commenters is promising. Should it be added to the annals of black-eyed children lore? Isn’t that what we just did?
Take a look again. What do you think it is?