Remember in my previous article, "6 holiday actives for introverts" Well as I stated there are Christmas creepypasta's that are great to look into, especially the ones about Krampus. Well here's what you don't know, Krampus was an actual big deal, In Austria and across the German-speaking Alpine region, the demonic character is a crucial part of the holiday season! Besides being the evil demon anti-Santa he is suppose to serve as Santa's shadow or as others would say his evil twin,
Krampus also has his own holiday on December 5th called Krampusnacht it's when men are dressed as these demons have been frightening children on Krampusnacht for centuries, chasing them and hitting them with sticks, on an (often alcohol-fueled) run through the dark streets.
According to legend, Krampus will spend the night visiting each house. He might leave bundles of sticks for bad children—or he might just hit them with the sticks instead or being forced to listen to intimidating noises from laden bells and chains, He might toss them into a sack or basket on his back and then throw it in a stream, or he might straight-up take them to hell. Besides Krampus there are other horrific holiday figures to watch out for, If I were you, I would listen to what the information that I'll be arming you with for protection.
Jólakötturinn is the Icelandic Yule Cat or Christmas Cat. You do not want to pet this cat. If you give him the chance you'll end up as his dinner!
This feline is tied to an Icelandic tradition in which those who finished all their work on time received new clothes for Christmas, while those who were lazy did not. Just like Krampus, Jólakötturinn is also used as a tool to encourage children (and adults too) to work hard and never be lazy because that clever cat can sniff out the children who haven't received new clothes for Christmas, and sadly these children would be sacrificed to the Yule Cat.
This reminder tends to spur children into doing their chores! So if your child complains about getting clothes for Christmas they should be thankful that they were spared from the terrible fate as serving as the cat's meal. There's a poem written about the cat and it ends with a suggestion that children help out the needy, so they, too, can have the protection of new clothing. It's no wonder that Icelanders work so hard!
THE YULE LADS AND GRÝLA
Yule Lads, or The Jólasveinar,are 13 Icelandic trolls, who each have a name and distinct personality. Just like the seven dwarfs from Snow White.
In ancient times, they stole things, pulled of mischievous pranks, and caused trouble around Christmastime, they were used also used as a tool to scare children into behaving, like the Yule Cat, However, the 20th century brought tales of the benevolent Norwegian figure Julenisse (Santa Claus), who brought gifts to good children.
The traditions became mingled, until the formerly devilish Jólasveinar became kind enough to leave gifts in shoes that children leave out, if they are good boys and girls. I guess the Yule Lads are sorta like the Elf on the shelf.
All the Yule Lads answer to Grýla, their mother. She predates the Yule Lads in Icelandic legend as the ogress who kidnaps, cooks, and eats children who don't obey their parents. So If you are child I'd listen to your parents.
She became associated with Christmas in the 17th century, when she was assigned to be the mother of the Yule Lads. According to legend, Grýla had three different husbands and 72 children, all who caused trouble ranging from harmless mischief to murder. Perhaps her other children have died and she was left with her "lucky" thirteenth sons. As if the household wasn't crowded enough, the Yule Cat also lives with Grýla. Now isn't that pretty picture painted into your mindset. This ogress is so much of a troublemaker that the Onion blamed her for the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
FRAU PERCHTA AND STRAGGLE
Tales told in Germany and Austria sometimes feature a witch named Frau Perchta who hands out both rewards and punishments during the 12 days of Christmas (December 25 through Epiphany on January 6.)
Her appearance is a sight for sore eyes! But her gruesome punishment is far worse and sinister: What she dose is she'll rip out your internal organs and replace them with garbage! Perchta's story is thought to have descended from a legendary Alpine goddess of nature, who tends the forest most of the year and deals with humans only during Christmas.
She will be accompanied by a throng of demonic-looking minion known as Straggle, who love to partake of the feast offerings left out for them on Christmas by people hoping for Perchta’s blessings of wealth and health in the new year.
In some places, Straggele gets to dole out the punishments themselves and aren’t terribly discerning as they rob all bad children and tear them to pieces in the air. In modern celebrations, Perchta or a close relation may show up in processions during Fastnacht, the Alpine festival just before Lent.
There may be some connection between Frau Perchta and the Italian witch La Befana, but La Befana isn't really a monster: she's an ugly but good witch who leaves presents. I'd rather get a visit from La Befana, compared to Frau Perchta, She is like Glinda The Good Witch of the North from wizard of Oz
Belsnickel is a giant, intimidating, crancky man from southwestern German floklore who traveled to the the United States and survives in Pennsylvania Dutch customs. He comes to children sometime before Christmas, wearing tattered, patch-worked clothing and raggedy fur.
Belsnickel would carry a hickory switch to frighten children, a whip, a bell and candy (or sometimes cake and nuts) to reward them for good behavior.
In modern visits, the switch is only used for noise, and to warn children they still have time to be good before Christmas.
Then all the children get candy, only if they are polite about it, If they aren't they get whacked with the switch. The name Belsnickel is a portmanteau of the German belzen (meaning to wallop) and nickel for St. Nicholas.
Hans Trapp is also another "anti-Santa" He also hands out punishments to the bad children in the Alsace and Lorraine regions of France. The legend says that Trapp was a real man who was rich, greedy, and evil.
He worshiped Satan and was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. He was exiled into the forest where he preyed upon children, disguised as a scarecrow with straw jutting out from his clothing.
Right when he was about to eat one boy he captured, he was struck by lightning and killed—a punishment of his own from God. He visits young children before Christmas, dressed as a scarecrow, to scare them into good behavior.
The French legend of Père Fouettard, whose name translates to "Father Whipper," tells the tale of an evil butcher who craved children to eat. He (or sometimes his wife) lured three boys into his butcher shop, where he killed, chopped, and salted them. St. Nicholas came to the rescue, resurrected the boys, and took custody of the butcher. The captive butcher became Père Fouettard, St. Nicholas' servant whose job it is to dispense punishment to bad children on St. Nicholas Day.
Mari Lwyd, also know as the zombie Christmas horse, This macabre skeleton mare of Welsh tradition rises from the dead and wanders the streets with her attendants, who are also fresh from the grave, to remind the living of their existence. Mary Lwyd has only one goal in mind simply to get into your house. In order to keep this zombie horse out hinds way, you must engage in a battle of wits which consists in rhyme no less, usually on New Year’s Eve, Since these ancient times, people have celebrated festivals of light – signifying rebirth and hope in times of darkness. In the festival of Mari Lwyd, we have the rebirth of a dead horse. The undead mare is represented by a puppeteer parading a horse skull on a pole draped in white cloth and sometimes decorated with festive ribbons and bells or winter greens (such as holy or poinsettias) and accompanied by costumed. You can listen to different variations of Mari Lwyd's lyric here.
This creature is from Scandinavian folklore who bears a resemblance to a gnome and lives among the dead inside burial mounds, the Tomten acts as a caretaker, protector, and helper of the household, You could say he is like a very Tiny farmhand, that is if you don’t anger him. The Tomten has quite the temper and is known for driving people insane with his tricks or biting them. The bites being poisonous which would typically lead to death. You would be well advised to leave a gift of food out on Christmas Eve for this fellow.
What's even more scary is there are many more horrific Christmas figures out there that are reeling their twisted heads. Waiting for you to act up. So you should be on your best behavior, You never know who'll be watching you. Merry Christmas to all and to all lock your door and windows tight!