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Play now 18 mins

The Sackman (and other stories)

18 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 21 December 2012

Sinister tales of characters that terrorise adults and children at night pervade our cultures and have been handed down from generation to generation over the centuries, be that Kenya’s Nightrunners with their supernatural powers or the European Sackman – the monster or man, who takes away naughty children in a sack.

In Iceland and the Netherlands this Child Catcher comes at Christmas, an altogether different version of the American Santa Claus. Why do we tell each other these stories? And what happens when folklore meets the modern world?

(Image of girl having nightmare Credit: Maria Pavlova, Getty)


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