The Bye Bye Man is based on a short story by Robert Damon Schneck. It is included in his compilation The Bye Bye Man: And Other Strange-but-True Tales, which was originally published in 2005 under the title The President's Vampire: Strange-but-True Tales of the United States of America. In the original book, the Bye Bye Man was featured in the chapter titled "The Bridge to Body Island." That chapter was retitled in the new book to coincide with the movie. Schneck says that someone in Hollywood heard him retell the story on the radio and shortly afterward they were interested in turning it into a movie.
Schneck is a folklorist and strange history expert. He makes a living writing about the weird and the unexplained, authoring works on everything from suicide clubs to killer clowns. According to the description on Amazon.com, he wrote most of the book that became The Bye Bye Man: And Other Strange-but-True Tales while sitting at his favorite table at a McDonald's in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
Yes. Like in the movie, the short story found in Robert Damon Schneck's book supposedly happened to his friend, Eli, a Wisconsin graduate student who was living with his girlfriend Katherine and a friend named Jonathan. For the movie, Katherine's name was changed to Sasha. The author claims to have gotten releases from all three individuals for the movie, though he says that Katherine and Jonathan wanted nothing to do with the film.
Yes, according to the short story, someone had found an old Ouija board in an attic and gave it to the three friends who had been living together. The friends began conducting experiments with the board, and after they believed they had communicated with a number of spirits, they made an effort to contact a spirit that had actually lived. After a few sessions, the board eventually transmitted the story of the Bye Bye Man. The three friends, Eli, Katherine and Jonathan, were told via the board that the spirit of the Bye Bye Man had latched onto them and that he was coming for them.
Yes. According to the supposed Bye Bye Man true story conveyed by author Robert Damon Schneck, like in the movie, the real paranormal being zeroed in on anyone who thought of him or spoke his name (let's hope writing an article about him doesn't count). Doing so transformed a person's mind into a sort of psychic beacon that called out to the Bye Bye Man. He then began riding the rails in their direction. When he got close enough, he sent out his grotesque creature known as Gloomsinger to locate the person. Once they were found, Gloomsinger would let out a shrill whistle to call for the Bye Bye Man. In the movie, sounds of a train and the appearance of coins or a large skinless hound precede the Bye Bye Man's arrival.
No. Not surprisingly, the movie exaggerates the killing. In the short story told by author Schneck, no one gets hit by a train or a car, and the three friends don't kill each other or themselves. It's told as more of an eerie tale rather than all-out horror.
No. Robert Damon Schneck's I-heard-it-from-a-friend tale is impossible to prove, as there is no factual evidence to support the author's claims. Of course, that doesn't mean that horror fans won't find it enjoyable, as it's sometimes fun to imagine that the boogeyman is real. Like Eric Knudsen's Slender Man story that originated as an Internet meme in 2009, the tale of the Bye Bye Man is largely believed to be urban legend that began with Robert Damon Schneck's 2005 short story. The tale was subsequently spread in web forums, on late night radio shows, and retold amongst fans of the paranormal.
As there's no real way to prove the question "Is the Bye Bye Man real?" untrue, you're free to believe as much as you want. However, with the release of the movie, it's fair to assume a lot of people are thinking about and saying the name of the Bye Bye Man. Does this mean he will be coming for all those people? The fact that we haven't see a huge spike in murders and suicides after the movie's release sort of disproves the whole story altogether.
No. "I did research and I was unable to verify any of the story," says Schneck of the Bye Bye Man tale that he says was told to him by a friend.
Learn more about the supposed real Bye Bye Man by listening to an interview with the book's author, Robert Damon Schneck.