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|“||It's a symbol associated with the worship of a pagan deity. A very obscure one dating back to Babylonian times named Bughuul, the Eater of Children. The crimes that you're dealing with, they all have the element of a missing child, correct? Well, Bughuul eats children. Now, the fragments of stories that have survived, they all revolve around him needing the souls of human children to survive. Now each story involves a different way that he lures or tricks these children away from the physical world and traps them in his own netherworld and he consumes their souls over time. Now any worship of this deity would include a blood sacrifice or the wholesale eating of a child.||„|
|~ Professor Jonas describing Bagul.|
Bagul also known as Buhguul and Mr. Boogie, is the main antagonist of the 2012 horror film Sinister and its 2015 sequel Sinister 2. He is an ancient Babylonian pagan deity who consumes the souls of human children. He possesses a realm of his own and can travel into the mortal world via images of himself.
He was portrayed by Nicholas King.
Bagul was the Babylonian brother of Moloch, a Canaanite deity who relished in child sacrifice. He dwelt in the netherworld, which could be accessed through images according to early Christians. One day, Bagul copied Moloch's child sacrifice customs and took children in the night to consume their souls. Infuriated by the religious plagiarism, Moloch sewed Bagul's mouth shut.
Ever since, Bagul became a fearsome entity that would influence children to kill their families in many grotesque ways before transporting them to the netherworld. There, he would slowly consume their souls. However, he would punish any child that fails to kill their family by quickly disintegrating them, as seen in Sinister 2.
On the same page, which shows the symbol of Bughuul, there are references towards Baal and Tlaloc, two pagan deities. Baal was venerated by the Semetic-Levantine people and is viewed as a demon in Judaism and Christianity. Tlaloc was considered to be a benevolent fertility god in Aztec mythology but required the sacrifice of children and their hearts in return for rain and crops.
Baghuul is a tall, nightmarish, humanoid creature with pale skin and long black hair. His most distinctive features are his lack of eyes and lack of a mouth. It is explained that his mouth was forcibly by his brother Moloch, in retaliation for Baghuul mimicking his sacrificial rituals.
Due to his lack of a mouth, Bagul's voice is never heard, thus preventing greater insight into his personality. However, his centuries of family murders and child abductions all point to him being a sadistic and bloodthirsty deity who would force children to kill their families in particularly gruesome fashions for fun. Nonetheless, Bagul is only appeased and "properly worshipped" once he kidnaps his child accomplices into his netherworld and slowly consumes their souls. Despite his carnally degenerate nature, he's also an authoritarian, as seen by his quick executions of child accomplices who fail to kill their families.
He is also shown to adapt to the times as shown by how he influences his child accomplices to make snuff films of their murders. Through these snuff films, Bagul often momentarily appears in scenes to taunt the viewer. Besides that, he, along with the decaying ghosts of his child accomplices, would haunt the viewer and their family. This would cause the viewer and their family to move to another house, which allows Bagul to start a new family massacre.
Bagul also had a strained relationship with his brother Moloch. Due to Bagul copying Moloch's practice of child sacrifice and Moloch shutting Bagul's mouth forever, it can be assumed the two hate each other. This rivalry is emphasised in how Bagul subverts Moloch's traditional practice of the parent ritually torturing and murdering their children by having the child do the deed instead.
In modern times, Baguul began manipulating children into using Super 8 footage to record themselves murdering their families, so he could use each of these films as his portal into the real world. After murdering their families, Bagul would kidnap his child accomplice from the real world and take them to his netherworld. There, Bagul would slowly consume their souls and use them to haunt the next family he wishes to kill.
Each family that was murdered had previously lived in the former family's house. Once they moved, Bagul would manipulate their children in to killing them. Each recording of the families' murders were given titles:
- Pool Party '66: Baghul had a young boy tie his family onto pool chairs and pull each of them into the pool until they’d drown to death in 1966.
- BB Q '79: Had the boy chain his family inside a car and set the car on fire, burning them to death.
- Lawn Work '86: Has the daughter run a lawn mover over her family as they're tied to the ground, killing them.
- Sleepy Time '98: Has Christopher Miller strap his family to their beds and then kill them by slitting their throats.
- Family Hanging Out '11: Has the 10 year old daughter Stephanie tie her family to a tree branch by nooses, and then cut the branch supporting them, which causes it to pull them upward, killing them.
- House Painting '12: After true crime novelist, Ellison Oswalt, had moved into Stephanie's house with his family to investigate the murders, he moves back into his old house after the Bagul had been haunting him. However, his youngest daughter, Ashley, is manipulated by Bagul into drugging Ellison, and the rest of her family (her mother and her brother Trevor) so she can axe them to death and then paint the walls with their blood-before also being abducted into his netherworld.
- Fishing Trip: Shows a family being hung upside down over a lake. Then, an alligator approaches and bites each family members' head off, killing them.
- Christmas Morning: Shows a family is in their pajamas and tied up in Christmas lights. A girl named Emma shovels snow on top of each family member until they freeze to death.
- Kitchen Remodel: Shows a family with their arms tied to the ceiling. A boy named Peter floods the room with water. Then he takes an electric cable, and he throws it on the floor to electrocute his family to death.
- Sunday Service: Shows a Catholic family being nailed to the floor of a church. The family is in the shape of a pentagram. A boy named Milo puts rats on each family members' stomach. Then, he places the rats inside metal tins before placing hot coals on top of them. The rats eat through the family's stomachs to escape the heat. The rats then escape and run away, leaving the family to bleed to death.
- A Trip to the Dentist: Shows a family tied to chairs in a dentist's office. The family has retractors on their cheeks to keep their mouths wide open. A girl named Catherine takes a huge drill and drills her family members' teeth and the roof of their mouths, until the drill goes through their heads, killing them.
- In the alternate ending of Sinister 2, after Doctor Stromberg, the missing Professor Jonas' replacement, was smashing a ham radio in his backyard he brought home from his office, knowing it will signal the coming wrath of Bagul upon him or anyone else next. After that he drinks his coffee and later suddenly finds glowing green liquid inside his coffee cup (same thing happened to the late Ellison Oswalt), and loses consciousness. A small blonde girl in a pink dress, revealed to be Dr. Stromberg's daughter, came into his room with a blunt hammer as a murder weapon in her hand. She turns a ham radio that suddenly appeared in the room, and repeats the coordinates "4-0-7, 9-6-2, 7-7-8-6-2" twice, before she killed her father as a sacrifice to Bagul.
- Bagul was inspired by C. Robert Cargill, Sinister's screenwriters, from his nightmares of Samara Morgan from The Ring.
- Bagul has many visual similarities with Mick from the rock band Slipknot.