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

  • Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty

    Photos From the 2021 Westminster Dog Show

    Images of the dogs and their handlers during the three-day competition and preliminary activities.

  • China Daily via Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Jovian Moon, Sunrise Piper, Sea Snot

    An optical illusion at the Eiffel Tower, a presidential election in Peru, a giant sinkhole in Mexico, a sunrise annular eclipse seen in New York City, a platypus health check in Australia, and much more

  • Justin Sullivan / Getty

    Photos: California’s Growing Drought Disaster

    Two years of extremely dry weather have driven the levels of California’s reservoirs to near-record lows, and residents, farmers, and fire crews are preparing for a long, dry summer.

  • Chris McGrath / Getty

    Drought and Sinkholes Threaten Farmers in Turkey

    Chris McGrath, a photographer with Getty Images, recently spent time in Turkey’s Konya province, where extreme drought conditions have been taking a heavy toll on farmers and the land.