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Undead Child

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Santi just wants to make friends. And kill people.

"I'm only doing this because there's an international banking convention in town, Little Miss I've-Been-Twelve-For-A-Pretty-Long-Time."
Jane Doe, Nobody Scores!

One of the squickiest things to come out of horror movies is the descending age bracket for The Undead. It used to be only adults could be/were made into undead, and while children were presumably killed off-screen during the Zombie Apocalypse, they weren't turned into the living dead. Well, now it seems these infants have found immortality of a decidedly unwholesome sort.

Whether it's zombie babies, vampire children, or the unsettling ghost child, audiences will feel revulsion on several levels. Let's count!

On the one hand, these are children, the idea that an undead horror (especially a thinking one) would not just kill but transform an innocent into another one of itself is so wrong it's hard to quantify. That a child would stay on in this world as a ghost is no less cruel, since it implies the child is somehow being held against their will or has become a creature out for revenge. On the other, the body is still that of a child, and most people will instinctively try to help mistakenly thinking it's Not a Zombie, no matter how undeathly pale and torn. Third, even if the child still has their own mind and morality (slim chance, but present) you've now essentially got a bloodthirsty immortal Pinocchio. And last but not least, when one is attacking you, you have to work past all of the above and the natural instinct not to harm a child (if it's still sentient, it could very well bank on that moment of shock and hesitation to get the drop on its victims). This can be made much easier if the little monster isn't just creepy, but deformed and scary.

Lastly, if the form of undead is sentient, this may result in significant angst on the part of the child who Can't Grow Up or physically mature, and becomes Older Than They Look.

Let's hope no parents brought their kids to see this movie. (Although it'd probably be scarier for the parents.)

Related to Creepy Child, Enfant Terrible and Fetus Terrible. The Cute Ghost Girl is a much Lighter and Softer subtype.


    open/close all folders 

  • A 2013 commercial for Nutri-Grain bars featured a family of vampires, two of them children.
  • The initial trailer to Dead Island showed, in reverse, a family trying to escape from zombies but ending up killed by them. A little girl ends up bitten and ends up biting her father after being zombified. The characters aren't even playable in the game, though you can find the dead bodies of the parents in the game.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Bakemonogatari series, the lost snail and the remains of Kiss-Shot are both undead children; one a ghost and the other a vampire.
  • Kentaro Miura put an undead kid into the second major story of Berserk when a little girl traveling with her father falls out of their wagon during an attack by evil spirit-possessed skeletons drawn to Guts's Brand of Sacrifice and is killed by one of them. Her body is possessed by one of the spirits and kills her father, then goes after Guts, who has to put her down.
  • Blood Alone has Higure, a vampire elder, and Misaki, a newly turned vampire. Both are friendly; but Higure reveals that ultimately all undead turn into monsters. It's just a question of how many centuries (or in some cases, years or months) it takes. Kuroe is constantly watching Misaki for signs.
  • Dance in the Vampire Bund has a lot of vampire children, since vampires can reproduce sexually in this series, not just by biting humans.
    • Mina Tepes the vampire queen is at least a hundred years old but has approximately the body of a ten-year-old girl. This is only a disguise, however: in battle she can take the form of an adult woman, a form she tries to keep secret from the three remaining vampire lords, who want to sire pureblood heirs with her.
    • The protagonists interact with several "fangless" vampires, who intentionally pull their canine teeth so they can't feed on humans. Anna is weapons-grade adorable, while her adopted sibs Jiji and Clara are only fractionally less cute.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • One of the bonus chapters of the manga, "The Blind Alchemist", features the Elrics consulting an alchemist who seemingly has performed a successful human transmutation to bring back the daughter of an affluent couple. In reality, the "daughter" is an orphan that was adopted for looking like the deceased child (as the alchemist had lost his eyesight due to the transmutation and they didn't want him to learn that he had failed) and what came back in the transmutation is a zombie-like entity kept in a room adorned with stuffed animals that freaks out Alphonse when it moves.
    • The 2003 anime version has Wrath, who is the incarnation of Izumi Curtis' stillborn son. He starts out as a cheerful Wild Child that Izumi bonds with, but he takes a quick shift into Enfant Terrible when Envy gives him red stones that recover his memory. Wrath spends the entire series being an antagonist towards Ed and Izumi, who he resents for "abandoning" him as a baby, until in Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa where he's just weary after Sloth and later Izumi's deaths. He ends up Together in Death with Izumi after committing a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • In Great Teacher Onizuka, Fujiyoshi and Miyabi encounter one, but don't realize what it is until a few seconds later.
  • Hellsing has Helena, a girl vampire with the mind of a weary, ancient woman.
  • Hell Teacher Nube. Repeat: Teacher. Of an Extranormal Grade School of Adventure. Half the time, the Monster of the Week will be an Undead Child. It comes with the territory.
  • Highschool of the Dead:
    • Surprisingly for a Zombie Apocalypse manga, it waits more than twenty chapters to bring in the horde of undead grade-schoolers.
    • There's also a scene of a zombie kid biting and infecting his mother.
    • In the anime, zombie children are the only things that Saeko Busujima can't kill. They stop her cold when she sees them.
  • I Am a Hero takes this trope to its logical extreme: zombie babies. And in one of the manga's most disturbing moments, a zombie newborn, emerging from its undead mother.
  • Kagome from Inuyasha met a young ghost girl named Mayu in the future, who was trying to kill her little brother. She thought her mother had purposefully let her die in a fire she accidentally started and wanted revenge. Kagome manages to convince her otherwise (her Mom didn't know that Mayu was trapped in the burning apartment until her corpse was found, and heavily blamed herself for her death)... right before Mayu's anger nearly gets her sent to Hell. But Mayu gets rescued by Kagome and says goodbye to her mother before leaving for the afterlife.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Stardust Crusaders: Enya uses a zombified baby to bite Jotaro by surprise and try to take control of his body through his wounds.
    • Stone Ocean: The Green Baby is a creature created through various Stand abilities merged together.
  • In Made in Abyss, Riko discovers that she is, in fact, undead during a demented test of character from Ozen the Immovable. An atypical example more similar to Puella Magi Madoka Magica, to which the anime/manga is frequently compared, at least superficially. Riko appears to be a normal human being, but is in fact animated almost solely by a desire to reach the bottom of the Abyss. In that, she's more like the pseudo-living hunks of meat normally resurrected through the means used on her than the otherwise normal magical girls in Madoka Magica.
  • Monster Musume has Yuuhi, an ill girl who Lala turns into an undead. Unlike other works, where a dullahan zombifying a child would likely be an act of unforgivable evil, this is presented as a good thing. Lala is unambiguously a good guy, and the act gives Yuuhi another lease on life as it were by curing her terminal disease. It certainly helps that zombies in the series maintain the same personality they had when they were alive.
  • Muhyo and Roji: The duo run into a few now and then such as a girl who fell off a train platform when a train was coming in, a ghost boy coming back to complete a painting, one using his looks to lure in victims, a girl haunting a boy's bedroom because she likes the recorder music he plays, a very dangerous girl that rips off faces to wear as her own, former students who died during their studies at the Magical Law School, etc.
  • Shizuku of Omamori Himari. Technically not an undead child, but she certainly looks like one, to the point that when Rinko walks in on her and Yuuto in the bathtub *, her first reaction was that he found a corpse in the bathtub. He later tells Shizuku to "do something about that drowned body look".
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Evangeline A.K. McDowell, who was turned into a first-generation vampire at the age of ten. Oddly enough — or perhaps not so oddly when considering the illusion magic she uses — no non-protagonist really seems to even notice that she's a child, being terrified of her for more normal reasons. It's also worth noting that she subverts the creepiness part of this, as "undead" seems to merely mean "can't die" in regard to her; she's pretty much physically indistinguishable from a normal child. Anyone who fears her, is afraid for other reasons, as mentioned above. Her own telling of her backstory makes her vampirism seem more like a regular curse cast upon her to make her kill her family than traditional vampirism. And she's creepy because she's had a lot of practice.
    • See also the Cute Ghost Girl Sayo Aisako. Then again, Sayo might not fit here, since she was 15 when she died, provides some panty shots, and eventually possesses a doll to get a physical form and travel outside the school.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has all the magical girls. The process that transforms them also physically removes their soul and places it in a gem, turning the body into a mindless meat puppet that the soul controls remotely. To make matters worse, they aren't informed of the fact, and initially think the Soul Gem is just a Transformation Trinket. And if they are too distant from the Soul Gems, they will lose their consciousness and begin to rot, turning them into literal zombies.
  • Rage of Bahamut: Genesis shows Rita. She is a witch and a zombie, and has the body of a 10 year old girl. Unlike the other zombies, she kept her human mind. However, the reason for this is never explained.
  • School-Live! has people of all ages becoming zombies. Due to a large portion of the manga revolving around a high school, most of the zombies we see are teenagers. Later on the girls visit an elementary school where no one survived. Kurumi is more hesitant than usual to kill a young child who became a zombie.
  • Shiki has Sunako, the leader of the vampire clan. She's trying to set up a place for vampires to live in peace, but she isn't too bothered by the whole.. killing people thing. Her major case of Black Eyes of Evil comboed with her cutesy voice and Elegant Gothic Lolita fashions open up a big ol' box of creepiness.
  • Slayers NEXT features one of these after everyone who died in the Doomed Hometown of Sairaag is raised as a zombie army by Phibrizzo. She attacks Lina and is re-killed, which causes Lina a massive Heroic BSoD as she Wouldn't Hurt a Child, and Sylphiel has to give her a Cooldown Hug.
  • A one-time character at the very start of YuYu Hakusho (read before Yusuke's ressurrection), Sayaka, is this, ghost version. She tagged along with Botan and had a bit of a crush on Yusuke, but gave up when she realized the feelings he and Keiko had for each other.
  • Half of the titular zombies in Zombie Land Saga died as minors, but 12 year old Child Popstar Lily Hoshikawa is the only kid of the bunch. As a Cheerful Child who likes reading about construction vehicles in her spare time, she's not a particularly scary zombie kid.

    Comic Books 
  • One of the 30 Days of Night graphic novels has a millennial vampire baby that has never aged. It's hungry.
  • Afterlife with Archie takes place in a zombie apocalypse and no one is spared, not even the teenage cast. In fact the first human to be bit is Jughead.
  • Aquila: Locusta resurrects a swarm of zombie babies to serve as her demonic assassins.
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost is the ghost of a young boy.
  • Leigh Gallagher really wanted to draw child zombies in Defoe, so Pat Mills worked them in.
  • In Fray, a Joss Whedon comic set in the distant future of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer world, future Slayer Melaka Fray and her twin brother Harth were attacked by vampires as kids. Harth was turned (or more accurately, chose to turn himself, because while Mel had acquired Slayer strength and physical abilities, Harth got the memories of past Slayers, which includes how a human is turned into a vampire, so when he was about to die from a vampire's bite he bit the vampire back to get the vampire's blood), and has secretly become the Big Bad.
  • In The Goon, when the titular character teams up with The Buzzard and makes it impossible for the necromancer Big Bad to get corpses to make ordinary zombies out of, he turns to the creation of Mother Corpse; a zombified Explosive Breeder who produces an endless swarm of deformed, demonically-empowered zombie babies that the protagonists take to calling "chugheads".
  • Graveyard Shakes:
    • Little Ghost is helping the girls so they won't get their life forces sucked out and given to Modie.
    • Modie becomes a ghost after Nikola gives up on his plan to keep him alive.
  • The eponymous Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl of Roman Dirge's comic is an undead child played for laughs. One issue also included a one-page comic about a little zombie girl, parodying Lenore.
  • Two examples from the Marvel Zombies series:
    • During Marvel Zombies vs The Army of Darkness there's a scene of the zombified Power Pack attacking civilians.
    • During Marvel Zombies 5 the protagonists are attacked by a group of pregnant zombies and defeat them. After a moment, the undead babies tear their way out of their mothers and attack them.
  • The Mighty Thor: There's a particularly horrifying one during the "Latverian Prometheus" arc — a dismembered, bloody, visibly decaying zombie-cyborg Frankensteinian monster child. (The same writer's later run on Young Avengers features the ghostly Kid Loki; Kieron Gillen seems to like this trope in general.)
  • The short-lived anthology comic Monsters Attack had the story "This Boy's Life" about a centuries-old vampire who still looked like a ten-year-old child. He survived by drifting from town to town, baiting unsuspecting children into "playing" with him then getting them alone and draining them of their blood. It works well...until the early 1950s when kids seem to become inexplicably terrified of him overnight. In the end, it turns out they're not afraid of vampires, but of the polio virus. Public health warnings posted everywhere warn them not to play with children they don't know. The vampire ends up attacking an infected child and unwittingly infects himself with the disease, leading to his paralysis and ultimately his demise as he is unable to escape the rising sun's deadly rays.
  • A rare non-evil version in Revival: one of the revivers happened to be pregnant at the time of her resurrection. Mother and child are key to resolving the action by reversing the Revival.
  • The Season of Mists arc of The Sandman (1989) features the dead returning to what remains of their bodies. All the dead, apparently, including small animals and children, up to and including unborn fetuses. The arc was also notable for being the debut of two ghostly children consisting of a pair of murdered schoolboys named Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland, who would go on to become recurring Vertigo characters The Dead Boy Detectives, the first notable story to feature them being Vertigo's sole Crisis Crossover The Children's Crusade (Vertigo) and the pair subsequently getting a few of their own titles.
  • Santa Versus Dracula: Dracula's main army consists of kids who were considered naughty that he turned into vampires.
  • Santa Vs. Zombies: Kids get turned into zombies in this comic. Santa himself faces a few on Christmas Eve.
  • Squee:
    • The Enfant Terrible Pepito appears to be something like this, though he looks that way on account of being The Antichrist, not because he's actually dead.
    • More straightforwardly, Pepito and the comic's titular character Squee are at one point faced with a classroom full of zombie children.
  • In The Walking Dead, The Governor has a zombie "daughter"; later on, he removes all her teeth so he can make out with her.
  • In X-Men, Jeffrey Garrett was a young student at Xavier's killed when the school blew up (again), leaving him as a ghost who still had his teleportation powers. For a while, he haunted the students and staff in the rebuilt school, until some of them broke through to him and became his friends. He lampshades that he Can't Grow Up, but a teacher responds that he can mature mentally.
  • In a short story from Zombie Tales, "Daddy smells different", zombieism is The Virus, but, unusually, many (but not all) people recover from the initial infection. This leads to many people quarantining off their loved ones in the hopes that they will recover. In one household, this is seen happening through the eyes of a boy perhaps 4 years old, who sees his mother barricading his father in the basement and then crying by the door. Naturally, readers assume that the father is infected, until the boy finds a way into the basement. The story closes with the boy thinking "I can smell daddy. Daddy smells... daddy smells... delicious" and then leaping to attack his father, showing the boy's rotting face for the first time note .
  • Zombie Boy (billed as "America's favorite undead adolescent") was an independent effort from Antarctic Press by Mark Stokes. It started in 1988 and has run off and on for some ten years hence.

    Fan Works 
  • Angel of the Bat III: Da Pacem Domine features anchimayen, which are zombie children out of Chilean mythology. They are under the orders of the villain Sandoval, have gangly, stretched proportions to appear more adult, wear wooden Chilean masks, and erupt into flames when slain. Sandoval hints that he doesn't like utilizing them, but that they make acceptable Cannon Fodder.
  • In the Angel/The Hunger Games crossover "Demon's Games", Katniss is horrified when Prim is turned into a vampire, particularly since Katniss only realises this after Prim lures Katniss's team into a trap that kills Haymitch.
  • Fallout: Equestria:
    • Every pony trapped in Canterlot when the megaspell detonated became a "Canterlot ghoul," distinct from normal ghouls by both an indomitable Healing Factor and near-universal loss of their minds. Littlepip and their friends end up in Celestia's School For Gifted Unicorns, and find themselves confronted by dozens of fillies who were at school when the megaspell detonated. Littlepip and Velvet Remedy are so horrified they can't shoot, Calamity shoots without hesitation, and Steelhooves brings down the roof so that they can escape the situation entirely.
    • Fallout Equestria: Pink Eyes features as its protagonist the undead Puppysmiles, kept alive by her necromantic hazmat suit as she wanders the wasteland looking for her mother. This Canterlot Ghoul is played sympathetically, and the residents of the Big 52 come to know and appreciate her with the Red Baron of 'The Pink Ghost'.
  • A Creepy Child ghost girl appears in the the Non/Disney fanvid Nothing More by TheNight130 . Two twins, Alice and Alissa, go on a boat trip with their parents, but a sudden storm kills Alissa and their mother. Alissa becomes a ghost that only Alice can see. As Alice grows into adulthood, Alissa wants it to always just be her and her sister. When Alice falls in love, Alissa ttries to scare off her suitor but it doesn't work, so Alissa kills Alice so they can be Together in Death.
  • Their Bond: Zelda (a Child Soldier herself) is haunted by memories of having to behead ReDead children during the war.
  • Twisted Princess:
    • Alice is dead and her body is possessed by the Cheshire cat.
    • Wendy was drowned by Captain Hook.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas has the aptly-named Corpse Kid. And his parents, since almost everyone in Halloween Town is undead.
  • ParaNorman features Agatha the ghost of an 11-year-old girl who was hanged for being accused of witchcraft when speaking with the dead.
  • Wizards by Ralph Bakshi contains a rare example of a child that was undead to begin with. The film explains that twins were born to a Sorceress, one being a typical cute child, while the other... well, see for yourself! Needless to say, it's not surprising which child was born pure evil.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Images of Mike Enslin's deceased daughter are used by the titular room 1408 to torment him. At the end of the film, he winds up with evidence of this with her voice on his tape recorder.
  • In 28 Days Later, Jim deliberately goes hunting for a pre-teenager who is infected with The Virus, and determinedly beats it to death with apparently no qualms, showing how his experiences have desensitized him to the point where he is in danger of losing his own humanity. He is only disturbed by his behaviour when the Big Bad points out that having both done horrible things to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, he and the main character are a lot more alike than he'd like to admit.
  • 30 Days of Night has a disturbing example of this. While the group of survivors is in a grocery store, they encounter a vampire child who charges them with surprising power and nearly kills one of their group. In one of the most disturbing scenes in the entire movie, they kill her by hacking off her head and are so shocked that they cannot even recognize who she was before.
  • The Amityville Horror (2005) has Jodie Defeo; though sympathetic to an extent since it's implicated she's forced to do evil against her will she's still pretty damn creepy at points, especially in the scene where she traps the babysitter Lisa in the closet and forcibly jams one of Lisa's fingers into the bullet hole in her forehead.
    Jodie: Hi, Lisa! Look what Ronnie did.
  • BrainDead has a zombie baby. It's played mostly for Black Comedy, however. One thing that helps is that it isn't an ordinary baby who turned into a zombie, but rather the child of two adult zombies who had sex. Apparently, that's how these zombies work.
  • Boo! takes place in a haunted asylum, and one of the ghosts the group encounters is a little girl looking for revenge against the man who molested her.
  • In Cemetery Man, Francesco Dallamorte's dimwitted sidekick Gnaghi keeps the zombified head of the mayor's 12-year-old daughter inside a broken TV. There's also a scene in which Dallamorte kills a busload of zombie boy scouts, killed in the same accident as the girl.
  • The obscure 1980 horror film The Children (no relation to the 2008 film with the same title, despite also being about infected Enfants Terrible) has unique child zombie-mutants. They're mutants as they were transformed by a radioactive cloud and their touch causes organic flesh to roast and burn, and they're zombie-esque in that they ignore conventional wounds. Unlike most zombies, though, their weak point is not their head, but rather their hands; chop those off and they die.
  • Cooties is entirely about the outbreak of a Technically Living Zombie virus from infected poultry that only affects prepubescent children.
  • Dark City (1998) has one of the Strangers, Mr. Sleep, inhabit a dead child's body. It wears black leather, is bald, whispers to other Strangers, chatters its teeth while wielding a knife, cuts a spiral into a dead hooker, and gleefully intones "kill him" when the hero is captured.
  • Dark Water features the spirit of a young drowned girl. She is looking for a mommy and is not shy about threatening to harm other children to get one.
  • Daybreakers features a number of child vampires. In fact, the first one seen is a pre-teen girl who, citing Not Growing Up Sucks, commits Suicide by Sunlight.
  • Dead Birds has the ghosts of a young girl and boy, and they just love to give a good Jump Scare.
  • Bobby in Deadcon appears to be a young child who is looking for new friends, even after his death.
  • Santi in The Devil's Backbone is not actually evil, however he is out for watery revenge on his killer, and scares the bejeezus out of the other orphans in the meantime.
  • The Eye has the ghost of a young boy who committed suicide after his father raked him over the coals for poor grades.
  • The killer's children in The Forest (1982) were so unhappy about living alone in a cave with their father that they died of sickness. Now they are ghosts, who sometimes visit their father, warn people about his cannibalistic hunting trips, and avoid the ghost of their mother who wants to punish them for her death.
  • Grace is about a woman whose fetus dies, but she insists on carrying and delivering it anyway. After delivery, the baby seems to be miraculously alive, except she is pale, attracts flies, and drinks her mother's blood instead of milk, requiring more and more as time goes by. Eventually, mom resorts to murder to get enough blood for the baby.
  • The Gravedancers: One of the three ghosts that winds up haunting the protagonists is Dennis, a young homicidal Pyromaniac.
  • The ghost child in The Grudge/Ju-on. So innocent. So evil.
  • The Hamiltons deals with a group of orphaned sibling vampires, and their attempts to survive in the world. It also concerns the mysterious monster in their basement called Lenny, who we see rip apart and devour several people over the course of the movie. It's their littlest brother, who is only a few years old, completely feral, and craving blood all the time.
  • Two of the main characters in Haunter are a teenage sister and her younger brother, who we quickly find out are Dead to Begin With. The sister also encounters the spirits of other girls who inhabited her house in the past.
  • The Haunting (1999) has the ghost children who haunt wood carvings, live in the curtains and float under the bedsheets.
  • The House At The End Of Time features this. It turns out to not be a ghost, but rather the echo of the boy caught in a sort of time loop.
  • Insidious has a creepy scene with a dancing ghost boy. Even spookier, there's a Freeze-Frame Bonus of him standing in the corner of another room as the camera tracks quickly past.
  • The gleefully murderous Claudia from Interview with the Vampire is one. She is aged up from around 5 years old in the book to around 11 in the movie, but this does not lessen her creepiness at all, since she's one of the more evil and bloodthirsty vampires among the main cast, arguably rivaling Lestat himself.
  • Kuntilanak: Anjan becomes a ghost after being kidnapped by the Kuntilanak in the prologue of the movie.
  • Let the Right One In and Let Me In have Eli/Abby, who has been twelve for a long time.
  • Living Dead Series:
    • There's a little zombie girl in Night of the Living Dead (1968) who eats her father after he staggers down into the basement after getting shot; then kills her mother with a hand-trowel — thereby becoming the first zombie in the series to display what resembles intelligence — and eats her too. In the 1990 remake, she just flat-out eats her mother after cornering her.
    • Dawn of the Dead (1978) features two zombie children, played by Tom Savini's niece and nephew.
    • The first zombie seen in Dawn of the Dead (2004) is a little girl, who was last seen playing happily on roller-skates in the previous scene. When we see her again, she's missing half of her mouth and immediately rips out the throat of the main character's husband. In addition to this, Luda enters labor just as she dies and comes back as a zombie. The baby comes out after her head is blown off, apparently just dead... but then it opens its eyes. The baby's "birth cry" is one of the creepiest moments of the film.
    • In Land of the Dead, Mouse is spooked by a growling undead schoolboy, before he gets quickly cornered and eaten by the other zombies, which have been led to the river shore by Big Daddy.
  • The Lost Boys has Vladdie, a ten- or eleven-year-old almost-vamp. While he's creepy, the scene is mostly Played for Laughs.
    Edgar Frog: It's the attack of Eddie Munster!
  • Lost Creek: Maggie is a ghost who got lost in the woods on her way to a friend's house and drowned in the creek twenty years ago.
  • Maggie: Nathan and his young daughter Julia turn out to have been infected and fully become zombies by the time the protagonists bump into them. Wade, Maggie's father, is forced to kill them both.
  • The Messengers has two ghost children inhabiting the family's house. They are ostensibly the messengers of the film's title.
  • Modern Vampires takes this to an extra disturbing level. One of the main vampires is a heavily pregnant woman. It's even mentioned that her (supposedly undead) baby will never be born. She later gets a stake through the heart.
  • Near Dark includes a vampire child stuck in the 10-year-old body he had when he was turned, over 50 years ago.
  • It's unclear whether the little children often encountered in dreams in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise are this trope or not: Freddy presumably killed them when he himself was alive, before he gained supernatural powers, so it's possible that they're dreamworld illusions rather than trapped souls of his original victims. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare seems to suggest they are when one killed character tries to warn his friend not to fall asleep. Having to wade through the souls of Freddy's previous victims to do so.
  • There are the ghost children from The Orphanage. They're also not evil, but are trying to help the Haunted Heroine solve the mystery of her son's disappearance. Unfortunately, by the time she finds him, he's a ghost too. And so is she.
  • The Others (2001) has a couple of ghost children, but they're not the ones we think they are.
  • The protagonist uses the mystical area behind the eponymous location in Pet Sematary (1989) to resurrect his son who was run over by a truck. The result is an undead boy with a penchant for murder.
  • In Pizza, one of the ghosts in the haunted house is a young girl. It's ambiguous as to whether she is the young girl who was murdered there four years before, Kunal's unborn child (she frequently calls him "Papa"), or the evil spirit Anjali.
  • In Razors: The Return of Jack the Ripper, the old factory is haunted by the ghost of a Victorian girl. She guides Jane and Sadie to the Stalker Shrine to Jack the Ripper. She is eventually revealed to be the child of the Ripper's sixth victim, and the ancestor of Ruth. She hid the Ripper's last knife from him.
  • [REC] and its American remake Quarantine (2008) have a poor little girl turn into a zombie... sorry, "She just has a fever!"
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse features the cast venturing into a school in order to rescue a girl in order to get a ride out of the city. One of the characters is killed when a mob of zombie children maul her.
  • The twin ghost girls from The Shining, who were murdered by the previous caretaker who went crazy.
    "Come play with us Danny. Forever."
  • The Hong Kong film, Siamese Twins, features the protagonist's younger twin sister who died at birth, and returned to haunt her years later when she's an adult. Incidentally, the little spirit girl is seen in the same white dress she died in for the entirety of her screentime, and carries a little white ball, the last toy she played with before her demise.
  • Several of these appear in The Sixth Sense. One of the ghosts Cole sees hanging in the school is a young boy; there's also the ghost of a boy who died from an accidental gunshot wound. A friendly version also appears, a girl poisoned by her mother with cleaning fluid in her soup.
  • Slither: In a rare example of Played for Laughs, Kylie's whole family, including her little sisters, become Parasite Zombies after becoming hosts of the alien slugs, and while trying to break into the car Kylie locked herself in to escape them, the zombified little girls taunt and threaten her under the control of the vulgar Hive Mind. It's both creepy and hilarious.
  • In These Are the Damned, the children being held in the secret facility beneath a military base have skin that's cold to the touch, and one character freaks out and starts shouting that they're dead when he discovers this. Turns out they're an experiment to create children who are immune to radiation and therefore will survive a nuclear war. The children are radioactive themselves, and therefore will kill anyone who comes into contact with them who isn't wearing a hazmat suit.
  • The Firstborn Son of Thir13en Ghosts' Black Zodiac is a young boy who apparently got an arrow through the head while playing Cowboys and Indians.
  • Trick 'r Treat has a busload of zombie kids in their Halloween costumes.
  • Vamp! features a young girl among its vampires. We actually see her when she's still human.
  • In Vampires vs. Zombies, a zombie child appears in the last scene; eating some of Carmilla's entrails after she has been ripped apart by the horde of zombies.
  • What We Do in the Shadows has a pair of young teen vampires who use their appearance to lure and feed on pedophiles.
  • Zombie Cult Massacre features a leader of a separatist cult who creates zombies to bring about the end of days. One of his victims who he killed and zombified is a six-year-old girl who seems to have been his daughter.
  • Played for Black Comedy in Zombieland with infected little girls dressed up as princesses attacking a panicking woman in a minivan. In the commentary, Abigail Breslin says that she loved the zombie makeup and effects and really, really, tried to convince the writers and director to let her character get turned into a zombie so she could play one. They shot the idea down, however.


  • The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels feature several of these: Nikolaos, the former Master of St Louis, and later Valentina. The latter was turned by a vampire pedophile who was killed when the other vampires found out what he was doing. Turning children for any reason is forbidden by the Vampire Council because the child vampires usually go crazy. Bartolomé as well, although he is an adolescent.
  • Coraline has three children who were lured in and eaten by the Other Mother, whom Coraline must appease by finding their real eyes, as they were replaced by buttons before they died. This is a children's book, by the way.
  • Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. has Alvina, a 10-year-old of uncertain paternity, since her mother was intimate with both Chambeaux and McGoo in the crucial timeframe. We meet her for the first time in Tastes Like Chicken. She's a vampire, "courtesy" of a contaminated blood transfusion.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, children as young as twelve are active participants of Raguel's zombie horde.
  • Melissa, the grand-sire of Genevieve from Drachenfels, was five when she was turned, about a thousand years ago. She was portrayed as a Creepy Child in one of the stories in The Silver Nails, but otherwise her seeming Wise Beyond Their Years is Played for Laughs (especially her complaint about vampire prejudice because those "youngsters keep siring here and there").
  • Almost reached this point in Dracula when Lucy, now a vampire, starts luring away and feeding on children. While she doesn't fully drain them due to numerous circumstances, the bites are still infecting them with vampirism. Van Helsing noted if they hadn't stopped her, the children would've died as she did and sprouted fangs of their own.
  • Dust Devils: Willet Black is a twelve-year-old boy who ends up changed into a vampire. He is now an undead corpse with the ability to change into a bloodthirsty monster.
  • Ex-Heroes has a scene in which St. George has to kill a zombie child.
  • In The Family of the Vourdalak, Gorcha returns from a hunt and his grandson dies shortly after. Six months later, Marquis d'Urfe learns that the boy rose as a vampire called a vourdalak (like his grandfather) and went on to turn his family, including his also young brother.
  • Forest Kingdom: In book 2 (Blood and Honor), at one point, Jordan meets a young boy named "Wee Geordie", who claims to have wandered into his chambers on accident because he got lost while trying to find his mother. Jordan sends him off to the castle steward for help, but soon after, he learns from Damon Cord that the boy was a ghost, dead for over two hundred years, and also one of the friendlier spirits in the castle.
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan has a zombie infant, which has apparently been laying in its cradle for years after the house was abandoned, restlessly kicking the footboard. The heroine is so distraught that she starts to try to hold the baby, but then gets a hold of herself and drops the baby out the window.
  • Linda Lael Miller's Forever and the Night has Benecia and Canaan, the evil little vampire sisters.
  • In Galaxy of Fear: City of the Dead, cheerful adolescent Kairne is killed by Dr. Evazan, who's running zombie-making experiments. One guess what the doctor does next. Oddly, zombie Kairne retains some of his mind and memories, enough that when his friend Zak appeals to him, he turns on the doctor.
  • Chakori from Glory in the Thunder is an eight-year-old monster grown from the enslaved soul of a dead girl. She's still pretty cute.
  • A few Goosebumps books revolve around undead children, such as a ghost neighbor named Hannah Fairchild.
  • In The Guardians (Meljean Brook), vampires are forbidden from changing children because while their bodies will be frozen, their minds will age. Worse, they will be driven by Blood Lust to have sex with their blood donors.
  • In Harry Potter, we had a friendly ghost teenager named Moaning Myrtle, who happened to be undead.
  • Stephen King:
    • In "One for the Road", a story in Night Shift, a car breaks down near the burned-out ruins of Salem's Lot, and the driver's wife and seven-year-old daughter are turned into vampires. The story ends with this warning from the narrator, Booth:
      There's a little girl somewhere out there. And I think she's still waiting for her good-night kiss...
    • In Pet Sematary, the main character's son is run over by a truck and is buried in the titular "sematary". Like everything else buried there, he's resurrected. Unfortunately, like everything else buried there, he's resurrected as a corrupted version of himself.
    • In 'Salem's Lot, the first two vampire victims are the Glick brothers, the older one (Danny) being twelve. (Danny becomes an example of this trope while Ralphie is sacrificed outright.) Later, an entire busload of child vampires show up and two of the vampire hunters find child vampires while searching for their nests. Disturbingly, one of them is the MacDougal baby.
  • Laughing Jack: Implied. James' mother is horrified at how defiled and mutilated the children that appear in her nightmare are. They are heavily implied to be Laughing Jack's past victims. The children slowly approach and surround her to tear her apart, to the sound of sickening laughter before she wakes up, unsettled.
  • Joey Peacock, the narrator of Christopher Buehlman's The Lesser Dead, was turned into a vampire as a young teen. He states a belief that anyone who turns a little kid should be taken out for a sunbath. As it turns out someone has turned several younger children, and they're quicker to kill their victims than Joey's group.
  • Lockwood & Co. has a few types of child ghost, such as Solitaries and Shining Boys, which are considered very dangerous. The protagonists go up against a Shining Boy in The Creeping Shadow.
  • Ashley Stearns in Chris Bohjalian's The Night Strangers, a little girl killed in a plane crash. Ashley is relatively unhappy, but the ghost of her father (dead in the same crash) is the one who insists that she needs playmates...
  • The Otherworld: Normally, if a child dies, the ghost is taken and adopted by a family and raised until they "age" to adult, however two occasions where this didn't happen:
    • A boy is born to a woman in prison, but dies before a doctor could help him. He spends his days roaming the prison, interacting with the environment still thinking he's alive. As he didn't know he had died, the kindest thing had been decided to leave him there until the prison was demolished then take his soul and reincarnate him — taking him away from the environment he knew would be too stressful and shocking, and he was happy where he was.
    • A group of child ghosts was found to be bound to the earth due to non-magical humans attempts at being able to use magic. The children were burned and their ashes uses to power magic; the more their ash was used the more they faded away until nothing was left.
  • Evan Matthieu, from Pact, is an eight-year-old boy who wandered too far into the woods and ended up chased by a powerful goblin until he died from exposure. The goblin was powerful enough to frighten away the Psychopomp that would normally have taken his soul to its destination, so he kept running, for months, until he was found by Blake Thorburn, who bound the goblin and took Evan as his Familiar, which Evan considers a pretty fair deal.
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has a zombie infant. Elizabeth, despite being usually badass, can't bring herself to kill it.
  • Rachel Griffin: In Rachel and the Many-Splendored Dreamland, the demon summons the child sacrifices made to it as animated skeletons. As it is Moloch, that means mostly babies. Siggy finds this seriously wrong.
  • In Brenna Yovanoff's The Replacement, which is about a changeling boy who was kept alive, most changelings don't actually survive very long. Some, in fact, are killed by "their" parents—like the unnamed girl who likes to play with the gash "her" parents cut across her throat. The castoff who was switched for Natalie Stewart becomes this very easily; all Mackie has to do is whisper in her ear and tell her that it's okay to be ugly and unnatural and that there are people who will love her anyway. Also, all the Morrigan's blue girls started out as this, but grew up because most of them were killed as very young children and, as she puts it, how is she supposed to keep a house if she always has to look after infants?
  • The Ring: Samara Morgan, from the US films, just wants to be heard. And kill people.
  • Inverted in The Saga of Darren Shan. Darren is turned into a half-vampire at the age of 12, but the vampires there are not immortal, they just live a lot longer than humans. He won't stay a child forever, but he still had a much longer childhood. In the middle of the book series, he becomes a teenager, and as such, he spends most of the plot. When he finally transforms into a vampire in the last book, he is outwardly almost adult.
  • One of Nancy A. Collins's Sonja Blue books involved a character who had been pregnant, for several decades, with an incredibly squicky vampire baby.
  • The Shadowhunter Chronicles shows Raphael Santiago. At fifteen, he's technically no longer a kid, but a vampiric teenager. But other people who are significantly younger than him but look older perceive him as a teenager, and not as an adult.
    • Maureen Brown is turned into a vampire at the age of fourteen. The resurrection apparently didn't bring back her sanity, because later she is a real beast even by the standards of vampires.
    • In a fight, Will Herondale kills a darkling who is significantly younger than himself, on the border between child and teenager. It is implied that this darkling was on the verge of turning into a vampire, but Will is stunned by what he did anyway.
  • A Tale of...: Gothel's mother Manea is the Queen of the Dead. She has a hoard of undead at her command. Manea keeps local villages in line by threatening to slaughter them and turn them into her undead right now, in exchange for all their dead being buried in her graveyard so that they can become part of her hoard. The last straw for her two other daughters, Hazel and Primrose, is when Manea kills an entire village, including the children. All the undead children look confused and terrified, with their eyes covered in a black goop so that they can't see. After killing Manea and taking over, Gothel promises her sisters not to use the younger undead in her horde.
  • Dee J Holmes' "Three Days In Undead Shoes" the first zombie Jane sees is a child on a swing. A crow eats their eye.
  • The Twilight Saga:
    • Stephanie Meyer seems to have unknowingly created an undead Creepy Child Enfante Terrible in the last book, Breaking Dawn. 'Renesmee' is apparently half-vampire, and aged to 17 in 7 years, and has an older werewolf 'imprint' on her as a mate while he raises her. And this is presented as a happy ending.
    • The Volturi have also declared it illegal for any vampire to turn a child because vampire children lack the proper maturity level to do their part in maintaining the Masquerade and will never gain said maturity level due to being permanently stuck as children and thus, they inevitably threaten to expose the existence of vampires to the mostly unaware human population. The confrontation between the Cullens and the Volturi at the end of Breaking Dawn is prompted by another character mistakenly identifying Renesmee as one of these and subsequently reporting the Cullens to the Volturi for turning her.
    • Twilight has also Jane and Alec, the youngest and smaller vampires of the series, twins turned at around age twelve by Aro Volturi. (Exact ages for what constitutes as an Immortal Child was never explicitly stated. It is assumed that if the child in question is able to follow the laws set by Volturi, then they will be allowed to continue their existence.)
  • The Vampire Chronicles: Interview with the Vampire has Claudia. She's 5 and a vampire.
  • The Vanished by Celia Rees has a gang of vampiric children living in the sewers.
  • Wayward Children: Defied by the monsters of the Moors, who refuse to turn children before their eighteenth birthday. It's a matter of Pragmatic Villainy rather than morality; in their experience, very bad things end up happening after a child becomes a vampire or werewolf, and they don't want to have to deal with the consequences.
  • World of the Five Gods: In Knot of Shadows, the ghost of a four-year-old boy possesses a body vacated by death magic, causing distress for both families.
  • In Void City, Eric fights a number of children who were turned into vampires. Though he has a moral code against harming children, he considers vampires to be monsters rather than people and so does not hesitate to destroy them.
  • The starting point of the Zombie Apocalypse in World War Z is a young boy. A little girl zombie later menaces Russian troops who can't bring themselves to kill her, spurring harsh action.
  • Imre Lazar in Zomboy became one due to a radiation leak in his hometown, Fort Sterling. The same goes for his baby sister, Kato.

    Live-Action TV 
  • American Horror Story:
    • Murder House is about the ghost twins who were haunting Murder House.
    • Similarly, while Hotel is insistent about the nature of its "ancient blood virus," the Countess does have a penchant for collecting and turning children. And after getting turned, Alex uses her own blood to cure a child about to die of septic pneumonia... which goes real well when he goes back to school and infects his classmates...
  • Angel:
    • In the episode "Lullaby", there's a flashback to Holtz finding his slaughtered family. His little daughter Sarah has already risen as a vampire. Holtz sings to her until daybreak, then drags her struggling to the door and pushes her out into the sunlight. Given this and the "normal" death of his infant son, it's perhaps understandable that he really doesn't like Angel very much.
    • In the fourth season, Los Angeles is struck by a phenomenon that darkens the sun. This leads to a massive spike in the vampire population. Angel meets a vampire who was just ten years old when she was turned.
    • In one of the comics, Faith and Robin Wood meet a group of children who have been turned into vampires by their mother. They destroy them all.
  • Understandably for a children's horror show, this popped up a few times on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, like the ghost of a little boy who froze to death and just wanted his coat.
  • Being Human (UK) has two:
    • In season 1, a vampire child, made when Mitchell offers his mother, out of guilt from not being able to save him, the chance to bring him back as a vampire. The episode ends with the kid innocently telling his mom "I'm hungry."
    • In season 2, a ghost baby. Ghost babies don't eat or sleep, and must be kept as cold as possible. It's all disturbingly adorable.
    • One of the Old Ones, the leaders of the vampires, is a seemingly twelve year old schoolgirl, complete with old fashioned uniform. She’s actually centuries old, in a world where most vampires barely make it to triple digits, and acts like an adult.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The Anointed One. The drawbacks of a child form are made clear when Spike, who isn't intimidated, just picks him up and chucks him into a cage he then hoists into the sunlight.
    • We also briefly see a little girl vampire during "Halloween". In an interesting note, it's likely she wasn't bitten. This is the episode where the people of Sunnydale are being turned into their Halloween costumes by magic spell.
  • Doctor Who: Jamie from "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances". He's a differently-alive child who spreads a sickness that turns victims into duplicates of himself, like a seriously postmodern zombie. But mostly, he's just a lonely little boy.
    "Are you my mummy?"
  • In the finale of Dracula (2013), Browning's children are turned into vampires. This was done by Van Helsing of all people (by feeding them Dracula's blood).
  • Dracula (2020): Episode 1 features an undead, vampire baby. Even Dracula is surprised, considering he never saw a baby turning into a vampire before. Episode 3 features a creepy kid zombie. Lucy Westenra is oddly charmed when she sees it in a graveyard, but is rightly horrified when it follows her home and sneaks into her bedroom. Fortunately for her (and probably also the kid itself), Dracula kills it with a stake.
  • Forever Knight:
    • The vampire LaCroix's sire was his own preteen daughter.
    • He much later sired a boy Nick had been trying to aid in escaping after Janette brought him home. We don't see too much of him post-vamping, though, just him grinning at Nick and saying "Hello, Nicky! Welcome home!"
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The first episode has a particularly creepy one. Considering that just moments before we had seen her murdered body nailed to a tree, she doesn't have to do anything more than turn and stare into the camera with her unnatural blue eyes to be scary.
    • And in Season 5 as the White Walkers overwhelm the Wildling city of Hardhome, Action Mom Karsi is hacking them down left and right, only to find herself facing half a dozen zombie children in varying states of decay. Being a mother, she freezes in shock and despair and is quickly overwhelmed.
  • Highlander: The Series:
    • There was an immortal child. While immortals aren't undead, the Can't Grow Up factor and the creepiness of a child not acting like one and killing other immortals was similar. In his case, Kenneth ("Kenny") acts like an innocent rookie immortal who needs training and protection. Several immortals with parenting instincts fall for it and take him in. They typically lose their heads to their new ward. Ironically, he first became immortal in 1182 and is much older than most of his would-be parents.
    • An episode has him reuniting with his original mentor/Parental Substitute Amanda. She still sees as the relatively innocent young boy that she trained in the 12th century. In the intervening centuries he has developed a Dirty Old Man mentality and clearly lusts over her body.
  • Mary, the little ghost girl in Kingdom Hospital (played by Jodelle Ferland, who was also the Creepy Child in the Silent Hill movie and play a little ghost boy in The Messengers.)
  • There's an 8/10-year-old girl on the Vampire Council in the second season of My Babysitter's a Vampire, although this could be a straight case of Improbable Age as Rory (in particular) has grown perceptibly in the two years (both in- and out-of-universe) since he was turned.
  • The Strain (TV series):
    • Emma, a young French girl, is among the plane passengers turned into a vampire. According to Nora, she can't be more than eight.
    • Later, one of Zach's friends is turned into a vampire by Kelly along with his mother.
    • In a flashback, we see that Setrakian's wife turned two children into vampires after she was turned by The Master.
    • In the second season premiere, Eichorst turns an entire bus full of blind children into specialized vampires called Feelers.
    • During season four, we flash back to the time Mr. Quinlan tried to kill The Master in Victorian England. He fails and The Master threatens to go after a woman he has a romantic relationship with and her daughter. By the time Quinlan gets to them, they're infected and turning into Strigoi. He's forced to kill both of them before the transformation can finish.
  • Supernatural has had a ghost child or two.
    • Subverted in an episode where the ghost child not only turns out to be alive, but there's two of them.
    • Played very straight and tragically in the episode that introduces Sheriff Mills and her son.
  • Used as an ending twist in one Tales from the Crypt episode. The little girl in "The New Arrival" has been dead for decades, but her mother's love keeps her alive as a zombie.
  • True Blood has two:
    • Godric, Eric and Nora's maker who appears to have been turned as a teenager.
    • Alexander Drew, a Chancellor for The Authority who was turned at nine years old.
  • The Walking Dead (2010):
    • One of the first zombies encountered is a little girl who pauses to pick up her teddy bear before turning on Rick and getting her brains blown out.
    • In season two, Sophia turns into a zombie.
    • In season 3, like in the comics, the Governor has an undead daughter that he keeps in a broom closet.

  • In The Hazards of Love, by The Decemberists, "The Rake's Song" details how a man murders his children after his wife dies...then "The Hazards of Love 3" tells how their ghosts come back to exact their revenge while he's kidnapping a woman.
  • The Tale of A 10-Year-Old Vampire Queen, sung by Hatsune Miku.
  • The video for Stevie Nicks' "Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)" features a young girl among its vampires.
  • Catherine At the Wheel by Skyclad is about a vampire who feeds on perverts looking for a quick thrill with a vulnerable girl. The first half of the song has her at a playground pretending to be a forgotten child.

    Oral Tradition 
  • Inuit Mythology talks about the vengeful ghosts of children that were left to die of exposure after having been named, which gave it a soul, and so return to their families to seek vengeance. They nurse from their mothers at night to build up strength (possibly sucking the life out of her), then use that strength to try to murder the members of their family who actually abandoned it in the wilderness. They only depart after killing all of their family, or if a shaman banishes them.
  • Philippine legends speak of the Tiyanak, a monster made from the spirit of an unborn child. It takes the appearance of an infant to draw in unwary travelers then reverts to its true form to kill its kind-hearted victim. Tiyanaks can also be born from babies who've died without being baptized, from aborted fetuses, or from babies dying without getting a proper burial.
  • And in Swedish oral tradition, if a mother killed her infant, the ghost would remain around the place where she had disposed of the body. For some reason it is normally depicted as a three-year-old, rather than as a newborn (when it doesn't appear as a bucket or box, supposedly what it was buried in). Sometimes it is said to demand vengeance on its mother, sometimes it wants the body to be put to rest in a proper churchyard, and sometimes it just... hangs around and scares people. And sometimes it kills mom and then goes on to kill as many other people as it can until it finally encounters one with the bravery, the occult lore or just the plain human compassion to give it what it wants: a name. There's a folktale about the Lapp (a magical people to the Swedes) who named the baby's ghost and in so doing put it to rest. The name for this type of ghost is an utburd.
    • Icelanders outdo the Swedish here. Útburðir also exist in Icelandic folklore. Their appearance is about the same as when they were left for dead, but they can crawl and communicate, and are swathed in rags, often bloodsoaked from the afterbirth. They also howl an otherworldly mewl called útburðarvæl. Should an unfortunate traveler chance upon an útburður, they are in grave danger, as the infant will attempt to crawl three circles around the traveler, and upon the completion of the third circle the traveler will lose his mind irrevocably. Útburðir also come for their mothers for various reasons, some with malice in mind, but others in innocent ways, yet the ending is always terrible.
      • One of the most famous stories of úrburðir is Móðir mín í kví, kví (My mother in the sheepfold, sheepfold): A working woman gives birth to a child out of wedlock, and to escape severe punishment she wraps her newborn in some fabric and leaves it outside to die. Some while later she is in the sheepfold milking the ewes with another woman. She mentions to the other that she would like to go to the vikivaki, a festive dancing, but she has no presentable dress to wear. Then the ghost of her child comes and sings to her a rhyme: Móðir mín í kví, kví / kvíddu ekki því / ég skal ljá þér duluna mína / duluna mína að dansa í. / Ég skal ljá þér duluna mína / duluna mína að dansa í. (My mother in the sheepfold, sheepfold / do not worry about that / I will lend you my rag / my rag to dance in. / I will lend you my rag / my rag to dance in.) The mother promptly loses her mind at this. The rhyme is still sung to Icelandic children as a lullaby.
    • It appears in American folklore too. There's an Appalachian story about a ghost in the woods that looks like a small child and asks you to carry it on your back to safety. But as you carry it, it'll start getting heavier and heavier with each step. And if you look back over your shoulder to see what's going on... well, apparently nobody's lived to say what exactly they saw.
    • In Finnish mythology such creatures often have vampiric qualities; they're obsessed with drinking blood from their mother's breasts, and if the mother is dead or moved out of the region, they may attack women indiscriminately. Although the spirit is that of a dead newborn, they are usually described as pale white toddlers, instead.
    • Among some American Indian tribes of the Southeast, there's a legend about this crying infant hunters and other wanderers sometimes find in the woods. They pick the kid up, offer him their finger to suckle so he'll quiet down, he starts to suck on their finger, and then he sucks all the flesh off of their bones, ending with the ghostly infant contentedly cooing while lying in the arms of a bloody skeleton.
    • There's a Japanese youkai that takes the form of an abandoned baby crying on the roadside. If some poor fool actually picks it up, it suddenly grows huge, crushing them to death under its bulk.
    • The Toyol of Malaysian folklore is a fetus that died after being born or was stillborn. It can be summoned by those who want to use the Toyol For the Evulz, but must be fed with blood by its summoner, or the Toyol will turn nasty and kill its summoner.
    • In the Carpathians, a stillborn child couldn't be buried in hallowed ground (as unbaptized), and (particularly if it had been born under a caul, or had teeth) was believed in danger into turning into a vampire spirit.
    • And in African folklore, there's a story about a jealous husband. He kills his heavily pregnant wife, and the unborn fetus starts following him, carrying its caul over its shoulder, asking him why he's abandoning it. He kills it. Three times. It keeps coming back. Eventually, his wife's family realizes what has happened and stones the husband.
    • The concept of a dybbuk plays on this, believed by some to be the dislocated spirit of a dead person, such as an unborn or young child. This is used heavily in the 2009 film The Unborn.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Atmosfear: Hellin is a child who killed themselves throwing a temper tantrum, before they came back as a ghost turned poltergeist possessing a Creepy Doll.
  • Dead Reign has these, several of which are featured in the various artwork.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • A 3.5 Edition supplement on undead includes a half-ghoul template, where the mother is infected by whatever magical affliction creates ghouls and gives birth to a half-ghoul child that can grow up. Usually the child has to be rescued by normal humans to survive long, though, as their parents will become fully undead cannibal monsters.
    • Atropal are very powerful, very dangerous abominations that are basically stillborn godlings. They are just as nasty as they sound, and even if you destroy one the leftover chunks can still reanimate as an Atropal Scion, which is fortunately less likely to give you a TPK.
    • The Libris Mortis supplement has the slaymate, the animated remains of a child who died of neglect or betrayal by a caretaker. It amplified necromantic magic in its vicinity, and the book said they are prized as pets of sorts for necromancers, who sometimes carry them on their backs papoose-style. Add in a creepy picture of an undead and slightly decomposed 7-ish-year-old girl with a ragged doll, and you have a winner.
    • 4.0 and its Open Grave supplement gives us both child skeletons and the corrupted spawn, a child brought back by resurrection magic Gone Horribly Wrong. The latter is essentially an extended reference to Pet Sematary.
    • Age of Worms: The first chapter of the adventure path has the PCs encounter the ghost of a thirteen-year-old boy who was killed by a trap in the dungeon they're exploring. While he is childishly flighty and morbid, and his still-broken neck makes his head loll creepily, he's mostly non-malevolent, and helps the PCs get past a dead-end if they help him move on by burying his bones in his family's plot.
    • In a Mystara scenario the PCs run into a bunch of non-standard zombies created by the magical equivalent of radiation. They are sentient and not necessarily hostile. One of them was created from the body of a young boy and is a possible ally. Somewhat tragic, in that he thinks he can "grow up" like a living person if he just gets away from the zombie lair and into the normal world.
    • Ravenloft has naturally played with this trope, with a Claudia-Expy (Merilee Markuza, whom many fans choose to portray as a Manipulative Bastard), flesh golems who act like children at first, and any number of child ghosts.
  • Exalted 1e and 2e give us an Abyssal whose Exaltation always goes to a 10-year-old girl who is then always renamed Shoat of the Mire. She is the only Abyssal servant of the Deathlord known as The Dowager of the Irreverent Vulgate in Unrent Veils, who has a very specific process of creating her deathknights. It's stated that she plans to start turning more children into Abyssal servants as soon as she's certain she's perfected the process of raising them. The Shoat isn't actually undead, but Abyssal Exalted is close enough to count. (3e drops most of this; the Dowager Exalted the Shoat as a teenager, has a number of Abyssals serving her, and has no particular interest in Exalting children.)
  • GURPS Technomancer: The first vampires to appear when the magic came back were born that way.
  • Lamentations of the Flame Princess: The adventure module Death Frost Doom features a massive underground crypt, with one section reserved for the bodies of children. Several thousand of them. Who can all be woken up if the party isn't careful, and won't be happy to be disturbed from their slumber.
  • Magic: The Gathering has some examples:
  • Mutant Chronicles: Children of Illian are pint-sized zombies who beat their victims to death with rattles. Nightmare Fuel indeed.
  • Pathfinder:
    • There are attic whispers (the spirits of children who died of neglect) and drekavacs (who died of disease). Crossing into Fetus Terrible territory, there are also pickled punks (malformed, stillborn fetuses animated as undead and stored in jars of preserving liquids) and a kind of undead formed from the corpses of pregnant women, which have the undead bodies of their fetuses and embryos still clinging to their wasted forms.
    • Walkena the Child-God is the reanimated mummy of a prince who died as a pre-teen. And a high-level mythic spellcaster.
  • Warhammer 40,000: According to supplement literature, many of the Necron Warriors (the basic rank and file infantry of the Necron faction) were actually children before they underwent biotransference and were turned into robots. They no longer look the part, but this explains why they've lost more of their identity than the rest of their people.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: The 2nd Edition vampire sourcebook describes Madam Kalfon, a Bretonnian girl who was turned into a Necrarch vampire while only fifteen years old. Necrarchs universally resemble desiccated and borderline inhuman corpses, and the figure of a child-sized mummy ruling over a tower filled with undead minions dressed in colorful clothes and toys fashioned from flesh and bone, all while still acting like the living child she hasn't been for centuries, provides a rather disturbing scenario for players to be drawn into.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Vampire: The Masquerade:
    • Vampire: The Requiem: There's a bit of fiction in one of the sourcebooks about a local hotshot who runs a betting event known only as "B vs. D." What does it stand for? "[Embraced] Baby versus Dog"; as the baby is practically brand new and barely fed, that means the Beast is in the driver's seat.
      • The chapter fiction for Blood Sorcery follows a vampire duo, one of whom is a girl named Kitty, Embraced at age five.
      • Danse Macabre introduces the Masquerade Merit, reflective of how effectively a vampire is able to craft a certain role that allows them to pass in society, along with gaining mastery of certain aspects associated with it. One such Masquerade is Youth, which allows vampires Embraced at young ages (especially ages that would have them considered adults in medieval society) to pass as mortal children or teenagers, complete with associates of such peer groups.
      • The second edition corebook tells of the Children's Crusade, an entire covenant of undead children — indeed, they had sole right to Embrace children, and frequently non-Crusade child vampires were put into their care. Eventually, the adult vampires discovered the Crusade was twisted, corrupt in ways they could not understand or tolerate, and so the Crusade was scourged from the face of the Earth... but a few members slipped through the cracks.
    • Wraith: The Oblivion features the Striplings, a caste of Spectre. In the game, Spectres are ghosts who either lost themselves over time to Oblivion, or met such a violent end that they just wanted it all to go away. The Striplings are Spectres of children who died when they were younger than ten. Even the other Spectres are freaked out by them. There's a good reason one ruler in the setting set a law in place that any child wraiths would be made into soulsteel. Fate Worse than Death? Maybe. But at least that keeps them from being Striplings. The 20th Anniversary Edition retcons the soulforging law — it was in place prior to the 13th century, but an influential Stripling born of the Children's Crusade was the first to argue its unfairness and the right of child Wraiths to exist.

  • Played with in Ride the Cyclone, which starts with six teenage choir members dying in a roller coaster accident and takes place mostly in limbo as they come to terms with their unexpected deaths. The teens were all in high school, and for five of them their ghostly forms appear in relatively good condition (considering how they died). The sixth is "Jane Doe", a girl who was decapitated in the crash and spends her time in limbo with a creepy old doll's head as a replacement for her lost cranium. The actress who plays Jane Doe is usually made up with porcelain pale skin, blacked-out contact lenses, and a pale blonde wig with ringlets to look like an antique "little Victorian girl" doll. The look is combined with an emotionless, almost robotic affect that visibly creeps out the five other teenage ghosts.

    Urban Legends 
  • There's a spooky urban legend from 1905 Montreal where the Fortiers, a married couple with a young daughter named Gisele, moved into a mansion that used to be a home for wayward children until two boys murdered the owners, attempted setting the building on fire and were eventually tried and hanged. The daughter Gisele was the first to notice something was amiss after seeing things in the house and feeling weird "cold spots" in her bedroom, but her attempts to warn her parents lead to Cassandra Truth until the ghostly boys came back, murdered the Fortiers, and set the house on fire again. It turned out to be an elaborate hoax from a tabloid newspaper note  which somehow became one of Canada's most well-known horror stories.
  • In the 90's stories about "black eyed kids" started popping up on the internet. People reported children with completely black eyes would knock on their door or approach them in their cars and insistently ask to be let in. The people reporting these experiences were all far too creeped out to open the door, so it's unclear what would happen to anyone who did let them in. Or maybe anyone who did wasn't around to talk about it...

    Video Games 
  • In The 7th Guest, Stauf's toys stole the souls of several area children. Their frightened voices can be heard in a cutscene when one of the puzzles in the playroom is solved.
  • ANNIE: Last Hope have a stage set in a school, where several zombie enemies are children. Then there's also Jessica, the young daughter of your friend Mike, who's revealed to be turned into a zombie forcing Mike to pull an Offing the Offspring before he's Driven to Suicide.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Before entering The Consortium's facility, Ann encounters a Mini-Mecha being controlled by the spirit of a child that claims to be familiar with her. Certain documents imply the child was Dr. Doyle's.
  • Baldur's Gate II:
    • There is a ghost halfling child in the graveyard who just wants his teddy bear and then he can be at rest. Probably a reference to The Twilight Zone (1959).
    • If you find and attack Neb the child killer to solve the Illithium quest, he summons the ghosts of his victims to protect him while he hides from you. They have generally bad combat stats but cause Level Drain on hit, and will disappear once Neb is killed (and restore your party's lost levels in the process).
  • Ben and Ed: Ben ends up becoming such a child in Bencalypse mode attempting to escape into the mainland after Ed betrays and eats him.
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • The unlockable character ???, aka "The Blue Baby", is a dead, cyianotic child who can't recover health with normal hearts, so he uses soul hearts as health. Rebirth also added The Lost, a ghost who has no health whatsoever, so he dies in a single hit, but has permanent flight. And then, Afterbirth added Keeper, a grey, dried out corpse who can only recover health by picking up coins, and later The Forgotten, an unusual character in that he's a skeleton that attacks with a bone club but can also switch contol to a ghost that has normal tears and flight, but is chained to the skeleton body.
    • Then come Repentance and with the introduction of the "Tainted" characters, some of the usual characters become this. Tainted Judas becomes a Living Shadow that can damage enemies by running through them with his special attack. Tainted Lazarus becomes two separate characters, one living, one undead, that switch between every room. Tainted Jacob stops being The Dividual, instead being a single character that is chased by the vengeful ghost of his brother, which will be able to damage enemies in his pursuit of vengance. If he is killed, you become a One-Hit-Point Wonder until you leave for the next floor. ???, The Lost, Keeper and The Forgotten were already dead to begin with, but they become more decayed: Tainted ??? is now bloated with poop, Tainted Lost is now dusty and covered in cobwebs from hiding in the attic, Tainted Keeper is now driven by greed and Tainted Forgotten is now only a defenseless soul and he has to throw his lifeless skeleton around to attack.
  • Savanna becomes a vampire in the Hidden Object Game Blood Oath. If you choose not to feed on Paige, Kali explains it is wrong for vampires to turn children and why.
  • Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead has zombie children that spawn in the same areas as other zombies. They are weaker than regular zombies but quicker, and unlike any other type of zombies, killing them will reduce the character's morale unless they have the Psychopath trait or have killed at least 100 other zombie children. Like regular zombies, they can mutate into nastier versions with the passage of time, most of which drain morale of the character that kills them— save for the ones that are so mutated they don't look like children anymore.
  • Clock Tower games:
    • Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within has Stephanie, who chases you around for much of the first part of the game. To a lesser extent, her sister Ashley, whose still-living arm can be found on the dining room table and the rest of her body scattered across the house, and their brother Michael, who also stalks you in a suit of armor.
    • There's also May from Clock Tower 3, the 12-year-old pianist who was murdered by the first Subordinate you meet in the game, Sledgehammer; you have to beat him in order for her to be laid to rest. Then there's the ghosts of children killed by Scissorman in Clock Tower (2) that sing Little John from the Big Castle.
  • Corpse Party has several: Yuki, Tsuki, Ryou and Sachiko. They love to kill people in the same manner that they died, although the last one is actually the Big Bad who killed the others.
  • Cute Bite: Buttercup is trapped in child form until she gains enough power to change her shape. This has some advantages in convincing people that she's harmless.
  • Dante's Inferno has the Unbaptized Children, demonic infants with scythes lodged into their elbows. These are the damned souls of children that died before they were baptized and are now condemned to Limbo. They tend to move on all fours and have a nasty habit of attacking the player in large swarms, wailing like normal babies all the time. To make their movements more realistic, motion capture was done with the toddler son of one of the men working on the game.
  • Ghost children appear prominently in several of Jonathan Boakes's spooky adventure games. They range in tangibility from the never-seen, wailing baby in Dark Fall: Lost Souls to corporeal-looking Nancy from The Lost Crown, and in friendliness from helpful Timothy Pike from Dark Fall: The Journal to uber-Creepy Child Amy Haven, also from DF:LS who turns out to be the Dark Fall's willing collaborator.
  • One of the many spooky Easter Eggs in the Call of Duty series is a cradle with a ghost baby inside.
  • Dark Romance Vampire In Love has Brigetta, the ghost of a little girl. She was adopted by Dracula who decided to make her a vampire one day. However, her nature resisted the change and she died outright.
  • Dark Souls has baby skeletons that spawn infinitely from the floor in front of Nito's chamber in the Tomb of the Giants. They're the easiest way in the game to farm Humanity.
  • The first trailer for Dead Island features a little girl turning, attacking her parents, and getting thrown out a window to her final death. All of the above is shown in reverse slow-motion and intercut, Memento-style, with camcorder footage of the happy family on their tropical vacation. The two threads come together at the end of the trailer, which is the moment the girl is infected while her father tries to pull her to safety. Only a couple of minutes "later", he'll be the one who has to push her out the window as she tries to tear out his throat.
  • Used in the plot of Dead Rising 2 and Case Zero as Chuck's Daughter is Infected and needs a daily dose of Zombrex to survive, this trope is played in the endings if you do not give her the Zombrex.
  • Dead Space:
    • The commonly-encountered Lurker is a low-power enemy that attacks using three tentacles that either spit out some sort of acid projectile or start stabbing into you. The clincher? They're actually the corpses of infants reanimated and mutated into Necromorphs. Appropriate, seeing as how you first see them when they kill a surviving researcher by impaling his hand to a glass window with projectiles, then blowing his head off.
    • Two of the new Necromorph types in Dead Space 2 are infected children. The Pack, Zombies born of children around 10 years old who hunt in, predictably, packs, and The Crawler, similar to Lurkers, but instead of shooting you with barbs, they explode. Gruesomely demonstrated when an unsuspecting mother calls to her now zombified baby, who hugs her and then violently explodes, smearing the window between you and them with blood. The Female Tripod might count as well, as she has a huge tentacle with what appears to be a developed baby/fetus on it and she does appear partly pregnant. You also find an audio log of a woman screaming at her husband in grief-stricken anger, because she just had to kill her own daughter, who'd turned into a Necromorph.
  • The Plague Babies from Demon's Souls. They are the resurrected bodies of aborted fetuses from Boletaria who now squirm in a swamp chock-full of the plague.
  • Disgaea:
    • Inverted to horrific effect in Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance: a pair of bosses the party has to face relatively early in the game happen to be Usalia's zombified parents, explicitly raised by Majorita to torture the girl.
    • Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny brings us the zombie siblings, Zed and Bieko. Due to a bit of Fantastic Racism putting Zombies on the same level as Prinnies, the two were often bullied and attacked for being zombies. Bieko manages to remain a fairly Cheerful Child, but Zed doesn't share the same sentiments. When story events bring Zed back to the world he lived on with Bieko, the demons that used to bully the pair show up, and Zed gleefully takes the opportunity to get some well-deserved revenge against them.
  • Recent additions to Dwarf Fortress require dwarves to receive proper burial lest they come back as ghosts to haunt the living. Unburied dwarf children will, naturally, seek out their mothers. One player related that the ghost of an infant was still being carried around by its distraught mother, like some creepy inverted version of La Llorona.
    She was attacked by her own dead child lately.
  • Screamers, a rare infected type in Dying Light, are child zombies encountered in the second half of the game. They're always found indoors, usually in the houses that they inhabited during life, and let out an ear-piercing shriek that disables the player and draws in Virals. To stop them Kyle has to cradle the thing in his arms to calm it down, then snap its neck.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
    • Babette, who is a 300-year-old vampire who was turned at the age of ten. She gladly uses her form to her advantage as an assassin, pretending to be a harmless, lost, frightened little girl to lure her targets into a false sense of security.
    • There is also Helgi, a ghost, who died in a house fire. She would have had the same fate as Babette, but she didn't escape the fire in time.
  • Endless Nightmare have the protagonist, James, constantly seeing visions of his deceased little daughter, Aimee, haunting him throughout.
  • Eternal Darkness:
    • To begin with, there are some very small zombies.
    • In addition, the two youngest playable characters, Ellia and Anthony (both of whom are sixteenish in a cast mainly consisting of mature adults), wind up in undead states at the ends of their chapters, and are each encountered by the next character in their respective level settings.
    • One of the effects of running out of sanity is hearing the voice of babies crying coming from nowhere.
  • The Fatal Frame series has quite a number of young female ghosts. Possibly the most terrifying are the Shrine Maidens in the third installment, who have the nasty habit of disappearing for a brief time, before reappearing below the camera's normal field of vision and attempting to drive stakes into the main character's feet. The second installment features a few children who aren't even aware that they've died yet, and continue their game of hide and seek. Then they drag Mio into it if she happens to encounter them. It also features Crimson Kimono, the only ghost not killed by the Darkness or anything caused by it, but instead by either terror or starvation, and who had the unfortunate opportunity to watch the slaughter from her favorite hiding place.
  • At the beginning of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance the child protagonist and two newfound friends (future antagonists) get into a snowball fight with three bullies. Said bullies aim every snowball at the nerdiest kid, and eventually he starts bleeding due to one ball that has a rock in it. After that nerd gets his hand on a Tome of Eldritch Lore and remakes the world according to his own desires, the first-available mission to contain zombies gives them the same names as the bullies. (When they reappear in a later mission, their monster type is given as "Lost Soul.")
  • First Encounter Assault Recon has a technical example in the form of Alma, who was technically dead when Armacham shut down all life support to her chamber while she was in her early twenties and takes on the form of a nine-year-old girl, which was the age she was when she was sealed in the Vault and put into a coma. However, as of the end of the first game, her "adult" body is free, and Alma has apparently managed to revive it with her psychic powers.
  • The animatronics in Five Nights at Freddy's are possessed by the vengeful ghosts of murdered children.
  • Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon has two of these, one who is genuinely creepy, and one who is more of a Cute Ghost Girl.
  • One Gaia Online event had a number of angry ghosts emerge from their graves, and the users fought them to send them to the afterlife. Two of these ghosts were Creepy Twins, and another was a little boy who had died of heatstroke after his parents left him alone in a car on a hot day and who didn't mind being a ghostbut the users did.
  • Genshin Impact has Qiqi, an adorable little girl who happens to be a zombie. If it weren't for the Chinese Vampire-style talisman on her face and odd, slightly robotic behavior, she wouldn't be distinguishable from a living person at all. It's said that she became a zombie in the first place when she got caught in the crossfire in a battle between adepti and demons, and the adepti, taking pity on her, brought her back to life the best they could.
  • Ghostlore is a game based on South-East Asian mythology, and features the toyol - demon-children from Malaysian myths - as a recurring enemy.
  • In the library level of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the Ghostbusters come across the Children's Section where disembodied laughter can be heard, handprints can be found with the paragoggles, and a stuffed animal toy moves around on its own. When they leave, the echoic voice of a young boy whispers, "Bye."
  • The Dwellers and Snatcher Minions in A Hat in Time, the spirits of the children of Subcon Forest who were frozen to death by Queen Vanessa's magic. The Snatcher Minions are Dwellers who were forced under contract by Snatcher to possess dolls he made and serve him.
  • Ian's Eyes: Since the game is set in a school, a large number of the zombies are children.
  • Jade Empire has ghost children in the old Tien's Landing, several of whom are part of sidequests. Wild Flower marginally qualifies, since she also died in the flooding of Tien's Landing. She's alive, though, because Chai Ka revived her to serve as his anchor in the physical world.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future has a level where Jotaro fights a horde of zombies, and some of them are babies. This is based off a chapter from the manga, where Enya Geil's Stand, Justice, turned an entire town into zombies-including the kids.
  • King's Quest:
    • Used in an unusual fashion in the fan remake of King's Quest II: Possum is turned into a vampire together with her dying grandmother by Caldaur. While the grandmother rejuvenates into a hot vampire lady, Possum physically ages into a young woman, though still with the mind of a little girl.
    • One of the regions in the setting of King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride is the land of Ooga Booga, inhabited entirely by The Undead. Its population also includes two children.
  • Koudelka: Charlotte D'Lota is a little girl, who was imprisoned in the monastery for being a bastard child, and beheaded on her ninth birthday. Her spirit lingers in the monastery as a vengeful ghost, and hinders the party's progress. You are eventually forced to cofront her and either kill her monstrous form, or banish her by presenting her letters from her mother - the proof that she was loved by someone.
  • Amumu in League of Legends is the Mummy of a boy. He's noted as lacking the malevolence that most undead have, and is mostly just depressed, albeit prone to temper tantrums.
  • Left 4 Dead is a notable aversion. The disease that turns adults into Technically Living Zombies outright and immediately kills children. Nearly the entire US eastern seaboard has been zombified, yet not a single child — be they human, zombie, or even corpse — is anywhere to be found.
  • The Legend of Zelda has Stalchildren, hostile skeletal kids.
  • Luigi's Mansion gives us violent infant ghost Chaunsey, spectral twins Henry and Orville, and the creepy, eternally sleeping little girl Sue Pea. Interestingly, Chauncey is the only one of them who was never alive in the first place, as his bio states he was born a ghost. The second sequel Luigi's Mansion 3 has Nikki, Lindsey & Ginny, magicians who are also young girls.
  • Pamela in Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, who joins as a party member. She's definitely on the lighter end of the creepy scale, though she does have her spooky moments.
  • Man of Medan: In the prologue, Joe sees a pale kid laughing while running around the ship, seemingly stalking him. When he confronts the kid in a hanger, Joe dies from a sudden heart attack after the kid shows his Nightmare Face.
  • Minecraft has baby zombies. They are just like regular zombies, except that they are smaller, faster, make higher-pitched sounds, and prior to an update they didn't burn in the sunlight. In fact, they're more dangerous than normal zombies thanks to their fast speed and their small size allowing them to access narrow spaces, and give over twice the amount of experience as normal zombies.
  • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, one of two children seen in the series is the assassin Matt Helms. Travis fights him in his adult spectral form, but after Travis "wins", Sylvia reveals he was a child abandoned by his parents in a burning house, who supposedly made a Deal with the Devil to come back and kill his parents, and haunt the house in an adult form and as a blood-covered, naked Creepy Child.
  • No More Room In Hell includes children as a special type of zombie: they're as nimble as runners and harder to hit thanks to their small size, but have less attack power, are unable to grab and bite, and one single strike or shot to the head with any weapon outside of the fists or flashlight kills them. The developers received a number of complaints from people who were offended enough to demand the removal of these zombie children. Some players reported being so disturbed that they found themselves unable to fight back. Word of God announced that they were actually hoping for this exact reaction.
  • PAGUI, which contains ghost-children in both games.
    • The original game has a little ghost-girl named Lynn, who can't be united with her family until her ashes are buried next to her parents'. Naturally, you'll need to find her remains and complete her request.
    • Taken to the extreme in the sequel, which has deformed ghost-babies as minor enemies summoned by the ghost hag boss.
  • Even the usually lighthearted Pokémon series isn't immune to this trope:
  • The ghost children from Prey (2006).
  • Propagation: Paradise Hotel have some child-zombies, which you lampshade onscreen. "Oh my god, not the children..."
  • Quest for Glory IV has Tanya, a little vampire girl who, while not evil, is pretty darn creepy. One of the main quests involves turning her back into a human and reuniting her with her parents.
  • The Never-Children, a rare case of Nightmare Fuel in text adventure game The Reliques Of Tolti Aph. While it is never said outright, their name hints that they might be the ghosts of dead fetuses.
  • The Imps in Rule of Rose invoke this imagery, since they resemble bald, gray-skinned children with empty, gaping eyeholes.
  • In Scribblenauts, it has been possible to create one (using the trope title, no less!) ever since adjectives were added in the second game.
  • Alice in the Shin Megami Tensei series is a recurring demon. She appears to be loosely based on a combination of Lewis Carroll's Alice and a German or Scandinavian myth about a young girl's ghost who kills naughty children so they can be friends forever. She appears as a boss in some games, but asks for help in side quests in others, though she'll still fight you eventually. She can be added to your team in most games, and learns the unique death/curse spell Die For Me!.
  • Silent Hill had ghostly silhouette babies wandering around the school and crying. For added creepy, they don't really pose any threat to the player. Touch them, however, and they let out a cry and then disappear.
  • The Sims:
    • Averted in The Sims 2. Sims must be at least teenagers to become zombies (University expansion pack) or vampires (Nightlife expansion pack). Vampire Sims can reproduce normally, but the offspring will be human. (Zombie Sims are sterile.)
    • In The Sims 3, it's possible to have ghost babies. This occurs through either making a ghost Sim playable again, or using a ghost potion on a regular Sim. If one parent is a ghost, the baby has a 50% chance of being a ghost as well. Subverted, however, in that the ghost baby will age normally and eventually "die".
    • In The Sims 4, ghost children remain a possiblity. Children and teenagers can't be turned into vampires, but can be born as vampires if their parents are vampires or they're born on a dark ley line. Such children, aside from aesthetic differences (like toddlers practicing their biting on stuffed animals), don't become true vampires until they become adults.
  • Siren: Blood Curse has a Nightmare Fuel scene where Bella as a Shibito child pounds on the windows of a church, asking her still-human mommy and daddy to let her in.
  • Marie, the Final Boss of Skullgirls; becoming the eponymous Skullgirl by wishing for vengeance against the Medici Mafia had this effect, as well as granting her massive power. Downplayed with Squigly, who was 14 at her time of death.
  • Throughout The Starship Damrey, the player encounters the spirit of a young girl in a sun hat. Turns out it's actually a subversion since it's a hologram of the captain's daughter being used in an attempt to dissuade the player from further investigating the ship.
  • The Infernas from The Suffering. Particularly when they drop their disguises and transform into charred, giggling corpses.
  • Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys: The titular trio are comprised of undead children.
  • Edwina in the single-player mode of TimeSplitters Future Perfect. In multiplayer, she's a very much alive possessed girl... but has an Undead Child version in Deadwina.
  • In Terranigma, there are zombie children in Louran. Disturbingly, the girls cry when you hit them, right before they send their severed heads at you.
  • Thief: Deadly Shadows has the infamous level Robbing the Cradle. It takes place in The Cradle, an abandoned former Orphanage of Fear and Bedlam House. At one time in the building's horrible history, it was actually both simultaneously. Needless to say, the place is host to the ghosts of children, one of which Garret must help in order to escape.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil has the Scarlet sisters who have been about five- to ten-year-old children since the 16th century. Though whether they truly are undead or not is a bit unclear: As vampires they are classified as "devils" rather than "undead", and Remilia has repeatedly denied sleeping in a coffin, stating that coffins are for dead people. The first time we see her bedroom in an official manga it's revealed that she sleeps in a four-poster bed... with a coffin on it.
    • Eika Ebisu from Touhou Kikeijuu ~ Wily Beast and Weakest Creature is a mizuko, the spirit of a miscarried child, turned deity. She spends her time in Children's Limbo, stacking stones into towers with her fellow young spirits.
    • Several other characters in the franchise might qualify, since ZUN has trouble portraying ages and likes to deliberately leave things vague for the sake of the fans.
  • Quicksilvers and Shriekers in Vagrant Story, demonic dolls possessed by the spirits of children who lost their lives to war or illness.
  • The Facebook game Vampire Wars has Mandy, a little girl who was turned into a vampire. There's little backstory to explain how she came to be, but she's about as creepy as this trope gets.
  • Vampire Saga: Break Out features Adam and Grace, both of whom were thought to have died naturally, but actually became vampires.
  • You see a few in The Walking Dead (Telltale). Most notably is poor Duck, who turns if you choose not to euthanize him, and of course The Stranger's wife's head which he keeps in a bowling bag, and tells her how much she'll like Clementine.
    • Season 1 Episode 4 "Around Every Corner" has a particularly heart-wrenching one: Lee finds the zombie of a boy who starved himself to death in the attic of a house, and is so weakened that he cannot even crawl an inch from where he died. Regardless of Kenny or Lee finishing the job, Lee opts to bury the kid with his dog.
  • Warcraft:
    • Warcraft III has a segment in the human campaign where the player saves a child called Timmy. A few levels later, a ghoul named Timmy is encountered.
    • World of Warcraft:
      • A questgiver NPC in the Eastern Plaguelands, Pamela Redpath, is a ghostly girl haunting the ruins of Darrowshire. She's friendly enough, and her quest line starts with a request to find her doll but eventually ends in players recreating the Battle of Darrowshire to redeem Pamela's father. The girl's plight struck a chord with many players ("I never feel warm anymore") and inspired a quite rocking song, so after the zone was revamped for the Cataclysm expansion, players can pick up an item (Pamela's Doll) that allows the ghost girl to tag along on their adventures.
      • Scholomance, a dungeon in the Western Plaguelands, has a wing filled with zombified dragon whelps. And if you got the Collector's Edition of Wrath of the Lich King, you can have one as a pet.
      • Some speculated that the Stratholme boss Timmy the Cruel (who is possibly the same ghoul from Warcraft III) was this, but the dungeon journal reveals that he is entirely unrelated to the child named Timmy.
  • The antagonists of Wick are the Weaver children who died over 90 years before the events of the game.
  • The Wind Road has the spirit-children in the netherrealm, who attacks you with paper umbrellas.
  • The Witcher 3 has Botchlings, undead formed from miscarried fetuses that were buried without love or appropriate ceremony. They harbor deep resentment towards their families and grow stronger by feeding on the blood of pregnant women, but a ritual can allow them to find peace and transform into lubberkin, passive guardian spirits that protect those who share their bloodline.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Shulk died when he was four years old alongside his parents and the rest of the Monado expedition. He was brought back to life when he was possessed by Zanza.
  • In Yo-kai Watch, youkai are usually ghosts of humans and animals. Several yokai such as Toiletta look like children so it's likely they died as children. A few have been explicitly shown to have died as children. For example, Frostina got lost in the mountains and froze to death according to the anime.
  • You face LOADS of zombified kids in Zombie Playground.
  • Zombies, Run! alludes to this in one episode, when the player goes out to find a lost child Sam starts talking about zombified children and how disconcerting facing them is. Thankfully, you never encounter them in gameplay.

    Web Comics 
  • Cyanide and Happiness: Johnny, a ghost of a young boy who should be heard, not seen, is with his family and said to his sister that he missed punching her face.
  • Not present in DMFA, but there's a very specific reason for that: While Dark Pegasus has been consistently presented as without sympathy, remorse or anything that could really be considered "good", when he brought about the Undead, Word of God says that he was disgusted by the idea of zombie children or infants and locked them out of the spell.
  • Dracula: Ruler of the Night: Unlike the novel, a few kids end up becoming vampires when they wind up playing around a hideout that Dracula and his brides were using after the destruction of Carfax Abby, who were more than happy to have "food" coming to them. He later visits others in their homes and bites them as well.
  • The titular Erma is a Ring-style ghost girl. Subverted in that, while her mom is a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl, her dad is a normal human.
  • Far Out There boasts the little zombie siblings Bridget and Alphonse. Unlike most examples of this trope, however, they're quite adorable.
  • In Grim Tales from Down Below, the character Minnie is an undead little girl who looks like she got ripped to pieces and sewn back together (think Sally). Since the story is told in flashback, you (almost) get to see her get ripped to shreds. You do, however, get to see the outcome, horrified face and all. Also, her brother Grimm Jr. is a skeleton. And he was "born" via an abortion. But Dad's the Angel of death, so it's all good.
  • Homestuck brings us Aradia Megido, who was murdered around the age of thirteen and continued to linger on her planet as a ghost. Given her complete apathy, destructive impulses, and total personality shift from when she was alive, she definitely fits the "creepy" bit, too. She gets better.
  • Last Blood had a particularly chilling scene in which little Jimmy is found after hours of searching... eating his mother. Yeah.
  • There is a little undead girl shown prominently in Richard's "little village up the coast" in Looking for Group. We don't even realize she's undead until she rips a soldier's heart out of his chest and shows it to him, and we later see her and another undead child kicking a dead soldier's head around like a ball.
  • The mischievous vampire kids in Madeline McGrane's comics. They eat people on occasion, but they're pretty cute anyway. (Even the kid who Looks Like Orlok.)
  • The Other Grey Meat: R.Z. appears to be around 6 or 7 but is in fact much older. However, the fact that he is a Category Two zombie and is of lesser intelligence also makes him appear younger than his chronological age.
  • Paranatural has PJ, the boy who died in his pajamas and now haunts Max. He's Creepy Cute for the most part until he tries to smile.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal offers an alternative explanation for the creepiness of undead children in this strip.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent Chapter 9 has the crew deal with a Plague Zombie that has been confirmed to be formerly human (animals can be affected too), but is far too small to have been an adult.
  • Unsounded: In Grenzlan the plat child soldiers are the first ones targetted by the Black Tongue counterattack due to their ability to cast spells no one else can get away with, the same reason plat children are conscripted by Alderode. One of them is later seen zombified in the group that corners Lemuel.
  • Walking in the Dark has Prism, a little girl vampire who's actually the oldest of the Big Bad's group of minions.
  • Zombie Boy Comics chronicles the afterlife and times of eleven-year-old "living challenged" Zombie Boy and his pals.
  • Zombie Ranch shows a little girl zombie that got accidentally purchased with the other stock. She's put down soon enough in a very deliberate manner, but there's no moral outrage over this, just disappointment since "Kid zombies ain't worth much".

    Web Original 
  • In just the first and second chapters of Dead Ends a whole boarding school full of teenage girls is attacked and, for the most part, zombified. Later, in chapter 3 a zombified little girl murders half her family. Hell, there's even a bus full of trapped zombie school children. They manage to escape when the hero shoots out a window.
  • It is heavily implied that Creepy Twins Lanie and Lillie, characters on the Neopets site who lead an army of the undead known as the Awakened, have risen from the grave themselves.
  • There's also the especially disturbing example in Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006: baby zombies bursting from the bellies of the pregnant zombie mothers.
  • The SCP Foundation has SCP-1782, which turns out to be caused by an aborted reality warper. The fetus occasionally shows up in a toilet that occasionally manifests and it turned its mother into the room's septic tank.
  • Taerel Setting: The Jalka Kin'toni Clan, a clan of vampire children entirely made up of young orphans no older than fifteen in zu'aan years. They were infected with the kin'toni sickness and broke away from those that contained them and ran through the streets of the zu'aan city killing all those in their path.
  • Quite possibly Des and Hugo in Void Domain. Des looks like a Frankenstein's Monster. Hugo looks normal, but several characters comment on his unnaturalness. Both are related to the resident mass killer and necromancer, Sawyer.

    Western Animation 
  • Technically speaking, Casper the Friendly Ghost. However, he's friendly and not really creepy, so he's almost an aversion. The almost part comes from the fact that he still manages to scare away most people. In the original cartoons, it actually was an aversion, as ghosts in the series were more like The Fair Folk. It wasn't until later that they started toying with the idea of him being a traditional ghost.
  • Danny Phantom has Youngblood, a ghost child, who's less "creepy" and more of a Bratty Half-Pint (albeit one with a sick sense of humor). He hates adults and you have to be at least somewhat childlike to see him. As with many ghosts on this show, it's not clear if he's an actual dead child or some supernatural being that just resembles one (a Nickelodeon Magazine comic suggests the latter, assuming it's meant to be canon).
  • Undead students at Gravedale High include Frankentyke (Frankenstein's monster), Cleofatra (mummy), Vinnie Stoker (vampire as if his last name didn't tell you), J.P. (specific type unknown, but he mentions being dead) and Blanche (zombie). And that's just Mr. Schneider's class.
  • Presumably, many of the students at Monster High. Highlights include a vampire, Frankenstein's Monster, zombie, and a lot of ghosts, among others.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Rainbow Dash's cookie prank Gone Horribly Wrong in "28 Pranks Later" results in the unleashing of a Zombie Apocalypse on Ponyville, its victims getting a rainbow-colored smear around their mouths and moving with a Zombie Gait while droning for "coooookiiiiies!" Among the victims we see? Fillies (the Cutie Mark Crusaders) and even foals (Pound and Pumpkin Cake). This is ultimately an Invoked Trope on their part, since the whole apocalypse was actually a Massive Multiplayer Prank involving everyone except Rainbow Dash to teach her a lesson about her excessive pranking in the first half of the episode.
  • In an episode of Samurai Jack, Jack is lured to a graveyard for a zombie attack. At one point, while Jack is wandering around, the graveyard children's laughter can clearly be heard.
  • A segment of The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror IV", parodying Tobe Hooper's 'Salem's Lot miniseries, portrays Mr. Burns as a vampire. He turns Bart into one and Bart goes on to turn most of the kids in the neighborhood. At the end, Maggie is one as well and it appears that Lisa is about to become one as the segment ends.
  • South Park:
    • In "Pinkeye", Kenny turns into a zombie and then infects a large number of residents, including children.
    • Parodied in "Marjorine" when Butters' parents act as if he were a zombie (he's still alive and perfectly fine, but they chain him in the basement anyway) and have to find a way to sate his need to "feed".
  • The title character of Tutenstein, who's basically a more Jerkass-y version of Casper.
  • Underfist has Irwin. It's more of an inference, but seeing as he's half Mummy and half vampire (although it technically should be a quarter), he could count. Bonus points for very clearly depicting his mummy mom as dead and for his grandfather (Dracula) explicitly saying that he's undead at the beginning.

Alternative Title(s): Undead Children


Vampire Martin

Martin wakes up as a vampire with a purple suit and a high-collared cape.

How well does it match the trope?

4.2 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / ClassicalMovieVampire

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