In my last blog, I touched on the fact that zombies and vampires have lost some of their bite because we’ve lost our fear of our legends. It intrigued me to think that perhaps we see things how we want to and perhaps our own intellectual sense of superiority over past generations has made us forget some of the very primal fears that have been ingrained within us and is found throughout our myths and legends. So let’s take a look shall we?
Ever since man first existed the night has existed to prey on his fears, but why do we want to discredit these fears so much now. There’s nothing to be scared of in the dark, right? Maybe most of us have never encountered a bogle of our very own, but that doesn’t mean that Shakespeare wasn’t right when he said: “there are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” I realize that some of you are asking “what’s a bogle?” Perhaps you know them by another name, bogge, bogey, boggart, booger, boogeyman or bogeyman (which boogeyman being a derivative of the German word boggeman which in English would be goblin). Any and every culture has its own version of a creature that is some manner of evil and will snatch naughty children from their beds at night. We tell ourselves that there’s no such thing but when we were children most of us were uneasy in the dark, we knew there were things in the dark with us, under the bed, within the closet waiting for us to look out from under the sheets. So who’s to say that there has never been some creature resembling our boogeyman taking bad children away to eat or turn into slaves or raise to be the next generation of boogeymen. In most of the folktales associated with such creatures, how do you defeat them? Do you know? I’ll tell them. You don’t. You be a good little boy or girl and say your prayers and if you stay in bed and sleep through the night he won’t find you. You don’t beat him you evade him. So tell me. How can we be so sure that over the span of human existence no one ever checked under a bed and found a monster staring back at them?
However I digress. We’ve also become desensitized to magicks and the tricks they use. I realize now neo-pagans and wiccans are recognized as legitimate religions (I’m not calling into doubt their status as such) but at one time the fear of these people and their practices were real enough to burn them alive. I realize that we rationalize things today and say oh it was mass hysteria and I in no way believe all the people that were accused of and were executed as witches and werewolves were actually these things. Nonetheless, believe in witchcraft still prevails in places where “civilization” has not dominated and forced people to abandon the beliefs that have kept them safe from evil for centuries. Of course most people don’t realize that shape shifting (like werewolves) were considered part of witchcraft for the most part these were not people who had been cursed but people who had dealt with a dark power and made a deal to be able to change shape. Who’s to say that the cat that keeps popping up around your neighborhood is in fact one of your neighbors out on a stroll?
I realize that I’m sounding a bit on the crazy side and that’s fine with me, I tend to be a little less skeptical than others because while others demand scientific proof, I believe that there are some things that science cannot explain or quantify. I also believe that all myth has to be based in some fact, no matter how small. Finally in the battle of science vs. myth, I would just like to say that they discover new fossils and new species and species that they thought were extinct but weren’t they were merely out of sight. So while man maintains that he is the master of his domain, I don’t think we will ever truly conquer all our fears because we’ll never know what truly lurks in the dark.