The Boogeyman

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “The Boogeyman” by Stephen King. We will show you examples of the elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis.

You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective.

Presentation of the text

Title: “The Boogeyman” (1973)
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Short story

Stephen King (b. 1947) is an American author of horror and supernatural fiction. He is a very prolific writer, having published 61 novels, 6 nonfiction books and approximately 200 short stories. He has received several awards including the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement for his entire body of work. The short story “The Boogeyman” was first published in 1973 in the magazine Cavalier and later included in the 1978 short-story collection Night Shift.


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 


The title "The Boogeyman" indicate both the plot and the type of narrative. The Boogeyman is known to be a fictional monster adults tell children about to scare them into good behavior and is commonly presented as creeping in the dark and coming out of dark places like closets or from under the bed.

Upon reading the story, we realize that the author has taken this fictional creature and made it very real in the plot. Initially, the main character, Billings, seems crazy in believing that the Boogeyman has killed his children. However, the ending reveals the Boogeyman was real, disguising himself as Dr. Harper.

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The Boogeyman

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