A Place Called “Babyland”
A few years ago, I got into visiting scary locales. Cemeteries, abandoned buildings, etc. Since then, I’ve met my wife, who indulges me and joins in on these little endeavors. We exhausted all of the potentially spooky places around the city we live in and its surrounding areas. Then, after talking to people with similar interests, we decided to take a mini road trip, with the sole intention of visiting a specific place. It’s located in the state west of ours, about ten hours from our home. The name of this place is “Babyland”.
If you think that sounds like A. a place to buy things for a newborn, B. a theme restaurant for little kids, C. a daycare, or D. a place where gross atrocities are committed against children, you’re not alone. I didn’t think it sounded particularly creepy, but I was kind of off-put when the people we heard about it from were extremely reluctant to divulge any information about it, much less tell us where it was. After a few weeks of poking, prodding, and ultimately begging, we got one of the people to give us directions.
We looked up “Babyland” online and found nothing related to the supposedly creepy location to which we were headed. All we were going on was the suspiciously limited word of someone we didn’t really know besides having a single common interest. The reluctance of the rest of the–I don’t want to say “ghost-hunting” community, because that’s not really what we do, I guess I’ll just call it “thrill-seeking”–thrill-seeking community admittedly made both me and Kimmy that much more interested.
We timed our drive so we’d arrive at the destination around 10pm. It was located on an unmarked dirt road about 20 miles outside the nearest town. When we asked how we’d know we’d found the place, we were told we’d have no doubt about it. Trees began getting dense the further down the dirt road we went, and eventually we couldn’t see the moon or the stars anymore. Shortly after that, a previously non-existent fog became so thick that I couldn’t see more than three or four feet in front of the car.
Somehow, I knew as soon as that fog thickened to the point of near zero-visibility that we were in the right place. I looked at Kimmy and in what seemed like a movie-esque moment, she simply nodded her head in silent agreement. I pulled to the side of the road and parked the car. My wife and I got our flashlights and proceeded down the road on foot. We didn’t make it more than ten feet before our first glimpse into why this area was referred to as “Babyland” presented itself. The fog was so thick that even with the flashlight I walked right into it. A baby stroller was standing upright in the middle of the road.
It was an old-fashioned, cover-of-Rosemary’s-Baby style stroller. I looked inside it, but it was empty. A few steps farther, and we found that the road was, quite literally, littered with strollers, cribs, and playpens of all types and styles. It got to the point that they completely blocked the road. I talked to Kimmy, and we both felt like there was more to this area than just the abundance of baby shower gifts obstructing the road, so we went off to the side, into the trees.
Hanging from every few branches were mobiles, each lightly spinning from the gentle wind blowing through the forestry. We took caution with each step, if for no other reason than we couldn’t see anything in front of us, even with our flashlights. Though it could be attributed to the fact that we were in the middle of nowhere, we were surrounded by an absolute, almost ear-shattering silence. Even the wind didn’t make a sound. This silence was broken by a deafening howl that we both screamed at, as it was a noise we immediately recognized. It was the sound of a baby crying.
It took me a moment to register what had happened, but when I did, I was considerably less frightened. I’d stepped on a baby doll. Kimmy and I both offered one another an uncomfortable laugh and kept going. We found the floor of the woods to be lousy with both intact dolls as well as scattered limbs of different dolls. Shining our lights towards the branches above us revealed dolls perched on branches, many of which had no eyes, stationed like observant owls. It’s a difficult feeling to describe, but the fact that they were eyeless made it feel like they were watching us more intently than they would’ve been if they had them.
As the mobiles spun and the eyeless dolls looked on, we walked further into the woods, until we eventually heard another familiar sound in the distance. We stopped and listened intently until we were certain of what we were hearing: the crackling of a fire. Assuming we weren’t the only ones in “Babyland” on that particular night, we decided to head towards the fire and make ourselves known, so as not to spark a potentially dangerous confrontation. As we kept walking and the sound of the crackling fire got louder, we announced our presence, but were met with no response.
Eventually, through the fog, we saw the orange glow of a fire close to the ground. We were only about 20 feet away from the fire, but the fog had prevented us from seeing it any sooner. We made our way to it and found a small clearing, at the center of which a small bonfire was burning. Aside from the fire, the area looked like it hadn’t been inhabited anytime recently. The crackling of the fire was interrupted when a slightly more forceful gust of wind blew past us, and a creaking noise followed by a light knocking emanated from the opposite side of the fire, just past our severely limited field of vision.
We made our way around the fire and were taken aback when we found a roughly six foot tall dollhouse standing at the edge of the clearing. The door of the dollhouse was open, the wind causing its knob to knock against the face of the house. The darkness past the door seemed to envelope our confidence in being out there, but we reasoned that if there was anything inside, it was much smaller than we were. We approached the house and shined our lights inside, and found that just past the darkness, countless eyeless doll heads were stacked upon one another, from floor to ceiling, and wall to wall.
As I looked in the house, Kimmy happened to flash her light towards the ground around the fire, and pointed out to me that there were hundreds of footprints, the size of which lined up with the myriad of blind dolls that now sat in the branches and were scattered about the ground. I shut the door to the dollhouse and walked back over to the fire to observe the footprints for myself, and for a short moment, the crackling of the fire seemed to fade away, which gave way for a sound that made us turn white with fear: a baby crying in the distance. This time, neither of us had stepped on a doll. Then, a different pitch of crying began from a different direction. Before long, babies crying in all different tones surrounded us in a cacophony of terror.
Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, the fire died out, leaving nothing but smoldering embers and an uneven stream of smoke and ash being carried away by the wind. This prompted us to flee the area and make our way back to our car. The sounds of shrieking infants were joined by the now-active mobiles playing nursery rhyme tunes in horrific fashion, and both seemed to follow us all the way back to the dirt road on which our car was parked. We made it to the road, but came out of the woods at a different point than we’d entered, so we had to wade across the road through the mess of strollers, cribs, and playpens to our car, but when we got to it, the area was still full of all of those things. Where our car once sat unobstructed, now was surrounded by children’s necessities, and an eyeless doll sat on the hood. We opened our car doors and found the floor of the car to be covered in both doll’s dresses and random doll limbs.
Without taking the time to clean out the car, we got in and I floored the vehicle in reverse, blasting through the cribs, strollers, and playpens. Once I had the room, I turned the car around and we sped out of there like our lives depended on it. Before long, the fog had cleared up and the road was unobstructed. We had only been in “Babyland” for about 15 minutes, but the experience took much more than 15 minutes away from our lifespans. After stopping and getting all of the doll paraphernalia out of the car, we drove through the night back to the safety of our own home.
I now know why no one wanted to tell us about Babyland. It’s because what happens there can’t be rightfully explained. And it’s for that same reason I’m not going to give any definitive information on its location. Anyone who ever asks me, be it the r/nosleep community or otherwise, will never get any information regarding its whereabouts. I will never send anyone there, and I most certainly will never go back there myself.
There’s something very, very wrong about the place called “Babyland”.
Categories: Nick Botic Original Story