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"I'm only doing this because there's an international banking convention in town, Little Miss I've-Been-Twelve-For-A-Pretty-Long-Time."
Jane Doe, Nobody Scores!

One of the squickiest things to come out of Horror movies is the descending age bracket for The Undead. It used to be only adults could be/were made into undead, and while children were presumably killed off screen during the Zombie Apocalypse, they weren't turned into the living dead. Well, now it seems these infants have found immortality of a decidedly unwholesome sort.

Whether it's zombie babies, vampire children, or the unsettling ghost child, audiences will feel revulsion on several levels. Let's count!

On the one hand, these are children, the idea that an undead horror (especially a thinking one) would not just kill but transform an innocent into another one of itself is so wrong it's hard to quantify. That a child would stay on in this world as a ghost is no less cruel, since it implies the child is somehow being held against their will or has become a creature out for revenge. On the other, the body is still that of a child, and most people will instinctively try to help mistakenly thinking it's Not a Zombie, no matter how undeathly pale and torn. Third, even if the child still has their own mind and morality (slim chance, but present) you've now essentially got a bloodthirsty immortal Pinocchio. And last but not least, when one is attacking you, you have to work past all of the above and a natural instinct not to harm the former child. This can be made much easier if the little monster isn't just creepy, but deformed and scary.

Lastly, if the form of undead is sentient, this may result in significant angst on the part of the child who Can't Grow Up or physically mature, and becomes Older Than They Look.

Let's hope no parents brought their kids to see this movie. (Although it'd probably be scarier for the parents.)

Related to Creepy Child, Enfant Terrible and Fetus Terrible.

Examples:


Anime and Manga

  • Surprisingly for a Zombie Apocalypse manga, Highschool of the Dead waits more than twenty chapters to bring in the horde of undead grade-schoolers.
    • There's also the scene of a zombie kid biting and infecting his mother.
  • The TV series of Hellsing has Helena, a girl vampire with the mind of a weary, ancient woman.
  • Blood Alone has Higure, a vampire elder, and Misaki, a newly turned vampire. Both are friendly; but Higure reveals that ultimately all undead turn into monsters. It's just a question of how many centuries (or in some cases, years or months) it takes. Kuroe is constantly watching Misaki for signs.
  • In Great Teacher Onizuka, Fujiyoshi and Miyabi encounter one, but don't realize what it is until a few seconds later.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has Evangeline A.K. McDowell, who was turned into a first-generation vampire at the age of ten. Oddly enough - or perhaps not so oddly when considering the illusion magic she uses - no non protagonist really seems to even notice that she's a child, being terrified of her for more normal reasons.
    • It's also worth noting that she subverts the creepiness part of this, as "undead" seems to merely mean "can't die" in regard to her; she's pretty much physically indistinguishable from a normal child. Anyone who fears her, is afraid for other reasons, as mentioned above. Her own telling of her backstory makes her vampirism seem more like a regular curse cast upon her to make her kill her family than traditional vampirism. And she's creepy because she's had a lot of practice.
    • See also the Cute Ghost Girl Sayo Aisako. Then again, Sayo might not fit here, since she was 15 when she died, provides some panty shots, and has recently possessed a doll to get a physical form and travel outside the school.
  • Dance in the Vampire Bund both subverts this (Anna is weapons grade adorable, while her adopted sibs Jiji and Clara are only fractionally less cute) and plays it straight (Mina. Can. Be. Terrifying.).
  • Hell Teacher Nube. Repeat: Teacher. Of an Extranormal Grade School of Adventure. Half the time, the Monster of the Week will be an Undead Child. It comes with the territory.
  • Shizuku of Omamori Himari. Technically not an undead child, but she certainly looks like one, to the point that when Rinko walks in on her and Yuuto in the bathtub [1], her first reaction was that he found a corpse in the bathtub. He later tells Shizuku to "do something about that drowned body look".
  • An one-time character at the very start of Yu Yu Hakusho (read before Yusuke's ressurrection), Sayaka, is this, ghost version. She tagged along with Botan and had a bit of a crush on Yusuke, but gave up when she realized the feelings he and Keiko had for each other.
  • Kagome from Inuyasha met a young ghost girl in the future, who was trying to kill her little brother. She thought her mother had purposefully let her die in a fire she accidentally started and wanted revenge. Kagome convinces her otherwise.
  • Kentaro Miura put an undead kid into the second major story of Berserk when a little girl traveling with her father falls out of their wagon during an attack by evil spirit-possessed skeletons drawn to Guts's Brand of Sacrifice and is killed by one of them. Her body is possessed by one of the spirits and kills her father, then goes after Guts, who has to put her down.
  • Shiki has Sunako, the leader of the vampire clan. She's trying to set up a place for vampires to live in peace, but she isn't too bothered by the whole.. killing people thing. Her major case of Black Eyes of Evil comboed with her cutesy voice and Elegant Gothic Lolita fashions open up a a big 'ole box of creepiness.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has Selim Bradley/Pride in the manga, and Wrath in the first anime, who is the incarnation of Izumi Curtis' stillborn son.


Comic Books

  • One of the ~30 Days Of Night~ graphic novels has a millennial vampire baby that has never aged. It's hungry.
  • In The Walking Dead, The Governor has a zombie "daughter"; later on, he removes all her teeth so he can make out with her.
    • Even later on, there's a heartbreaking scene where we find out this has happened to Mogan's son Duane.
  • In a short story from Zombie Tales, "Daddy smells different", zombieism is The Virus, but, unusually, many (but not all) people recover from the initial infection. This leads to many people quarantining off their loved ones in the hopes that they will recover. In one household, this is seen happening through the eyes of a boy perhaps 4 years old, who sees his mother barricading his father in the basement and then crying by the door. Naturally, readers assume that the father is infected, until the boy finds a way into the basement. The story closes with the boy thinking "I can smell daddy. Daddy smells... daddy smells... delicious" and then leaping to attack his father, showing the boy's rotting face for the first time [2].
  • The eponymous Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl of Roman Dirge's comic is an undead child played for laughs.
    • One issue also included a one page comic about a little zombie girl, parodying Lenore.
  • The Season of Mists arc of The Sandman featured the dead returning to what remained of their bodies. All the dead, apparently, including small animals and children.
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost.
  • Leigh Gallagher really wanted to draw child zombies in Defoe, so Pat Mills worked them in.


Film

  • Dark City had one of The Strangers inhabit a dead child's body. It wore black leather, was bald, whisper to other Strangers, would chatter its teeth while wielding a knife, cut a spiral into a dead hooker, and gleefully intoned "Kill him" when the hero was captured.
  • The 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead 2004 has a zombie baby, child of a pregnant infected woman. She entered labor just as she died and came back as a zombie. The baby came out after her head was blown off, apparently just dead... But then it opens its eyes. Hearing the baby's "birth cry" was one of the creepiest moments of the film.
    • The original film featured two zombie children, played by Tom Savini's niece and nephew.
    • Not to mention that the first zombie you see in the 2004 film is a little girl. Who was seen alive and well a few seconds ago (or the day before, In-Universe).
  • The Movie version of Thirty Days of Night has a disturbing example of this. While the group of survivors is in a grocery store, they encounter a vampire child who charges them with surprising power and nearly kills one of their group. In one of the most disturbing scenes in the entire movie, they kill her by hacking off her head and are so shocked that they cannot even recognize who she was before.
  • Santi in The Devil's Backbone / El Espinazo del Diablo is not actually evil, however he is out for watery revenge on his killer, and scares the bejeezus out of the other orphans in the meantime.
    • While we're on the subject of Guillermo del Toro, there are the ghost children from The Orphanage.
  • The ghost child in The Grudge / Ju-On. So innocent. So evil.
  • The film Near Dark included a vampire child stuck in the 10-year old body he had when he was turned, over 50 years ago. Who was Made of Explodium for some reason.
  • This trope is pretty old; there's a little zombie girl in the original Night of the Living Dead that eats her father after he staggers down into the basement after getting shot; then kills her mother with a hand-trowel — thereby becoming the first Romero zombie to display what resembles intelligence — and eats her too.
  • The Spanish film REC (remade in the US as Quarantine) has a poor little girl turn into a zombie... sorry, "She just has a fever!"
    • And the boy in the attic. And the possessed girl. Oh. GOD. She makes Left 4 Dead's Witches look tame.
  • B movie The Hamiltons deals with a group of orphaned sibling vampires, and their attempts to survive in the world. It also concerns the mysterious monster in their basement called Lenny, who we see rip apart and devour several people over the course of the movie. It's their littlest brother, who is only a few years old, completely feral, and craving blood all the time.
  • A friendly version appeared in The Sixth Sense, a girl poisoned by her mother.
  • Quite brutally subverted in 28 Days Later. The main character deliberately goes hunting for a pre-teenager who is infected with The Virus, and determindly beats it to death with apparently no qualms. He is only disturbed by his behaviour when the Big Bad points out that, having done horrible things to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, he and the main character are not so unalike as they might have preferred.
    • Considering his experiences in the past several days with Infected, and how the "boy" was shrieking and snarling like a methed-up velociraptor, if anyone had any qualms about beating it to death, they are too stupid to live.
  • Let the Right One In has Eli/Abby, who has been twelve for a long time.
  • The Shining: "Come play with us Danny. Forever."
  • The Others has a couple of ghost children but they're not the ones we think they are.
  • The second Resident Evil movie featured the cast venturing into a school in order to rescue a girl in order to get a ride out of the city...one of the characters is killed when a mob of zombie children maul her.
  • The Amityville Horror remake has Jodie Defeo; though sympathetic to an extent since its implicated she's forced to do evil against her will she's still pretty damn creepy at points, especially in the scene where she traps the babysitter Lisa in the closet and forcibly jams one of Lisa's fingers into the bullet hole in her forehead.

 Jodie: "Hi Lisa! Look what Ronnie did."

  • In the bizarre Italian film Cemetary Man (Dellamorte Dellamore), Rupert Everett's dimwitted sidekick, Gnaghi, keeps the zombified head of the mayor's 12 year-old daughter inside a broken TV. There's also a scene where Rupert kills a busload of zombie boyscouts, killed in the same accident as the girl.
  • Trick 'r Treat has a busload of zombie kids in their Halloween costumes.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas has the aptly-named Corpse Kid. And his parents, since almost everyone in Halloween Town is undead.
  • And, of course, there is the gleefully psychotic Claudia from Interview with the Vampire, perhaps the only actually evil vampire we meet.
    • It's worth mentioning that she is aged up from ~5 years old in the book to around 11 in the movie. This does not lessen the creepy murderous child vibe at all.
  • Pet Sematary.
  • It's unclear whether the little children often encountered in dreams in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise are this trope or not: Freddy presumably killed these when he himself was alive, before he gained supernatural powers, so it's possible that they're dreamworld illusions rather than trapped souls of his original victims.
  • Zombie Cult Massacre features a leader of a separatist cult who creates zombies to bring about the end of days. One of his victims who he killed and zombified is a six-year-old girl who seems to have been his daughter.
  • The Ring: Samara Morgan just wants to be heard. And kill people.
  • This short, perhaps.
  • Grace is about a woman whose fetus dies, but she insists on carrying and delivering it anyway. After delivery the baby seems to be miraculously alive, except she is pale, attracts flies, and drinks her mother's blood instead of milk, requiring more and more as time goes by. Eventually mom resorts to murder to get enough blood for the baby.
  • In a rare example of Played for Laughs, in Zombieland undead little girls dressed up as princesses attack a minivan.
    • Also, on the commentary Abigail Breslin said that she loved the zombie makeup and effects and really, really, tried to convince the writers and director to let her character get turned into a zombie so she could play one. They shot the idea down, however.
  • Happens every so often in Japanese horror movies. Aside from the Ju-on series, mentioned above, Dark Water features the spirit of a young drowned girl. She is looking for a mommy and is not shy about threatening to harm other children to get one.
  • The Eighties vampire movie Vamp features a young girl among its vampires. We actually see her when she's still human.
  • Modern Vampires takes this to an extra disturbing level. One of the main vampires is a heavily pregnant woman. It's even mentioned that her (supposedly undead) baby will never be born. She later gets a stake through the heart.
  • Braindead has a zombie baby. Although this is more a case of (un)Dead Baby Comedy than Creepy Child.
  • Also from The Eighties, we have The Lost Boys in which there is Vladdie, ten or eleven year old almost-vamp. While he's creepy, the scene is mostly Played for Laughs.

  Edgar Frog: It's the attack of Eddie Munster!


Literature

  There's a little girl somewhere out there. And I think she's still waiting for her good-night kiss...

  • Pride and Prejudice And Zombies has a zombie infant. Elizabeth, despite being usually Badass, can't bring herself to kill it.
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan has a zombie infant, which has apparently been laying in its cradle for years after the house was abandoned, restlessly kicking the footboard. The heroine is so distraught that she starts to try to hold the baby, but then gets a hold of herself and drops the baby out the window.
  • The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels feature several of these: Nikolaos, the former Master of St Louis, and later Valentina. The latter was turned by a vampire pedophile who was killed when the other vampires found out what he was doing. Turning children for any reason is forbidden by the Vampire Council because the child vampires usually go crazy. Bartolomé as well, although he is an adolescent.
  • In The Guardians, vampires are forbidden from changing children because while their bodies will be frozen, their minds will age. Worse, they will be driven by Blood Lust to have sex with their blood donors.
  • Linda Lael Miller's Forever And The Night has Benecia and Canaan, the evil little vampire sisters.
  • One of Nancy A. Collins's Sonja Blue books involved a character who had been pregnant, for several decades, with an incredibly squicky vampire baby.
  • In Brenna Yovanoff's The Replacement, which is about a changeling boy who was kept alive, most changelings don't actually survive very long. Some, in fact, are killed by "their" parents--like the unnamed girl who likes to play with the gash "her" parents cut across her throat. The castoff who was switched for Natalie Stewart becomes this very easily; all Mackie has to do is whisper in her ear and tell her that it's okay to be ugly and unnatural and that there are people who will love her anyway. Also, all the Morrigan's blue girls started out as this, but grew up because most of them were killed as very young children and, as she puts it, how is she supposed to keep a house if she always has to look after infants?
  • The starting point of the Zombie Apocalypse in World War Z is a young boy. A little girl zombie later menaces Russian troops who can't bring themselves to kill her, spurring harsh action.
  • Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? has a LOT of them, in various paths. Some choices can lead to the infection of an entire elementary school.
  • Good old Moaning Myrtle. She's been haunting Hogwarts since the forties, and she may have a crush on both Harry and Draco.
    • Radically different from most of the examples here, as she is an almost entirely harmless incorporeal ghost.


Live Action TV

  • Being Human has two:
    • In season 1, a vampire child, made when Mitchell offers his mother, out of guilt from not being able to save him, the chance to bring him back as a vampire. The episode ends with the kid innocently telling his mom "I'm hungry."
    • In season 2, a ghost baby. Ghost babies don't eat or sleep, and must be kept as cold as possible. It's all disturbingly adorable.
  • The Anointed One from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The drawbacks of a child form are made clear when an adult vampire who isn't intimidated just picks him up and carries him over to the sunlight.
  • In the Angel episode "Lullaby" (season 3, episode 9) there's a flashback to Holtz finding his slaughtered family. His little daughter Sarah has already risen as a vampire. Holtz sings to her until daybreak, then drags her struggling to the door and pushes her out into the sunlight. Given this and the "normal" death of his infant son, it's perhaps understandable that he really doesn't like Angel very much.
  • Doctor Who's Empty Child. He's a different-alive child who spreads a sickness that turns victims into duplicates of himself, like a seriously postmodern zombie. But mostly, he's just a lonely little boy.

  "Are you my mummy?"

    • Subverted in an episode where the ghost child not only turns out to be alive, but there's two of them.
  • In Forever Knight, the vampire LaCroix's sire was his own preteen daughter.
  • In Highlander the Series there was an immortal child. While immortals aren't undead, the Can't Grow Up factor and the creepiness of a child not acting like one and killing other immortals was similar.
  • Mary, the little ghost girl in Kingdom Hospital (played by Jodelle Ferland, who was also the Creepy Child in the Silent Hill movie and play a little ghost boy in The Messengers.)
  • One of the first zombies encountered in The Walking Dead is a little girl who pauses to pick up her teddy bear before turning on Rick and getting her brains blown out.
    • In season two, Sophia turns into a zombie.
  • Understandably for a children's horror show, this popped up a few times on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, like the ghost of a little boy who froze to death and just wanted his coat.
    • The "I'm cold." lingers in the mind for decades.
  • The first episode of the Game of Thrones series has a particularly creepy one. Considering that just moments before we had seen her murdered body nailed to a tree, she doesn't have to do anything more than turn and stare into the camera to be scary.


Music

  • In The Hazards of Love, by The Decemberists, "The Rake's Song" details how a man murders his children after his wife dies...then "The Hazards of Love 3" tells how their ghosts come back to exact their revenge while he's kidnapping a woman.


Oral Tradition

  • Philippine legends speak of the Tiyanak, a monster made from the spirit of an unborn child. It takes the appearance of an infant to draw in unwary travelers then reverts to its true form to kill its kind-hearted victim.
    • Tiyanaks can also be born from babies who've died without being baptized, from aborted fetuses or from babies dying without getting a proper burial.
  • Inuit mythology talks about the vengeful ghosts of children that were left to die of exposure after having been named, which gave it a soul, and so return to their families to seek vengeance. They nurse from their mothers at night to build up strength (possibly sucking the life out of her), then use that strength to try and murder the members of their family who actually abandoned it in the wilderness. They only depart after killing all of their family, or if a shaman banishes them.
  • And in Swedish oral tradition, if a mother killed her infant, the ghost would remain around the place where she had disposed of the body. For some reason it is normally depicted as a three-year-old, rather than as a newborn (when it doesn't appear as a bucket or box, supposedly what it was buried in). Sometimes it is said to demand vengeance on its mother, sometimes it wants the body to be put to rest in a proper churchyard, and sometimes it just... hangs around and scares people. And sometimes it kills mom and then goes on to kill as many other people as it can until it finally encounters one with the bravery, the occult lore or just the plain human compassion to give it what it wants: a name. There's a folktale about the Lapp (a magical people to the Swedes) who named the baby's ghost and in so doing put it to rest. The name for this type of ghost is an utburd.
    • Icelanders outdo the Swedish here. Útburðir also exist in Icelandic folklore. Their appearance is about the same as when they were left for dead, but they can crawl and communicate, and are swathed in rags, often bloodsoaked from the afterbirth. They also howl an otherworldly mewl called útburðarvæl. Should an unfortunate traveler chance upon an útburður, they are in grave danger, as the infant will attempt to crawl three circles around the traveler, and upon the completion of the third circle the traveler will lose his mind irrevocably. Útburðir also come for their mothers for various reasons, some with malice in mind, but others in innocent ways, yet the ending is always terrible.
      • One of the most famous stories of úrburðir is Móðir mín í kví, kví (My mother in the sheepfold, sheepfold): A working woman gives birth to a child out of wedlock, and to escape severe punishment she wraps her newborn in some fabric and leaves it outside to die. Some while later she is in the sheepfold milking the ewes with another woman. She mentions to the other that she would like to go to the vikivaki, a festive dancing, but she has no presentable dress to wear. Then the ghost of her child comes and sings to her a rhyme: Móðir mín í kví, kví / kvíddu ekki því / ég skal ljá þér duluna mína / duluna mína að dansa í. / Ég skal ljá þér duluna mína / duluna mína að dansa í. (My mother in the sheepfold, sheepfold / do not worry about that / I will lend you my rag / my rag to dance in. / I will lend you my rag / my rag to dance in.) The mother promptly loses her mind at this. The rhyme is still sung to Icelandic children as a lullaby.
    • It appears in American folklore too. There's an Appalachian story about a ghost in the woods that looks like a small child and asks you to carry it on your back to safety. But as you carry it, it'll start getting heavier and heavier with each step. And if you look back over your shoulder to see what's going on... well, apparently nobody's lived to say what exactly they saw.
    • Among some American Indian tribes of the Southeast, there's a legend about this crying infant hunters and other wanderers sometimes find in the woods. They pick the kid up, offer him their finger to suckle so he'll quiet down, he starts to suck on their finger, and then he sucks all the flesh off of their bones, ending with the ghostly infant contentedly cooing while lying in the arms of a bloody skeleton.
    • Not sure if this counts, but there's a Japanese Youkai that takes the form of an abandoned baby crying on the roadside. If some poor fool actually picks it up, it suddenly grows huge, crushing them to death under its bulk.
    • The Toyol of Malaysian folklore is a fetus that died after being born or was stillborn. It can be summoned by those who want to use the Toyol For the Evulz, but must be fed with blood by its summoner, or the Toyol will turn nasty and kill its summoner.
    • In the Carpathians, a stillborn child couldn't be buried in hallowed ground (as unbaptized), and (particularly if it had been born under a caul, or had teeth) was believed in danger into turning into a vampire spirit.
    • And in African folklore, there's a story about a jealous husband. He kills his heavily pregnant wife, and the unborn fetus starts following him, carrying its caul over its shoulder, asking him why he's abandoning it. He kills it. Three times. It keeps coming back. Eventually, his wife's family realizes what has happened and stones the husband.
    • The concept of a dybbuk plays on this, believed by some to be the dislocated spirit of a dead person, such as an unborn or young child. This is used heavily in the 2009 film The Unborn.


Tabletop RPG

  • A good chunk of the Zombie Spawn monsters in Mortasheen come from this. Like the Braindead example, it usually happens when two zombies attempt to copulate. Oddly enough, they commonly have Bee-Bee Gun powers due to parasitic insects/worms infesting them while still in the womb.
  • One slightly positive example is a DnD 3.5 supplement on undead with a half-ghoul template, where the mother is infected by whatever magical affliction creates ghouls and gives birth to a half-ghoul child that can grow up. Usually the child has to be rescued by normal humans to survive long, though.
    • Dungeons and Dragons also has the Atropal, a very powerful, very dangerous abomination that is basically a stillborn godling. They are just as nasty as they sound, and even if you destroy it, the leftover chunks can still reanimate as an Atropal Scion, which is fortunately less likely to give you a TPK.
    • The Libris Mortis supplement has the slaymate, the animated remains of a child who died of neglect or betrayal by a caretaker. It amplified necromantic magic in its vicinity, and the book said they are prized as pets of sorts for necromancers, who sometimes carry them on their backs papoose-style. Add in a creepy picture of an undead and slightly decomposed 7-ish year old girl with a ragged doll, and you have a winner.
    • 4.0 and its Open Grave supplement gives us both child skeletons and the corrupted spawn, a child brought back by resurrection magic Gone Horribly Wrong. The latter is essentially an extended reference to Pet Sematary.
    • In a Mystara scenario the PCs run into a bunch of non-standard zombies created by the magical equivalent of radiation. They are sentient and not necessarily hostile. One of them was created from the body of a young boy and is a possible ally. Somewhat tragic, in that he thinks he can "grow up" like a living person if he just gets away from the zombie lair and into the normal world.
  • The Ravenloft setting has naturally played with this trope, with a Claudia-Expy (Merilee Markuza, whom many fans choose to portray as a Manipulative Bastard), flesh golems who act like children at first, and any number of child ghosts.
  • Wraith: The Oblivion features the Striplings, a caste of Spectre. In the game, Spectres are ghosts who either lost themselves over time to Oblivion, or met such a violent end that they just wanted it all to go away. The Striplings are Spectres of children who died when they were younger than ten. Even the other Spectres are freaked out by them.
    • There's a good reason one ruler in the setting set a law in place that any child wraiths would be made into soulsteel. Fate Worse Than Death? Maybe. But at least that keeps them from being Striplings.
  • There's a bit of fiction in one of the Vampire: The Requiem sourcebooks about a local hotshot who runs a betting event known only as "B vs. D." What does it stand for? "[Embraced] Baby versus Dog"; as the baby is practically brand new and barely fed, that means the Beast is in the driver's seat.
  • The original Vampire: The Masquerade has a flaw called "Child", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. In addition to physical penalties due to size, they suffer from social penalties and the aforementioned Can't Grow Up. It's said that child vampires tend not to survive long.
    • It's also noted that there is nothing stopping an vampire from turning an unborn baby. Apart from basic decency, of course.
    • A canon character is a 4th Gen vampire by the name of Ur-Shulgi. It has been around for millennia, looks like some kind of walking scab, leads the Assamites, the clan of assassins, by terror and force, and is generally supposed to be an absolute terror.
  • Children of Illian in Mutant Chronicles. Pint-sized zombies who beat their victims to death with rattles. Nightmare Fuel indeed.
  • Pathfinder has attic whispers (the spirits of children who died of neglect) and drekavacs (who died of disease).
  • Exalted gives us an Abyssal whose Exaltation always goes to a 10-year-old girl who is then always renamed Shoat of the Mire. She is the only Abyssal servant of the Deathlord known as The Dowager of the Irreverent Vulgate in Unrent Veils, who has a very specific process of creating her deathknights.
    • It's stated that she plans to start turning more children into Abyssal servants as soon as she's certain she's perfected the process of raising them.


Video Games

  • There are some very small zombies in Eternal Darkness.
  • The Jojo's Bizarre Adventure video game has a level where Jotaro fights a horde of zombies, and some of them are babies.
    • This is based off a chapter from the manga, where Enya Geil's Stand, Justice, turned an entire town into zombies. Including the kids.
  • Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within has Stephanie, who chases you around for much of the first part of the game. To a lesser extent, her sister Ashley, who's still-living arm can be found on the dining room table and the rest of her body scattered across the house, and their brother Michael, who also stalks you in a suit of armor.
    • There's also May from Clock Tower 3, the 12 year-old pianist who was murdered by the first Subordinate you meet in the game, Sledgehammer; you have to beat him in order for her to be laid to rest. Then there's the ghosts of children killed by Scissorman in Clock Tower (2) that sing Little John from the Big Castle.
  • The first Silent Hill game had ghostly silhouette babies wandering around the school and crying. For added creepy, they don't really pose any threat to the player. Touch them, however, and they let out a cry and then disappear.
  • World of Warcraft has a questgiver NPC in the Eastern Plaguelands named Pamela Redpath, a ghostly girl haunting the ruins of Darrowshire. She's friendly enough, and her quest line starts with a request to find her doll, but eventually ends in players recreating the Battle of Darrowshire to redeem Pamela's father. The girl's plight struck a chord with many players ("I never feel warm anymore") and inspired a quite rocking song, so after the zone was revamped for the Cataclysm expansion, players can pick up an item (Pamela's Doll) that allows the ghost girl to tag along on their adventures.
    • Scholomance, a dungeon in the Western Plaguelands, has a wing filled with zombified dragon whelps. And if you got the Collector's Edition of Wrath of the Lich King, you can have one as a pet.
  • Quest for Glory IV has Tanya, a little vampire girl who, while not evil, is pretty darn creepy Nightmare Fuel. One of the main quests involves turning her back into a human and reuniting her with her parents.
  • Embodiment of Scarlet Devil has the Scarlet sisters, who have been about five-to-ten year old children since the 16th Century. Several other Touhou characters might qualify, since ZUN has trouble portraying ages and likes to deliberately leave things vague for the sake of the fans.
  • The Infernas from The Suffering. Particularly when they drop their disguises and transform into charred, giggling corpses.
  • The ghost children from Prey.
  • Edwina in the single-player mode of Time Splitters: Future Perfect. In multiplayer, she's a very much alive possessed girl... but has an Undead Child version in Deadwina.
  • Luigis Mansion gives us violent infant ghost Chaunsey, spectral twins Henry and Orville, and the creepy, eternally sleeping little girl Sue Pea.
  • There are a number of zombie children throughout the Shadow Hearts series. Thankfully, the specifics are only All There in the Manual.
  • Baldur's Gate 2 has a ghost halfling child in the graveyard who just wants his teddy bear and then he can be at rest. Probably a reference to The Twilight Zone.
  • Siren: Blood Curse has a Nightmare Fuel scene where a Shibito child pounds on the windows of a church, begging her still-human mommy and daddy to let her in.
  • Dead Space has the commonly-encountered Lurker. A low-power enemy that attacks using three tentacles that either spit out some sort of acid projectile or start stabbing into you. The clincher? They're actually the corpses of infants reanimated and mutated into Necromorphs. Appropriate, seeing as how you first see them when they kill a surviving researcher by impaling his hand to a glass window with projectiles, then blowing his head off.
    • Two of the new Necromorph types in Dead Space 2 are infected children. The Pack, Zombies born of children around 10 years old who hunt in, predicably, packs, and The Crawler, similar to Lurkers, but instead of shooting you with barbs, they explode. Gruesomely demonstrated when an unsuspecting mother calls to her now zombified baby, who hugs her and then violently explodes, smearing the window between you and them with blood. The Female Tripod might count as well, as she has a huge tentacle with what appears to be a developed baby/fetus on it and she does appear partly pregnant.
  • Warcraft III has a segment in the human campaign where the player saves a child called Timmy. A few levels later, a ghoul named Timmy is encountered.
    • World of Warcraft has a number of ghostly children and Stratholme has a minor ghoul boss called Timmy. While it is mainly a Continuity Nod and the ghoul looks like any other ghoul, observant players remembering the above example may realise they just killed a child-ghoul.
  • In a similar vein, at the beginning of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance the child protagonist and two newfound friends (future antagonists) get into a snowball fight with three bullies. Said bullies aim every snowball at the nerdiest kid, and eventually he starts bleeding due to one ball that has a rock in it. After that nerd gets his hand on a Tome of Eldritch Lore and remakes the world according to his own desires, the first-available mission to contain zombies gives them the same names as the bullies. (When they reappear in a later mission, their monster type is given as "Lost Soul.")
  • Jade Empire has ghost children in the old Tien's Landing, several of whom are part of sidequests.
    • Wild Flower marginally qualifies, since she also died in the flooding of Tien's Landing. She's alive, though, because Chai Ka revived her to serve as his anchor in the physical world.
  • Used in an unusual fashion in the fan remake of King's Quest II: Possum is turned into a vampire together with her dying grandmother by Caldaur. While the grandmother rejuvenates into a hot vampire lady, Possum physically ages into a young woman, though still with the mind of a little girl.
  • The Never-Children, a rare case of Nightmare Fuel in text adventure game The Reliques Of Tolti Aph. While it is never said outright, their name hints that they might be the ghosts of dead fetuses.
  • The Fatal Frame series has quite a number of young female ghosts. Possibly the most terrifying are the Shrine Maidens in the third installment, who have the nasty habit of disappearing for a brief time, before reappearing below the camera's normal field of vision and attempting to drive stakes into the main character's feet.
    • The second installment features a few children who aren't even aware that they've died yet, and continue their game of hide and seek. Then they drag Mio into it if she happens to encounter them. It also features Crimson Kimono, the only ghost not killed by the Darkness or anything caused by it, but instead by either terror or starvation, and who had the unfortunate opportunity to watch the slaughter from her favorite hiding place.
  • The Plague Babies from Demon's Souls. They are the resurrected bodies of aborted fetuses from Boletaria who now squirm in a swamp chock-full of the plague.
  • Used in the plot of Dead Rising 2 and Case Zero as Chuck's Daughter is Infected and needs a daily dose of Zombrex to survive, this trope is played in the endings if you do not give her the Zombrex.
  • Alice in the Shin Megami Tensei series is a recurring demon. She may be loosely based on a combination of Lewis Carroll's Alice and a German ghost who kills naughty children so they can be friends forever. She appears as a boss in some games, but asks for help in side quests in others, though she'll still fight you eventually. She can be added to your team in most games, and learns the unique death/curse spell Die for me!
  • Dantes Inferno has the Unbaptized Children, demonic infants with scythes lodged into their elbows. These are the damned souls of children that died before they were baptized and are now condemned to Limbo. They tend to move on all fours and have a nasty habit of attacking the player in large swarms, wailing like normal babies all the time. To make their movements more realistic, motion capture was done with the toddler son of one of the men working on the game.
  • The Imps in Rule of Rose invoke this imagery, since they resemble bald, gray-skinned children with empty, gaping eyeholes.
  • The Facebook game Vampire Wars has Mandy. She's about as creepy as this trope gets.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon has a technical example in the form of Alma, who was technically dead when Armacham shut down all life support to her chamber while she was in her early twenties and take son the form of a nine year old girl, which was the age she was when she was sealed in the Vault and put into a coma. However, as of the end of the first game, her "adult" body is free, and Alma has apparently managed to revive it with her psychic powers.
  • One Gaia Online event had a number of angry ghosts emerge from their graves, and the users fought them to send them to the afterlife. Two of these ghosts were Creepy Twins, and another was a little boy who had died of heatstroke after his parents left him alone in a car on a hot day and who didn't mind being a ghost-- but the users did.
  • The first trailer for Dead Island features a little girl turning, attacking her parents, and getting thrown out a window to her final death. All of the above is shown in reverse slow-motion and intercut, Memento-style, with camcorder footage of the happy family on their tropical vacation. The two threads come together at the end of the trailer, which is the moment the girl is infected while her father tries to pull her to safety. Only a couple of minutes "later", he'll be the one who has to push her out the window as she tries to tear out his throat.
  • Skyrim gives us Babette, a three-hundred year old vampire who was turned at the age of ten. She gladly uses her form to her advantage as an assassin, pretending to be a harmless, lost, frightened little girl to lure her targets into a false sense of security.
  • Amumu in League of Legends is the Mummy of a boy. He's noted as lacking the malevolence that most undead have, and is mostly just depressed, albeit prone to temper tantrums.
  • In the library level of the Ghostbusters video game, the Ghostbusters come across an abandoned nursery where disembodied laughter can be heard and a stuffed animal toy moves around on its own. When they leave, the echoic voice of a young boy whispers "Bye."
  • Quicksilvers and Shriekers in Vagrant Story; demonic dolls possessed by the spirits of children who lost their lives to war or illness.
  • Tomoko in SIREN


Web Comics

  • There is a little undead girl shown prominently in Richard's "little village up the coast" in Looking for Group. We don't even realize she's undead until she rips a soldier's heart out of his chest and shows it to him, and we later see her and another undead child kicking a dead soldier's head around like a ball.
  • In Bleedman's Grim Tales from Down Below, the character Minnie is an undead little girl who looks like she got ripped to pieces and sown back together (think Sally). Since the story is told in flashback, you (almost) get to see her get ripped to shreds. You do however get to see the outcome, horrified face and all.
    • Also, her Brother Grimm Jr. is a skeleton. And both of them were "born" via an abortion. But Dad's the Angel of death, so it's all good.
  • Not present in DMFA, but there's a very specific reason for that: While Dark Pegasus has been consistently presented as without sympathy, remorse or anything that could really be considered "good", when he brought about the Undead, Word of God says that he was disgusted by the idea of zombie children or infants and locked them out of the spell.
  • Last Blood had a particularly chilling scene in which little Jimmy is found after hours of searching... eating his mother. Yeah.
  • The Other Grey Meat - R.Z. appears to be around 6 or 7 but is in fact much older. However, the fact that he is a Category Two zombie and is of lesser intelligence also makes him appear younger than his chronological age.
  • Far Out There boasts the little zombie siblings Bridget and Alphonse. Unlike most examples of this trope, however, they're quite adorable.
  • Zombie Ranch shows a little girl zombie that got accidentally purchased with the other stock. She's put down soon enough in a very deliberate manner, but there's no moral outrage over this, just disappointment since "Kid zombies ain't worth much".


Web Original

  • In just the first and second chapters of Dead Ends a whole boarding school full of teenage girls is attacked and, for the most part, zombiefied. Later, in chapter 3 a zombiefied little girl murders half her family. Hell, there's even a bus full of trapped zombie school children. They manage to escape when the hero shoots out a window.
  • There's also the especially disturbing example in Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006: baby zombies bursting from the bellies of the pregnant zombie mothers.


Western Animation

  • Parodied in an episode of South Park where Butters' parents act as if he were a zombie (he's still alive and perfectly fine, but they chain him in the basement anyway) and have to find a way to sate his need to "feed".
    • Straighter example in the episode "Pink Eye", where Kenny turns into a zombie and then infects a large number of residents including children.
  • Technically speaking, Casper the Friendly Ghost. However, he's friendly and not really creepy, so he's almost an aversion. The almost part comes from the fact that he still manages to scare away most people.
  • Likewise, the title character of Tutenstein, who's basically a more jerkass-y version of Casper.
  • In an episode of Samurai Jack, Jack is lured to a graveyard for a zombie attack. At one point, while Jack is wandering around the graveyard children's laughter can clearly be heard.

Notes

  1. Shizuku was trying to ambush him
  2. The mother, also infected, managed to resist the temptation to break through the door.
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