Christmas time is upon us, and that means that Santa will soon be coming down our chimneys with toys for everyone! It’s a joyous occasion, and most people are extremely excited about it.
But there are some lesser-known holiday legends that have more sinister backstories. They make Santa look like a little pipsqueak, and these holiday monsters are enough to frighten even the toughest adults.
1. PÃ¨re Fouettard
This French figure is said to have lured three boys into his cabin in order to eat them. He nearly did it, but St. Nicholas came in and rescued the boys, imprisoning PÃ¨re Fouettard and making him work as his servant. He dishes out punishment to bad children with his whip.
2. Hans Trapp
A French legend, Hans Trapp was a real man who was excommunicated by the Church for his awful behavior. He was exiled to a forest where he tried to eat a boy, only to be struck by a bolt of God’s lightning. He returns during Christmas in order to scare children into being good.
The story of the Icelandic Yule Cat, or JÃ³lakÃ¶tturinn, was told to get children to do their chores. According to the tale, the cat devours lazy children if they refuse to do their work.
Krampus is the legendary evil twin of Santa. He is an enforcer of good behavior, since kids who act out are punished by him for being bad.
5. Frau Perchta
This legend is quite gruesome. If Frau Perchta thinks you’ve been a good kid, she will reward you, but if you’ve been a bad kid, she rips out your organs and replaces them with garbage. Pretty gross, right?
This legend only exists in Pennsylvania Dutch communities. This fellow also punishes everyone on the naughty list.
7. Yule Lads
The Yule Lads are mischievous elves in Icelandic tradition who were created to get kids to behave better. I’m gathering from these legends that there are quite a few bad children out there.
GrÃ½la is the mother of the Yule Lads, so they answer to her. She is known as an ogress who kidnaps and eats children. She only recently became associated with Christmas, but the fear that she brings to children is very powerful.
(via Mental Floss)
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m going to be on my best behavior this holiday season. These legendary monsters are scaring me a little bit. I can’t believe parents tell their children this stuff!