The bogeyman (also spelt bogieman, boogeyman or boogieman) is a legendary monster. The bogeyman has no specific appearance and conceptions of the monster can vary drastically even from household to household within the same community; in many cases, he simply has no set appearance in the mind of a child, but is just an amorphous embodiment of terror. Bogeyman can be used metaphorically to denote a person or thing of which someone has an irrational fear. Parents often say that if their child is naughty, the bogeyman will get them, in an effort to make them behave. The bogeyman legend may originate from Scotland, where such creatures are sometimes called bogles, boggarts, or boggers.
Bogeyman tales vary by region. In some places, the bogeyman is male; in others, female, and in others, both. In some Midwestern states of the USA, the bogeyman scratches at the window. In the Pacific Northwest, he may manifest in “green fog”. In other places, he hides under the bed or in the closet and tickles children when they go to sleep at night. It is said that a wart can be transmitted to someone by the bogeyman. Bogeymen may be said to target a specific mischief – for instance, a bogeyman that punishes children who suck their thumbs – or general misbehaviour.