Why Krampus Will Drag You to Hell Tonight, According to Mythology

Rae Paoletta

A year like this one has shattered our commercially approved image of what holiday cheer should look like. Since nothing could be worse than the fresh hell we’re all currently living in, some Millennials are ditching the saccharine St. Nick for his demonic counterpart — the German “Christmas Devil,” Krampus.

The legend of Krampus — who appears as a goat-demon — can be traced back to pre-Christian times in Alpine communities. On the night before December 6, which marks the Feast of St. Nicholas, the Krampus has his reign of terror, called Krampusnacht. For a few hours, he gets to run around searching for bad children to scoop up and take back to hell. He also eats them sometimes? The details get a little hazy after hundreds of years.

In any case, he makes scary faces like this while bad kids cry:

“Krampus is better than Santa because he has dramatic flair, hates kids, and doesn’t eat my cookies,” Shaunna Murphy, a disgruntled former Santa’s Workshop employee, tells Inverse.