To the Czech people, there isn’t anything much more nightmare-inducing than the Bubak, who’s also known as the Sack Man. This monster has different names because there are different versions of the entity along with different descriptions of its appearance. In some tales, the Buback has a pumpkin for a head like an evil jack-o-lantern. In other versions, it’s described as a creature that looks analogous to the orcs from Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings that wears a wide-brimmed straw hat. My favorite version is that the Sack Man looks like a dark and creepy animated scarecrow type entity.
The Bubak stalks the land at night looking for prey. The creature’s creaking cart pulled by cats can be heard upon its approach as it stares into the night with dead hungry eyes. The Sack Man will only leave his cart to haunt river banks and woods or to seek out innocent travelers and follow them to their doom. The monster can also perfectly mimic the cry of a newborn baby, which is a most useful tool to lure in prey for the kill.
The Sack Man weaves the souls of those it kills into decaying clothing it wears in an esoteric orgy of sensation. Children that the creature can catch are not horrifically murdered straight away but placed inside the monster’s sack to an alternate existence where the child is aware and paralyzed, yet separated from mortal death. Sorrow will engulf them as they must endure the daily existence of the Bubak. Only on the full moon is the child brought out for murder in a specific ritual the Bubak takes extra care in weaving the soul of the innocent child in agonizingly slow torment.
Though the Bubak may hunt primarily at night, it’s not limited by any means to it, and only prefers darkness. So the creature may be found in crypts, abandoned houses, dark woods, or anywhere that shadows reign. The Sack Man’s cart pulled by an army of cats is silent when it stalks such places and stays in a faded state between reality and beyond. But when the Bubak decides to leave such haunted places the feline scream radiates in an overwhelming cacophony, and the cart bursts as if out of hell itself into reality.
The Sack Man seems to be the Czech people’s version of the boogeyman. However, the monster is actually believed to be based on a real-life person that lived in the 1700s. In one version the Sack Man stalks orphans from place to place and throws them in his sack and dumps them out at an orphanage. In other versions, the man comes off far more cruel and evil from the elaboration of details. Ya see as the Sack Man went about a town or city, he’d collect more and more orphans and throw them in his large sack uncaring if there were more than one inside or even three or more and would carry the sack carelessly like nothing of worth was within (sometimes he’d fill it with all the children he could carry which was actually quite substantial but not consistent), so many of the orphans died long before they ever reached the orphanage from his callous and brutal transportation. Then when he arrived at the orphanage he’d just dump the corpses or living on the cold hard ground indifferent of which was which then walk away into the night.
Unnervingly, the Czech people are not the only ones who have this legend. An extremely similar monster is found in other cultures across Europe and beyond as well. Such as Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and Poland. El Hombre Del Sacko is its name in Spanish speaking countries (with varying differences) and it will seek out misbehaved children in the night and take them away to sell them into slavery. And interestingly enough, it seems all the creature’s legends share the word “sack” somewhere in the name other than when it’s referred to as the Bubak.