Merry Krampus! A Tribute To The "christmas Devil"

Some will say that Christmas is over, but before we wave goodbye to 2015 and welcome 2016 in just a few short hours...
...we can still talk about everyone’s favorite Yuletide mascot- Krampus. Yeah, I said it. Good ‘ol St. Nick takes the backseat to Krampus in my book, because let’s face it: The “Christmas Devil” is WAY more interesting, completely badass, and if we’re being real here- just straight up terrifying.
The legend of Krampus came into being as a warning for naughty children- much like our Western tale of Santa replacing gifts with coal for those whose behavior was less than perfect. However, instead of a lousy lump of coal, German folklore states that Krampus- a pagan monster sporting horns and a beard, lashing a chain and bells- wanders the streets at night, seeking out the children who have been bad that year. Upon finding them, he swats the children with a bundle of birch sticks, and then ultimately drags them back to the underworld with him. Call me crazy- but this story seems like a much more effective way to coax (or traumatize) children into being good all year; I feel like they might prefer coal over you know, getting beaten and dragged to hell. But, to each his own.
Ilja Hummel
That being said- this terrifying half-goat, half-demon beast has transcended folklore and become a prominent figure in pop-culture, ultimately making it’s way into the modern art world- specifically in terms of tattooing. People love the scary, strange and unusual, and artists love to depict it- so whether it’s making a horror film, simply passing down the cautionary tale to your loved ones over some hot chocolate, or taking it a bit further and immortalizing the legend in ink- it’s safe to say, the story of Krampus is here to stay, and scarier than ever.
So, in the spirit of the season, take a second to look at how some of our favorite artists have chosen to render “The Christmas Devil,” and remember: Be good… Krampus is watching.
Nick Friederich
Afredo Guarracino
An illustration by Lozzy Bones
Suzy Todd