Danse Macabre is a book of short stories written by Stephen King in 1981. This non-fiction book is about horror, and it’s made up of 20 short stories. All in those stories is concentrated on ghost, vampire, werewolf, alive toys and others frightening things. In this book, we find the various ifluences of King, and we’re focus on the 1950s to the 1970s. In his book, King uses the » psychology of terror « .
We start the book on the author’s foreword, where he says that even him when he goes to sleep, he can’t sleep with one of his feet outside of the bed, because he imagines that a creepy monster is under, and can grab his ankle. He says that it’s like acting like a child, but he don’t care, he feels safe under his blanket. Finally, he informs us that everything in this book is supernatural, but we always have to be careful.
Now, i’m going to talk about one of the short stories that are in this book, and that especially scared me : The Boogeyman.
First, what’s a Boogeyman ? A Boogeyman is a mythical creature who has no specific appearance, who’s hiding in the closet of children, wanted to frighten them or kill them. Parents uses usually this myth to scare their children into good behavior.
Stephen King choses this creature for one of his short story, and it works very well to be afraid at the end.
Here’s the sumary of » The Boogeyman «
Mr Billings go to the psychiatrist, Dr Harper, to tell his story. He immediatly begin on his two children’s death because of him. He didn’t kill them, but he feels guilty of it. He says that the Boogeyman killed them, and he did nothing to avoid it.. His wife, Rita, and him, and devastated of their death, and finally decided to give birth to a third baby. They moved to another town, thaught their misery will be done. Unfortunately, the Boogeyman came back and killed the poor child. Dr Harper tell him to make others appointment to his secretary. Mr Billings come back to his desk because he didn’t find his secretary, and see the Boogeyman going out of th closet with the masquerade of Dr Harper.
Personally, I did not expect this end, I was completely shocked, and I laughed nervously. King knews exactly what he was doing. His aim was to manipulate his readers, and he made it perfectly. We can also think that there’s a double reading : Mr Billing could have really killed his children and the Boogeyman come at the end to punish his accuser. From time to time, Dr Harper and Mr Billings are irrelevant and talk a few minutes of the life of Mr Billings and his wife, and the fact that Mr Billings tells his story with really little details, make the short story really realistic, and it compel us to believe in the existence of the Boogeyman.