Demon Spawn: Why Do We Love Creepy Kids?

My roommate recently gave birth to a wrinkly little blob of babyness. I haven’t yet met the child, but I already know I appreciate him much more from afar, looking at pictures and videos, than I would in person. I’m just not the biggest fan of kids: they’re whiney, self-centered, and potentially evil. At least, according to the plethora of movies in the evil-kid genre. So, in honor of my roommate’s brand new little poop-machine, I thought I’d take a look at some of my favorite evil children.

Damien – The Omen (1976)

Is there a more iconic image of demon children than the famous (or infamous) Damien? Standing amid all those crosses in his little black suit, you can just tell there’s more to that black-eyed stare than a desire for candy. More like blood. This kid really just wants to kill everyone, and he does a pretty damn good job, too.

Esther – Orphan (2009)

Granted (SPOILER ALERT!) Esther’s not really a child… but I’m putting her into the demon spawn category because we believe she is one for the majority of the movie—and one creepy little girl she is. Seeing her dress like a doll and act all sweet and innocent with her Eastern European accent, it doesn’t take long to realize something’s off about our sadistic little adoptee. And it’s more than just a love of killing birds.

Lilith – Supernatural (2005)

This one takes the term “demon spawn” literally, seeing as Lilith is, in fact, a demon. On the show she takes the form of many different little girls by possessing them, and even though she is pretty much pure evil, insists on talking like a kid and enjoys eating cake (…and babies). Look how happy she is there, with blood all over her! Also, her eyes are white and she can blow shit up with her mind.

Devil Baby – Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Not a child, just a baby—but the Devil’s baby. You know right when Rosemary started sporting the baby bump that there was something insidious percolating in there. Just look at that black crib she put it in!

The Grady Twins – The Shining (1980)

Hands-down the freakiest twins in the history of history. Danny Torrence, who, let’s not forget, is a creepy child himself (Red rum! Red rum!), is just minding his own business, wheeling down the overly-patterned halls of the Overlook Hotel, when he stumbles across these doublemint delights, who were hacked to pieces by their deranged father and just want Danny to come play with them… forever… and ever…

Regan – The Exorcist (1973)

I know, a little cliché including Regan on the list, but you really can’t make one of these without her and her pea soup projectile vomit, chain smoker’s voice, acrobatic contortions, and increasingly diseased-looking face. The Devil incarnate, she is everything you don’t want to see in a young girl, right down to the backwards spider-walking down the stairs that they wouldn’t show in theaters.

Samara – The Ring (2002)

Samara might be one of the freakiest children ever to grace our movie screens. Check 1: She has a mysterious background in which people feared her for creating horrifying pictures that then came true. Check 2: She somehow makes a home video from beyond the grave which kills people 7 days after they watch it. Check 3:  Most of the time you can’t see her face because it’s hidden entirely behind long, straggly black hair. Check 4: When you do see her face, you wish you hadn’t. Check 5: She was so evil her mother threw her down a well and then committed suicide. There is nothing remotely pleasant about this child.

So, why are we so terrified by these creepy children? I think it’s because kids are supposed to epitomize innocence and purity, so when you juxtapose that expectation with the very unchildlike traits of evil, sadism, and murder, you find yourself unnerved by the disparity that has just shattered your safe reality. I can only hope that when I do get to meet my roommate’s little addition to the world, it won’t try to kill me or start speaking in tongues.

Categories: Thoughts


  1. I do believe that my friend and I sang the theme to The Omen just enough before her little bundle of evil came, that she really did come out evil…just like we wanted. 😉

  2. You should see Insidious. More kids doing evil shit…

    • That’s funny you should say that, because just the other day I saw on one of the blogs I follow a review of that movie and immediately put it on my to-see list.

      • I thought it was okay. There were some parts where I was like, “come on, seriously?” but there’s always just a little bit of that in contemporary horror films. It’s been a long while since I’ve been terrified of a movie…

        I think The Fourth Kind might’ve been pretty scary when I saw it in theatres…

        Anyway, we should catch a film together sometime! A scary one 🙂

  3. So those twins are freaking creepy as all hell but this was so cool to see them all at once! Love the irony of innocence… and you are somewhat inspiring me to watch something scary one of these days….but until then I’ll stick with Grandma’s Boy and Can’t Hardly Wait lol.

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