Babysitter Scary Story

Text: “There’s this girl who has been working on the side as a babysitter for a few families. One of the families recommends her to a couple they are friends with, and the couple hires her to babysit white they go out on a date night. The night comes, and everything is going well. The kids are fun and well behaved, and as it gets late, she puts the kids to bed, and tries to enjoy herself until the parents get home. Or wait- yeah So She’s trying to relax in the family’s living room watching tv, but the family has this weird statue of a clown in the corner of the room. As much as she tries to ignore it, for some reason she just can’t get it out of her head. So she’s really freaked out, and she finally decides to call the parents. She calls them and she’s like ‘hey, you know the kids were wonderful they’re asleep right now and I’m just hanging out, but do you mind if I cover up the clown statue? It’s really creeping me out’ The Father says ‘stay calm, grab the kids, and leave the house. We don’t have a clown statue.’”

Context: My informant is my younger brother who heard this story from a friend in middle school. He says he first heard his friend tell it at a sleepover and this was the one story that really got to him. He says while “the story feels corny now, I still remember it”. He said at the time he heard it, the twist in the final line was what really made it a good scary story for him

Analysis: While the story doesn’t make any claims to be based on a true story, like other ghost stories may do, it was still effective in scaring my informant at the time he heard it. This is likely because the story effectively plays on deep fears held by most. For example, the use of the clown statue hits on the fear of inanimate objects like dolls that are meant to resemble humans. Then when it is revealed that the clown statue was actually a real person, it portrays the fear that these inanimate objects may not be inanimate at all. Finally, the fact that he heard it at a sleepover, meaning it was maybe not the most familiar or comfortable environment sleeping in someone else’s home could have added to how scary the experience was.