If you’re a fan of both Christmas and horror, there’s a chance you’ve seen one of the multiple horror films surrounding Krampus. After all, there are:
- A Christmas Horror Story
- Krampus: The Devil Returns
- Krampus: The Reckoning
- Better Watch Out
- Rare Exports
- Krampus: Unleashed
- 12 Deaths of Christmas
- Krampus Origins
- Krampus: The Christmas Devil
- And Silent Night, Deadly Night
And this doesn’t count the games, books, and other pieces of media including Krampus. Even if you’re unaware of who he is exactly, the name may ring a few bells. This article aims to
Who Is Krampus and Where Did He Come From?
Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic character that shares characteristics of a man and a goat. He often has long, brown or black hair, with an elongated tongue and fangs. As part of his goat heritage, Krampus has horns on top of his head and cloven hooves. Krampus is often pictured with chains around him. Sometimes he also has a sack or a collection of birch branches. The chains were mostly just to scare people, and the birch branches were used to swat at and scare children. The sack was to carry off evil and naughty children away.
Krampus accompanied St. Nicholas and visited houses. While St. Nicholas gave presents and gifts to the good children, Krampus would deal with the bad children. How he would deal with these children differs depending on which story you read. Some say he just chased the children with sticks or gave them coal. Others say he actually kidnapped the children for him to eat later.
The tale of the Christmas devil came from Germany. The story of Krampus is thousands of years old. The name ‘Krampus’ is said to come from the German word ‘krampen’, meaning ‘claw’. Krampus appears many more times in different folklore and mythology, with some even claiming that Krampus is one of the children of Hel from Norse mythology. He returns in folklore not only from Germany, but also Austria, Hungary, and Slovenia.
As shown previously, Krampus has recently surged in popularity. This isn’t only in films, but also in celebrations and traditions. People have once again taken to Krampus marches or dressing as the monster. There are those that also purchase horns to dress up as him. However, many that stay true to the traditions say he is becoming too commercialized and his true meaning is being lost in popularity.
What do you think? Will you be adding Krampus to your festive celebrations, or will you be staying away from the Christmas devil? What are your thoughts on the popularity of Krampus? Let us know in the comments!