If I told you there was a demon from Germany who will come tonight to kidnap naughty children and whip them, you'd say one of two things.  Either you'd say...

A) "That's crazy", or

B) "Yeah it's 2022 so that tracks."

According to Bavarian(German) lore, December 5th is known as KRAMPUSNACHT

This holiday is based on Krampus, a mythical beast that is half-demon and half-goat. This evil creature from your fevered nightmares has fangs, horns, cowbells on its waist, and a switch made of birch sticks meant for whipping.

According to folklore, on the evening of December 5, Krampus punishes children who have been bad by whipping them with his switch. He then takes them to his lair for heaven knows what.

An old postcard that reads "Gruss Vom Krampus" which means "Greetings from Krampus".
An old postcard that reads "Gruss Vom Krampus" which means "Greetings from Krampus".

And if that's not messed up enough, apparently SANTA IS TOTALLY COOL WITH IT.

According to tradition, Krampus is the BFF of St. Nicholas, who after seeing kids get kidnapped and whipped, goes around giving presents to the good little children.

St. Nick & Krampus = BFFs!
St. Nick & Krampus = BFFs!

In light of this horrid information, all those times I took out my phone to "call Santa" when my kids were misbehaving, suddenly seems like sissy nonsense in comparison.  Do the threats work?  One way to find out...

"Keep it up Billy, and a German demon will rise up from hell and whip you like the naughty boy you are. So let me ask again. Will you pick up your socks?" (Canva)
"So Billy are you gonna pick up your socks or is a monster from the depths of German hell gonna come and whip you to death?" (Canva)

For many centuries, KRAMPUSNACHT was not celebrated because the Catholic Church disapproved of the holiday.  They said it was too evil.  Something about a demon breaking into people's homes and beating the daylights out of kids that just didn't fit their whole "WWJD" brand.

But in recent years there has been a resurgence in popularity for Krampus.  Each year hundreds of people gather dressed as Krampus to have parades, festivals, costume contests and more.

Krampus Creatures Parade Through Tyrol As Christmas Approaches
Getty Images

There was also a recent film by the same name starring Adam Scott.


So if you're nestled in bed tonight and you hear a noise in the house, it could mean nothing.  Or it could mean that Krampus has made his way to Utah to abduct and beat the crap out your kids with a bundle of sticks.

Merry Christmas!!

By the way, the name Krampus comes from the German word "krampen," which means claw.  You're welcome.

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