When I was around twelve years old, I first read the STEPHEN KING short story collection NIGHT SHIFT. In the collection, there is a tale entitled, The Boogeyman, which had a literary device in it which has since scarred me well past the point it should.
The story deals with a man who tells some sort of mental health professional (I’m assuming psychologist), an account of how his three young children died. Officially, the young ones all died from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), but the father knows the truth. It was The Boogeyman that killed them all. I won’t spoil the rest for you, except to discuss the part of the tale which traumatized me so utterly. For, you see, every time one of his children died, the father would find the closet door open…just a crack. Just a tiny bit. And that’s the hate joke; STEPHEN KING knew that when closets are left open, it’s always just an inch or so!
Since the age of twelve, I have not been able to deal with a closet in my bedroom open. Especially not open…just a crack. I associate the open closet door with death, and while I’m way past the point of dying from SIDS, I can’t help but feel like it’s still dangerous to keep the closet open. The fear lost a lot of its power when I left home to go to college around eighteen, but I’d be lying if I said it had gone away completely.
UNK SEZ: Thanks for the traumafession Spooky Sean and thanks for building the wonderful blog SPOOKY BLOGGERY which everyone should stop by and visit often HERE!