The Baby-Roast

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The Baby-Roast, also known as The Hippy Babysitter and The Cooked Baby,[1] is an urban legend, in which a baby is roasted alive at home, usually during the absence of a parent. The Straight Dope, a newspaper column devoted to exposing myths, reported that it "is one of the classic urban legends",[2] however, there have been real life instances where babies have been roasted.


In some versions, the baby is accidentally cooked when miscommunication occurs. For example, "put the turkey in the oven and the baby in the bed" is wrongly heard as "put the baby in the oven and the turkey in the bed".[1] Other variants set out that the doer of the deed was drug or alcohol-induced or an insane individual.[3] In the end, the roasted baby is served as food to be consumed by the parents.[3]

The person who roasts the baby is usually a babysitter, the baby's sibling, or the mother herself.[1]

Documented occurrences[edit]

In real life, there have been documented occurrences of babies being roasted. When Virginian Elizabeth Renee Otte roasted her baby in 1999,[4] the incident was cited as causing the legend to become true. In November 2006, a second case of real-life baby-roasting was reported.[5]

In February 2012, Ka Yang of California was charged with roasting her seven-week-old baby to death in a microwave. In her defence, she claimed she was having a "seizure fit" when it happened.[6] In May 2012, a British citizen was arrested by Thai police after being found in possession of six corpses of roasted infants, some wrapped in gold leaf, reportedly in conformity with a "black magic ritual".[7] In Siberia in January 2013, a roasted, dismembered baby was found by its mother, the alleged perpetrator being the infant's intoxicated uncle.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

In August 2009, a joke advertisement showcasing a "body part roaster" "specially designed to roast infants and other human morsels" surfaced on the website of retailer[9]