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What Stephen King story is The Boogeyman based on?

With so many Stephen King tales now turned into big-screen adaptations, horror movie fans are dying to know what Stephen King story The Boogeyman is based on.

Which Stephen King book is The Boogeyman based on?: Sophie Thatcher as Sadie in The Boogeyman

What Stephen King story is The Boogeyman based on? It’s the reason you probably slept with the closet door shut and slept with a light on when you were younger. Now, the urban legend is coming to the big screen.

The Boogeyman is the latest adaptation from the works of Stephen King, the man whose pen is behind some of the best horror movies ever made (The Shining, Misery, and IT, to name a few). As one of this month’s new movies, The Boogeyman will focus on the titular legend and see King’s tale come to life.

But what Stephen King story is The Boogeyman based on, exactly? Well, we’re here to tell you, but don’t blame us if you decide to take a gander at the story yourself and find yourself plagued with nightmares.

What Stephen King story is The Boogeyman based on?

The Boogeyman movie is based on the Stephen King short story of the same name, which was first published in the March 1973 issue of Cavalier magazine. 

The story was then later included in King’s 1978 story collection, Night Shift.

In the King version, The Boogeyman is about a conversation that takes place between a psychiatrist, Dr Will Harper, and a man named Lester Billings. Lester describes the murders of his three young children to Dr Harper, explaining that he believes something terrible was behind their deaths.

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An eerie detail links each of their deaths — all three children cried out, “Boogeyman!” before they were left alone and subsequently met their untimely end. Lester recalls that in each of their rooms, the closet door had been cracked open, even though he was sure he had shut it before discovering their bodies.

After a traumatized Lester recounts the story to Dr Harper, their time is up. Lester goes to leave, but returns to the psychiatrist’s office once more to make another appointment, only to find that Dr Harper was actually the Boogeyman in disguise. Once again, the closet door is ajar.

If you want to know if the feature-length version does the short story justice, you can find out what we thought with our The Boogeyman review.

And for more scares, check out our list of the best ghost movies, or see which horror films made the cut in our list of the best movies of all time.