Krampus: Saint Nick's Dark Companion

While Saint Nicholas may bring gifts to good boys and girls, ancient folklore in Europe's Alpine region also tells of Krampus, a frightening beast-like creature who emerges during the Yule season, looking for naughty children to punish in horrible ways—or possibly to drag back to his lair in a sack. In the last few decades, parts of Austria have seen the founding of numerous village Krampus associations that parade without St. Nick, frightening children on Krampusnacht, chasing them and hitting them with sticks, during an (often alcohol-fueled) run through the dark streets.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Denis Balibouse / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 12/2–12/10

    California wildfires, the Sankta Lucia Festival of Light in England, a snowy football game in New York, Glasgow's annual Santa Dash, and much more.

  • Susana Vera / Reuters

    Hopeful Images From 2017

    After another year of news stories that produced photos which can often be difficult or disturbing to view, I’ve made it a tradition to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past year.

  • KCNA / Reuters

    2017 in Photos: Wrapping Up the Year

    Time to take a look back at some of the most memorable events and images of 2017. Among the events covered in this essay, part 3 of 3: California wildfires, Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico, a farewell to the Cassini spacecraft, and much more.

  • Omar Sobhani / Reuters

    2017 in Photos: A Look at the Middle Months

    Time to take a look back at some of the most memorable events and images of 2017. Among the events covered in this essay, part 2 of 3: Hurricane Harvey hits Texas, France elects a new president, a total solar eclipse crosses the U.S., and much more.

Join the Discussion