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An urban legend that exploits our fears of an obstructed gaze and the deeply unsettling idea that the youngest of our species are out to destroy us, the lore of Black-Eyed Children, or Black-Eyed Kids, is a modern construction. Powered by the ever-broadening influence of the Internet, B.E.K stories began circulating in the final years of the 20th century, but the “evil spawn” child archetype of the horror genre and hundreds of years of social expectations of childhood inform these unsettling monsters. Find out how the Black-Eyed children challenge biological impulses and cultural expectations—and learn why you should never blindly open a door to a stranger, even a small one. #blackeyedchildren #urbanlegend #MonstrumPBS
Written and Hosted by: Dr. Emily Zarka
Director: David Schulte
Executive Producer: Amanda Fox
Producer: Stephanie Noone
Illustrator: Samuel Allen
Editor: Nicole Kopren
Produced by Spotzen for PBS Digital Studios.
The world is full of monsters, myths, and legends and Monstrum isn’t afraid to take a closer look. The show, hosted by Emily Zarka, Ph.D., takes us on a journey to discover a new monster in each new episode. Monstrum looks at humans’ unique drive to create and shape monster mythology through oral storytelling, literature, and film and digs deep into the history of those mythologies.
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The Cultural Construction of Monstrous Children, Ed. Leo Ruickbie and Simon Bacon, Anthem Press, 2020.