5 Deadliest (& 5 Most Innocent) Babysitters In Horror Movie History

Babysitting is not easy work. In horror movies, nannies are forced to deal with much more than annoying kids who don’t want to listen to them. There are demons, masked murderers, and even psychotic youngsters waiting in the wings to make these babysitters work extra hard for their money.

On the flip side, some babysitters turn out to be the antagonists in their scary films. Motivated by vengeance, satanic cults, and traumatic past events, these guardians have no interest in tucking the kids in and reading them a book. Their plans are much darker and more nefarious than that.

10 Innocent: Mary Ellen In Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

Poor Mary Ellen learns the hard way why babysitting for famed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren is a bad idea in Annabelle Comes Home. Played by Madison Iseman, Mary Ellen is hired to spend the night with the Warrens’ daughter Judy while the couple goes off to investigate another supernatural case.

When Mary Ellen’s annoying friend Daniela shows up and messes around with the Warrens’ artifact room, the haunted Annabelle doll flies back into action. Mary Ellen and Judy work together to contain the evil spirits released by Annabelle before mom and dad return from their trip.

9 Deadly: Emelie In Emelie (2015)

When their normal babysitter cancels, the Thompsons hire the girl’s friend Anna to watch their three kids for the night. Unfortunately, the real Anna has been kidnapped by a strange woman named Emelie who poses as the new babysitter.

Emelie’s true intentions with the kids start to unravel as the night progresses. Her behavior goes from disturbing to deadly, but the three young Thompson tykes aren’t going to let Emelie enact her plot without a fight.


8 Innocent: Ashley In Better Watch Out (2016)

Set amidst the cheerful holiday season, a teenager named Ashley endures the babysitting job from hell in Better Watch Out. Hired to watch over a mature 12-year-old named Luke, a quiet evening in a gated community turns bad real fast for Ashley when a masked intruder breaks into the house.

Instead of an unknown madman, the burglar is revealed as Luke’s best friend, Garrett. It turns out this pair of budding psychopaths have set their sights Ashley, whom the homicidal Luke wants as his own.

7 Deadly: Bee In The Babysitter (2017)

Bee is not your typical babysitter. In fact, this high schooler, played by Samara Weaving, is part of a satanic cult with a serious bloodlust in The Babysitter.

When Cole, Bee’s ward, follows her around one night, he learns her dark secret, becoming a target of the cult in the process. Bee eventually offers Cole the chance to join her, promises him whatever he wants if he agrees to sacrifice innocent people to the Devil.

6 Innocent: Samantha Hughes In The House Of The Devil (2009)

In Ti West’s effective occult horror film set in the 1980s, a broke college student named Samantha Hughes pursues a sketchy babysitting opportunity in an isolated house outside of town. Instead of a child, the couple who hires Samantha asks her to watch one of their old, ailing parents.

Not only does the gig coincide with a full lunar eclipse, but noises and old objects around the house lead Samantha to believe something foul is afoot. The poor young woman realizes too late what the couple’s true intentions are, and the final act of The House of the Devil dives headfirst into pure lunacy.

5 Deadly: Mrs. Mott In The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (1992)

More psychologically unsettling than classically horrific, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle explores any new parent’s worst nightmare: the demented nanny who implicates themselves into the family’s life for nefarious reasons. Rebecca De Mornay plays said nanny in this film, a woman named Mrs. Mott who intends to murder her female boss Claire and assume Claire’s role in her family.

Seduction, murder, and manipulation ensue here as Mrs. Mott’s plan goes into action. While it presents some problematic characterizations of female characters with traumatic pasts, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is consistently tense and evocative.

4 Innocent: Miss Giddens In The Innocents (1961)

In this early cinematic adaptation of the Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw, Deborah Kerr plays a kind governess hired to care for two orphan siblings who reside in a large, Gothic mansion known as Bly Manor. Kerr’s Miss Giddens, who partially inspired Victoria Pedretti’s character Dani in The Haunting of Bly Manor, does her best to care for the young Miles and Flora while coming to the conclusion that Bly Manor is home to many spirits.

Miss Giddens believes the children are being possessed by the ghost of their last governess, Miss Jessel, and her lover, Peter Quint. The new nanny makes it her duty to protect the innocent youngsters from the ghosts trying to inhabit them.

3 Deadly: Amber In The Night Sitter (2018)

While initially evil, the title character in The Night Sitter changes her tune when supernatural forces threaten her. Elyse Dufour plays Amber in the film, a con artist who hopes to steal artifacts from a rich occultist by posing as a babysitter for his son.

Amber implants herself in the occultist’s home, but when the boy she’s pretending to watch summons a triad of evil witches while playing with one of his dad’s magical objects, the woman’s plans are ruined. Instead, she teams up with her charged to send the witchy Three Mothers back to where they came from.

2 Innocent: Laurie Strode In Halloween (1978)

Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode is the quintessential innocent babysitter in Halloween. Laurie just wants to spend Halloween making a few bucks babysitting a kid named Tommy Doyle, but her deranged brother Michael Myers has something else in store for her.

After escaping from his insane asylum, Michael dons his creepy, iconic mask and heads back home to Haddonfield, Illinois, where he intends to finish off every member of his family — and anyone else who stands in his way.

1 Deadly: Nanny In The Nanny (1965)

Bette Davis is one bad nanny in The Nanny. Her eponymous character is hired to care for Joey, a withdrawn boy who returns home after spending two years in a psychiatric facility due to the death of his sister by drowning

Joey doesn’t make life easy for his caretaker, but it soon becomes obvious the boy has reason to be suspicious of Nanny. Produced by the British Hammer Films, Davis’ performance in The Nanny contributes to its lasting appeal among horror movie fans.

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About The Author

Megan Summers (545 Articles Published)

Megan is a public librarian by trade obsessed with the intersections between art, culture, and society. She’s a nerd for horror, obscure memes, weird history, graphic novels, and binge-worthy science fiction series.

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