Dictionary.com explains fear as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger. Without this response, we couldn't protect ourselves from legitimate threats. Often we fear situations that are far from life-or-death, and we would then hang back for no good reason. Traumas or bad experiences trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell. Yet exposing ourselves to our personal demons is the best way to move past them.
Fear is also a response of anything unknown, like the supernatural or something from another world. This is why we freak out when we go see a scary movie, like The Haunting, or when we read a book, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, or a Stephen King thriller. I admit that The Haunting of Hill House is the only novel to this day that had me scared silly during the daytime, in a room full of students and teacher when I was in the eighth grade. King had to do it at night when I was alone in my bedroom. And these were only It and Salem’s Lot.
For the longest time, as children, we all have heard about the Bogeyman, an embodiment of fear. A bogeyman (also spelled bogieman, boogeyman, or boogie man) is an evil, mythical creature in many cultures used by adults or older children to frighten bad children into good behavior. This monster has no specific appearance, and conceptions about it can vary drastically from household to household within the same community; in many cases, he has no set appearance in the mind of an adult or child, but is simply a non-specific embodiment of terror. Parents may tell their children that if they misbehave, the bogeyman will get them. Bogeymen may target a specific mischief—for instance, a bogeyman that punishes children who suck their thumbs. Whatever general misbehavior, that depend on what purpose the Bogeyman will serve. In some cases, the bogeyman is a nickname for the Devil.
So what scares you? What is your Bogeyman? Does something live beneath your bed or within your closet? Is some specter haunting your dreams, turning them into nightmares? We all have something that scares us, whether supernatural or from another world. Some scary movies we just can't watch. Some books freak us out more than anything else. Now, come on, what is your Bogeyman?
Two well-known songs about the Bogeyman: