Krampus Is Here To Spread Christmas Fear

Santa's creepy counterpart is back.

It’s the most wonderful time for some fear.

Tuesday night was Krampusnacht ― an evening to celebrate what some European cultures consider to be Santa’s less jolly Christmastime counterpart, Krampus.

While St. Nick rewards good children with gifts, Krampus does just the opposite, beating them with a bundle of birch sticks. And while Santa carries toys in a sack on his back, Krampus has a basket on his back, which he uses to haul off the worst of the kids.

Krampusnacht is typically celebrated on Dec. 5, or the night before the Dec. 6 feast day for St. Nicholas, although the dates for both can vary, especially as Krampus takes on a bigger role in pop culture.

Here are some scenes from recent Krampus celebrations:

A Krampus celebration in Graz, Austria, on Dec. 3, 2017.
A Krampus celebration in Graz, Austria, on Dec. 3, 2017.
SOPA Images via Getty Images
A celebrant gets into the Krampus spirit in Graz on Dec. 3, 2017.
A celebrant gets into the Krampus spirit in Graz on Dec. 3, 2017.
SOPA Images via Getty Images
Another reveler enjoys the Graz Krampusnacht party on Dec. 3.
Another reveler enjoys the Graz Krampusnacht party on Dec. 3.
SOPA Images via Getty Images
A Krampus celebration in Slovenia in Nov. 24, 2017.
A Krampus celebration in Slovenia in Nov. 24, 2017.
JURE MAKOVEC via Getty Images
A scene from the Krampus parade in Whitby, England on Dec. 2, 2017.
A scene from the Krampus parade in Whitby, England on Dec. 2, 2017.
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images
A Krampus celebrant in Whitby, England on Dec. 2.
A Krampus celebrant in Whitby, England on Dec. 2.
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images
A Krampus party kicks into gear in Podkoren, Slovenia on Nov. 24, 2017.
A Krampus party kicks into gear in Podkoren, Slovenia on Nov. 24, 2017.
JURE MAKOVEC via Getty Images
A Krampus show participant shows off his mask in Schladming, Austria, on Nov. 25, 2017
A Krampus show participant shows off his mask in Schladming, Austria, on Nov. 25, 2017
Leonhard Foeger / Reuters
A Krampus show in Schladming, Austria, on Nov. 25, 2017.
A Krampus show in Schladming, Austria, on Nov. 25, 2017.
Leonhard Foeger / Reuters
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