Black-eyed Children in Seoul




     My grand master, who was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea once told me of his experience as a child with black eyed children, and it was more disturbing than I could have ever imagined.  He was about nine years old and was out with his family at a festival in Seoul.  He was passing by some carts that held fireworks, toys, and food.  And as he was passing by some of the festival carts and stands, he noticed two children from an alleyway some distance from him, a boy and a girl, two children with black eyes were staring back at him, just out of full view.  He was distracted by them momentarily, but his parents urged him onward through the festival area.

     Later that night, he noticed something outside of the door to his room where he slept.  The same two black-eyed children had been watching him intently.  He stared at them for quite some time before blinking and realized they had vanished.  The next night went by and he saw them again, but further away this time, hiding in some nearby bushes.  Once again, he stared at them until they left.  On the third day, he stared out, expecting to see them, but never did.  He closed his eyes and fell asleep, thinking it was over.  But on the fourth night, the children had arrived back at his doorstep again and were angry.

     "Why did you not look for us?  Do you not like us?"

     He responded to them out of fear and said: "I could not see you."

     The children each responded separately to him.  The boy, the one who spoke first spoke again, and then the girl did as well.

     "Well, now you see us."

     "And now you don't."

     My master went to bed that night thinking that it would all be over for him if he could not find them again the next night, but they never came back.  He waited up several nights after, but they never returned.  He remembers this story to this very day, not because of his own experiences, but because of the experiences, he heard from those who were at the festival he went to that year and those who didn't return the next. There is a tradition amongst the black-eyed children of Seoul.  They choose a few children at every great festival to watch, and if children do not watch for them or look for them at night, then they will never be seen again, likely doomed to have their souls trapped and become black-eyed children themselves.  The warning he left to me and to anyone else for that matter who reads or hears this story is this, avoid making eye contact with the black-eyed children.  Because the night you no longer see them, no one else will ever see you again.

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