For One Kid in New Zealand, the Boogeyman Was Real


Hey kids, I’ve got some bad news: Your parents are lying when they say The Boogeyman isn’t real.

A three-year-old boy in New Zealand learned this the hard way. For several nights, an intruder was walking by his window, stealing things from outside his family’s house. But when he told his parents about the “man with a light,” they assumed he was just having nightmares, reported

“I thought, obviously, he’s just had a bad dream,” said the boy’s mother, Melissa Rodrigues, who is clearly cold and untrusting and doesn’t love her son. Not until the boy woke up at 5:30 a.m. with an “absolutely gut-wrenching scream” did his parents finally take his word for it.

Their son led them outside the house, where they found footprints in the frost and the gate wide open. A few extension cords and a toolbox had previously gone missing, prompting the parents to acknowledge their son’s boogeyman was no figment of his imagination.

The child, who’s going to have “I told you so” bragging rights for the rest of his life, was shipped off to Grandma’s house the next night. Meanwhile, his parents made it their mission to catch the thief. Thanks to an app called Salient Eye, their phone — which was rigged to the garage window — would capture stop-motion photos whenever it sensed motion.

At around 4:40 a.m., the couple’s email flooded with photos of their son’s Monster Man.

“It gave me the shock of a lifetime because even though I was waiting for it, I wasn’t expecting to see him,” said Rodrigues.

The couple immediately called the police, who then arrested the man. Actually, “man” is being generous — a 15-year-old boy had allegedly been stealing garden items from around the neighborhood. Case closed. Boogeyman behind bars.

Yes, we know that children’s dreams can be incredibly boring, but as Van Winkle’s has written before, sometimes they actually have important things to share.

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