The Baby Swing

It was a chilly night, the air was still, and there was a full moon. I decided to take out the trash, and saw something strange by the dumpster - a black baby swing, and it was swinging!

by Lynn WL

I once read comments on Reddit’s Nosleep sub saying that most creepy supernatural things happen in the woods or other sparsely populated places. Cities, on the other hand, with the large population, activities, etc. somehow create a buffer that kind of protects you from supernatural entities. They say it has something to do with energy. Well, a city might offer you some protection, but you’re not totally immune.

I’m a college student living in a major city in the US. I recently moved out of my parents’ house into a 1 bedroom apartment.

One Friday night I was having a little get-together in my apartment with some of my close friends. The little party lasted well into the night. My best friend Jen decided to stay with me overnight. She said it was kind of too late to go home as she lives quite far. Besides, we had a lot of catching up to do, so we both agreed it was a good idea.

We did a little cleaning up after the others had left. We put all the garbage in a bag, and I was going to go down and throw it in the dumpster outside. Jen looked at the clock and said, “Lynn, it’s almost 3 o’clock. Don’t you think it’s better to wait till tomorrow?”

“No, cuz I don’t want cockroaches or ants to invade my apartment. Besides, it’s not like I have to walk a mile or anything, the dumpster is just a few steps away,” I replied.

“OK, whatever. Just don’t let the boogeyman get you,” said Jen with a grin on her face.

“Aw, shut the fuck up!” I said while walking out the door with the garbage bag in my hand, and Jen was giggling.

It was surprisingly chilly outside. I was in shorts, tank-top, and barefooted which added to it. But like I said, it was just going to be a very short walk, so I didn’t bother putting anything else on. The sky was clear, and there was a full moon.

The apartment building is only two stories, and I live on the second. So I climbed down the stairs and walked across the parking lot to the dumpster.

It’s not uncommon to see large items like furniture, boxes, and things like that placed beside the dumpster; stuff that people no longer want but are too bulky or heavy. Early in the morning the maintenance crew would haul them to a much larger bin somewhere outside the complex.

As I approached the dumpster I saw something rather strange beside it. It was a black baby swing. It had a hood, and the back was facing me, and… it was swinging! The air was completely still, there was no wind blowing at all. So how could it be swinging, I wondered. It also squeaked lightly as it swung.

If it had been during the day, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me too much. But it was 3 AM. Chill ran down my spine. I quickly threw the bag and ran back up to my apartment.

I must have looked terrified as I walked in for Jen said, “What the fuck happened? You look like you just saw a ghost!”

“I probably did!” I replied as I bolted the door behind me.

“What?!” So I told her what I saw. “Didn’t I tell you to wait till tomorrow? That’s what happens when you don’t listen to old Jen,” she said, still trying to tease me.

Seeing I wasn’t amused, she continued, “But don’t you think you’re overreacting a bit? I mean, it was just a baby swing, right? Was there anything in it, like a baby?” She was still trying to make light of it.

“Fuck if I know! I was too scared to look.”

“OK, Lynn. Let’s just forget about it and go to bed,” she said, and I agreed. So we both jumped into bed, talked about other stuff for a little bit, and finally fell asleep.

The next morning I walked down with Jen to the parking lot as she was leaving. I looked towards the dumpster, and the swing was gone. The maintenance guys must have picked it up. I finally forgot about it all.

***

The following Tuesday I was studying till rather late. It was like 1:30 AM when I finished and realized that I hadn’t taken the trash out. Fuck, I thought to myself, I should have done it earlier as I immediately remembered what I saw a few nights ago. I debated whether I should take it out the next day.

Then I smiled and shook my head thinking how silly I was, and convinced myself I wasn’t going to see anything weird again down there that night. What are the odds of that, right? Well, I was wrong. Very wrong.

Once again I walked out in shorts, tank-top and bare feet carrying a garbage bag. The night was again, a little chilly. As I got to within about 10 feet from the dumpster, I saw it. The exact same baby swing! It was swinging and squeaking just like the other night. What. The. Fuck?

I was totally freaked, and almost went back upstairs. But with the last bit of courage left in me, I decided to go ahead and throw the trash. As I was standing right next to the dumpster, I heard something I didn’t the other night:  a baby crying. It was coming from the swing. Fuck! I almost fainted. I quickly dumped the bag and ran back towards the stairs. Then I almost had a heart attack.

Standing under the stairs was someone dressed in a hooded black robe. I wasn’t sure if it was a male or female. It was too dark to see the face. Startled, I gasped, but I quickly put my palm over my mouth and ran upstairs. When I got to the door I looked back and was relieved that nothing followed me.

As I got inside, I double bolted the door, and closed all the blinds and curtains. But I was still scared as I was by myself this time. I had trouble sleeping that night thinking about what might be going on outside. Why was there a baby in the swing? I started imagining what the baby looked like, and it wasn’t pretty. What about the hooded… whatever? Did it have anything to do with the baby?

***

An older Spanish couple live next to me. The wife is very friendly, and I had gotten to know her quite well. As I was coming home from school the next day, she was sitting in front of her apartment. After exchanging pleasantries, I asked her if she had ever seen a baby swing by the dumpster or at least heard of it.

To my surprise, she gasped and said, “How did you know about it?”

“Know about what, Mrs. Sanchez?” I said. “I was asking you about it because I have seen it twice in the last few days, and it really scares me.”

Now she went completely pale. She looked at me in disbelief and said, ”You saw it? Twice?”

I affirmed it and related my experiences to her. She then told me the story. About five years ago, someone saw a baby swing by the dumpster in the middle of the night just like I did. There was a full moon then too. But unlike me, that person looked into the swing and saw a baby. He immediately called the police.

They determined that the baby was already dead. Their investigation revealed that the baby’s own father had actually killed it by strangling it. He then put the dead baby in the swing, and placed it by the dumpster. They arrested him, but he committed suicide in jail a few weeks later.

Then I recalled the hooded figure standing under the stairs, and asked Mrs. Sanchez about it too. She was shocked once again. “Oh my God, you saw him too?”

“Who was he, Mrs. Sanchez?”

“He was the father of the baby! People often saw him dressed like that when he was alive, and believed he belonged to some sort of a cult. I don’t know what his intentions are coming back here, but they can’t be good,” she replied. I was petrified.

“Miss Lynn…,” she said. “You shouldn’t take out the trash in the middle of the night like that.”

“Well, we live in a big city, and it’s just a few steps away, so I thought it would be OK,” I replied.

She shook her head and said, “No, no, no, amiga… dark spirits are everywhere, and they love the night. So after the sun goes down, it’s better if you just stay inside. It’s safer. And definitely don’t go out after midnight.”

Since then I have always taken out the garbage when it’s still light outside. If I forget, I just wait till the next day. I’d rather deal with cockroaches and ants than beings from another realm.

I haven’t seen anything weird again so far. But I’m still a little nervous because on certain days I have evening classes and don’t come home until after dark.

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