Everyone likes being a little bit scared. Even if it’s just when your big brother or sister jumps out at you from behind a curtain and says boo. First of all we jump, then we scream, and then we laugh with relief when we realise it isn’t a bogeyman, right?
Why we scream
There isn’t really a bogeyman. There are bogeymen—lots of them. And they seem to appear everywhere—bogle in Gaelic, bwgan in Welsh, boggel-mann in German. And when your stinky brother jumps out pretending to be him, it’s okay because it teaches us how to scream (to draw the attention of others) and run (to get away), even though there isn’t any real danger. And for someone like me who writes scary stories, the bogeyman really is my best pal.
Because that’s what being scared is all about—rehearsal for when it really matters. Or, should I say, mattered. After all, when our ancestors lived in caves, there was a strong chance that the big old shadow lurking outside the cave entrance might actually be a big old sabre-tooth tiger and then you really had to make a loud noise and run like the wind—or risk being eaten.
Getting your own back
So here is a little tip to get your own back .
The next time that disgusterous brother or sister of yours does give you a fright, just smile at them, shake their hand and say, “Thanks very much for saving me from that horrible monster.”
It’s likely they’ll give you a slightly weird look and probably say, “What horrible monster, pants face,”
And then you can smile a wider smile and whisper, “The one that’s right behind YOU!” before you turn and run away like the clappers.
I bet you they overtake you after ten yards, looking white as a sheet.
Now who’s scared?
Have you been scared, lately? What do you do when you’re frightened? Got a tip for beating the bogeyman? Then why not let us know? You can write to us using the form below – we’d love to hear from you.
A big ‘thank you’ to R A Jones for providing this post. You can read more of his scary stories here.