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Happy Holidays from the Devil: 19 Freaky Krampus Cards

Europe's ancient Krampus creature hunts down naughty children every holiday season and drags them to their doom.

Have you been good this year?

In the alpine nations of Europe, jolly Saint Nick has a terrifying companion. Krampus is a hairy horned beast that crawls out from the black forests every holiday season. With his rusty chains and heavy ruten birch switch, the hellish holiday hinderer creeps from village to village, terrorizing naughty boys and girls before scooping them up and carrying them off into the night.

The demonic creature dates back to pre-Christian traditions, and was incorporated into Christmas around the 17th century. Festive Europeans with a taste for the nightmarish began exchanging Krampuskarten holiday cards by the 1800s. Many featured Krampus gleefully dragging children to their doom, while others were so bawdy they’d make Mrs. Claus blush.

Today, Krampus fanatics continue the tradition with Krampusnacht processions. On December 5th, the night preceding the Feast of Saint Nicholas, men in towns from Germany to Hungary don devilish costumes and stalk the streets, threatening any child who crosses their path.


While Saint Nicholas sometimes appears during the procession, he only concerns himself with the good children. Naughty boys and girls are left to menacing holiday devil.

Looking to add a little horror to your holidays? Look through our favorite Krampus cards in the slideshow below (via Krampus.com), then check out Monte Beauchamp’s fiendishly good anthology of illustrations Krampus: The Devil of Christmas. It’s the perfect gift for the creepy beast in your life.

  • The demon looms over a frightened boy on a rocking horse.

  • Krampus pulls the pigtails of a little girl.

  • The sinister creature yanks the hair of a young woman.

  • The grinning creature hoists what seems to be a drowned child.

  • Krampus chases down a screaming boy with a pitchfork.

  • A child bathes a small version of the demon.

  • The fiend bursts from a toy box and scares two children.

  • Krampus spanks a child with his switch while horrified children look on.

  • The hellish holiday hinderer approaches a little girl with a wailing child stuffed in his sack.

  • Krampus looms over a little girl.

  • The festive demon leads a row of naughty children bound together in chains.

  • The horrid creature, a bundle of naughty children strapped to his back, leaps into the underworld.

  • Krampus looms over the masses.

  • The monster spirits away a set of toddlers.

  • The menacing demon yanks the ears of a wailing child.

  • A motorized Krampus hauls away naughty children while Saint Nick rides shotgun.

  • The bug-eyed terror leaps out at the viewer.

  • The monstrous creature peers into his sack of naughty children with a disapproving Saint Nick.

  • The lascivious beast lords over a girl in prayer.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons; All images via Krampus.com

Published on 23 Dec 2016

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