A bogeyman (also spelled bogieman, boogeyman or boogieman) is an amorphous imaginary being used by adults to terrorize children into submissive behaviour.
The 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 — or general misbehavior, depending on what purpose needs serving. In some cases, the bogeyman is a nickname for the devil.
Bogeyman tales vary by region. The bogeyman is usually a masculine entity but can be any gender or simply androgynous.