Krampus, Yule Lads, and Jólakötturinn aren’t the only characters that were invented to make children behave. In the past month, I have explored the traditions of the world with their many traditions around this time of year. Christmas tends to be a joyous holiday, but it is not without a few Halloween type characters coming your way. Krampus, Yule Lads, and Jólakötturinn are just three of the many traditions that lead to a darker side of Christmas. Here are some of the other monsters that have a darker side of Christmas around the world.
- Frau Perchta: This is one witch you don’t want to mess with. Although, she gives out present to those who have been good, being bad can cost your. Frau Perchta is known for ripping out your internal organs and replacing them with garbage if you are evil. This witch is commonly known in the countries of Austria and Germany.
- Belsnickel: Originating from Germany this character is said to have traveled to the United States of America. Dressed in tattered old clothing and raggedy fur, he carries a switch with him to frighten bad children. He does give candy to the good children.
- Hans Trapp: In the Alsace and Lorraine regions of France, this anti-Santa makes his appearance. According to legend, Trapp was a rich and greedy man who worshiped Satan. After being excommunicated from the Catholic Church he was exiled to the forest where he would prey upon children dressed as a scarecrow. He was about to eat a young boy when he was struck by lightning and killed by God. It is said that he visits homes to scare good children into behaving.
- Père Fouettard: This French evil butcher enjoys eating children. It is said that his wife lured three boys into their house only to meet a grisly demise. Saint Nicholas came to the rescue and resurrected the three boys. From then on Père Fouettard became Saint Nicholas’s servant who dispense punishment onto children on Saint Nicholas’s Day (December 6th).
- Grýla: This legendary Icelandic ogress has been mentioned in my past posts. She is the owner of the Yule Cat and the mother of the Yule Lads. She is said to eat children who have been bad all year round. Grýla is quite the evil ogress.