The Haunted Crib

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Alicia Rose's mother is about to have a baby, but since Alicia is 10 years old now, they have sold all her baby items. Her uncle offers to give them a crib that has been stored in his attic for more than two decades. The only problem is, Alicia's baby sister refuses to sleep in it.

Submitted: June 17, 2017

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Submitted: June 17, 2017

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Alicia Rose is a typical 10 year old girl with lots of friends and an active life. Her mother Cara is pregnant and the baby is due any time now. The only problem is, they don't have any baby items any more. They sold Alicia's baby items years ago.

After shopping garage sales and asking friends and relatives, Cara and Alicia manage to get all the items they need except the crib. Finally Alicia's Uncle Mike calls and says he has a crib in his attic that's been there for more than 20 years, but they can have it if they want it.

Uncle Mike brings the crib over on a Saturday afternoon. Everyone helps to clean and restore it, even Grandma Rose, who is visiting unil the baby comes.

The crib has a beautiful white enamel finish on it. The crib rails have an ornate decoration that looks like climbing vines.

"This looks Victorian!" Alicia proclaimed. "But it can't be because it was built in the 1980s."

"Well, it's probably meant to be a replica of a Victorian crib," Cara said. "Alicia, help me get up please!" Cara was trying to get up after she had been sitting on the floor a good half hour.

"Wow, Mom, you're getting big!" Alicia laughed.

A week later, Cara went into labor. Grandma Rose drove Cara and Alicia to the hospital. Grandma and Alicia opted to wait in the waiting room. They were there for 14 hours before the doctor finally came out and said,"It's a girl!"

Alicia and Grandma Rose hurried in to see Cara and the baby. Cara looked exhausted, but the baby was adorable, all wrapped up in a pink blanket with a pink stocking cap on her head.

"What did you name her?" Grandma asked, stroking the baby's cheek.

"Emily Ann Rose!" Cara and Alicia said simultaneously. They looked at each other and laughed.

"We've been thinking of names for hours every night, Grandma," Alicia explained. "We both agreed Emily was our favorite girl's name."

"Well, it's lovely," Grandma Rose smiled. "And so it she!"

When everyone was home again, baby Emily got to try her car seat, her swing, her carrier, and her playpen. She was not yet big enough for her high chair. She seemed perfectly content in anything they put her in, though....a very happy baby.

Then it was time for bed. Cara put Emily in the crib. Emily immediately started crying....a high, ear-shattering scream that they had never heard come out of her. Cara took her out of the crib, rocked her to sleep, and gently put her back in the crib. But Emily woke up instantly and started the screaming again.

"Mom, she doesn't like her crib," Alicia said. "Don't make her sleep in it!"

Cara Gave in after a couple more tries at getting Emily to sleep in the crib.

"She can sleep in my bed with me tonight, but she'll have to learn to sleep on her own. Maybe we can set up the playpen for her naps and see if that works."

Eventually, Cara and Alicia moved the crib to the basement because Emily would never sleep in it. Emily continued sleeping in the playpen for naps, and with her mother at night.

One night Alicia woke up at quarter after midnight. She heard the baby crying. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, climbed out of bed, and followed the sound of the cry, figuring she could help her mom get Emily back to sleep.

But the crying wasn't coming from Cara's room. It was coming from the basement.

Alicia cautiously flipped on the basement light and slowly started descending the stairs. The light was streaming like a spotlight right over the crib, as if to highlight the strange sight: there was a baby standing up in the crib, holding onto the rails and crying.

Alicia knew instantly that it wasn't Emily. This baby was much older and bigger than Emily, and of course Emily couldn't pull herself up yet.

Alicia went right over and pulled the baby out of the crib, into her arms. The baby stopped crying and stared at her with beautiful big blue eyes.

Maybe Mom's friend Amy spent the night, and this is her baby, Charles, Alicia thought. But she knew that didn't make any sense. Cara and Amy would never leave a baby alone in the basement!

Alicia started pacing the basement floor with the baby in her arms. She noticed the cute little sailor suit he was wearing. She also noticed that he smelled like fresh baby powder.

"You must be a boy," Alicia mused. "You're adorable." As she spoke softly to him, the baby closed his eyes. Alicia carefully lowered him back into the crib. At least somebody likes sleeping in this crib, Alicia thought.

The next morning at breakfast, Alicia told her mom all about the baby in the basement.

"Oh, sweetie, you were dreaming!" Cara explained. "There wasn't anybody here last night."

"But Mom, I can remember every last detail! He was wearing a blue sailor suit, and he was very heavy, much heavier than Emily. He had big blue eyes and he smelled like baby powder."

"Dreams can be very vivid sometimes," Cara insisted. "If it will make you feel better we can all go down to the basement and look." Cara was sprinkling formula from Emily's bottle on her wrist to check the temperature.

Emily was sitting in her infant carrier, looking back and forth from Alicia to Cara.

"We can wait until Emily drinks her bottle," Alicia said.

A little while later, after Emily had been burped, Alica and Cara, towing Emily in her carrier, headed down the basement stairs. Cara turned on all the lights.

"See, nobody in the crib," Cara said, looking at Alicia.

"Mom, I'm not crazy, he was there last night," Alicia said.

At school, Alicia told her best friend Abby the whole story.

"You know what you should do," Abby said between bites of her turkey sandwich, "If it happens again, you should carry that baby up to your mom's room and show her. That's the only way she'll believe he's real."

"That's a great idea!" Alicia agreed.

A few days went by, and Alicia almost forgot about the strange baby.

Then one night, Alicia woke with a start. She heard the crying again. She looked at the clock: it was 12:15.

Stumbling out of bed, Alicia went to the basement and turned on the light. As she went down the stairs, she saw the light gleaming on the crib again. There, sure enough, was the same baby. He even looked like he was standing in the same spot, holding onto the same rails!

Alicia gathered the baby in her arms, calming him. Then she remembered Abby's idea. She took the baby upstairs to her mom's room. Cara's door was already part way open. Alicia could see that Cara and Emily were both sound asleep. Emily was snuggled up next to Cara, her head resting on Cara's arm.

I hate to wake them, Alicia thought, but I want Mom to see that he's real!

It was kind of hard with the baby in her arms, but Alicia got on her knees next to the bed and shook Cara's free arm.

"Mom, mom!" she said loudly. "Look, he's real!"

Cara and Emily didn't even twitch. It was really surprising that Emily didn't wake up, since Alicia was practically shouting.

After several attempts to wake them, Alicia gave up. It was like they were in some kind of sleep coma or something.

Maybe I am dreaming, Alicia thought.

Alicia went back downstairs and put the baby back in the crib. She stayed by his side until his eyelids got heavy and he drifted off to sleep.

The next day, Alicia didn't even mention it to her mom, but she had another idea. She called Uncle Mike, who had given them the crib.

"Uncle Mike, where did that crib come from?" Alicia asked. "Was it yours when you were a baby?"

"No," Mike answered slowly. "It was actually purchased for my baby brother, Sam. I was six years old when he was born, and like your situation, we had given away all the baby stuff. Mom saw the crib in the store and she loved the way it looked...the old-fashioned decorations on it. It was expensive, but Dad agreed to get it."

"But you don't have a younger brother..." Alicia said, her voice trailing off as she realized what his answer might be.

"Well, I did, but Sam died when he was just 10 months old. S.I.D.S., they said."

"What's S.I.D.S.?" Alicia asked.

"Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It means the baby stopped breathing during the night. Mom went to Sam's crib at his usual feeding time, curious that she didn't hear him cry. She found Sam unresponsive. She called 911, but they couldn't revive him."

"Wow, I'm so sorry," Alicia sympathized. Then she proceeded to tell Uncle Mike about the baby she'd been seeing in Sam's crib, describing him in detail.

"I'm coming over," Uncle Mike suddenly said. "There are a couple of things I need to show you."

Fifteen minutes later, Uncle Mike came to the door. He was holding a photo albun and some kind of paper document. Cara and Emily were napping, so Alicia ushered him into the living room quietly, where they sat next to each other on the sofa.

Mike opened the photo album, turning to a page that was bookmarked with a strip of laminated paper and a pressed four leaf clover under the laminate.

"This is Sam," Uncle Mike pointed to a picture in the middle of the page.

Alicia gasped. It was the very same baby she had been holding....the baby that was in the crib. He was standing in the same spot in the crib, with his hands in the same place holding the same bars, just as she had seen him before. He was wearing the blue sailor suit.

"And this," Uncle Mike said, opening the paper document, "Is Sam's death certificate."

Alicia read it out loud. "Samson Jason Rose, deceased. Cause of death: S.I.D.S. Date of death: 08/01/1988. Time of death: 12:15 a.m." 12:15 a.m.!!

Mike and Alicia took apart the crib and never got it out again. Alicia never told the rest of the story to her mom. She kept Sam's secret, cherishing the time she had with him.

If you like this story, I want you to know that it was told to me by one of my cello students, Alicia Rose, in 2011. Do you think it's true? Alicia does.

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Jane Atkinson. All rights reserved.