25 Creepy Cool Facts About Krampus

Posted by , Updated on November 8, 2017


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.


In some Tyrolean communities (an area in Austria), Krampus actors have to wear a number so that everyone can know who is behind the mask.

Krampus paradeSource: reuters.com

If a German or Austrian family invites Krampus to their home, it is customary to offer him a glass of Schnapps, strong distilled fruit brandy.

glass of SchnappsSource: The Krampus in Styria via Wikipedia

Krampus has been a popular feature on greeting cards since at least 1800's. Over time, however, the appearance of Krampus in the cards has changed. Older versions had a more frightening Krampus, while modern versions feature a rather funny and cute monster.

Krampus greeting cardSource: germangirlinamerica.com

In smaller, more isolated Austrian villages, Krampus might have other beastly companions, such as the antlered Wild Man.

Krampus Source: The Krampus in Styria via Wikipedia

Think Krampus celebrations sound like a good time? They might be for some people, and in some areas of the world, they might be tame. Just know what you might be getting into. While we told you already that they've been known to get out of hand, the basis of a Krampuslauf (Krampus run) actually involves the Krampusse chasing people down and beating their legs with bundles of birch (sticks)!

birch bundlesSource: mentalfloss

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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