A Krampus Story: Austria's Terrifying Christmas Tradition
Before St. Nicholas' Day, Austrians take to the streets as Krampus, a demon who terrifies naughty children.By Christian Bryant | December 7, 2013
While good little boys and girls in America are preparing for St. Nick's Dec. 25 flyby, children in Austria are probably running for their lives because of Santa's not-so-jolly Christmas companion.
"For centuries, Austrian children have cowered in fear at Krampus, a horned beast who plays 'bad cop' to 'good cop' Santa. Krampus' job is to punish children who misbehave." (Via History Channel)
Krampus is the Christmas version of the scared-straight program. Whereas Santa leaves coal for naughty kids, Krampus is known to prefer corporal punishment — he beats naughty children with branches, throws them in a sack and drags them back to his lair. (Via YouTube / Zero Point Zero Production, Inc.)