In How to Write a Unique Spooky Story, I wrote about how to write a unique spooky story by either creating your own monster, creature, or horror yourself or by finding a monster that is not well known. I advised finding a monster by researching myths and legends in other cultures to find something that has a rich history surrounding it, but that is not considered modern. However, when writers think of monster stories, they typically think of Halloween monsters and not of the monsters that are associated with Christmas.
In Austria, Frau Perchta is a witch that is known for punishing and rewarding people during the holiday season. Her favorite punishment is to replace the criminal’s organs with garbage and to laugh as they slowly die. Those that Frau Perchta sees doing good deeds, she rewards with good luck or a gift hidden under their bed.
In Europe, Krampus is believed to be Santa’s twin, but while Santa is the carrot that rewards children, Krampus is the stick that punishes them. Krampus punishes the children on Santa’s naughty list and will occasionally satiate his appetite by eating children who have been on the naughty list for more than two years in a row.
In France, Hans Trapp is an anti-Santa character who used to be an evil man that ate children until one day he was struck by lightning when attempting to eat a child. However, that was not the end of Hans Trapp as every year during the holiday season he rises from the grave as a demonic scarecrow that hunts and scares naughty children in the days leading up to Christmas.
Also in France is Père Fouettard whom Santa Claus caught trying to butcher three young children for a holiday feast. Santa Claus saved the boys and made Père Fouettard into a servant that he could use to punish bad children on St. Nicholas Day; however, it is also believed that Santa Claus does not allow Père Fouettard to permanently harm or kill any of the bad children.
In Norway, the Yule Lads are a group of 13 trolls that were caught causing trouble on Christmas by Julenisse (Santa Claus). Julenisse then gave the Yule Lads the job scaring the children of Norway into good behavior so that they can get gifts from Julenisse on Christmas.
In Iceland, Jólakötturinn is an evil cat that eats lazy children. In Iceland, children who finish their work on time get new clothes for Christmas. When Christmas Day has passed, Jólakötturinn wanders Iceland, looking for children that did not get new clothing and whenever Jólakötturinn finds a child without new clothing, he eats them whole.
In Germany, Belsnickel is a creature that wears a tattered old cloak that hides his face and only leaves his long, fur covered arms visible. Belsnickel wanders the streets of Germany during the week before Christmas, carrying a switch that he uses to either threaten or punish naughty children with in order to teach them a lesson in time for them to change their ways before Christmas Eve so as to get a visit from St. Nicholas.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Sefina Hawke