- European (culture)
- Domestic (attribute)
- Friendly and Dangerous (behaviour)
A nursery monster from the 19th century used to scare children. During the early part of the century the sandman brought terror among children as it would sneak into the rooms of young ones who would not go to sleep. The Sandman would throw sand into the eyes of children causing them to itch. When the child rubbed its eyes, his or her eyes would fall out on the floor creating a bloody mess. The Sandman would collect these eyes to feed to his pet bird creature that lived on the crest of a moon. By the late 19th century, the Sandman had transformed into a benign character that brought children pleasant and happy dreams. This led to confusion about the Sandman as some believed that there were two Sandmen, one who had good intentions and another, a counterpart who had evil intentions. This friendly mythical creature gave one the power to choose what they would like to dream about and sometimes the Sandman granted a dream which revealed the sleeper’s future.
It is said that the grit or ‘sleep’ (scientifically known as rheum) in one's eyes upon waking is supposed to be the result of the Sandman's work the previous evening.
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Background Illustrations (Left top-bottom, right top-bottom): Medusa by Gonzalo Ordonez, Loch Ness Monster by dyb,
Basilisk by JustMick, Shuck by Serphire, Ts Um A Kas - Illustration of a rock painting (from Dover publications).