This week’s monster is a tough one to find information on — I had never heard of the Cannibal Babe before reading about it in W. Haden Blackman’s Field Guide to North American Monsters, and a Google search doesn’t turn up much (unless you’re looking for a 16-year-old girl on MySpace). I wasn’t able to find any images at all, so I’m going with Rick Baker’s mutant baby from the Larry Cohen movie It’s Alive. I wouldn’t call this one a true Cryptid, but it’s a pretty good monster story.
According to Blackman, the Cannibal Babe lives in “the forest and brushlands of central North America,” specifically Montana, the Dakotas, and Nebraska. The creature lures its prey by letting fly with pathetic wails until someone comes to investigate, finding what appears to be a normal human baby. When they pick up the devilish infant, however, the creature immediately begins sucking the flesh off the rescuer’s bones. Once all the meat is devoured, the Cannibal Babe will curl up for a nap inside the empty rib cage. Creepy, huh?
The only other meaningful info I was able to find was from Google Books — a tome entitled Fieldiana: Anthropology Volume 5, Traditions of the Arapaho, by George A. Dorsey and Alfred L. Kroeber, published in October, 1903. This book refers to a baby that would wander off in the night, returning in the morning with meat in its teeth. Eventually, it was discovered that the baby was carrying off chiefs from the tribe to a hollow tree and devouring them.
So now I’ve gotta worry that this thing is crawling around outside at night.
The Cannibal Babe in Fieldiana: Anthropology Vol. 5 (Google Books)
Field Guide to North American Monsters (out of print but available used)
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