Previously: Charley The Doll.
Type: PE (Preternatural Entity).
Period/location of origin: Unknown — possibly mid- to late-20th century, circa 1960 (see: Additional notes), although this date remains unconfirmed — Nigeria.
Appearance: Unknown, as subject, known as the “Bunk Shaker,” typically remains entirely or nearly entirely out of sight. Subject’s fingers, however — the only part of subject that achieves visibility, and even then, only under specific circumstances — are sometimes described as tipped with long, very sharp fingernails.
Modus operandi: Subject may be found almost exclusively at boarding schools, specifically in dormitories furnished with bunk beds. Subject targets only those sleeping on the top bunk — never the occupant of the bottom bunk.
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Subject lies in wait until nighttime, after lights out has been declared and all students have gone to bed. At some point during the night — between 2am and 5am, according to some reports, although others do not specify exact hours — subject, lurking beneath one bunk bed in the room, will begin shaking the bunk belonging to its chosen target. The shaking is not violent, but nor is it gentle; it is often described as rhythmic, and sometimes as adhering to a pattern of three shakes, followed by a pause, then another three shakes, and so on.
Subject’s goal is first to wake target, then to convince target to get out of bed in order to investigate the shaking of the bunk.
Once target is out of bed — possibly as soon as their feet hit the ground — subject will extend its arm out from beneath the bunk, pierce target’s ankles with its nails, and, thus hooked, drag target under the bed.
It is unknown precisely what happens to target. All that is known is that targets who have been ensnared in this fashion are never seen again.
NOTE: Although subject is largely found at boarding schools, some reports suggest that subject may also be found in hostels, again in dormitory rooms equipped with bunk beds — or, possibly, anywhere, as long as at least one set of bunk beds is present.
Containment: Subject may not be contained, but targets sleeping in the top bunk may avoid falling prey to it by simply not getting out of bed at night — for any reason, really, but especially in the event that they wake up to find the bed shaking beneath them.
Stay where you are.
Go back to sleep, if you can.
And if you can’t… then pretend you can.
You wouldn’t want to attract anymore notice than you already have, would you?
Additional notes: Subject’s period of origin is unknown, but given that it is categorized as a Nigerian boarding school horror story, and often spoken of in the same breath as the previous Encyclopaedia subject known as Madam Koi Koi, it is possible that it originated at around the same time. As noted in the aforementioned previous Encyclopaedia entry:
“Subject is largely cited not just as appearing in schools, but specifically as appearing in ‘government schools,’ also known as Federal Government Colleges or Federal Unity Schools. These schools began to be established for secondary education in the decades following Nigeria’s independence from British colonization, which occurred in 1960. As such, the earliest possible era of origin for subject is the early 1960s.”
Exactly how subject came to be, however, remains a mystery.
It is possible that it has always been there.
It is also possible, however, that subject arose out of a need to keep students in bed after lights out — that is, that subject is a construct.
That targets — or the authority figures in targets’ lives — created subject themselves.
It is worth noting that, should a potential target check underneath a set of bunk beds during the daytime, they WILL NOT see subject. Subject’s precise status during the day is unknown; it has not been determined whether subject is present but not visible to the target’s eye, or whether subject is entirely absent and only takes up residence under the bed at night.
Also, whether subject is at all related to the subject of a different previous entry which also concerns bunk beds has not been determined. It seems unlikely, for reasons of both geography and the nature of subject (an entity living beneath a set of bunk beds, versus a set of bunk beds in and of itself); however, the commonalities between the two are curious and therefore possibly worth noting nonetheless.
Recommendation: If you are given a choice, never take the top bunk.
If you are not… don’t get up in the middle of the night.
The Fading Allure of Unity Colleges – The Guardian.
Federal Unity Colleges: Yesterday And Today – The Intellectual.
[Photo via badarsk/Pixabay]