The Screaming Baby is a scary story for kids about a young girl who finds a baby abandoned in the woods. It is based on a Cajun folktale from Gumbo Ya Ya. A version of this story appeared in the book Short and Shivery as “The Thing in the Woods”.
There was a young girl named Noonie who was always getting into mischief. One day, as she was leaving for school, her mother gave her a stern warning.
“You be careful, Noonie!” her mother said. “Keep your feet on the road and don’t go wandering off the path. Many a foolish little girl has been led astray and the devil makes work for idle hands. So, after school, you come straight home and don’t pay any mind to anything else.”
Noonie nodded her head and walked off down the long and winding road that led past the bayou.
That evening, on her way home, she noticed a beautiful flower, growing next to the path. She picked it. Then she saw another and
another. She began to gather a bouquet of them and each one
led her deeper into the woods.
Suddenly, she heard a noise. It sounded like a baby crying. Instantly, she dropped her flowers and ran towards the noise. She went deeper and deeper into the woods and finally, she came to a clearing in the trees. She looked around and spied something white lying under a tree. It was a little bundle, wrapped up in a blanket.
Noonie bent down and picked it up. Inside, there was a little baby boy. As soon as she lifted him up in her arms, the baby stopped crying and started gurgling and laughing in a way that went straight touched her heart.
“His mother must have left him out here to die,” thought Noonie. “How cruel! I’ll take him home and maybe Mom will let me keep him.”
With the little baby cradled in her arms, the young girl hurried out of the woods, but as she neared the road the light began to fade and it started to get dark. Noonie was scared, so she started singing a religious hymn to herself.
All of a sudden, the baby began screaming and crying. Noonie kept singing the hymn in a soothing tone, but the baby just shrieked louder and louder.
“That’s strange,” said Noonie. “It’s almost as if he doesn’t like prayers.”
Then, the girl pulled back the blanket that was covering the screaming baby’s face and when she did, her heart almost froze in her chest.
Instead of a cute little baby, the bundle she was holding contained something black and shiny and ugly. It looked like some sort of gigantic, grotesque beetle. As she watched in horror, the black thing
began to grow right before her eyes, getting bigger and bigger.
She dropped the wretched thing and it fell to the ground, writhing and kicking its spindly legs. Poor Noonie was so scared she almost dropped dead on the spot. All she could think to do was to bless herself and hold out her hands in front of her, making the sign of the cross with her fingers.
When the black thing saw the sign of the cross, it let loose a high-pitched scream and ran off into the woods.
Noonie ran all the way home and never again strayed from the path or stopped to pick flowers in the woods.