By Allen Chavez

Who or what is the Christmas Devil? Krampus is the name of a mythical creature described as a “half-goat, half-demon” unlike Santa. He punishes children who have misbehaved throughout the year. The name Krampus derives from the German word Krampen, which means claw. His appearance resembles the stereotypical devil, with dark hair, hooves, and the horns of a goat. He is often portrayed with fangs, a long-pointed tongue, and chains.


Krampus was created to counter St. Nicholas, who rewarded children. As punishment the creature would “swat wicked children and take them away to his lair.” Other stories describe Krampus with a sack or basket strapped to his back to take the evil misbehaved children to drown, to be eaten, or even to hell. If you believe in Krampus, and you’re alive to read this, then you’ve been good because he visits on the eve of December 5th, known throughout Europe as “Krampusnacht”.