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INTERVIEW with the Boogieman

After two very successful interviews with childhood identities (Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny ) I have been getting constant phone calls late at night, heavy breathing, then hang ups!!! Not at all disturbing as I knew they were all from the Boogieman who was just about busting his stitches to be interviewed and this was just his way of trying to get my attention.

Not one for succumbing to another’s attempts at self promotion, I finally conceded to meet with the Boogieman for an interview, especially with Halloween just around the corner and as it turns out, he really is somewhat quiet and retiring, and a little delightful too. Are you surprised? I certainly was!

How do you do, and thanks for meeting with me today. I’d like to ask you a few questions if that’s okay.

Why certainly, that’s what we’re here for.

(He leans over and pats my hand.)
Goodness, your hands aren’t dry and scaly at all!

Well no. I do moisturise. One must look after one’s self.

Tell me how you came to be a creature of fear and loathing?

Yes, it’s true, I confess. That is my purpose. Hard to say how it has come to this, but I do live in the shadows, in the darkened corners of bedrooms, cupboards with their doors ajar, and under beds, particularly those with covers reaching right down to the floor.

You know, don’t let your ankle hang over the side of the bed or I’ll getcha.
(laughs out loud).

How did you get your name?
I’m known by many names. Boogieman is a German derivative of bug man. Those Germans sure know how to cook up a fairytale or two. That’s one explanation but I have manifestations all over the world and in many different cultures. Funnily enough, the variance in my name is not great. All have similar roots.

What other names do you go by?
Yes, well, there are quite a few. In Northern America I’ve been known as bodjagee, Slovenian is BavBav and El Ogro in Spain. Oh, there’s many more cultures who think of me fondly under one name or another. Even in Australia, a Bunyip is what I think you call me. Ah yes, I do rather like my holidays down by the billabongs of … well, not giving too much away here. Needless to say, I inspire fear where ever I go.

I’d like to point out that I am most certainly not a Boogerman. I carry a handkerchief with me everywhere!

Why do you think your job is a necessary one?
I guess you have to separate the how and the why. Basically, my beginnings are quite simple. I began life simply as a shadow or ghost, a flicker in the corner of your eye or the eyes boring into your back when you walk down a darkened pathway. I am fear personified. I am a warning to take care.

But the whole ‘Boogieman’ thing grew and grew over the centuries although I have to say modern media has given me many and varied interesting facets. I started out as a wraith but now I’m a virtual amalgam of everything evil – vampires, werewolves, ghosts and all manner of things. Never the devil though … interesting, that! Must say I’m relieved, already got a massive workload without getting into the whole Good/Evil deal. I think I’ll just stick with ‘fear’ for now.

But aren’t you evil personified?
Oh goodness me no. Oh no no no. I’m just supposed to be a bit scary. I don’t collect souls or drink blood. I don’t scratch you and make you one of me. That’s all media hype. When I’m on the job, I’m just supposed to be scary and I guess my agent sometimes puts out media releases with spin on why I’m scary. That’s part and parcel with the role though. People find it hard to separate the public me from the real me.

Do you enjoy frightening people?
That’s my purpose. I think ‘enjoy’ is probably not the right word. I do get great satisfaction seeing people run like the clappers. I find it somewhat disconcerting though if they have a heart attack and keel over and die, but it doesn’t happen too often (laughs out loud). I usually have to give my friend Grim a call when that happens although he’s usually hanging about nearby anyway, has a bit of forewarning that it’s someone’s ‘time’.

What about scaring kids? Isn’t that a bit cruel?
Ah now, there’s a myth I really do need to bust. Can I categorically say I do not set out to frighten children. More often than not, it’s the parents using my name in vain. If kids are naughty, their parents use me as a threat. I don’t really like that and if I hear about it I might sneak into the parent’s closet or rattle on their window just to give them a taste of their own medicine.

Can you tell me about a funny moment in your job … um … other than frightening someone to death?

Well, there was a time when I knocked on a neighbour’s door during a teenager’s Halloween party. They were swilling kegs and basically upsetting the whole neighbourhood. I knocked on the door to complain (Halloween is my night off and I wanted to get some sleep). A young chap in a skeleton outfit opened the door and I thought he was Grim.

I said “Oh well, if everyone’s supposed to die tonight, might as well have fun while they can, hey?” The young chap laughed and went to slap me on the back and of course his hand went right through me.

I was so embarrassed when I realised my mistake. I went home and back to bed. I heard the party was a bust after that. They all thought they were going to die and got rather gloomy about it. Made me laugh out loud, that one.

Yeah, a riot. Hehe. Um … Do you have much to do with the Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny or others in the myth industry?
Well, we do cross paths from time to time. That Tooth Fairy is a lovely lady and I asked her out once, but she said she was washing her hair that year. I don’t see the Easter Bunny much … er … glad to say. Between you and me, he scares me a bit. A very angry lad.

Is there a boogiewoman in your life at the moment?

Just one more question. Is there a connection between your name and Boogie Boards?

Yeah, I invented them! They’re damn scary if you get caught in a rip. Seriously though, no, just pulling your leg, hehehehe. The modern Boogie board was designed by Tom Morey … scared him once but otherwise no connection whatsoever.

Charlotte Kuchinsky, Associated Content, August 2007
Monster was created out of man’s natural fear of the dark":

Bustin’ Myths
Sonny Orr 21 August 2006

Bogeyman, origins of the word

Enter the lair of the Bunyip
National Library of Australia

Body Boarding

INTERVIEW with the Boogieman

Anne van Alkemade

Joined April 2007

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Artist's Description

Interview with the Boogieman is a third part of a series on interviews with Mythical beings.

Artwork Comments

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