Mental Floss

17 Devilishly Awesome Vintage Krampus Cards

Caitlin Schneider
walt74 via Flickr // CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
walt74 via Flickr // CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / walt74 via Flickr // CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
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We know you've all been nice this year, but just in case, we wanted to remind you that December 5 is Krampus Night (or Krampusnacht): the night when that half-goat, half-demon spirit of Christmas chaos appears to basically be the antithesis of Saint Nicholas. He thieves, he gives out coal, and as these vintage cards indicate, generally torments all the naughty boys and girls (and men and women!) who aren't in Santa's good graces. Get familiar with the hairy, horned, serpentine-tongued beast—that way you'll be able to see him coming.

1. "GRUSS VOM KRAMPUS!"

Wikimedia Commons

"Greetings from Krampus!"

2. KRAMPUS ON HIS BROOMSTICK


Wikimedia Commons

This terrifying composition is both ridiculous—and a little too realistic for our liking. 

3. KRAMPUS ON A ROCKING HORSE

Wikimedia Commons

No toy is safe.

4. FOLLOW THE LEADER

The Public Domain Review via Flickr

This town seems to have a lot of naughty kids. 

5. KRAMPUS AND SAINT NICHOLAS

Wikimedia Commons

Even an evil demon beast cowers when in the presence of Old St. Nick.

6. KRAMPUS AND SAINT NICHOLAS, VOLUME 2.0

riptheskull via Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

It might seem weird for these two to look so chummy, but they've actually been palling around since the 17th century. Or maybe the patron saint of sailors, voyagers, merchants, repentant thieves, children, brewers, judges, perfumers, pawnbrokers, students and more, is just cheesing before ditching the Christmas devil.  

7. ROMANTIC KRAMPUS?

riptheskull via Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Not all paramours are what they seem.

8. GIANT STUFFED TOY KRAMPUS

riptheskull via Flickr// CC BY-ND 2.0

That's one way to manage your fears.

9. "GABEN DEN GUTEN! DEN SCHLIMMEN DIE RUTEN!"

riptheskull via Flickr //CC BY-ND 2.0

The good kids get gifts from Santa and the bad ones get the Krampus's rod, but both Christmas figures offer greetings, so there's that!

10. HAGGARD KRAMPUS

riptheskull via Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Poor Krampus is looking worse for wear in this holiday card. Perhaps he's had a long night of seasonal menace-making.

11. LADY KRAMPUS

riptheskull via Flickr //CC BY-ND 2.0

In this cheery depiction, a female Krampus "beckons with eternal chains," and looks pretty while doing it.

12. CRAZY-EYED KRAMPUS

walt74 via Flickr // CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

That basket ride would be pretty fun were it not for the mythical and punishing Christmas demon.

13. AIRBORNE KRAMPUS

walt74 via Flickr // CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Even we can admit: this looks pretty cool.

14. INTO THE FIERY DEPTHS

walt74 via Flickr //CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Always put your best hoof forward when descending to hell with a crew of dubious, cherub-cheeked children.

15. CREEPY KRAMPUS FIGURINE, TAKE TWO

walt74 via Flickr // CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

There's been an uptick in the production of Krampus figurines in recent years, so it might be high time for you to get your own. We just hope it doesn't become part of a toy attack like in Krampus (2015).

16. COY KRAMPUS

walt74 via Flickr // CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Is he hiding behind the fan? Is she using the fan to push him away? Either way, it might be a good idea to arm yourself with the fashionable ventilator this holiday season.

17. KRAMPUS HITS THE BOOKS

walt74 via Flickr // CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

It's unclear exactly what's happening here, but Krampus has his spectacles on, so you know it's serious.

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