Usually when we think of Christmas we don’t think of demonic creatures scaring little kids! But let’s not forget about the Krampus, a mythical creature who apparently is buddies with good ol’ Saint Nick.
His legend originates in Austria, Check out this info on the legend of this this dark Christmas creeper:
“Krampus is a mythical creature who accompanies Saint Nicholas in various regions of the world during the Christmas season, especially Austria. The word Krampus originates from the Old High German word for claw (Krampen). In the Alpine regions, Krampus is represented by an incubus-like creature. While Saint Nicholas gives gifts to good children, the Krampus warns and punishes bad children. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December, particularly in the evening of December 5, and roam the streets frightening children and women with rusty chains and bells. In some rural areas the tradition also includes birching by Krampus, especially of young girls. Images of Krampus usually show him with a basket on his back used to carry away bad children and dump them into the pits of Hell.
Modern Krampus costumes consist of Larve (wooden masks), sheep’s skin, and horns. Considerable effort goes into the manufacture of the hand-crafted masks, and many younger adults in rural communities compete in the Krampus events.
In Oberstdorf, in the southwestern alpine part of Bavaria, the tradition of der Wilde Mann (“the wild man”) is kept alive. He is like Krampus (except the horns), is dressed in fur, and frightens children (and adults) with rusty chains and bells, but is not an assistant of Saint Nicholas.
In the aftermath of the Austrian Civil War the Krampus tradition was a target of Austrian Fascists allied with Nazi Germany.”
Pretty interesting huh? This would be a great horror movie premise! Anyway I am gonna take a look into the darker, unusual and forgotten side of Christmas this week and see what else I can dig up to make the festivities a bit more interesting!