Where does the myth of the bogeyman come from?
With the release of the 1973 film adaptation of Stephen King’s short story, Le Croque-Mitaine, it’s high time we commemorated the genesis of this myth that once terrified generations of young children.
The trailer unveiled yesterday seems to live up to the reputation of the famous author of the horror genre’s best-sellers, as it’s chilling. Originally titled The Boogeyman, this short story by Stephen King has its roots in the popular legend of Croque-Mitaine.
This myth has its origins in ancient times and since then has taken many forms … It was not until 1820 that it received this name, composed of “crunch” and “mitt”, which in the form mite means cat. So the bogeyman is originally a cat eater.
At the heart of stories designed to frighten the children who are their victims, it is in the Republic of Plato that we find the term bogeyman for the first time. At this point, it is a female bogeyman that takes the form of a ghost. The first of them is called Gello, a child thief from Lesvos.
We then find one among the Romans by the robber Cacus killed by Hercules. Later in the 15th century, the legend of the bogeyman Hans Trapp was born in Alsace from the story of Jean de Trapp, a historical figure who ate human flesh until he was killed and cut into pieces.
We then find bogeys everywhere in Europe and their counterparts or characters similar to them are present on all other continents of the world.
Although it takes different forms depending on region and culture, the bogeyman is commonly referred to as a type of ogre. However, they all have one quirk in common: he kidnaps children in order to devour them, and he has no appeal to adults.
However malicious it may be towards children, it serves as an intimidation for parents to deter their children from straying from the right path, a threat to the disobedient, and a moral imprint. It discourages children from doing things that could harm their health or the health of others and keeps them away from dangerous places where they could injure themselves.
The myth sometimes oversteps the bounds of imagination and takes root in our reality. In fact, some people, real and alive, intentionally or unintentionally take on the bogeyman’s traits and frightening temperament to threaten children.
In this regard, the supposedly real, in order to have an effect, rarely occurs in the narratives of oral tradition, which are generally accepted as fiction by listeners, or in the legends, which are assumed to be true but from a more or less accurate account consist. The bogeyman is on the fringes: the parents who don’t believe in its existence, the children who are convinced of its reality.
The bogeyman, a notorious tool of terror, has thus become a topic for literature, television and cinema. Eagerly awaited by Stephen King and horror fans, this film adaptation is sure to be a talking point and sure to pack theaters when it hits theaters on June 2, 2023.