It all started with a simple joke, a silly warning from your parents, a mere story to scare the naughty out of you. The Boogeyman, the shadow creature, the night stalker. You couldn’t be more frightened clutching the bedsheets tightly, your heart racing while you stared at the dancing shadows of your room. Every so often he came back to scare you, to fill your dreams with nightmares, to terrorize you. You were so certain he existed, so fearful that he’d take you away, you couldn’t help but share your experience with your parents.
“Oh, honey, it was just a nightmare,” your mother would say when you’d crawl in bed with her in the middle of the night. “We all have nightmares, even me and daddy.”
“But I saw a shadow! It was tall and thin and…”
“Well, maybe if you weren’t naughty the Boogeyman wouldn’t be coming to you every night,” your mom replied with a small smile. It was an ancient trick used by p