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Friday, December 23, 2016

Krampus: "Just give me the names, fat man"

For as long as I can remember we've all heard about Santa and his list of naughty and nice little boys and girls. We were told that naughty little boys and girls get a lump of coal for Christmas, or nothing at all. But over the years the legend of Krampus has grown here in the United States and North America in general. While some may have already been aware of Krampus, the tale has grown over the years thanks to movies and social media.

I had never heard of Krampus while growing up. But now the pairing of Santa Clause and Krampus seems to be a common occurrence. I guess it might add an extra incentive for children to be good and well behaved. After all one would want to avoid the dreaded naughty list.

For those who may not know, or those who would like more details, the rest of the post will deal with the legend and history of Krampus.

Krampus is a horned, folklore figure usually described as "half-goat, half-demon". During the Christmas season, Krampus punishes children who have misbehaved, and/or is on the naughty list. This is in sharp contrast with good ol Santa Clause (aka Saint Nicholas), who gives gifts to well-behaved children. Krampus is one of the companions of Saint Nicholas in regions including Austria, Bavaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Northern Italy. But the legend is gaining ground here in the USA.

Some folklorists and anthropologists have postulated a pre-Christian origin for the figure. In some places they have parades with people dressed as Krampus and Krampus is even featured on Christmas cards.

By the 17th century Krampus had been incorporated into many Christian winter celebrations. Over the years, there have been political battles over Krampus. After the 1923 election in Austria, the Krampus tradition was prohibited. In the 1950s, the government distributed pamphlets titled "Krampus Is an Evil Man". There has been a resurgence of the Krampus tradition but many still question if it is appropriate for children. Sometimes there is a very violent part of the tale.

Over the many years, the description of Krampus has had a few variation but for the most part has been the same. The description describes Krampus as a hairy, long tongue, horns like a goat, hooved feet punisher of the naughty. In some versions Krampus carries chains or a whip and bells.

There are now several events or celebrations in the United States for Krampus. Not only that, but it is growing are a very fast pace. Some of the places holding events are in Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, and San Fransisco, just to name a few.

It is my guess that the tale of Krampus will only grow in popularity. If there is any truth to it, I want to make sure I stay on the nice list. 😊

Merry Christmas ....all you naughty people beware of Krampus!

[This will probably be the last post until after Christmas ...so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you!]


This post by Thomas Marcum, Thomas is the founder/leader of the cryptozoology and paranormal research organization known as The Crypto Crew. Over 20 years experience with research and investigation of unexplained activity, working with video and websites. A trained wild land firefighter and a published photographer, and poet.

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