Urban Legends

Babysitter's Phone Call

The Legend

A young couple who lives in a large, two story house on five acres of wooded land far away from the nearest neighbor went out to have dinner and go to a movie with friends, and left their children under the care of a boy-crazy teenage girl who has never taken care of kids before.

The babysitter put the kids to bed with no problem, and went back downstairs to watch TV and hope her boyfriend would call her. While she's watching The Simpsons, the phone rings. She picks it up and an evil sounding voice on the other end of the line says, "I'm upstairs with the children. You'd better come up." Thinking it's a prank call, she slams the phone down and thinks nothing more of it.

The phone rings again almost immediately. She picks it up and it's the same voice, "Seriously. I'm upstairs. You'd better come up here."

This scared the girl, so she called the police. They told her that if the man called back she should stay on the line so they could trace the call.

A few minutes later the phone rang again. It was the same person, but doing a bizarre falsetto. "This is your old granny. Come on upstairs, I have some nice candy for you."

At first the girl was tempted (she really liked candy), but then she thought, what would her granny be doing upstairs? Plus, Grandma was dead. She slammed the pone down again (even though it was cordless).

The phone rang once again, and this time it was the police. "Get out of the house!" the police officer said. "The call is coming from upstairs!"

With a shriek, the girl dropped the phone and ran. She burst through the front door -- and right into the arms of a black-clad killer with a gigantic knife in one hand and the upstairs extension of the family's portable phone in the other. Apparently, the parents had left the extension phone on the back-yard patio table and the crazy man had found it. The babysitter didn't have a chance to worry about this, because the man stabbed her to death. Then he went into the house, took all the drugs in the babysitter's purse, and had a drug-induced hallucination that the kids were turkeys and put them in the oven.

Behind the Legend

This legend was inspired by a real incident in 1962 in which a babysitter called the telephone operator to report "prank" calls. In that incident, the operator yelled for the babysitter to get the kids and get out of the house because she had traced the call and found that the killer had a knife and was hiding behind the couch (phone operators were extremely efficient in the '60s).

The legend is available in a variety of mutations, including those in which:

  • The killer finally gets the curious babysitter to come upstairs by saying he's a "land shark"
  • It's really the children's parents upstairs and they're testing to see if the babysitter will ever check on the kids or just sit around watching TV all night
  • The babysitter is harassed to the point of insanity by a phone solicitor
  • It's the kids upstairs making the calls, and when the frightened babysitter comes up to check on them, they kill her with a knife
  • The babysitter goes upstairs and finds a photograph of her toothbrush stuck in a strange man's nether regions

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