25 Creepy Cool Facts About Krampus

While American kids usually get their Christmas gifts no matter how good or bad they have been all year, their European counterparts have a good reason to behave themselves throughout the year. Traditionally, on December 6th, less than 3 weeks before Christmas, St. Nicholas visits families in many European countries and rewards kids who have been good. However, he does not come alone. He is accompanied by another fellow, a scary monster known as Krampus. As you might guess, Krampus’s duty is to take care of the bad kids. To find out more about this terrifying mythological figure and what he does to his victims, check out these 25 Creepy Cool Facts About Krampus.


Although Krampus appears in many variations, most share some common physical characteristics. He has a hairy, dark body, cloven hooves, and goat-like horns. Krampus also usually has a long, pointed tongue and huge fangs.

krampus masksSource: nationalgeographic.com

The name of this terrifying figure was probably derived from the old German word "krampen," which means "claw."

Moa clawSource: interesly.com

Krampus is traditionally considered to be the son of Hel - the ruler of the Realm of the Dead in Old Norse mythology.

Hel_by_Karl_Ehrenberg_page_233Source: entitymag.com

Krampus is known by different names in different countries and regions. He is known as Knecht Ruprecht in most of Germany, Belsnickel in southwest Germany, Klaubauf in Bavaria, Pere Fouettard in northern France, Cert in Czech Republic, Klaubauf in some parts of Austria, and Parkejl in Slovenia.

KrampusSource: chron.com

Between 1934 and 1938, when Austria was under Fascist rule, Krampus was seen as a symbol of (variously) sin, anti-Christian ideals, and Social Democrats. It was therefore banned.

Fascist AustriaSource: mentalfloss.com

Photo: feature: shutterstock, 25. Krista via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 24. Ryan BaumannMoa footCC BY 2.0, 23. wikimedia commons (public domain), 22. Mravlja MatjazSveti Miklavž in parkelj, vsakoletni sprevod po naselju ŠutnaCC BY-SA 4.0, 21. en.wikipedia (public domain), 20. publicdomainpictures.net (public domain), 19. wikimedia commons (public domain), 18. User:MatthiasKabelKrampus Morzger Pass Salzburg 2008 03CC BY-SA 3.0, 17. Horst A. Kandutsch, Moderner Krampus KärntenCC BY-SA 3.0 DE, 16. wikimedia commons (public domain), 15. en.wikipedia (Fair use: movie poster; illustrative purposes only), 14. Eli Christman from Richmond, VA, USA, 2014 Carytown Krampusnacht (15341172564)CC BY 2.0, 13. Johann JaritzPoertschach Krampuslauf Perchte 29112013 770CC BY-SA 3.0, 12. pixabay (public domain), 11. chocolate.cz (fair use, illustrative use only), 10. User:MatthiasKabelKrampus Morzger Pass Salzburg 2008 08CC BY-SA 3.0, 9. SilverijeMeđimurski fašnjak 2015. – Svetomartinski krampusCC BY-SA 3.0, 8. LlorenziSfilata Krampus a Dobbiaco 5CC BY-SA 3.0, 7. Tourismusregion Katschberg/Rennweg from Rennweg am Katschberg, Austria, Adbentmarkt Krampus und Nikolo (6481043547)CC BY-SA 2.0, 6. Randy359thDC KrampusCC BY-SA 4.0, 5. LlorenziSfilata Krampus Dobbiaco 1CC BY-SA 3.0, 4-3. wikimedia commons (public domain), 2. Johann JaritzPoertschach Krampuslauf 30112012 944CC BY-SA 3.0, 1. © Copyright Colin Grice and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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