By Brianny Martinez

Krampus is the polar opposite of the sweet, cookie-loving, Santa Claus we all know. Bearing resemblance to a demon, he is described as a half goat, horrific beast, with dark hair, and fangs. Santa Claus gives naughty children coal for Christmas; however, Krampus is not nearly as forgiving. Instead, he drags these children down to the underworld with him.

The legend of Krampus originates in Germany where it is part of a Christmas tradition that begins on December 6, St. Nicholas Day. German children wake up eagerly and check their shoes for presents or a rod for bad behavior. In this legend, Krampus comes to town on Krampus Night (Krampuslauf), the night before St. Nicholas Day, to begin scavenging for the children that have been naughty. He is said to be the son of Hell who takes these children into his lair. The legend has even been interpreted in the horror movie Krampus (2015), where he punishes the children that are naughty. The legend of Krampus scares children into being nice with a little more urgency than Santa’s coal.