Bloody Bones, often used in conjunction with his friend Rawhead, is a boogeyman of British folklore. Through the years, however, the story of Rawhead and Bloody Bones spread to North America and was figuratively adopted by the South. Due to the exposure, it is believed by many to be an originally Southern legend.
Children that misbehaved were often threatened with a visit from Bloody Bones. The name "Bloody Bones" itself could understandably be enough to scare the bad behavior out of a young child.
"Rawhead and Bloody Bones
steals naughty children from their homes,
Takes them to his dirty den,
And they are never seen again."
Bloody Bones is sometimes depicted as a pile of bloody bones, rattling to life as a headless horror on which a skinless head (Rawhead) would find its place. Other versions of the tale describe Bloody Bones as a skeletal being, bloody and stripped of most bodily tissue.
In certain versions of the tale, Rawhead is the severed head of a butchered hog, who, after being brought to life by a vengeful witch, reunite with its scattered bones to find the hunter who had killed it. The abomination enters the hunter's home through the chimney and ultimately eats him alive.
It is said that Bloody Bones' favorite places to hide are in cupboards and under stairs; dark, musty places. Children who are brave enough to peek through a crack may see him, a bloody horror, waiting, crouched over a pile of small, child-like bones. The bones of children that misbehaved.
If ever you should hear the sound of rattling bones at night, sourcing from the stairwell or your mother's dusty cupboard, it may be best not to peek inside...