Creepypasta takes many forms, some are presented as third-person perspective stories, others are accounts from a friend of a friend of a friend who knew this one guy, and others are shown as diary entries. Today’s entry is presented as a thesis, though it morphs into an account towards the latter half of the story.
Today we will be looking at the Psychic Baby Project.
Psychic Baby Project is a great example of the Creepypasta genre, it incorporates elements common to many creepypasta stories and uses them well. The narrative is easy to follow and the narrator a well-crafted one who is believable in their reactions. The plot is reasonably well done, though could use some improvement. Certain elements are left open to interpretation in some areas and several elements are not resolved or explained which adds to the potential realism of the story. But then there are elements that seem superfluous to the story and the fact that they are not resolved makes me think they would have been better off being cut completely.
I’d very much recommend you read it yourself to get the full impact.
Summary – major spoilers below
The story starts with an introduction and explanation from our POV character. They explain that they are conducting an experiment and what we are reading is a rough draft of the thesis notes.
The experiment in question “The Psychic Baby Project” is hoping to perceive if a mother’s thoughts have an influence on the development of the baby during the pregnancy. They are expecting to show that it does not, they want to dispel the ‘myth’ that the human mind has an effect on the baby’s development. They reference ‘pinaglihi’, the theory that if, for example, mum watches too much sci-fi then her infant will end up physically resembling an alien as the mother is thinking about that so much.
The account of events continues with the POV character displaying their findings on a day by day basis. Day one begins with the writer expressing distaste at human experiments especially given the pregnant nature of the subjects. We also learn that they only have a month to complete the experiment. Days two through ten covers the two students getting a volunteer, Jenna, who our POV character used to date. They begin the experiment, while nothing happens at first there is some strange behaviour within the first few days, a sound which quickly becomes a voice and starts speaking with our POV character.
I won’t depict what is said here to keep spoilers to a minimum, as I said above this is one you really should experience first-hand.
Naturally, our POV charter is panicked by what is said. We then jump onto day thirteen, and this is where the tone of the story changes, it stops feeling like an experiment log and becomes more of a diary account. By day thirteen the POV’s partner is close to completing the project but that evening the POV charter hears crying, animal crying, they investigate and are attacked by a man behaving as if he were an infant. Our POV character flees only to find more and more people behaving in the same manner as his attacker, including his research partner. He soon discovers that an ‘illness’ has spread beyond the school grounds and has infected the town as well. He hides and a voice calls to him, it threatens him and tries to lure him from his hiding spot. It doesn’t succeed.
The last entry is labelled Day twenty-nine, the screaming stopped some time ago but no one seems to have recovered from the illness. We learn that our POV character has been too afraid to leave his hiding spot even though he knows he is dying by staying put. He recognises that the ‘illness’ and the voices are both caused by his experiment.
Our POV character is eventually motivated into action when he receives a message from Jenna, who is still in the Lab and about to give birth. Our POV character arms himself and heads out to the lab. He notes that the silence he’d been enduring is because everyone effected has died.
Reaching the lab, he finds Jenna, alive and well. But upon trying to move her she starts bleeding and the baby inside her forces its way out in a way not dissimilar to the Alien films. The creature that emerges is not an infant but a grown woman who claims that the POV character is her father.
The story is initially presented as a log is not only a unique spin on the classic creepypasta, but lends an air of credence to the story, making the reader question more than usual if this could possibly be a true account. This is a tactic that horror writers and filmmakers have been using for a long time, but that doesn’t mean it fails to be effective. Admittedly this particular story could be a bit more technically worded as it quickly devolves into an account style over a scientific paper style.
The concept of this story is certainly an interesting one, though again not unique. The science experiment gone wrong and having horrible consequences goes right back into classic horror. But the subject of the experiment is certainly interesting and is initially what drew me in.
The plot is straightforward and easy to follow for the first two thirds perhaps, but in the final part, I feel it starts to unravel a tad, the illness is never explained, which as I said before can work well, but the narrator makes a few assumptions based on very little evidence and the reader is supposed to accept them as fact. I fail to see how putting electrodes on a pregnant woman and measuring brain activity would result in an entire town becoming possessed infants. This is one of the flaws of this story, admittedly it is not impossible to make the connection between the experiments on an unborn baby to people acting like infants, however, it is a pretty big assumption on the POV characters part. There is no evidence to support his theory but the story does not address this.
The ending, in my opinion, is a bit disconnected to the rest of the story. There are hints through the story that whatever is gestating in Jenna isn’t human, it referred to as demonic multiple times and its behaviour in attacking all the people seems a pretty demonic thing to do. For it to immerge as a grown woman fits with the idea that the electric treatment was encouraging development, however, it doesn’t fit with the murderous actions or the demonic labelling. Then the revelation that the POV character is the father effectively removes any demonic nature from the creature. It almost feels like the story had a choice between two directions and tried to do both. It makes the ending feel a tad rushed and a little convoluted.
In my opinion, this would have been better if the baby growing in Jenna was just a baby and because of the experiment it’s mind was somehow able to expand beyond it’s body and was able to reach out and dominate the minds around it. This would explain the people acting like babies and their deaths. If they cut out the demonic voice aspect of the story and the grown woman being born at the end then this story would have made more sense and, in my opinion, would have been more effective. Less is more as they say.
However, that criticism aside the overall story is good and has a great atmosphere, definitely worth your time to read.