What sort of sinister events go on behind a family's closed doors? That's often what babysitters discover. They just wanted a peaceful few hours taking care of some young kids, but these people stumbled into much more terrifying secrets. Thank goodness for Child Protective Services! This content has been edited for clarity.
Arrested For Babysitting
“I had been babysitting for the family since their child was about two months old. Mom and Dad would leave at 3:00 PM and stay out until 10:00 PM to 3:00 AM. I never knew when they would be back because they never gave me a real answer. Often they came home wasted.
I watched the kid for 4 years as it grew it became more and more spoiled. They’re the only four-year-old I’ve met to have owned an Xbox, a flat screen, and an actual convertible car. I could never get the kid to consume anything, but chocolate milk. They threw toys, screamed, bit hard enough to scar, and pushed the dog down the basement stairs. Putting a kid in time out after nearly killing the dog is not much of punishment, but it was all I had. I stuck around because a night watching the kid earned twice as much at my day job.
I started taking care of the kid four nights a week, took on cleaning their house, and doing the shopping. What broke me was taking the kid shopping. It stopped and grabbed a packaged toy from another kid in another cart. I spewed apologies to the kid’s mother, telling her I’m the babysitter. When I took the toy away from them, the kid bit my arm so hard I started to bleed. The kid says to me, ‘Gimmie that toy now!’
I respond not at all quietly, ‘Not happening. You were mean to me and that other kid. We are getting groceries and that’s it!’
We are at the checkout, and the kid looks at the cashier and sobs, ‘She’s not mommy!’ I tell them to knock it off. I see the lady behind me is on her phone as I’m handing the cashier money. I hear her describing someone who looks like me. The kid is on my hip when a police cruiser pulls up. I have to explain I’m the babysitter and that the kid bit me because I wouldn’t buy them a toy.
The whole time the kid won’t stop with the ‘not my mommy’ cries. He calls the parents, who don’t pick up twice. So we are taking a ride downtown since I can’t prove that I didn’t kidnap the kid. I had to wait in a small cell at the police station while the kid is God knows where, since no one is going to tell me. The parents finally show up after four hours of me being there and I’m released. Apparently, the Dad was driving under the influence, so I had to drive the kid and the mother home.
I told her I quit and explained why. The mother was angry and refused to write me a check. The next year, I saw the kid again with a new babysitter in the store and went over to help her, since I knew how hard it could be. I found out that she had been watching the kid on the nights I wasn’t there. There were another two girls working the day shift, meaning this kid only spent at the most two hours with its actual parents. I was appalled, but the inconsistent care explained a lot of the kid’s behavior.”
This Dad Was Beyond Uncomfortable
“I only agreed to babysit until 11:00 PM because that was the curfew I was given by my mom. I was 16. I was babysitting for this single father about four houses down. He didn’t get home until after 1:00 AM. He seemed really surprised that I was still awake. And weirdly disappointed. I didn’t think much of it at the time other than maybe he felt guilty about making me stay up.
I pack my purse and he is talking about how much fun he had and how he never goes out anymore, blah blah blah. He sort of leads me to the door and just stands in front of it. I’m not really sure what to do, because he hasn’t paid me and I can’t get by him either. He then puts out his hand with money in it and when I go to take it, he basically pushes the money into my palm then turns my hand over and holds it closed. Which was weird.
He then took his other arm and put it on top of his other hand. I was really weirded out. He then started rubbing my forearm with his hand and told me how much he appreciated my coming over. Then he just stood there silently blocking the door with my hand in one of his and his other hand holding my elbow. It took maybe 30 seconds before he actually let go of me, but he still didn’t move out of the way. He then offered me a ride and I said no. Like, I am literally four houses down the block and it isn’t like the houses are far apart. Then he offered to walk me home. I said no. He opened the door for me but not really enough to get out. And then he started going on about how he didn’t feel comfortable with me walking home by myself, that it wasn’t safe and there are weirdos out there, and if I wanted I could stay over and he would let me sleep in his bed and he would sleep on the couch. I said no, and that I was on my period and needed to get home to get supplies. After that, he opened the door the rest of the way and let me leave. He didn’t say anything though.
When I got home I counted the money he gave me and it was like $350 for like 5 hours of babysitting. I didn’t want to babysit for him again. He texted me a few times after that to ask if I could come over and babysit (generally last minute), and I said I was busy. He texted me a few times just asking how I was and if my parents were away. I felt so uncomfortable that night. I didn’t ever want to go over again.
After a while, he basically started to act like he didn’t even know me. Overall, super weirded out.”
Duck And Cover!
“I realized the noise I heard wasn’t the dog on the patio. It was the windows being shot out. I was reading after the baby went to sleep when I first heard it. I stood up to go check on the dog, when I heard the crunch of breaking glass. The back of this house was all windows. I could hear soft popping noises, then holes appeared in the windows. I went to the doorway between the den and the dining room, and was relieved the windows were intact, but only for a minute.
I heard more popping noises as bullet holes started appearing in the dining room windows. That’s when it occurred to me that the shots were actually being aimed at me. I crawled into the kitchen, cutting those lights off as I grabbed the cordless phone and the list of emergency numbers.
The bullets had moved into the kitchen as I did, so I crawled to the side of a butcher block island with the phone. I finally got through to the parents. I said, ‘Someone is shooting at me from the back of the house. I’m taking Mikey to my house, you can pick him up whenever you want.’
They said, ‘Nancy wait, surely-‘ but I hung up.
I got Mikey from his crib and I settled him, still sleeping, into the back seat of my car, tossed the quilt over him, and I took off. When I carried him into my house, Mikey’s parents had called already. They had given the impression to my roommates family that I was being silly. They called the police, then went to check on their house and saw that several windows in 3 different rooms either had bullet holes or else had shattered completely
The police went around the neighborhood and found a group of teenagers with CO2 pellet weapons. They are basically high-powered BB weapons, but they were shooting pellets that were much larger than BB’s. They claimed to have not seen anyone, they were just randomly shooting. My guess is they were definitely shooting at me, they just were not sure they had enough power to break the windows or hit me.
Aside from deeply scaring me, they had done $4k worth of damage to the huge plate glass windows and the sliding glass door. The police let them go with a warning, as long as they (their parents) replaced the glass.”
“The Boy Had To Be Institutionalized”
“I have run in-home daycares in every state I’ve lived in. One set of parents had a 4-year-old and a 6-month-old. They were friends of my sister, so I agreed to care for their kids. BIG MISTAKE!
It seems the 4-year-old was violent. So much so that at night, the parents locked their bedroom door shut against him coming in to their room. He’d taken an electric knife to the couch and neither one stopped him. After the baby was born, he would pull the crib over, dumping the baby out and neither one stopped him. He rode unseated in the car, so they wouldn’t have to listen to him scream about being in a belted seat. He would get into the fridge and choose what he wanted to eat instead of what he was given. That point alone caused a serious issue, as he thought he could do it to me. I wouldn’t let him, and when he’d start screaming, I’d put him in a cold shower, fully clothed. It would shock him out of the tantrum, and soon he’d stopped the bad behavior there.
One day, they arrived with a container of orange juice and some glycerin suppositories. It seemed the boy had force fed the baby both baby powder and baby oil. The baby was totally constipated. They claimed the doctor told them to feed a 6-month-old nothing but orange juice and stick the suppositories in to soften the poop. I called my own doctor for confirmation, and was told to come to the ER immediately with the baby. Child Social Services was waiting, and BOY did I report!
That evening when they arrived to pick them up, CSS was waiting. I told the parents to never return, and even cancelled their bill just to get rid of them. They were arrested that moment as well for child endangerment. I thought my sister would be angry with me, but she was actually relieved! She felt she couldn’t turn them in since they were friends, but she knew I wouldn’t let the problems lie for long. The parents never got their kids back. The boy had to be institutionalized shortly after, and the baby was adopted out.
These, after all the other years I did childcare, still take 1st place as world’s worst parents!”
Poisonous Family Bonding
“I have been a nanny/sitter since I was 11 and it’s been a total of 14 years now under my belt. It’s one of my greatest joys, but there was one where I almost died from it. I was in my sophomore year of college, studying psychology and development. My development professor introduced us to the wife of a professor in the math department who had recently had her second baby. I had met them at my church.
My professor asked after the class presentation on childbirth and early infancy if any of us were certified to babysit. I immediately volunteered, as I had just taken a refresher course by Red Cross at our student community center to keep my licensure in childcare. Soon the wife called me, whom I’ll call Alyssa here on out, saying she would love for me to watch her two boys: Miles and Oliver.
It started out on a snowy January after break, I started up my old 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and trucked on over the bridge to Alyssa’s home. When I entered the house, it was in disarray. I was greeted by Miles, who was covered head to toe in dirt and salt. I picked him up and began to wipe him off as he tried to eat the salt. Alyssa told me that she lets him play in the salt and grit bucket by the door for the ice outside. I was surprised, but not overtly critical, but I knew it was toxic, so I put it up high where he couldn’t reach. Walking into the house, the carpet was filthy with mud smashed in, the kitchen was filled with dirty dishes and flies all over. Alyssa was sitting at her laptop and was in her own world. ‘Oh, just let him eat the plants. If God made plants, then they shouldn’t hurt him.’
Little Oliver was asleep in a broken swing that was suspended from the wood beam in the hallway. When I checked on him, he was wet and dirty clearly in need of a diaper. I hunted all over and was told by Alyssa, ‘Oh, I’m behind on my wash, so that’s the last of the cloth diapers! He’ll have to wait and I’ll do the wash tonight!’ I asked if there were any disposable diapers I could use to prevent rash and infection, Alyssa shrugged and pointed to the bathroom. I found Miles’s pull-ups, and I made an improvised diaper for Oliver, who had angry rash and was fussy from being unclean. His umbilical cord was still on and hadn’t fallen off, I was careful to wash it gently.
Soon both boys were comfortable and I had them down for a nap. I started to help clean and do laundry. The stench from old diapers was the worst, many hadn’t been switched out, so fecal matter stuck to everything. I scrubbed, washed, bleached, disinfected, and cleaned until my own skin was raw. Alyssa thanked me, and then asked where I had put the wipes after I had cleaned Oliver. I told her the trash of course, so she dug them out and then rinsed them with vinegar. ‘We don’t throw anything out! I use these to clean the floor and table. He’s nursing, so the milk in the poop will be clean because I’m clean.’
I was so disgusted, and I gently told her that she could spread E. coli and other dangerous illnesses. She sighed and threw them back in the trash, then agreed to let me scrub the floor and table with a set of Mr Clean sponges that her mother-in-law had given her.
I sat for them a total of 10 times for two weeks. Miles got chickenpox after he was exposed by another child who had it and was told to kiss him by Alyssa. He ended up being kicked out of preschool for it, as it came out he wasn’t vaccinated, a scandal that the whole church knew about. Miles was so itchy and upset; I ended up holding him the entire day while Alyssa visited her sister an hour a way in another state.
I located the calamine lotion on the dining room table after walking in, when I heard a crash and muffled screaming. A huge pile of clothes had been placed around a falling apart play pen. The entire structure was filled with clothes, the muffled screaming was from underneath. My heart sank, and I frantically tore through them to find Oliver buried underneath, red-faced with lips turning purple. I called the next door neighbor who was a nurse, and she told me that as long as he was crying and breathing, it was fine to gently rock him and keep him with me. I also called Alyssa who told me not to bring him to the hospital, as they couldn’t afford it, and they would want to vaccinate him.
Alyssa also admitted to doing laundry and piling it near his bed and in it to keep him on his back. I explained how easily Oliver could have suffocated. Oliver was resting next to me while I put calamine lotion on Miles, who was getting feverish. I decided to get him some juice, so I went to the fridge, and the smell of rotting meat was incredibly strong. I saw two bloody bags with something floating inside. I quickly grabbed a juice box and brought the kids into the bathroom. I did my best to make them comfortable and ease the itching.
Alyssa didn’t come home until dinner, so she offered to make dinner for me since I stayed late. I was hungry and agreed. She warmed up some stew on the stove and I scrubbed the table down. I got up and then coughed and gagged opening the fridge. Alyssa heard me cough. ‘Oh don’t mind the smell, it’s just the boys’ placentas. I eat them over time, it a waste of good nutrients if I don’t. But don’t worry, it’s not in the stew.’
My eyes were huge, I needed to get out of there and my flight kicked in. I could feel bile rising in my throat. It was so disgusting. I was relieved to go home, for it was that I night I became dangerously sick. I had a fever of 103 and I couldn’t stop vomiting or having diarrhea. I took some anti-diarrhea meds and tried to walk to my car the next day to push through. I collapsed in the foyer of the sorority house. I was brought to urgent care by two of my sorority sisters and our housemother. The doctor asked me what I had eaten, also if I had been exposed to any diseases. I told him all I had eaten and the state of the house I had been in while babysitting. I also mentioned that Miles had chickenpox and was never vaccinated. I immediately received boosters of most of the vaccines I had already had. I was diagnosed with Listeria and overall poisoning. The doctor said if I had waited to be seen any longer than I had, I would’ve died fairly quickly. I stayed at the hospital overnight with IV drip fluids, pain meds, anti-vomit and diarrhea meds, and antibiotic drips. I missed two weeks of class total and had to play catch up. It was a narrow squeak to be sure!
I ended up talking with the doctor, a social worker, an officer, and my priest about what happened there too. I had also taken couple pictures of the overall filthiness and the floors, as I had wanted cleaning advice as to best tackle it.
I submitted them to the officer and social worker. I never knew what happened to that family after I was in the hospital. I did tell them I couldn’t babysit, as I was too sick in the hospital, only thing I received was a text of, ‘Oh… well feel better then. I’ll find someone else.’ I never heard anything after that text from Alyssa. I honestly hope the children are alright or in better care.”
Ferocious Family Trauma
“So my mom knew this lady who was mentally ill. We didn’t know this at the time. Her 3 children had been taken away from them because she tried dipping her baby in bleach and her husband walked in on that. We also didn’t know that at the time. Her husband got custody, but made a deal with his wife that she takes care of the children and he keeps the money from the government. Keep in mind, she told my mom all this, but had lied about why her 3 kids got taken away.
One day, this lady asked my mom to babysit, but my mom was busy with my siblings. Out of sympathy, I offered. From what I knew about her, she was a sad woman who just needed a break, and I was happy to look after her kids for a day while she took a day to herself.
When I first came to her house, she was already gone and her 3 children were home alone. They were 4, 6, and 7 years old. The house was broken to pieces. Smashed walls. Springs coming out the sofa. One big mattress on the floor in a bedroom. There were dirty plastic dishes lying around the house. I’m not one to judge, but I was disgusted.
I played with the kids and noticed a lot of marks on their bodies. All of them, except the youngest, had burn marks. The oldest daughter had more than the others. I asked her about how she had got that, and she said she asked her mom to straighten her hair for school one day. Her mom used an iron and burnt her ear. When this little girl cried, her mom called her ungrateful and started whacking it on her body. Her siblings got scared and started crying, so she did the same to them.
When she told me this, I burst out in tears. This little girl actually hugged me and said, ‘Don’t worry, we’re happy. I think it looks cool because sometimes the marks look like a zebra.’ Zebras were her favorite animal. As I was wiping my tears, the middle child got me water and her shirt to wipe my tears, and that made me want to cry more. They needed someone to take care of them, yet here they were, making sure I’m okay. I knew I couldn’t leave them there. I told them to get dressed and took pictures of every room in their entire house. I took them home and showed my mom. We called child services and the police, and they got taken away. The lady was put in a mental hospital, and it turns out the husband actually got arrested for assaulting a minor.”
Why Are The Walls And The Floor So Brown?
“I once baby sat for a young girl and boy because their parents were friends with my parents. The boy was a unique bird. I think he was three at the time but he loved to dress up in dresses, heels, jewelry and make-up. No problem. The problem was that he would only poo like once or twice a week. Well, I had the privilege of witnessing one of those events.
Instead of him using the toilet, he decided it should be used as paint. ALL OVER HIS ROOM. Including his body. When I saw the mess, I shook my head, called his parents, and told them what happened. They said they would deal with it when they got home. I bathed him, got him in cleaned clothes, and I had him ‘go to bed’ on the couch. Definitely the worst babysitting day/job ever.”
“I started babysitting for a neighbor. I didn’t know them well, but my older step-sister baby sat for them from time to time. She suggested that I could babysit. My youngest sister was friends with one of their kids, the only daughter. They were a blended family. She had three children from her first marriage. He had two from his first marriage, and together they had two more.
The wife did not work. They had almost no food in the house. For lunch, I would call my sisters to bring me cans of soup from our house. The kids bedrooms were dirty, so I cleaned them and washed their sheets on my first shift. The wife always had her fake nails done in a French manicure. I recall babysitting one day and she brought takeout for her and the husband, but not the children. As I left, the kids were literally drooling watching her eat cheesy fries and a hamburger.
As I mentioned, this woman did not work. She asked me if I was available to work a few hours each day for two weeks. I agreed. I did not know where she went all day. I babysat starting at 7:00 AM each day, but the days got longer and longer. I remember her telling me she would be home around 3:00 PM. She did not return until 11:00 PM each night. For two nights, she did not return at all. The husband drove a truck, and I suspect she may have been with him or having an affair. I was so exhausted one day I fell asleep and dropped her youngest, a 7-month-old baby, on his sweet little face. I cried and had my mom come over to look at him. When I told the woman what I had done, she didn’t think it was a big deal?!
The mother was an angry person. Her daughter always came over crying. One day, she showed me her bum, hip and thigh. Bruised. She said her mother kicked her. I was horrified. I didn’t know what to do. I witnessed her slapping her son. He was 9 and very angry. He cried a lot too. I cried when she slapped his face.
At the end of the two weeks, she begrudgingly told me she would pay me next time. A week or so later after finishing yet another shift, the woman came home and tossed $50 at me. $50 for 225 something hours with 7 kids! When the woman called again a few days later, my mom answered and said that I wouldn’t be babysitting for her anymore.
A year later, the woman let a male friend babysit. He assaulted her only daughter. She lost custody of her 3 children from her previous marriage. They got to live with their daddy. All 3 spoke highly of him. All expressed to me during my time babysitting that they just wanted to live with their dad, but their mom wouldn’t let them. I think about those kids sometimes. Especially her first 3. I hope they grew up having a good and happy life. I hope nobody ever kicked them or smacked them around after they were removed. I hope they grew up to have beautiful fruitful lives.”
“New Uncle Every Week”
“I was a sheltered person and wasn’t aware of people who try to get insurance money for a set up. After babysitting training, I was contacted through the Red Cross to babysit a five-year-old child about six blocks from my house. When I got there, the woman told me she wanted her child to exercise, so I should take the child to the park.
I asked for a key to her apartment, saying I would return it at the end of my shift. She sputtered and balked asking, ‘Why would you need a key?’
I was confused. So I said, ‘You are leaving. I am here. Give me your key and when you return I will give you back the key.’ She hemmed and hawed and then said the child’s uncle would come over and pay me later. I suggested I put the key in the mailbox, once we got back from the park, and she would know where it was. She hurriedly said, ‘I have to go. I don’t have time for this.’
It didn’t make sense to me.
The child was delightful. We had lunch then went to the park. We were there for a few hours. We came back to the house and spent the rest of our time in the apartment kitchen and living room. As it got closer to the time I would leave, I asked the child about her uncle. She said, ‘I have a new uncle every week.’ I thought she must be confused. Turns out, I was confused.
This uncle was of no family relation. He barely acknowledged the child when he showed up to pay me, and he immediately started drinking while watching TV as I said goodbye. Later that night, the police came to my house. Apparently the woman’s jewelry box was missing. She said I took it because I was there all day. I told the police I hadn’t seen a jewelry box. I shared the woman refused to give me a key to the apartment, yet demanded that I go to the park, leaving the door unlocked. I knew the apartment had been unlocked for at least three hours. The police officer said the jewelry box was in the bedroom. I proudly said they could check the apartment for my fingerprints because I never went in the bedroom.
I told the police they should ask the child about her uncles. I called the Red Cross to say that I had been accused of theft. I never fully found out what that mother was up to. That day was enough excitement for me!”
“Dragging My Little Four Year Old Across The Road”
“This woman had a childcare business in her home. She was about 10 years younger than me, I’m guessing around 28. I’d already called the police station and researched her credentials. She had no warrants, complaints, or anything else that I could see. I dropped my one-year old baby boy off into her care, all was good for a couple of weeks.
One sleety, nasty, snowy morning I dropped my son off again. She was DRAGGING my little 4-year-old, who was only wearing underwear, across the road. I jumped out and said, ‘Have you lost your mind?!’
She exclaims in horror that, ‘This little monster keeps crying because I have to get his older brother on the bus for school!’
I asked, ‘Where are his clothes!?’
‘I took them away from HIM, so he’d stop running out like an idiot!’
I grabbed a blanket out of my car, wrapped him up and (I couldn’t take him with me) I just banged on the door to let him in. Did I mention he was 4 years old? Just turned?
Needless to say, I never went back. I didn’t leave my baby there, and yes, I did call the police. But it gets better. Her husband is IN the police department, and nothing happened. She proceeded to keep my portable baby crib, all my son’s bottles, and spare blankets. She held everything hostage. When I went back after a week, I put my foot in the door when her husband was finally home, so he couldn’t close the door. I wanted my stuff back.
I told him, ‘You really need to do something about your wife!’
He said, ‘Sue was having a bad day. Sue had LOTS of bad days. I’m sorry, we’re working on this.’
I did kinda push myself inside and saw no children there. Whew. I finally got my baby’s things back a few days later. Everything was thrown in a heap with a 20-page letter written on tiny post it notes about how evil I am. Scary stuff.”