boogeyman (spelling seems to vary by region) from other children growing up, and have only recently heard of krampus. I think if instructive fairytale via happy figures is justifiable, then scary fairytales are fair game too. There are plenty of fairy tales like Hansel & Gretel that are pretty dark without being scarring. My mother's family told me the story of La Llorona when I was much older, as well as a comparable equivalent to Bigfoot, the Chupacabra.
I don't intend to lie to my kids about mythical figures, but I'll share lots and lots of imaginative stories. I like history. I like folklore. I love the art of storytelling! Imagination is good. But I'm not keen on perpetuating a lie. I don't believe it is very harmful, but I don't think it's very helpful either. If my significant other insists on doing it, I'll probably relent given the preponderance of it in our culture. It's nearly impossible to swim against the tide. I do slightly resent the fact that if I don't wish to engage in this form of culturally-accepted mass-propagandation, the responsibility will lie with my child to keep their opinions to themselves lest they be considered disruptive and come home with a note pinned to their shirt from teacher. It seems indicative of a greater attitude in western culture with valuing pleasant over truthful, especially with children. I think I read somewhere that this saccharine infantilization of young people is a holdover from the Victorian and Edwardian periods.
I also find that there is a cultural conflation of 1) promoting imagination & creativity, and 2) convincing children fictitious things are real. I believe they are totally separate endeavors by virtue of being able to do one, without the other.
I think the good press of the Magic Trinity (Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy) in English-speaking societies is strictly pervasiveness and popularity on account of the excuse for material acquisition and spending (many of us are capitalist countries after all). If telling children fictions to fuel their imagination and keep them in line was purely a philosophical consideration, we'd have a lot more 5 year olds running around with a fear of Zeus and a love of water sprites.
I've also noticed that some people, like Jennifer's family, view the discovery of the lies as a kind of rite of passage for children... a part of the growing up process, and they make a game out of it. This definitely happened with two of my brothers who thought it was great fun to try and "catch our parents in the act." At this point the deception seems to shift from imaginative to a game of wits... can or can't the children outsmart their parents?