Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Scariest Thing to Ever Happen to Me Involving a Baby Monitor

Once upon a time, we had an analog baby monitor. As you may know analog baby monitors have a habit of picking up each other's signals and the signals of nearby cordless phones.

Now and then, we'd wake to what we thought were P.'s cries only to stumble sleepily into her room where she was resting quietly.

We assumed that what we were hearing was a monitor being used by the family next door who had a baby just a little younger than our own.

Except, as they later told the mister, they didn't have a baby monitor.

And our closest neighbors with little ones close to P.'s age were all using digital monitors.

Still, it wasn't much of a mystery. Someone's baby would cry out in the night, as do all babies, and now and then we'd catch a snippet of conversation.

Until the heartbeat started. A staticky bump-bump in the night. Our monitor's level meter would push into the red over and over so that even if you turned the volume all the way down, the rhythm persisted.

It only happened at night, but it went on for as long as we listened.

And then, the crying. Pitiful wails that at first we mistook for P. because they sounded so much like her. Nightmare, we'd say to one another before one of us rushed to her side. But she was asleep.

The heartbeat and the cries came together.

I'm sure there's an entirely logical, boring, pedestrian explanation.

Maybe that crying baby or little one was being rocked in their comforting but silent parent's arms.

Or could be that they were alone, but only because the crying had already gone on for hours and their parents needed a break to preserve their sanity.

The constant muffled heartbeat was probably a Sleep Sheep.

And yet in the middle of the night when we were woken up by wailing that turned out not to be P.'s, my brain settled on more ghostly probabilities.

I couldn't stop imagining that what I was hearing was a cry for help. Perhaps it was a projection in time. Future P. alone and scared, calling out for me, her heartbeat proof she was still there.

Or maybe it was another little girl, waiting in vain for parents that would never come because her mother and father were hearing our daughter's peaceful silence.

Those sobs and that beating heart terrified me for days. I unplugged the monitor, finally, and we slept lightly, with the bedroom door ajar, hoping we'd wake for P. if she needed us. 

I was too afraid to give the monitor away. We replaced it with a digital monitor. We've never heard anything other than our own family's noises through it.

But to this day, the baby monitor itself makes me nervous, and I don't think I'll ever again find comfort in the sound of a beating heart.


  1. This is not the first I have heard of this. My friend told me she KNEW that ghosts were contacting her through the monitor saying, "Burn in...not heck." Repeatedly. Then I read a news story yesterday about hackers getting into monitors and saying horrible things to little kids. Then I read this! We've never used a monitor and now I may never be able to!

    1. Eek! Now I'm scared all over again!

      We wouldn't use a monitor either, except when I get sleep deprived, I'm afraid I won't wake up to the baby's cries - and now we're on a different floor than P. At four you'd think she'd get out of bed and come to us, but if it's the middle of the night and she's had a bad dream, she'll just lay in bed and cry. Seriously, I forgot to turn on the monitor once and I finally did wake up - mommy ears, I heard it through the floor over the AC - but by then she'd worked herself into a tizzy, all sweaty and scared.

  2. That is the scariest thing ever! I might not look at my monitor the same tonight...

    1. I know it can't, really can't, happen again, but I am always afraid I'm going to wake up to it doing it again!

  3. That sounds horrifying! We had an analog baby monitor to use for travel and it never worked for us. I’m grateful now that we’ve been digital pretty much the entire time!

  4. Yikes that sounds really scary! They should make a horror movie about a ghostly baby monitor, but then I'm not sure people would use them lol. Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday!

  5. Okay, I am freaked out. That is Poltergeist creepy.

  6. You are right. Baby monitors transmit either through an analogue or digital signal. Most baby monitors these days use digital signals. An analogue signal can receive interference from other devices that send out analogue signals, such as radios or microwave ovens. Digital monitors encrypt the audio or video signal and are less likely to have interference problems. I found this place for same, to check click here

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