Why Krampus Will Drag You to Hell Tonight, According to Mythology

You better watch out — no, really.

Getty Images / Johannes Simon

A year like this one has shattered our commercially approved image of what holiday cheer should look like. Since nothing could be worse than the fresh hell we’re all currently living in, some Millennials are ditching the saccharine St. Nick for his demonic counterpart — the German “Christmas Devil,” Krampus.

The legend of Krampus — who appears as a goat-demon — can be traced back to pre-Christian times in Alpine communities. On the night before December 6, which marks the Feast of St. Nicholas, the Krampus has his reign of terror, called Krampusnacht. For a few hours, he gets to run around searching for bad children to scoop up and take back to hell. He also eats them sometimes? The details get a little hazy after hundreds of years.

In any case, he makes scary faces like this while bad kids cry:

Flickr / jeffgauthier99

“Krampus is better than Santa because he has dramatic flair, hates kids, and doesn’t eat my cookies,” Shaunna Murphy, a disgruntled former Santa’s Workshop employee, tells Inverse.

Victoria M., also a Millennial, echoed Murphy’s sentiment.

“Krampus is the holiday hero we deserve right now,” she tells Inverse. “Pretty much every single famous man in the world needs to be kidnapped by a cloven-hoofed creature of darkness and spanked with a birch rod. Truly there has never been a more fitting arbiter of yuletide justice for this, the year of our lord 2017.”

In some parts of Europe, the Krampus legend transcends folklore. On Tuesday night, heavily inebriated young men in Austria, Germany, and more will run through the streets as part of a Krampuslauf. Basically, it’s a bunch of drunk dudes dressed up as the Krampus, because sure.


Flickr / pixel0908

While the Krampus myth only extends to children, we think it’s time to start bringing adults — and technology — into the mix. This year, we hope Krampus won’t spare anyone for their bad tweets. Happy holidays — see you all in Hell!

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