SP is from Tacoma, Washington, and is a USC student majoring in Business Administration. She is of German descent. She is a national champion in Tae Kwon Do and is a passionate member of Oriana Women’s Choir.

“In America children are taught that if you are naughty you will get coal for Christmas…Well the Germans have something similar to that. It’s called Krampus, otherwise known as the satanic form of Santa. Basically good little German children are taught if they behave badly Krampus will come into their home on Christmas night and kidnap them and basically keep them as prisoners or slaves for the rest of their lives. My dad swears that Krampus came into his room, but he promised to be good to his mom in order to avoid Krampus’ punishment. Ah, yes Germans are wonderful people. Did I mention that Krampus was half goat and half demon?”

“Also this legend tends to be more popular in Bavaria where my family lives.”

“Where did you first learn about Krampus?”

“I guess I learned it from my grandma who used to live in Munich. I didn’t really believe in this tale but my dad certainly did. During Christmas time parents tell their kids so they don’t behave badly or else Krampus will come and take them and hold them captive forever.”

Having grown up celebrating the Christmas holiday, I have heard of various adaptations of Santa Claus and superstitions parents tell their children to make them behave better (i.e. coal in the stocking), but I have not heard of Krampus before. Krampus seems like a much more extreme and scarier threat than not receiving your desired Christmas gift, especially for young children.

For another version of this legend, see