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Bubák


Mythical creatures of the Bogeyman type are a common occurrence in many cultures. From the Middle East to the Americas, these dark creatures are commonly imagined as monsters that punishes children— and adults at times— for misbehaving and breaking taboos. The reasons they punish people are as varied as their punishments, that go from eating small children to stealing the soul of those who enter their territory.


Particularly, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia children are frightened by the Bubák, a creature without a typical form, but often represented as a scarecrow with a skeleton as frame, which is connected with darkness and scary places.

In the countryside children are warned the Bubák will come for them at night if they behave badly. This creature is usually described as resembling a creepy scarecrow, often made of old bones, wearing a heavy black coat where it hides the children it steals. According to legend, the Bubák could cry like an innocent, unprotected baby to lure its victims to their deaths.


Some of the most popular tales regarding the Bubák take place on the a full moon night, that is when the Bubák weaves cloth from the souls of those he has killed.


He moves between the realm of the death and the living by driving a cart pulled by black cats.


A similar presence to that of the Bubák is Hans Trapp. In the French regions of Alsace and Lorraine Hans Trapp appears around Christmas as a counterpart to the Père Noël (Santa Claus). This anti-Santa hands out punishment to bad children, scaring them into insomnia by visiting them at night dressed as a scarecrow.


References

-Bane, T. (2016). Encyclopedia of Beasts and Monsters in Myth, Legend and Folklore. McFarland.


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