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    Posted on Dec 23, 2012

    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:

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

    But in Europe, naughty children get PUNISHED and BEATEN.

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

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

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

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

    Krampus's counterpart, Perchta, actually DISEMBOWELS misbehaving kids.

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

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

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

    La Befana, Italy's Christmas witch, also smacks devious children with a broom!

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

    Apparently that's a punishment.

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

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