I am 17 years old, and I have never babysat in my life. Kids love me, I love kids, and I’m fully capable of taking care of one. A fair number of people have actually asked me to watch their children. I decline every invite, saying, “Thank you for your offer but I don’t feel like getting MURDERED anytime soon.” Just kidding, I definitely don’t say that. But babysitting is a tricky job, and I’m a horror movie junkie. Let’s examine the evidence that supports the “Don’t be a babysitter because bad things will happen to you, duh” hypothesis:
Exhibit 1: When a Stranger Calls
Do you know that old tale of a babysitter who constantly gets calls from some stranger telling her to check on the children? And then the call is coming from … INSIDE THE HOUSE? Well this 1979 movie—and the 2006 remake—were based on that urban legend, and I can’t say I don’t believe it could totally happen. Creative psycho murderers just looove babysitters!
Exhibit 2: The House of the Devil
This isn’t your typical “babysitter getting terrorized” horror film. Made to look like an old school ’70s horror film, 2009’s House of the Devil follows college student Samantha Hughes one night while she does some unconventional babysitting. Responding to a flier, Samantha drives out to the middle of nowhere (uh oh) to a big old Victorian mansion (aaah!) for her job. Turns out there aren’t any children to babysit! Samantha simply has to babysit an old woman, but this old woman doesn’t leave her room and really doesn’t want to be disturbed. Then Samantha finds some questionable photos and the house phone isn’t working. Let’s just say that things don’t turn out too well for Samantha. She really should not have taken that babysitting job!
Exhibit 3: Child’s Play
There comes a time in every young person’s life when they ask, “Can dolls come to life?” and some people might answer, “Yes, of course they can—haven’t you seen Child’s Play?” But the truth is dolls won’t come to life, that’s just silly! Only dolls that have the spirit of a serial killer inside of them come to life. For those unfamiliar, Child’s Play is a 1988 horror film about an evil doll named Chucky. Poor Maggie didn’t realize that dolls can be evil. Maggie’s babysitting job ends up with her falling out of a window, thanks to Chucky! What babysitters can take from this is a greater understanding of hidden evil in toys. That kid you’re babysitting? $20 says his toys are coming to life. Run, babysitters! Run for your lives!
Exhibit 4: Halloween
This is the most important horror movie involving babysitters of all time! Did you know that Halloween (1978) was originally called The Babysitter Murders? Pretty scary! Halloween is about three teenage girls who are hunted by a masked killer named Michael Myers. Each girl has a distinct personality: there’s the horny one, the sarcastic one, and the sainted good girl. Each of them handles the killer in a different way. Halloween does such a great job of creating that feeling of being in someone else’s house and being in charge of a child’s life for one night. How scary is the idea of being stalked by a crazed maniac killer who is purposely targeting babysitters, when you’re a babysitter?! You might think you’re safe babysitting … but someone could be watching you, waiting for you!
Exhibit 5: The Amityville Horror
There isn’t always a killer after a babysitter. Maybe the house itself is out to kill you. Take the babysitter in the 1979 film The Amityville Horror. This nerdy teenager with archaic headgear had no idea what she was in for. Being locked in a very small closet, with all the lights out, is not only scary but definitely embarrassing. Ghosts will lock you in closets and make you scream. Just please, if you’re going to babysit, I strongly advise you to stay away from houses where people have been murdered or houses that sit on top of portals to hell. Or just stop babysitting. That is a really simple solution to all of this.
Exhibit 6: Mrs. Doubtfire
Your boobs could catch on fire while you’re cooking! OH MY GOD!