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Happy Krampusnacht! This Anti-Santa Is Here To Terrify You

Krampus comes for naughty children

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(Illustration: R. A. Di Ieso/Vocativ)
Dec 06, 2015 at 6:09 AM ET

Forget Elf on the Shelf and old Saint Nick. Meet Krampus, the horned, devilish creature who visited naughty children on Saturday night during Krampusnacht.

The tradition of Krampus—a hairy beast meant to scare children into being good by threatening to scold them and take them away—is believed to be older than Christmas. Krampusnacht is celebrated in countries such as Germany, Italy and Austria on the eve of St. Nicholas’ Day, a December 6 holiday across western Europe.

It’s not just children who get to have fun—or be terrified—with the tradition. Krampus celebrations also make it totally acceptable for drunken party-goers to get decked out in devilish costumes and chase people through the streets, reports National Geographic.

People sport goat horns, cloven hooves and a dragon tongue—the exact opposite of the jolly, rosy-cheeked Santa Claus who gives gifts to kids on Christmas.

Vocativ collected images of the hairy beast who made the rounds on the Krampusnacht holiday.

Happy #krampusnacht

A photo posted by @kkbrowne on

#glurn #glorenza #diavoli #diavel #valvenosta #krampus #krampuslauf #krampusnacht #sannicolas A photo posted by Alberto Contini (@albecontini) on