Sunday, June 26, 2011
Seven O'Clock Man or The Bone Setter
Bonhomme Sept-Heures (the Seven o'Clock Man)
in this French-speaking province, the Bonhomme Sept-Heures (7 o'clock man) is said to visit houses around 7 o'clock to take misbehaving children who will not go to bed back to his cave where he feasts on them.
The Bonesetter is an old Quebec bogeyman legend about a traveling peddler and medicine man who journeys from town to town. During the 19th and early 20th centuries when this legend arose, many Quebec towns had no doctors or nurses. There were real bonesetters, both men and women, who would perform modest surgical procedures and who specialized in reducing fractures and dislocations and, as the name implies, would set broken bones and perform manipulations that today might be done by a chiropractor.
In the days before the discovery and use of effective anaesthetics, if a large bone had to be rebroken and reset, the resultant pain and screaming of the patient would have alarmed the entire village. Kids would hear these screams and be terrified of the bonesetter and he or she could easily earn a reputation as a bogeyman. The horrid folktale adds a special fright: Bonhomme sept-heures took disobedient children as payment for his work and the children disappeared from the town and were never heard from or seen again.