Terrifying holiday tradition that sees children tormented by ‘Christmas Devil’
Christmas is a holiday that sees kids watching their favourite festive films on repeat, opening their advent calendars, and counting down the days until Santa comes – a happy time for all.
While Father Chrismas prepares to reward nice children with gifts, those who have misbehaved have been known to receive a lump of coal.
But across parts of Europe, a terrifying tradition called Krampusnacht sees people dress up in horrifying costumes to frighten children.
The story goes that good children are visited by Santa, and naughty children are visited by the “Christmas Devil” who literally beats people into being nice.
The tradition takes place in countries such as Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, where legend says Krampus would swat “wicked” children, stuff them in a sack, and take them away.
On December 5 the Krampus run takes place, where children are taunted by performers.
Footage from the Czech Republic shows the Christmas devil visiting a family in their house.
Young children in the video are left hysterical as they cower and run to their parents in a bid to get away from the terrifying creature – it’s not what comes to mind when you think of Christmas.
National Geographic says the German tradition has been around for centuries.
The legendary beast Krampus, who is said to be the son of Hel in Nose mythology, appears on December 5, now known as Krampus Night, whipping his chains and lashing his bells according to folklore.
The next morning, December 6, children would look outside their front door to see whether the shoes they’d left out the night before have been filled with presents, which is a reward for good behaviour, or a rod, for badly behaved children.
This is how they find out their fate.