by Bella Schneider

The best way to spread krampus fear is to scream loud for all the hear.The imagery for this folklore demon is probably the direct antagonist to the rosy cheeked, cotton bearded, cookie eating, santa claus who enforces operant conditioning in the reward spectrum of things, literally giving gifts to children who are well behaved and if not, a lump of coal in yourstocking would suffice. If you aren’t familiar with this Austro-Bavarian cryptid, allow me to fuel your nightmares. The Krampus is described as a half goat and half demon with colossal horns, blood red eyes, and oddly enough, jangling cowbells.He is a creature that kidnaps naughty children and sometimes, beats them with birch sticks. Now, as for the origins of the lore date back to pre-Germanic paganism in the region. His name comes from the German word krampen, which means “claw,” and tradition has it that he is the son of the Norse god of the underworld. Hows that for christmas spirit? This is a classic tale of the boogey man that gives children incentive to behave for their parents. Being shoved into the Krampus sack and brought to his lair where he is said to eat the naughty children is quite an elaborate scare tactic so kids will eat their vegetables and won’t talk back to their parents. This horrifying tale has been adopted by the adults who grew up listening to the story by continuing the tradition in a festival called “Krampusnacht” where the townspeople dress up in terrifying ghoul gear and run throughout the town partying and spreading terror with their demonic costumes typically fueled in large part by alcohol.The Krampus represents the darkness of winter. The harsh cool air that hits the back of your throat, the eeriness of the quiet dark night, and of course, the hellish lair of the Krampus and the snap of his birch twig.