With Krampus being released in UK cinemas today, we thought it would be a great time to take a look at other creepy Christmas Monsters from folklore, that are used to scare kids into being nice. Quite honestly some of them have got us scared!
The Krampus is a scary, furry, horned figure who is used as a tool to encourage good behaviour in children. It is believed that Krampus punishes children who have misbehaved by giving out sticks and coal, whereas Saint Nicholas rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. The Krampus has also been described as carrying around a chain behind him, that he would hurl at children that were in his way. He is believed to be the anti-Santa or his evil twin, though his origins are unknown, but one thing is certain; you certainly wouldn't want to be on this guy's list!
Jólakötturinn is known as the Icelandic Yule Cat or Christmas Cat, and unlike regular, domestic cats, he's not very nice. In fact, he will probably eat you! In Iceland, in order to get people to work hard, they used to reward them with new clothes. The lazy family members wouldn't receive anything, so to encourage them to work, they were told the tale of Jólakötturinn. According to the tale, he could tell who the children were by the number of clothes they had, and that he would then proceed to eat the lazy children! If a killer giant cat doesn't motivate you to do chores, I don't know what will.
Frau Perchta is a witch who hands out both rewards and punishments from December 25 through January 6. She is more well known for her gruesome punishments to the misbehaving rather than being nice; apparently she will rip out the internal organs of the sinful and replace them with garbage, how lovely.
Belsnickel comes to children sometime before Christmas, wearing old tattered clothing. Belsnickel carries a switch to frighten children, and candy to reward them for good behaviour. The switch is only used to warn children they still have time to be good before Christmas. Then, if the children are polite about the way they've been told, they get rewarded with sweets. So remember to be polite kids!
They make look as innocent as the seven dwarves, but we can ensure you they're not. These Icelandic trolls stole things and caused trouble around Christmas time, and like the Yule cat it's used to scare children into behaving. There are 13 of these Yule Lads altogether, each with a name and their own distinctive personality.