Greetings From Krampus: Gorgeous Old Postcards Of Santa’s Demonic Sidekick

"He's making a list And checking it twice / Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice"

Everyone needs a side-kick, and Saint Nicklaus is no exception. We’re not talking about cutesy elves and glow-in-the-dark reindeer, but the Krampus, an anthropomorphic, demonic goat-horned creature of European folklore. Santa knows when you’ve been good and bad, and so does Krampus.  Santa just ignores the naughty kids. Krampus beats them to a pulp with a rusty chain and sticks, shoves them in a basket on his back and tosses the ungrateful kinder into a freezing river. The 19th-century invention of Christmas cards saw an explosion of images of Krampus sent around the world. These are from Austria and Hungary.

 

Saint Nicholas's Day. The Krampus (incubus in company of Saint Nicholas). Illustration, Hungary, vers 1920.

Saint Nicholas’s Day. The Krampus (incubus in company of Saint Nicholas). Illustration, Hungary, vers 1920.

Saint Nicholas's Day. The Krampus (incubus in company of Saint Nicholas) abducts the bad children in his basket. Engraving, Hungary, 1907.

Saint Nicholas’s Day. The Krampus (incubus in company of Saint Nicholas) abducts the bad children in his basket. Engraving, Hungary, 1907.

Saint Nicholas's Day. The Krampus (incubus in company of Saint Nicholas). Illustration, Hungary, c. 1904

Saint Nicholas’s Day. The Krampus (incubus in company of Saint Nicholas). Illustration, Hungary, c. 1904

 

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Krampus, an incubus figure in company of Santa Claus or St Nicholas who warns and if necessary punishes naughty children at Christmas. Postcard, Austria, 1919

Krampus, an incubus figure in company of Santa Claus or St Nicholas who warns and if necessary punishes naughty children at Christmas. Postcard, Austria, 1919

Krampus, an incubus figure in company of Santa Claus or St Nicholas who warns and if necessary punishes naughty children at Christmas. Postcard, Hungary, ca 1900.

Krampus, an incubus figure in company of Santa Claus or St Nicholas who warns and if necessary punishes naughty children at Christmas. Postcard, Hungary, ca 1900.

 

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Krampus, an incubus figure in company of Santa Claus or St Nicholas who warns and if necessary punishes naughty children at Christmas. Photographic postcard, Hungary, 1910

Krampus, an incubus figure in company of Santa Claus or St Nicholas who warns and if necessary punishes naughty children at Christmas. Photographic postcard, Hungary, 1910

Krampus (Devil, Père Fouettard, Knecht Ruprecht, traditionally evil companion of Santa Claus) taking naughty children, postcard for feast of St Nicholas, Hungary, early 20th century

Krampus (Devil, Père Fouettard, Knecht Ruprecht, traditionally evil companion of Santa Claus) taking naughty children, postcard for feast of St Nicholas, Hungary, early 20th century

 

krampus christmas cards

 

Krampus (Père Fouettard, Knecht Ruprecht, devil, traditionally evil companion of Santa Claus) weighing hearts, postcard, Hungary, early 20th century

Krampus (Père Fouettard, Knecht Ruprecht, devil, traditionally evil companion of Santa Claus) weighing hearts, postcard, Hungary, early 20th century

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Udvözlet a Krampustöl, Greetings from the Krampus (Père Fouettard, Knecht Ruprecht, devil, traditionally evil companion of Santa Claus), postcard for feast of St Nicholas (Santa Claus), Hungary, early 20th century

Udvözlet a Krampustöl, Greetings from the Krampus (Père Fouettard, Knecht Ruprecht, devil, traditionally evil companion of Santa Claus), postcard for feast of St Nicholas (Santa Claus), Hungary, early 20th century

krampus christmas cards

krampus christmas cards krampus christmas cards

krampus christmas cards

 

Krampus or Pere Fouettard (Knecht Ruprecht) flourishing a child at the end of his pitchfork. Postcard, Hungary 1906

Krampus or Pere Fouettard (Knecht Ruprecht) flourishing a child at the end of his pitchfork. Postcard, Hungary 1906

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Via: Rusty Shackleford, Rene WalterMonte Beauchamp