Krampus scares children to behave by roaming streets in Austria

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why…

Horror attractions and ghost tours begin to slow down as we move closer to the Christmas holiday in America. Austrians keeps their haunting tradition alive while Americans prepare for Christmas cheer during the holiday of giving.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Krampus is everything Santa Claus isn’t. Santa Claus gives gifts to the “nice” children every year, but what happens to the “naughty” children? Well, that’s where Krampus comes into play. He’s St. Nick’s half-demon, half-goat sidekick. He really is the Santa of your nightmares, watch this trailer for “Krampus“(2015) and you’ll understand.

This German legend would punish children who misbehaved by beating them, throwing them into his sack and then taking them to his underworld. This tale was used to scare children into being good. What child would want to be taken by a giant creature who had long horns, red eyes and sharp claws, anyway?

Photo by Wikipedia

Children would discover if they were good or bad on the night of December fifth (Krampusnacht or Krampus Night). The shoes that they left outside of their doorway would signify whether Santa stopped by or if they would be taken by Krampus. Presents would be left in the shoe from Santa, or a rod would be left from Krampus.

The tradition still holds true today in Austria. In Hollabrunn Market Square, thousands of people gather, and over 100 Krampus impersonators roam the streets (mostly intoxicated) scaring children to behave.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Recently, there’s been consideration in toning down the tradition due to the towns surrounding this festival who believe in the true nature of Krampus. Krampus Night has become a bit of a dispute. Either way, it’s an interesting tradition while keeping a longstanding myth alive and well-known.

As many children and parents prepare for Santa to come to town, keep Krampus in the back of your mind. And don’t forget to be good this year!


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