We all know Santa Claus to be a jolly old soul who gives gifts to good little girls and boys. However, there is another side of the Christmas story, one of frightening nightmares, and it is the tale of a demon named Krampus. With horns, dark hair, fangs, and the lower body of a goat, he bears a strong resemblance to the satyrs and fauns of Greek mythology. He’s known to torture naughty children into behaving. Throughout history, this duo has represented a balance of good and evil, so here are ten reasons to be glad your name’s not on the “naughty” list.
10. Santa has Rosy Cheeks and a Twinkle in his Eye
In many cultures, Santa is depicted as a kindly character with a twinkle in his eye, a wink for those who have seen him, rosy cheeks, and soot on his jolly red and white suit. This image is one of complete trust and safety, a personification of the true spirit of Christmas.
Krampus is known to sport cloven hooves, a long, forked tongue, and demonic horns. Depending on the depiction, he is either covered in black fur or wears dark garments made of sheep and goat skins. Krampus would fit better with Halloween legends than Christmas, which adds the extra level of fear.
9. The Worst Action of Santa’s is Gifting Coal
Krampus is seen as Santa’s opposite, and is known to seek out children who have been naughty to whip them with rusty chains and birch sticks. If the child does not repent, he or she will be carried off to the depths of the underworld for eternal punishment.
Santa, on the other hand, is well-known to compile two lists that he checks twice: one for the good children and another for naughty children. On Christmas Eve, children hang their stockings, and those who are good will receive delightful gifts, while the naughty children will receive coal, which in the past would keep the child warm in the winter months, but would otherwise provide no joy.