As human beings, we’ve all got at least one irrational fear that we’re not so proud of. Some of us are afraid of snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlers. Then there are those who have fear of the dark or the unknown. There is a significant group of people that hate to swim in open water or oceans. They think of their feet dangling down into the depths and something swimming by and grabbing them. This is because you do not have a complete visual of what is below you, and fear of the unknown cripples certain people.
Have you ever stared at your closet door late at night when you were alone and imagined it slowly sliding open from the inside? Have you ever checked underneath your bed to make sure no one was hiding there and waiting for you to fall asleep? There is no physical embodiment of this fear, but there is a word for it. This entity is the master of bedroom fright, and is known as the ” Boogeyman”.
It’s common knowledge that the Boogeyman is the Santa Claus of horror. Parents use a tale of a creature with a heart of darkness, that resides in a realm that somehow allows it to warp into any child’s closet and reek havoc. This tale is key in teaching children obedience via supposed “hollow” threats. “If you aren’t good the Boogeyman will get you, ” they might say to their frightened younglings. Then, as parents bask in the warmth of a well-oiled order-taking child, they realize they’ve instilled fear in them that will take many restless nights to go away. The lights will go out and the nightmares will begin.
What is darkness besides the absence of light? In our technologically vast current-day society, we’ve got all sorts of lights and sounds that can often distract us from what is important or certain emotions. We envelop ourselves in this parallel digital world and become numb to the troubles that might otherwise take priority. Though, at night when the lights go out, all distractions fade and fears and anxiety start to surface.
The terror often begins right after supper is finished. A child is placed in their bed by the two loving parents. They read the toddler a story, tuck him or her in, and leave the room. This is the only time of day that this human-being is completely and utterly alone. And to top that off, it is pitch black, save for the possibility of a small nightlight. Is it really so insane that the solitude may cause one to imagine horrifying shapes and shadows in the night? The mind must try and make rational explanations for such tricks and bumps in the night, but what are they?
In the film “Halloween“, (Compass International Pictures, 1978) the children spoke about a legend of the boogeyman, who in actuality was Michael Myers. They took truth and twisted it to fiction, when in reality the truth was probably worse than what they could fathom. They didn’t exactly know what Michael Myers was capable of, so they took what they didn’t know and twisted it. This is how myths and legends are passed on and grow to become more farfetched.
Stephen King wrote a short story called The Boogeyman and there was also a 2005 film with the same title. These are good examples of popular conceptions of the Boogeyman being flung onto the creative canvas.
The Boogeyman legend varies depending on location. This mischievous entity is known to travel in a green fog, hide outside ones windows and scratch, and even give little children warts with contact.
But how far from reality is this darkness-dwelling phantom?
Myths and tales come from all around the world about the Boogeyman, known in other countries as the bogeyman, el cuco, or bogle. Bogle is the Scottish name for the Boogeyman, and may very well be where story originates. Could it all be a coincidence that this seemingly invisible being is everywhere ? As history has shown us, in mythology, different variations of the same story come from all around the world. Almost every single country has a form of the boogeyman, and they are all used for the same purpose; They are created by the parents as a tool of obedience. What these creatures all have in common is that they prefer darkness to light. How they differ is in description and demeanor, as some are even described to be kind and are known to make friends with young children and families. Even the sex of these creatures varies by location.
Parents around the world are just telling a tale that has been passed down for hundreds of years. They are doing the same that their parents did for them, so it’s quite possible the tale has more truth to it than they will ever believe.
So, in the future, check the darkest crevices and corners of your room an extra time. If you hear a scratching outside on your window, lock it tight. Don’t ever leave your closet without a bell attached to it, because if it slides open without you waking up, the boogeyman could drag you off into a cold-dark future of nightmarish proportions.