Horror movies and creepy kids seems to go together like cookies and ice cream. And of course if there’s a creepy kid in a movie, then there’s sure to be a scene of this kid quietly singing a nursery rhyme somewhere in the distance or background. Why? Because for whatever reason, taking a child’s voice and throwing it into a minor key with some spooky sound effects, suddenly turns a memorable childhood song into a sinister world of terror. Over the years, we’ve witnessed the “kiddie song” as a creepy motif enough times to fill the world’s least desirable church choir. Yet somehow, these scenes are still ominous and terrifying. So sit back, and enjoy this pre-pubescent collection of creepy kids lullabies.
1) Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddy Krueger’s theme song, “One, Two, Freddy’s Coming For You” is one of the most haunting songs in the history of horror cinema. This song is actually a parody of the kid’s nursery rhyme,”One, Two, Buckle My Shoe”. What really takes this songs creep factor to the next level is the fact that it’s sung by Freddy’s past victims. Then add in the haunting lyrics “Freddy’s coming for you” and “better lock your door” and you have one of the most haunting nursery rhymes of all time.
2) The Birds
Alfred Hitchcock mastered the “creepy children singing” trope long before it was considered a horror movie cliche. In The Birds, Hitchcock uses schoolchildren singing the song “Risselty-Rosselty”, that sound like ghostly voices in the distance to build tension while a mass of creepy crows slowly gather on an empty playground, waiting to attack them as soon as they leave.
3) The Ring
Is there anything creepier then the ghost girl from the ring singing a lullaby before she’s thrown into a well by her mother? Just keep telling yourself, nothing’s going to happen to you in seven days.
4) Dark Water
There’s nothing like a dead child singing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to give you nightmares for the rest of your life. It will also completely ruin your cherished memories of singing this song in elementary school as well.
When I was a kid, my bedroom had a giant toy clown with a tree that used to scratch against the window on stormy nights. Nothing takes me back to those days more then listening to the creepy kid voices singing the Poltergeist theme song. “They’re heeeeerrrrrreee”…
5) The Others
The fear and tension build like a tidal wave when a kid is singing a lullaby playing with a puppet and is wearing an old timey white dress from the 1800’s. Yikes! This scene is still beyond terrifying.
6) The Innocents
For my money, this is the quintessential “kidde song” trope in a horror movie. Seek out this movie because it’s creepy and awesome!