Christmas Villains You May Have Never Heard Of
Around Christmas time, we are usually greeted with a large man with a large white beard, hair, and a bright red/white suit. That is the man we all know as Santa Claus. He may be the ‘big guy’ of the holiday season that flies around delivering presents.
For every good, there must always be an equivalent bad. Did you know that for every Christmas spirit considered good, there is an equivalent bad character? Here are a list of villains that you might not have heard of:
If anyone on this list could be considered the ‘anti-Santa,’ it would be the demonic entity known as Krampus. Originating from Austria and Central Europe, he was said to punish misbehave children in a variety of ways.
Krampus was rumored to rip the pigtail from the heads of little girls, and beat children with the branches of a birch tree. He is almost always depicted carrying a basket on his bag that bad children are stuffed into. They are then taken to be eaten for his Christmas dinner.
This legendary character has become very popular over time, spawning a variety of Krampus-themed Christmas movies that are meant to alleviate the overabundance of happy-go-lucky holiday movies.
2. Yule Lads
Of course, the name would make you associate these mischievous spirits with children and you’d be right. Often considered an allegory to surviving the horrors of winter, stories of the Yule Lads were often told in the tough wintery country of Iceland.
There were even specific types of Yule Lads. Spoon lickers would take wooden spoons to lick the food if they were still dirty, Door slammers would do exactly what their name says, and Sausage swipers would do what else but swipe sausauge?
Although the well-known mythology is that they caused simple mischief, there are other legends that suggest they were not just violent in their mischief, but bloodthirsty as well.
3. Jolakotturinn (The Christmas Cat)
At first read, a Christmas Cat might not seem like such a bad thing. The word ‘cat’ might make you think of soft fur, warm body heat, and meows. But this creature is far more sinister than its name implies.
Said to be the ‘pet’ to Yule Lads, this was actually a vicious creatures with whiskers that cut like razors, eyes that appeared to be on fire, and claws that would eviscerate any child who had no new clothing come Christmas Day.
It might be a myth that the people of Iceland like to share with their younger generation, but many people in the modern day have claimed to see such a creature near the ocean shores of the island country.
4. Frau Perchta
Before Christian traditions were celebrated by a great population of the world, this creature was actually an Alpine Goddess whose day just happened to fall on the Twelfth Night of Christmas. After Christian traditions took over those from the past, she became a vengeful witch that stalked and punished villagers who did not please her.
At times, she appears as a disheveled woman. But her appearance depended on what happened when you met her. Observe her rituals as an obedient, faithful believer and you were met with the beautiful image of Perchta.
If you angered her, you were met with demonic Perchta who has what can only be described as a monstrous bloodlust.
Where the Yule Lads have their insanely dangerous cat, Perchta has her Straggele. In Switzerland, these creatures were said to accompany the demonic witch on her travels. They loved to feast on the Christmas offerings left out for Perchta by faithful followers of the witch.
There are a few places where they are rumored to punish bad children by tearing them to pieces and toss those parts into the air.
Gryla is considered one of Iceland’s most iconic Christmas figures. She is said to be a giant troll who is always in a bad mood. She is motivated by her hunger for children. Every season, she descend from her mountain home in search of children who have misbehaved.
She would usually throw them in a sack, take them back home, and boil them for her stew, which she fed to her sons, the Yule Lads.
7. Mari Lwyd – Zombie Horse
This skeletal horse has its roots in Welsh culture. It is said to rise from the dead and wander the streets with her zombie-human attendants as a reminder to those who are lucky enough to still be living.
It only ever has a single goal: get inside of your home. In order to defeat this creature, you must win a literal battle of rhymes.