The Creepiest European Christmas Legends

According to folklore, kids in Europe have it WAY worse than us.

Everyone loves the jolly Santa who brought us awesome presents as children:

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On bad years, we might have gotten lumps of coal.

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But in Europe, naughty children get PUNISHED and BEATEN.

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1. Yule Lads, or Icelandic trolls, would come from the mountains to steal things and scare children.

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2. Germany’s Knecht Ruprecht (Farmhand Rupert) beats naughty children with a bag of ashes!

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3. Lazy young’uns in Iceland might be sacrificed to the hungry Yule Cat, Jólakötturinn.

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4. And then there’s Krampus of Austria, who kidnaps children to EAT them later.

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5. Krampus’s counterpart, Perchta, actually DISEMBOWELS misbehaving kids.

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6. Mari Lwyd, a weird Welsh horse, goes door to door to peddle!

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7. Alsace, France’s Hans Trapp threatens children with a stick.

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8. Swiss Santa’s alter ego, Schmultzi, beats naughty children with a broom of twigs.

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9. La Befana, Italy’s Christmas witch, also smacks devious children with a broom!

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10. The Dutch Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) threatens to take bad children to Spain.

Apparently that’s a punishment.

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11. And of course there’s Grýla, the monstrous Icelandic woman who eats children raw.

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