Usually, when one thinks of monsters, Halloween comes to mind, but Christmas has plenty of its own supernatural beings.
Flying reindeer, elves, and a big fat man who visits every home on the planet in a single night—these are just a few of the familiar magical characters of Christmas, but there are far creepier holiday creatures who have been used over the centuries to terrify children. Here are a few monsters from the Old World who will treat you, beat you, or eat you.
Knecht Ruprecht (Farmhand Rupert)
Rustic Rupert visits with Saint Nick and carries a long staff and a heavy bag. Children who know their prayers get a treat like gingerbread, while the naughty kids get a smack in the head with his big ol’ sack of ashes. In some traditions he even brings some odd friends like fairies, or dudes dressed as old women who have blackened their faces. ???
Don’t go around naked during the Christmas season. The Yule Cat prowls the countryside searching for lazy boys and girls. If you don’t have any clothes, the vicious cat knows you did not do your part in making the year’s wool. Neglect your chores and this nasty feline will make you her dinner.
13 Yule Lads
These thirteen Icelandic ruffians will invade your house and play tricks on you during the entire holiday season. Are your doors slamming for no reason? Are things being stolen from your house? It could be these troll-like troublemakers, but be nice to them. They’re in cahoots with the Yule Cat and have a blood-thirsty mother.
Completing the Icelandic Christmas horror trifecta, Gryla is the mother of all thirteen of those pesky Yule Lads. She is a giant ogre who lives in the mountains who also eats naughty children—alive.
In Austria, Germany, and some other parts of Europe, Krampus has his own holiday on December 5th. He is a black demon with a long red tongue who kidnaps children to beat and torture them and eat them for supper. Just looking at him is scary enough.
The most gruesome legend is of a Le Père Fouettard. This innkeeper kidnapped three rich boys on their way to school. He and his wife killed the children so they could steal whatever they had. Then the couple slit the boys’ throats, cut them up, and made a nice stew.
When St. Nicholas arrived and discovered the brutal murder, he resurrected the children, but Le Père Fouettard had to repent and become Santa Claus’ partner. He is sent to roam the world to whip and flog bad children.
These Christmas legends would make some scary paranormal fiction.
Who do you think is the scariest?
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