The Legend of the Boogeyman

We’ve all heard of the boogeyman. Stories of the boogeyman are told from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon; from the English speakers in the UK to the Japanese speakers in Japan. The Legend of the Boogeyman is universal. He’s the monster under the bed, in the closet, lurking in the shadows. He’s the monster looking to terrorize, kidnap and eat misbehaving children. boogeyman

What’t The story?

For centuries, parents and guardians have used benevolent and malevolent figures to control how their children act. On one hand, the happy myth of Santa Clause is used to convince children to be “Nice.” If you’re nice, Santa will bring you all the presents you could ask for. If you’re naughty, you’ll get a lump of coal in your stocking. Positive reinforcement. On the other hand, the myth of the boogeyman is meant to scare children into submission. Go to sleep so the boogeyman doesn’t get you. Stay in bed, or else the boogeyman will catch you. Negative reinforcement.

The boogeyman himself varies in appearance. It’s common belief that he will embody the fears of the person he has targeted. If you’re afraid of spiders, he could appear as a giant spider. If you’re afraid of a specific person in your life, he could appear as that person. The possibilities are endless.

The boogeyman only targets children who misbehave and adults who are connected to their inner child. It is said that he only targets adults who have had run-ins with him when they were children. To defend against the boogeyman is fairly simple, I’ve been told. One way is to take cover under your blankets. Another way is to turn on the lights. A more specific way is to recite the following verse:

I’m not afraid of the Thing in my closet, or the monster under my bed.

No, I’m not afraid of the Boogeyman,cause I know he’s in my head.

However, the most effective way to ward against him – I’ve read – is to mind your parents and behave.

How’s it used today?

The story of the boogeyman is utilized today in much the same way as it’s always been. Children all across the world are frightened of the boogeyman, whether their parents used him as a fear tactic or not. It’s impossible to escape the story. Today, the figure is used as the villain in countless horror movies and scary stories. He is possibly the most common archetype in our world today. As the embodiment of Fear, he will continue to live on in many cultures.

What’s it based on?

The idea of the boogeyman is not just an American thing. Stories of the boogeyman are told all across the world. Because of this, it’s impossible to pinpoint the actual origin of this terrifying man-like creature.

Whether you believe in the boogeyman or not, he is prominent in our world. He will continue to scare children into sleepless nights and entertain horror fans on the big screen.  The boogeyman isn’t going anywhere.

Don’t forget to check under the bed and in the closet before going to bed tonight.


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