|“||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 nether world 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 sequel Sinister 2. He is an ancient, pagan Babylonian 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 is portrayed by Nicholas King.
The story begins with a Super 8 footage where a family of four are standing under a tree with bags over their heads and nooses around their necks. The family is lifted by their necks and strangled until they are dead.
Months later, true-crime novelist Ellison Oswalt moves into the same house as the murdered family with his wife, Tracy, and their two children, Ashley and Trevor. Ellison uses the murders as the basis for his new book. Supposedly, there were 5 members in the family, and one of the children went missing after the murders.
Ellison finds a box in the attic, which contains a projector and several reels of Super 8 footage. He watches the films, all depicting families murdered in various ways, including having their throats slit and being drowned in their pool. The drowning one proves especially disturbing for him, as he sees a dark figure with a demonic face. Upon seeing this figure, strange things begin happening around the house. Ellison continues to observe the films, and discovers strange things in them, such as a strange symbol painted near the murders, and the demonic figure, which begins to show up in every film. He calls a deputy to help him find the location of these murders.
After going through the images, the deputy refers him to a religion/cult college professor, Jonas, to decipher the symbol in the films. Jonas tells Ellison that the symbol itself is that of an obscure pagan deity dating back to the times of ancient Babylon named Bagul, who was known as the "Eater of Children" (also known as "Devourer of Children"). As according to legend, this forgotten god of darkness was believed to consume the souls of human children to sustain his own immortal life force and to have complete access to enter and traverse the world of mortals. One night, Ellison hears the film projector running and goes up to the attic. He finds five children (all of whom went missing from each family after they were murdered) watching one of the films. When Bagul suddenly appears in front of him, Ellison falls from the attic. Having had enough, he burns the projector and the film and moves out with his family. Upon returning to their old house, he goes into the attic and finds the box containing the projector and film, completely unharmed. However, there is a new item inside: an envelope with "extended endings". Within that, Ellison finds that after each murder took place, the missing child would come onscreen, revealing them to be the murderers, and then disappear.
Professor Jonas tells Ellison that Bagul would supposedly appear in images, which acted as portals between his realm and the mortal world. The deputy explains to Ellison that he discovered a chain in the murders. Each of the families that were killed lived in a house where a murder took place before they moved to another house where the next murder would happen and so on. After learning that Ellison and his family moved, the deputy tells him that he's only continuing the chain by moving to a different house. Ellison suddenly finds glowing green liquid inside his coffee, along with a note from his daughter that says "Good night, Daddy.", and loses consciousness.
Upon waking, he finds himself and his wife bound and gagged. Ashley walks in, carrying an axe and a Super 8 camera. She promises her father that she would make him famous again and then documents the grisly deaths of her father, mother, and brother, and paints the walls in their blood, with several childish images such as unicorns, cats and dogs. She then goes to the projector and plays the film she just took, revealing the children in the hallway. Upon Bagul's appearance, the children run away. Bagul picks up Ashley and walks into the film with her.
The final shot shows the box of film in the attic of the Oswalt house, this time with a new canister that reads "House Painting 12". Bagul suddenly pops up and the screen turns black.
The film opens with a family being hung up like scarecrows in a corn field and burned alive. It is revealed to be a nightmare that 9 year-old Dylan Collins is suffering from. The following day, while shopping with his twin brother, Zach, and their mother, Courtney, Courtney notices a man spying on her, and they flee the market, returning to the rural farmhouse where they are currently staying.
Dylan, suffering from nightmares, is visited nightly by a group of ghostly children, led by a boy named Milo, who bring him into the basement and force him to watch Super 8 footage of families being savagely murdered; these include a family being eaten by alligators, another being electrocuted in a flooded kitchen, and one being buried alive in the snow on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, the Deputy from the first film, who investigated the Ellison Oswalt case, is independently researching the murders connected to Bughuul, and is burning down the homes where each murder took place before another family can move into them. He arrives at the farmhouse to destroy it, but is interrupted when he realizes Courtney and her sons are living there. He tells Courtney he is a private investigator, and she initially mistakes him for an investigator sent by her abusive husband Clint whom she has fled from. She allows him to return to the house the next day to investigate an abandoned church on the property where a gruesome murder took place, which Courtney has converted into a makeshift furniture restoration workshop.
That afternoon, Courtney's husband Clint arrives with two sheriffs, threatening to take the boys. The deputy challenges the sheriffs, who do not have the appropriate custody warrants, and they leave with Clint, frustrated. Courtney invites the deputy to stay at the farmhouse, and the two develop a budding romantic interest in one another. Meanwhile, Zach becomes increasingly jealous of the ghostly children who visit Dylan, and insists on having their attention. They show Dylan the video of the murders which took place in the church, in which a family is nailed to the floor; with rats placed on their abdomens, and covered with communion goblets which are heated with hot coals, forcing the rats to eat their way through each person's abdomen to escape. Dylan refuses to watch another video with Milo and the other children, so they turn their attention to Zach to carry out the family's murder (which was their plan all along, since the idea was to make Zach jealous, pushing him to the brink of falling into Bughuul).
The deputy advises Courtney not to leave the farmhouse so as not to appear as a flight risk in her custody battle; however, his actual motive for the advice is to prevent a massacre of the family from taking place— each of the murders connected to Bughuul occurred only after the families had fled the homes where the previous murders had occurred. The deputy goes to meet with a professor who has come into possession of a ham radio that belonged to Professor Jonas from the previous film who was in contact with Ellison Oswalt and has also mysteriously disappeared. The radio picks up bizarre frequencies that are connected to former murders at Bughuul's helm. At the farmhouse, Clint arrives with custody warrants, and Courtney is coerced into leaving with Zach and Dylan.
After finding the farmhouse empty that night, the deputy drives to Clint's home to warn them about the danger they are in, but Clint threatens him with a shotgun and assaults him. The next day, Courtney is sitting with Dylan and Clint outside their new house, while Zach, as directed by Milo and the other children, films them from afar with a Super 8 camera. Dylan steals Courtney's cell phone and text messages the deputy, asking for help.
That evening, Courtney, Dylan, and Clint are hung on scarecrow posts in the cornfield. Zach lights Clint on fire and films him as he burns to death. The deputy arrives at the house, and drives into the cornfield, hitting Zach with his car, injuring him but not killing him. He cuts Courtney and Dylan down from the posts, and they flee into the house. Zach pursues them with the camera, armed with a sickle. The ghost children, who are invisible to Courtney and the deputy, move furniture around the house and throw objects as they search for them with Zach. The deputy manages to break the camera, thwarting Zach's home movie.
As he searches for another camera, Zach is taken by Bughuul while the other ghost children admonish him for his failure to carry out the killings. The house then catches fire, and Courtney, Dylan, and the deputy escape as it burns to the ground. They return to town, where the deputy goes to his motel room to gather his things. Before he is about to leave, the ham radio from earlier suddenly appears, emitting noises before Bughuul appears in front of the camera. Since Deputy is the one who stopped the killings by breaking the camera it is implied that Bughuul is about to kill him before the film ends.
Bughuul appears to share many similarities with Moloch, a pagan deity venerated by Canaanites and Ammonites. Moloch, like Bughuul, is a Middle-Eastern god that requires children sacrificed by burning and has demonic traits. Also, on the Sinister Facebook page, Bughuul is described as the "brother of Moloch" and shares a back story: Bughuul mimicked Moloch's worship and child sacrifice rituals before Moloch furiously shut Bughuul's mouth with ash for all eternity.
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.
- 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.