The Babysitter

A teenage girl is babysitting one evening. The children have been put to bed and the babysitter is in the living room watching TV. Just then, the phone rings. When she answers it, she hears a man laughing (alternatively there is either silence, or heavy breathing) on the other end. He asks her in a gravely voice to “check the children”. When she asks who he is, he hangs up. Rather than checking on the children, the teenager decides to ignore the call. The stranger then calls back several times throughout the evening, demanding to know “Why haven’t you checked the children?!”, each time with increasing anger. The babysitter becomes frightened and calls the operator. She asks him to trace the call. When the stranger calls back again, the babysitter manages to keep him talking for several minutes, in order to trace the call, but when she asks who he is again, he again hangs up. Then, the phone rings again. This time it’s the operator. He orders the babysitter to get out of the house, as the calls are coming from the other telephone line inside the house. The operator tells her the police are already on their way (in some versions, the babysitter calls the police herself). As the terrified babysitter races toward the door, she hears, and then sees, a shadowy figure clumping down the stairs. She runs from the house in hysterics into the arms of the awaiting police. They kill (or in some versions, arrest) a madman wielding a bloody butcher knife. The children are all dead, silently hacked to pieces by the madman, who had gotten into the house through an upstairs window, murdering the children as they slept in their beds. He was waiting for the babysitter to come upstairs, as he intended her to be his next victim.

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