10 Common Stories Mothers tell to Scare Children

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We all remember few specific details of our childhood. These details mostly involve some unnatural elements like angles of Santa or Tom and Jerry. Some of the ‘what’s hidden in the closet’ memories rarely come out today. We all have heard many versions of scary stories from our family and most probably from our mother. These stories are innocent enough to scare us into behaving, toeing the line or simply to stop screaming. These stories become a part of our life and later we chuckle on them, keeping them aside to tell the later generation. Lets take a trip down the lost dark lane and remember the beloved tales which made us finish our milk, complete our home-works and fall asleep.

10. Bogeyman


One of the most well known name of the west. This person has no shape size color or any form. It is just an embodiment of pure terror! There happens to be different branches of bogeyman based on the division of work. One Bogeyman is not enough to care for all the naughtiness of all the kids of the world. So we have branches which deal with kids who cry, kids who scream, kids who bite, kids who don’t eat, kids who create a mess. The specific bogeyman takes care of these kids. Nothing happens to them do not worry.When the kid misbehaves mother issues a warning, Do this/ don’t do this or Bogeyman will take you far far away.

9. scarecrows


The scarecrows are pretty innocent creatures now aren’t they ? Well if we listen to our mothers version, they have this tendency to pick a bone with us anytime we waste our food. This tale is told in the villages to make sure the kids finish their meals and not waste a single grain of it. The straw hat, old clothes and heavy figure with button eyes and stitched mouth does nothing to help kids. The lone figure standing alone in a field is scary for some people even today. Let the memories don’t bother you. Today the scarecrows are meant to scare you ,I mean they aren’t made to scare you.

8. Bugbear


These are traditionally European relative to the Bogymen. The bugbear or the Hobgoblins are the dirty scary bear who sneak upon kids who are not toeing the line. The duty of this bear is same as Bogeyman to teach the kids to behave and make them follow the rules even when they feel no one is watching them. The Bugbear is always watching kids. Get into any mischief and the scary bear will take you away with him. This makes sure that children are kept on leash even when the parents take their eyes off them.

7. Tree in your stomach.

tree in your stomach

When you eat apples or watermelons or custard apples, Mothers tell you to be a 100% sure to spit out the seeds or the plant might end up growing in your stomach. The roots would take place in the bed of your stomach and the bark would come out of your food and wind pipes and branches from your nostrils or ears or mouth. This surely keeps kids from eating the un-wanted seeds and falling sick. The motto maybe achieved  but the aversion to fruits may just take roots here. The thought of having to go to school with a watermelon tree inside you with watermelons out of your nostrils kept kids away from eating seeds! This trick works and even later in life you smile at the thought of a scared you fretting over a tree in your stomach.

6. Witch on the broom

Witch on a broom

The pointy hat, the extra large nose and the black robe with the broom. We all know the character. She makes potions on a black pot and put  ugliest of stuff in it. They live in tall deserted towers and particularly love naughty kids to add to their gang. This story has kept many a kids out of trouble. The point here is to keep children out of the deserted buildings and basically out of any trouble. The cartoons have banked on this tale as have the fairy tales. So be careful when you take the things that do not belong to you, the witch may just be gearing her broom and swooshing her way to nab you away. Maybe to make you a spawn or just use you for dinner.

5. Captain Hook.

Captain Hook

The Peter-pan nemesis, one who lost a hand while fighting an alligator, the beloved Captain who hates well Kids! This is among the most loved character of all mothers of the west. The feel is added as the look is brought to life by the movie. The menacing smile of Hook is interpreted by mothers to get the kids to complete their homework and get out of the bed on time. The movies and stories of the Hook makes every kid hate him and be scared of him. Mothers use it to their advantage and hence the Hook has some use. The Captain  Hook is later tamed by Peter Pan but the fear of him lives on and no child would ever want to be on his hook.

4.Eyes will fall out

Eyes will fall out

The oldest tale in the book to put a child to sleep is to tell him to close his eyes or they may just fall out. This thought is horrifying to imagine your eyes falling out. Not surprising that the kid holds them in as tightly as he can and falling asleep in the process. This tale is usually frowned upon as the child is scared for his eyes and this may emotionally damage the kid. The perspective is that it is a story that teaches the kid to sleep and care  for their eyes. The aim is achieved easily and the eyes are all safe. So if you want to put your brothers or sisters to sleep just focus on their eyes. Life will be easier.

3. White Lady

White lady

This is one story often told to put the kids to bed. The white lady is most probably a ghost or spirit that wonders the streets at night. They usually have two left feet and  bright red lips. This lady in white is someone who picks up kids who sit up at night after their bed time. She takes them away to her land and never returns them to their family. This story usually gets the kids to comply. This is also used by the mothers to make sure that the kid doesn’t insist on staying up late or wanting to spend anytime outside house after sun-set.  Many of us still hold on to that story and traveling at night is not as fun as one would have imagined.

2. Bollywood Baddies.

Bollywood baddies

The Crime Master Go-Go, Mogambo, Joker, Gabbar Singh and also Samba. We are all aware of the names and have instant picture in our mind when we hear their name. All with menacing smiles and devil eyes. This gives the mothers of the world a ready made horror story to get their little bundles of joy to behave. This tales are peppered with the characters tag-lines and we have a wholesome story ready. Many a children have made their mothers life easier by watching these characters on TV. These stories are all  part of out life now. The movie and the Mommy versions are well known. The idea of being kidnapped or worse being killed by theses baddies makes life hell for children, The threat is twofold as the devil may take them away, treat them horribly and make them a pawn or their favorite hero may detest them for being bad.

1. The Monster in the house.

The monster in the House

The locked cabinets, the darkness below your bed or just plane darkness. We have those corners of our house which has made the mothers to design few home-spun tales to scare the child. How about a rag inside a black polythene bag with mothers hand inside it acting like a puppet. This homey monster comes from behind the refrigerator and makes you clean the mess you created. The china cabinet with the dark space behind it usually has some monster behind it which won’t let you touch the delicate cabinet. The attic with the harp tools may have some ghost or goblin to keep kids from hurting themselves. the tales are spun to keep the children out of trouble.


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