We really do love Christmas here on the nerd farm, but for those of us with a more macabre sensibility, the cheerful glitteryness of the holiday can sometimes get to be a bit much. So I thought it might be nice to inject a little good-natured holiday gloom into the proceedings…
First up, we’ve got a literal Creepy Christmas: Bernie Wrightson’s festive redition of Uncle Creepy, from Creepy magazine:
Next, a couple of creepy decorating options:
And now for some unintentionally disturbing vintage Santa Claus photos, such as this one in which Jolly Old St. Nick takes on the aspect of an elfin kidnapper…
…this one, in which we appear to have interrupted some sort of nightmarish medical procedure…
…and of course, the only known photograph of The Ghost of Lady McSanta:
And were you aware of the legend of the Demon Santas who lured children away to Hell with the promise of a free donkey ride?
(If not, that’s probably because I just made it up. But these photographs represent proof nonetheless, don’t you think?)
Entirely less imaginary, of course, is Santa’s demon partner the Krampus.
A Dork Forty favorite (as evidenced by last night’s sharing of the Krampus Carol), the Krampus is an old Alpine folk tradition, stemming from the same Norse sources as much of the other Santa Claus mythology (Santa = Odin). Christmas, you see, was a two-edged freaking sword before the department stores got involved. These days, the worst that can happen to naughty children on Christmas is that Santa might blow some coal dust in their eyes, or fill their stockings with switches. But in the old days, Santa had somebody to handle his dirty work, and they didn’t mess around.
Back then, Santa would reward the good children, and Krampus would punish the bad. Usually by beating them with a birch branch and stuffing them in a sack to be dragged off to Hell. Sounds a little worse than just not getting a new Barbie doll, doesn’t it?
Some traditions held that Santa had a different helper, an evil farmer named Ruprecht, who would stuff naughty children in a sack and drown them in the river.
Now, of course we love Ruprecht here on the nerd farm. Kindred spirits, and all that. And there is a certain weird “WTF” factor to him that’s irresistible. But even we have to admit that his big brother the Krampus is actually a lot cooler. I mean, “Krampus” apparently translates as “The Claw” in Old German. And how cool is that?
“Be good, kids, or THE CLAW will come and drag your naughty asses off to Hell!”
Yeah. Yeah, Ruprecht just can’t compete.