Krampus – Christmas Demon – Extra Mythology

Krampus – Christmas Demon – Extra Mythology


Happy midwinter everybody! Thanks so much for coming out
on this snowy night to hear the wondrous tale of the darkest time of the year. Deep in the Bavarian Alps, in an age before the light bulb
and the electric heater, people count the long frozen nights. And they keep lookout, for midwinter
is a time of magic, phantom riders
charge across the sky and goblins
sneak down the chimney. But on December 5th, a figure of light and holiness comes
to cleave the darkness. Saint Nicholas. Bearing treats for children
who’ve learned their prayers and behind him stalks, Krampus. Whip in hand to punish the children who have not. Be good and attend
your studies children, for on the eve
of St Nicholas Day, the Saint will come. You’ll see
the snowy soft beard, High mitre hat, and crooked staff
of the old bishop and he’ll bring cakes, dried fruit, nuts, and candies
to children. He might even ask you
to recite a poem or prayer because after all
the saint loves education. But woe betide
the disobedient child, the lazy child, the one who hasn’t studied. For along with Nicholas
comes his companion, Krampus. Krampus of the hooved feet, of the clawed hands
and chains Krampus with his lolling red tongue and goatish horns Shuffling and lopping, so the great bells on his back the size of baby’s head’s clatter with the sound of buckshot in a can Krampus who beats naughty children
with his bundle of switches or horse-tail whip Perhaps he might not
beat you himself If you are unworthy
of a gift from Nicholas, Krampus may give
your parents a bundle of birch twigs to hang over
the fireplace To use as they see fit, and those
are the lucky children the unlucky ones He takes in his great sack what becomes of them? No one knows he may drown them
in icy streams, devour them, or spirit them directly to hell And worst of all, there is never just one Krampus. Nicholas travels with a mob of three, four, or a half dozen Okay, so you all might be wondering where do these devils come from? And why are they traveling
with Nicholas on Krampus Nacht? In truth, no one knows Krampus emerged in the Alps, appearing in Germany, Austria, and northern Italy yet He is not a creature of any one country the mountains themselves birthed him. Some say he’s ancient and Pagan But this is unlikely Bavaria is deeply Catholic. And yes, though Devils like Krampus may originate in the forest, much like the ones we sit in now (chuckles) Centuries of Christian folklore
and church teachings have changed them. If Krampus is a pagan devil He is a thing only half-remembered far from his roots But those who know the stories of Nicholas’s life know that he is no stranger
to frightening companions Of course There’s the kindly stories, like where Nicolas came across
the house of a destitute man who could not afford to pay Dowry for his three daughters to marry, and instead, planned to sell them to a brothel. For two nights unseen, Nicolas threw bags
of gold into their windows, and on the third night,
He threw it down the chimney It’s why they say
the saint brings presents But there’s also the story of the innkeeper and his wife, who killed three Schoolboys and chopped them up, putting them in a barrel
to sell their meat. Blessed Nicolas Uncovered the crime
and resurrected the boys, whole in body. In some parts of France They say, this murderous innkeeper, old man whipper, now punishes children for the saint the same way Krampus does in the Alps. Now, of course everyone knows these stories because
of the old Christmas plays and some say that Krampus
came from there, too Because these plays also feature the devil himself Stalking the stage, wearing a hairy suit and wooden mask Ranting and sometimes lunging
at the audience with two fellow demons restraining him with the chains that wrap his body and, at times, he drags evil characters
into a smoky Hellmouth and the darkness backstage and that Lucifer, so often on stage with Nicolas, looks quite a bit like Krampus And as if that wasn’t terrifying enough, other winter demons exist, and may have even birthed the Saints vile companion Folks say that the twelve days of Christmas are a time for all types of ghosts and monsters to wander But among the most frightening is the witch Frau Perchta: she of the iron nose and scissors She is far older than Krampus; indeed, some folks say she was
the goddess before the church came But fallen goddess or not, these days the ancient Crone visits houses
to see if children have done their chores And completed their flax spinning. If they have, she will reward them with a coin. If not, she will creep in as they sleep Eviscerate them with her iron shears, and fill their empty bellies with unspun flax, wood shavings, and garbage. You don’t want a belly full of garbage, do you children? Actually, It’s for Perchta
that families leave out milk, pudding bread, and dumplings overnight Well for her and the horde of unquiet spirits
and demons that form her entourage Demons that I will remind you look a great deal like Krampus But whether from the stage, Perchta’s mob, or both, the Krampus works with Saint Nicholas now The night before the feast of Saint Nicholas, the saint and his demonic attendants run through the town and visit children in their homes Nicholas quizzes them
on their memorized passages While the Krampus swarm in afterward to howl, shake their chains, and snap their horsehair whips in threat now you may have heard older children
say that there is no Krampus, that the monsters
which run through the town and Visit your home are merely young men
dressed in wooden masks, horns, and animal skins Props easily available to alpine farmers, but you’re too smart
to believe that aren’t you children? You’ve seen the Krampus at the village runs Lashing people with their whips and roaring in your homes reaching for you as you shelter
behind the dining room table and maybe you’ve even been one of the bold ones, pushing your way to the front
of the crowd at the Krampus run so that when the monster approaches you can prove
that you’re not frightened, that you can reach out
and touch the devil’s fur, A test of bravery, a rite of passage you knew in that touch that Krampus was real for how can one touch a legend? And after all if Krampus was not real, how could he travel to America? I’ve heard that in the German towns of Pennsylvania He goes by the name of Belsnickel, a long tongued, horned man, who spreads cake and candy
on the ground and as children scramble for them, he strikes their back with a rod Don’t believe me? In that case, visit Pennsylvania Dutch country
on a snowbound night and wait In the dark of midwinter night, you’ll hear Belsnickel’s switch tap on the frozen windowpane (Ra-tat-tat, ra-tat-tat) [softer] (ra-tat-tat) So don’t fool yourself into thinking that Krampus is the only strange being that haunts the holiday season There’s the Wild Hunt
that tears across the sky, Perchta and her attendants, midwinter werewolves, or Caga Tió, A smiling log that children in Catalonia sing to, warm with a blanket, and beat with a stick
until it poops out candy and presents Perhaps I’ll tell you about them next year. Until then, happy holidays everyone and remember be good Krampus is watching You know if he is watching we should probably sing one of our favorite krampus songs, right? He sees you when you’re sleeping,
and he hits you with the rake (gah) He knows that you’ve been really bad,
so he’ll drown you in a lake. Everybody! No, ok just me.

100 thoughts on “Krampus – Christmas Demon – Extra Mythology

  1. The Extra Mythology poll is open now (at the time this video goes public) for patrons! Help us decide what culture to cover next! https://www.patreon.com/posts/23379543

  2. Does that mean krampus and Santa work together and the naughty list is for him and the good list his for santa

  3. (Lady at restaurant): What do you want sir?
    Me: do you have a Satan with extra Christmas?
    Lady: Sure. Would you like fries with your Krampus?

  4. Krampus is the son of Hel,therefore definitely of Heathen/Pagan origin…or perhaps best stated,Netherworldly

  5. Don't you just love it when it's 9 pm on the 24th of December and you and your brother walk to the Library through a dark forest next to a construction site while your other brother dresses as Krampus and wacks the trees to scare the ever loving shit out of you?

  6. "Krampus might spirit the bad children directly to hell!"
    A Dutchman: That's might be a bit of an exaggerated description for Spain…
    (In the Netherlands, Krampus is Black Pete, who puts naughty children in his sack and brings them to Spain)

  7. why does this make Saint Nicholas sound like a mobster?
    be good and be rewarded… but disrespect and his thugs will teach you a lesson

  8. Fair warning: St. Nicholas was not known to be kind to heretics. According to one story, he slapped the heretical bishop Arius in the face at the Council of Nicaea for insulting the Virgin Mary by insinuating that her Son was not God by claiming he was of a lesser substance.

  9. My dad's family is VERY Dutch. Grandpa would tell us about Zwatre Pieter and Sinterklaas, and that Sinterklaas would bring us gifts if we were good, but if we were especially bad, Zwatre Pieter would stuff us in his sack and sell us to Spain.

    Spain is still on my list of places I'm not that interested in visiting.

  10. My best friend is thar one kid that tells the teacher uh actually because of extra credits and he told me to watch extra credits so yeah now im smarter

  11. What if I never study cuz I never need to because i memorized everything as I learned stuff, and my parents are stubborn as hell and I keep talking back cuz you know SCIENCE, and also am lazy cuz I don't wanna do something for example grabbing my moms phone for her when it's literally 3 fucking steps away

  12. He travels the whole world within just 1 life, he knows and can give you whatever you want and has a semi-army of demons, maybe he’s not all that saint at all, or even human for that matter, what is behind that bearded smile and under that hat ?

  13. Perchta is probalby Hel later Frau Holle from northern germanic myrhologie. And between October 30th util the winter solstice, or from 21. Of December til new year ( depends where you look at) it is the time of the wild hunt.
    This is a mix of the development of different myths and legends from celtic/ norse, germanic/ and Christian mythologies mixed with local superstitions. In the migration age a lot mixed. My thoaghts, might be completely wrong

  14. in indonesia, theres a lot more of demon thats haunted the childern on friday night. unfortunately, its attempt every week.

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