The Krampus has its origins in Germanic folklore and has traditionally been seen as a mythological ‘anti-santa’ – part goat, part devil creature with cloven hooves and a demonic, terrifying tongue. The popularity of the Krampus flourished in the 18th and 19th Century in Bavaria and Austria, with Krampus Christmas Cards becoming a popular illustrative choice. Their unique style became known as Krampuskarten Cards.
The myth goes that children who disobey their parents will be scared by the Krampus with rusty bells and chains. While this threat is fairly tame compared to some European fairy tales, there’s no denying that depictions of the Krampus can be pretty darn terrifying. In recent years, we’ve noticed the Krampus has been inspiring artists and designers, and RB is now home to some pretty impressive Krampus-inspired art.
To pay tribute to a slice of nostalgic weirdness, we’ve compiled some of the strangest, scariest and just plain bizarre Krampus cards we could find. Be warned – these devilish, disturbing illustrations aren’t for the faint of heart.