In 2 of the games I play, there is

  • In Drive Ahead, a mini-boss is Krampus on a mission for Christmas.

  • In Terraria, during the Frost Moon, Krampus spawns.

It obviously has some Christmas roots, as he is the opposite of Santa. There seems to be a folklorish origin.

What is the origin of it?

2 Answers 2


From the origins of Krampus, Europe's evil twist on Santa:

"Krampus himself historically comes around the night of December 5, tagging along with St. Nicholas. He visits houses all night with his saintly pal. While St. Nick is on hand to put candy in the shoes of good kids and birch twigs in the shoes of the bad, Krampus' particular specialty is punishing naughty children. Legend has it that throughout the Christmas season, misbehaved kids are beaten with birch branches or can disappear, stuffed into Krampus' sack and hauled off to his lair to be tortured or eaten."

Krampus in reality has nothing to do with Christmas in its' origins.

"Krampus' roots have nothing to do with Christmas. Instead, they date back to pre-Germanic paganism in the region. His name originates with the German krampen, which means "claw," and tradition has it that he is the son of the Norse god of the underworld, Hel. During the 12th century, the Catholic Church attempted to banish Krampus celebrations because of his resemblance to the devil. More eradication attempts followed in 1934 at the hands of Austria's conservative Christian Social Party. But none of it held, and Krampus emerged as a much-feared and beloved holiday force."


Krampus is from Austro-Bavarian alpine folklore and has his origins in germanic paganism.

"Krampus existed in Bavaria earlier than the 17th Century, dating back to the times of a Germanic Paganism. When Bavaria and its neighbours became Christian countries, an attempt was made to rid the land of Krampus. During the Inquisition in the 12th Century, the Catholic Church tried to eradicate the celebration of Krampus because of his devilish appearance."

So he's definitely pre-12th century but seems to have been popularized as we know him today in the 17th century.

"In 17th Century Alpine legends, he travels with St Nicholas to dole out punishments to naughty children with a rod of birch. The particularly naughty children are kidnapped and taken away to his lair. Some variation of the myth say this is where he devours them, though most leave the demise of the children up to interpretation."

From: Christmas Demons II - Krampus and Perchta

  • 3
    Hi Tawny, could you add some text from your link to put it in context? This is also useful for the future in case of link rot. May 12, 2016 at 10:01

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