12 Weird Christmas Monsters That Are Even Creepier Than Santa

12 Weird Christmas Monsters That Are Even Creepier Than Santa

From werewolves to cannibalism to classism.

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In this part of the world, we're used to stories about Santa, the jolly-yet-creepy immortal who sees you when you're sleeping, who knows when you're awake. Santa is a monster in his own right, but he can't hold a candle to these twelve legends of monsters that haunt the holiday season.

1. Krampus, Austria 

Krampus, who is essentially a giant demon goat, tends to tag along with St. Nicolas. And while good ol' St. Nick is giving the good children gifts, Krampus finds the bad ones and beats them. According to some legends, Krampus might alternately stuff bad children in his sack and take them off to his cave to torture and eat them. Frankly, I think this legend would be way more effective than Santa in teaching children not to misbehave.

2. Belsnickel, Germany 

As any fan of "The Office" knows, Belsnickel is an anti-Santa who wears furs, a mask with a long tongue, and who carries a whip. Belsnickel's job is to find out whether or not children have been naughty or nice by asking them to recite a prayer. If the children can do so, they're rewarded with candy or nuts. If not, well, he does carry a whip.

3. Knecht Ruprecht, Germany 

As you may have noticed, Germany is chock-full of monsters to terrify their children. Legend says that he was once an innkeeper discovered to have murdered three boys and stuffed them in a picking barrel. He was discovered, and as a punishment forced to work alongside St. Nick for eternity. The kind of work he does? Beating naughty children. Somehow, I feel like this was not well thought through.

4. Perchta, Alpine countries 

Frau Perchta is a Christmas witch known for judging women who didn't clean their houses well enough for Christmas. If you hadn't, say, finish your weaving, Frau Perchta would tear apart all the weaving you had done. Whatever happened to women supported women? Come on, Frau, life is hard enough already.

5. Werewolves, Prussia 

Before werewolves became a staple of teen TV camp and all furry-adjacent romance, they were a staple of Yuletide terror. Because of the darkness associated with that time of year, werewolves were said to always be on the prowl. Additionally, it was counted disrespectful to be born on Christmas, and any child that was would certainly become a werewolf. The lesson? Don't steal Jesus' thunder, even when you have no say in the matter.

6. The Yule Lads, Iceland

The Yule Lads are thirteen mischievous tricksters from Icelandic folklore who each visit a child in the days leading up to Christmas. They sometimes leave gifts, but each one has a specific kind of trouble they like to cause. Tell your sheep to watch out if Stekkjarstaur comes to call, and be wary of Pottaskefill, who will steal your leftovers if you aren't looking.

7. Le Père Fouettard, France

You know that a guy is messed up when his name literally translates to "Father Whipper." Le Père Fouettard was a child murderer and cannibal who repented of his sins and offered to serve Father Christmas. Like Krampus and Knecht Ruprecht, he tags along with Santa and punishes bad children by whipping them. Seems a bit sketchy, if you ask me.

8. La Befana, Italy 

In the more innocent versions of her origin story, La Befana was blessed by the Magi and became the Christmas Witch, spreading gifts and doing good deeds. In the slightly darker versions, La Befana lost her child shortly before the birth of Jesus. This drove her mad, and she believed that Jesus was her own child and showered him with gifts. This made Jesus happy and he gave La Befana the gift of being the mother of every child; hence her gift-giving to all children on Christmas.

9. Jólakötturinn, Iceland

Jólakötturinn is a gigantic cat that lurks about near Christmastime. He eats everyone who hasn't bought themselves new clothes--supposedly to encourage people to work harder. Crazy, right? Who knew Jeff Bezos had his own legend?

10. Kallikantzaros, Southeastern Europe 

Me walking into my mom's room at three AM to tell her I threw up

The Kallikantzaros is a goblin who surfaces during the Twelve Days of Christmas (December 25th to January 6th, no, every commercial ever, the twelve days leading up to Christmas are not the Twelve Days of Christmas, and this isn't going to make me buy more stuff!). While the goblin is underground, he tries to saw down the World Tree, but when he comes above ground to cause trouble, the tree heals itself, and he has to start over. Thank you, God, for condemning all these mythical creatures of chaos to Sisyphean tasks.

11. Hans Trapp, France

Hans Trapp is another beating-giver to kids specifically in the French regions of Alsace and Lorraine. Hans Trapp was said to have been excommunicated from the Catholic Church because he started worshiping Satan. (Can I just say to the Catholic Church? Good call on this one. He's a bad egg.) Trapp started living in the forest and developed a taste for human flesh. He would disguise himself as a scarecrow and lie in wait for human victims. Trapp was supposedly struck dead by a bolt of lightning from God, but the legend lives on.

12. Gryla, Iceland

Gryla is the most terrifying Christmas witch of them all. She lives in the mountains, keeping track of which children have been bad. Come Christmas, she goes from town to town, fetching the misbehaving children and cooking them into her stew.

The legend of Gryla dates back to the 13th century. There are even songs about her, one describing Gryla as having: "A bag on her back, a sword/knife in her hand/Coming to carve out the stomachs of the children/Who cry for meat during Lent." Replacing your bedtime lullabies with this cheerful ditty? An effective parent technique if there ever was one.

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Having a Supportive Family is the Gift of a Lifetime

Being raised by a supportive family really helps you grow into a mentally strong and healthy person.

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This story serves as both a thank you letter to my supportive and encouraging family, but also as a message to any parents or soon-to-be parents about how supporting your kids can truly impact their life for the better.

My whole family - from my parents, to my grandparents, to my brothers - have always been my biggest supporters and have always served as sources of inspiration.

They never tell me what to do, or when to do it; they encourage me to talk things through instead.

Whenever there's a decision I need to make, my family will be there for me when I need somebody to talk to. They don't tell me what to do, but they listen to my ideas and give me their opinions, but only when I ask for them. They help me through the decision-making process (whether it's something as small as what to do a project on or as big as where to go to school) so that I'm better equipped to make smart decisions on my own.

They know the value of positive reinforcement and a healthy self-esteem.

My parents and grandparents made sure that all of my successes, and all my brothers' successes, were praised and celebrated no matter how big or small they were. It could have been anything from getting an A on an exam to getting a new job, and there would be at least a Facebook post about it, not to mention endless bragging to their friends and coworkers. My parents and grandparents know the value of positive reinforcement and that the more they show how proud of us they are when we do something good, the more likely we are to do something good in the future. However, they're always sure frame it in a way where the success doesn't go to our heads.

They don’t expect anything from us, except that we embrace ourselves and respect others.

This one's a two-parter. My family constantly reminded my brothers and I that we're loved by them no matter what. No matter who we love, no matter what path we choose, they'll always love and care for us. This fostered a very healthy relationship for me with my family, especially my parents. Because of those constant reminders, I was never afraid to tell them about what I was thinking or feeling or what was going on in my life. I was able to be open with them as much as I needed, which helped me understand what I was feeling and helped my parents to understand what was going on in my life. It created an opportunity for open communication between us, which is beneficial to me even now that I'm in college. I know when something's on my mind I can pick up the phone and call home, and my parents appreciate being kept up-to-date on my life at school as well.

The second part is about respecting other people, but it's still been a benefit to me. My parents are very open-minded people and they have passed that open-mindedness on to my brothers and I. I can't recall any time when they judged someone based on their size or their religion or their looks or their sexual orientation (which isn't to say it never happened, because nobody's perfect, but it didn't happen often enough to leave an imprint). They always told us to never judge a book by a cover and to respect anyone who comes across our path, regardless of the differences we may see between us. Even more so than that, they didn't just tell us to respect others, but they modeled the behavior, too. It's hard to explain how freeing it can be to have an open-mind and be accepting of just about anyone who walks into your life.

The support my family has given me over the years is the reason I'm the person I am today. Without them and their encouragement I don't think I would've been able to make the decision to move away from home for school (even if it is only two hours away). I certainly wouldn't be as accepting of friendships with people of different backgrounds as I am. And I know I wouldn't have the good mental health nor the positive relationship with them that I do.

I could never thank them enough for this, and I could never express how important it is for other families to be supportive of their kids as well.

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Posting About Something On Social Media Isn't Going To Change The Problem, Its Time To Step Up

Use your voice, not your keyboard.

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Often times when we hear about something that happened we always go to social media. We try and see who else posted about a certain issue. We try and find a post and put it on our story. But why? Is it to show people you care? Is it for views? Or is it to show people that you noticed something that they didn't?

Silence has a volume. A tweet I saw the other day. Many people agree to this and many people have debates over what it actually means. So let me ask you: What is your purpose?" Is your purpose to post for views? Is your purpose to spread awareness? Or is your purpose to be along those who found something to talk about?

Are you just posting about an event and walking away? Or are you thinking about how to activity talk about an issue and raise awareness and go and speak out against it? See that's the question that's going to have you thinking. How easy is it to just tweet about an event that occurred to seem like you care but never step up for what is right.

We often hold this fear of "If I step up I will be targeted" or if I step up I don't want to be viewed as what I am not. Why all these excuses? Why hold yourself from changing the world or changing the way a certain issue is taken care of?

Why always command the opinion of people over every decision you make? Posting on social media about a cause will do nothing but show your understanding of an event. You might argue the purpose of posting over a cause. But the harsh reality is the post is nothing but a post.

Will a post speak out against a cause? Will a post step up against discrimination? What about the words you type on the caption? People will read it and swipe. Will people really take the time to know the exact story? No, because we live in a day and age where the media shows us what they want us to see and doesn't show us any more than that.

Social media is a platform where its really easy to manipulate people in either telling the truth or simply lying. You never know the intentions of a person behind the screen so why even try to argue with such a person about a cause?

If you really want to stand up to issues and make a real change its time to step up. Use your voice, not your keyboard. Start advocating for what is right or at least what is morally right in your perspective.

Don't wait on your post to make a difference. Make the difference within your voice. Make your voice heard and if it gets shut down continue to raise your voice for what is right.

If you want to make a change I urge you to start within a class setting and then start going out of your way and speaking to different organizations and people about what you feel is justice and what you feel is unjust. Waiting around for people to see your post isn't going to do much good.

If you care to make a change than do the steps necessary. Quit depending on social media to take care of all your needs. Whets most important in speaking out for what you believe is right is being passionate to raise awareness.

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