Rosemary’s Baby had an effect on us here at Stuff Monsters Like which put some us off babies all together.
But sometimes we find ourselves inextricably drawn to these wonderful balls of fluff and sweetness.
So we started compiling a compendium of reasons to stay away from babies and the great evil that may lurk behind their sweet, perfect, little, scrumptious angel faces.
They spit up. You can’t drink a healthy glug of Everclear or eat a cold cut combo if one or more of them are shacking up inside of you. They cry, a lot. And did you know that they poop their pants all day every day for years on end?
There’s another reason to not open your hearts to one of these creatures, which time has forgotten. So be warned, get that baby away from you, and under no circumstances have one of your own!
Babies don’t just attract hoards of admirers. They’ve got enemies too. And once those enemies track them down, there’s no reason why they couldn’t turn on you next.
The ancient Egyptians believed that while that precious bundle of pure joy was dozing, ghosts would become just as fixated on them as we can be.
Now, ghosts are scary. At least they are most of the time.
Ancient Egyptian ghosts, though, aren’t faintly-shining beings that glide around your baby’s crib thinking about the baby they lost at sea – or whatever it was that led them to being trapped in your dream home, the home that you just could not pass up even though you totally knew that it didn’t feel right and your dog now spends the majority of her time hiding in the closet.
Egyptian ghosts are more Walking Dead than Wilkie Collins’ Woman in White. Their faces are rotting off and they’re still tightly bound in their mummification bandages.
Egyptian ghosts’ noses have been flattened and they have what Donald A. Mackenzie in his 1907 Egyptian Myth and Legend described as “eyes of horror” which your tiny gift from god will only see for a moment before his or her untimely death. The ghosts approach the shining babe with their heads turned away and then suddenly, with a jerk of their necks, they lock eyes on the apple of your eye. The child dies at once from shock.
But let’s say you’ve got a baby that isn’t going to be fazed by an ugly face. Your baby has seen some things, man.
The ghosts then resort to sucking the souls out of your munchkin pumpkin by kissing their heads or getting a whiff of that sweet, sweet, sweet baby smell.
Crying babies are especially vulnerable to these putrid, bandaged corpses. You might think they’re helping you out by picking up the screaming infant and rocking it back to sleep. But they’re not rocking your precious little bit to dream land. They’re rocking him or her to the sleep of death.
So, parents or soon-to-be parents, you better watch your back. Not only is your progeny going to invite a host of ghosts into your life, but they’re just going to die anyway. So why don’t you throw back another cocktail and continue to make bad life choices? You didn’t want that baby anyway.
Okay, we won’t leave you hanging. We’ll help you save your baby from the clutches of supernatural forces.
You’re going to need to go to the grocery store to pick up some things first – like lettuce and garlic – and you’ll need to acquire some magic bones, but the main ingredient you need is a dollop of honey.
We here at Stuff Monsters Like recommend that you pull out all the stops and get some nice stuff from the farmer’s market. You are saving the person who’s going to explain technology and pop culture to you for the latter half of your life.
Just recite this New Kingdom (1550-1070 BCE) lullaby over your baby and set up your protective wards. We promise that that baby of yours will grow up to turn into a murderous psychopath who mutilates his or her victims with piano wire (extra points to whoever can name that reference in the comments section first) before finally killing them and then turning on you the night of Thanksgiving.
Ancient Egyptian “Sleepy Song”
Oh, avaunt! Ye ghosts of the night,
Nor do my baby harm;
Ye may come with steps so light,
But I’ll thwart you with my charm.
For my babe you must not kiss,
Nor rock if she should cry –
Oh! If you did aught amiss,
My own, my dear, would die.
O ye dead men, come not near –
Now I have made the charm –
There’s lettuce to prick you here,
Garlic with smell to harm;
There’s tow to bind like a spell,
The magic bones are spread;
There’s honey the living love well –
‘T is poison to the dead.
Lullaby translated by Donald Mackenzie. Mackenzie’s work can also be found in a 1994 edition entitled Egyptian Myths and Legends by Gramercy Books.
Megan Miller is a classicist with a bent toward the macabre. She received her master’s from Oxford, but now tells as many monster stories as she can to the students in her university courses. To read more Ancient Correspondence, click here.