Editor’s Note: The following dialogue was extracted from #Ghosts of the Undernet circa 1997 when both Brian Bethel and Jon Norwood were regular visitors to the chatroom. Brian had an experience with strange children who approached him as he sat in his car late one night, which he related in a written account titled, “Black-eyed Children.” One night in #Ghosts, Jon related the following similar experience:
I was in downtown Portland (Oregon) after a seminar series on software development. I'd grabbed a bite of dinner about 10pm, and when I left, it was about 11(ish). I'd gotten in my car, locked and belted up, and just started the engine when someone tapped on my window. I was in an above-ground garage on the third floor, so I wasn't too freaked (good lighting, still some people around). It was one of the guys from the conference, so I rolled down my window and asked him what was up. He wanted a ride around the block a few times, as he was freaked about who was standing outside his car. I figured (so sue me) that it was some of Portland's homeless, or some punker kids. So, being a good Samaritan, I let him in and we took off.
We drove by his car, and there were three kids around it, two boys and a girl. The girl was . . . weird. Just freaky. Y'know, clothes and hair and makeup -- Goth-O-Matic. The two kids were . . . I dunno . . . just scary as shit. She (the girl) was probably fourteen or fifteen, the oldest boy was probably fourteen(ish) and the youngest between ten and twelve. She looked bored and was smoking a cigarette, the two boys were just leaning against the car. They looked _way_ too intense for kids.
Anyway, I started itching behind my eyes, like I needed to really look at them, so, like an ass, I slowed down. BIG mistake. The two boys sauntered over and the girl stayed against the car. The eldest was on Doug's side (the guy from the seminar) and the youngest was on mine. I made sure the doors were locked (I love electronic locks) and asked why they were standing around his car. The young one said "It's scary out there all alone, and we just wanted a ride home." The eldest one said "You promised you'd help us out" and Doug said "I don't even _know_ you." By this time, I was really on edge -- I felt caught between throwing up and jazzing -- adrenaline does that to me. All of a sudden Doug said he was getting out of the car, and I told him not to. As soon as he reached for the handle, the two kids . . . I don't know how to say this right . . . they looked a _lot_ older. Their faces were somewhat drawn, and their eyes were _solid_ black. Edge to edge -- no pupil, no iris -- nothing. Just a liquid black pool. I just about wet myself, slapped the car into reverse and burned rubber backing about sixty feet away. They started running after the car, so I spun around one of the support struts and we took off. I kid you not -- I was convinced that if they got ahold of the car, I was going to die -- and not in anything approaching a pleasant fashion. Anyway, the oldest one was at the bottom of the garage when we came out, and almost made it to my side door. We'd gone down from the third floor doing thirty-ish, maybe thirty-five around the ramp. He'd _beaten_ us down the stairs and onto the sidewalk. Anyway, we left him on the corner, and when I turned to look -- nothing. He was gone. Doug just about passed out. All of a sudden, the feeling of menace -- left.
We went back about ten minutes later, nobody was around his car. He got out, got in his car, and drove off. (Before leaving), he'd said that he had met the young one earlier in the evening, and had said he'd take him home -- had even given him a short ride in his car to the seminar and told him to wait. Apparently, though, the older brother scared him, so he felt that all bets were off. I was behind him about forty-five feet when the feeling of *menace* hit again. At that moment, Doug misjudged going across an intersection on a yellow light and his car was hit by a truck. He was killed instantly. I gave a police report, and the whole time, felt really freaked out and very exposed. I got back to my car, got in, locked the door, and waited. I saw the kids again, from about two blocks away.
I'm not making it up -- I'm not thinking they were "vampires" or something like that, but they weren't as pale, they weren't as skinny, and they felt a damn sight more menacing. I left, quickly. My only concern now, though, is that this upcoming Wednesday I'm going back to the area for another seminar, and I won't be leaving until 9:30. I'm _freaked out_, people.
Editor’s Note: Jon survived the Wednesday night seminar but it is unknown if he had another encounter with strange children again.