What is Krampus, the terrifying Christmas tradition?

A mysterious creature, born in Austrian folklore will leave you with nightmares this festive season.

Originally appearing across Europe, Krampus has grown in popularity in the US, thanks to comic books and the 2015 movie.

While Santa Claus traditionally arrives once a year to shower children with gifts, Krampus is the complete opposite.

Most Krampuses have thick fur, sharp horns, and fangs, along with a long and pointy tongue. Historically they wear bells and chains and carry round a birch stick, which is used to swat kids who haven’t been nice. I’d rather just have my name written on the naughty list if I’m being honest…

They can also be seen wearing a large basket on their back, which is used to transport children.

Many Alpine towns tend to put on a special annual Krampuslauf or Krampus Run which takes place on the night before the feast of St. Nicholas.

But how did the tradition originate?

Click next to find out!

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