|Photo courtesy of Driscoll via morgueFile|
It is the Bogeyman. a mythical (huh!) creature used by adults to frighten bad children into good behavior. Except that it never works. Because even after the "good behavior" is attained, he sticks around to feed off your fear.
Bogeymen may target a specific mischief—for instance, punish children who don't eat their vegetables or who don't do their chores. Mine was called upon to punish me for getting out of bed at night. It wasn't my fault. Not only was I an insomniac, but I was a sleepwalker, afraid of the dark, had nightmares....yeah, I had issues. My parents sent in a Bogeyman to sort me out. Except he didn't. He just ended up taking residence under my bed and feeding on the dust bunnies that lived there. Sometimes, he would hide in my closet. I have no idea what he fed on in there, quite possibly my dirty socks, I was always missing one from a pair. Naughty Bogeyman.
In some Latin countries he's referred to as the Sack Man because he carries little children away in a sack. In the Netherlands, he's portrayed as a creature who resembles a man dressed in black, with sharp claws and fangs. He hides under the bed or in the closet, steals children who refuse to sleep, and locks them up in his basement. In Algeria, he's made up of various animal parts and has eyes that are blobs of flaming spit and a coat made of the clothes of the children he eats. In Belgium he's a cannibalistic shape-shifter that's able to change forms between a human, to that of a black dog.
I imagine these Bogeyman having yearly Bogeyman Conventions. Workshops and classes discussing various ways to terrify little children. But I could be wrong.
Off I go to appease mine. Toss a dust bunny or two at him and he stays under the bed where he belongs. These days, my closet is way too full.