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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Published 12:42 PM by with 0 comment

5 Facts About Krampus, The Christmas Demon, That Are Absolutely Terrifying

Krampus is a horned Christmas demon who terrorizes misbehaved children.

In Alpine folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic demon who punishes kids who have misbehaved during the holiday season (in contrast to Saint Nicholas who rewards well-behaved kids with gifts.) His physical characteristics include goat horns, cloven hooves, a long tongue and a long beard. Basically, guaranteed to give you nightmares. 

December 5 is Krampus' Day to visit kids' houses.

December 5th marks the eve of The Feast of St. Nicholas, and it's also the day where Krampus spends the night visiting kids' houses. (Yeah, it's just as creepy as it sounds.) Depending on how misbehaved the children are, he'll either leave them bundles of sticks, hit them with sticks, toss them in a sack and throw them in a stream... or take them straight to hell. *Gulps*

Krampus is Santa's right-hand man.

Santa may not act like he's in cahoots with Krampus, but he sure is. Think of Krampus as Santa's sidekick - they basically play good cop and bad cop, classifying kids as naughty or nice. On December 5, known as Krampusnacht in places like Austria and Germany, costumed figures of Santa and Krampus visit houses together and either give kid's gifts or sticks.

Some Krampus worshippers will go so far to terrorize children while dressed as the demon.

This is so awful. While the gruesome legend notes that Krampus whips children with his birch bundle, people dressed as Krampus sometimes take things to the extreme. A tourist visiting Krampuslauf in Salzburg was in for a complete shock when visiting the city. He wrote:
The narrow streets in the Old City section of Salzburg were packed with pedestrians as the Krampusse stomped through. Many people were caught unaware and reacted with terror. Some would flee and try to seek refuge in a shop or restaurant, only to be pursued by a determined Krampus. With so many easy targets, we again managed to escape largely unharmed. At times we were chased, jostled and struck, but compared with the brutality we witnessed, it was obvious we had been spared the full brunt of what Krampus could muster.

You can celebrate Krampus in the U.S.

'Cause now you totally want to "celebrate," right? While Krampus isn't as well known on this side of the pond, the demon has become way more apparent in pop culture lately. Between the recently released horror film Krampus, and TV shows like Supernatural and American Dad which have also featured the demon, Krampus is becoming a bit of a celebrity as late. 
Los Angeles hosts a Krampus Ball where guests come dressed up like the demon, and Brooklyn's Morbid Anatomy Museum hosts a yearly costume party. Festivities are also becoming more popular in other cities including Chicago, Orlando and Philadelphia. All in good fun, of course.



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