Follow TV Tropes


The Krampus

Go To
Really just fills you with that old-time Christmas Spirit, doesn't he?

Sei nur brav um niemals keck,
Dann der Krampus schaut um's Eck.
— Message on greeting cards on Krampusnacht

Krampus is an Alpine mountain demon who figures heavily in the December traditions of Central Europe. According to legend, Krampus accompanies St. Nicholas during the early Christmas season. Depending on the story, Krampus is either a regular demon enslaved by St. Nicholas to do the Saint's bidding, or is a demon who willingly and gladly works as St. Nicholas's partner. Krampus acts as the Bad Cop to St. Nicholas's Good Cop, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who instead rewards good children.

In the Alpine regions, Krampus takes the form of a giant demon covered in goat, bear or ram fur, his head sporting large horns with a long, slavering tongue often hanging out of his mouth. Depending on the story, Krampus may have chained shackles on his wrists, signifying his enslavement to St. Nicholas. Generally though, Krampus will be wearing several large bells (as a warning to any who hear them that he's coming), along with a large wicker basket and birch rod. If someone has been bad, Krampus will either threaten a beating with his birch rod or actually give one. If his target has been particularly bad, then Krampus stuffs them into his wicker basket, and drags them off to punish them for their crimes. Depending on the story, Krampus will either bring them to St. Nicholas's home, Krampus's own mountain underworld, Hell, twelfth-century Moorish Spain, or simply Scare 'Em Straight and bring them back home.


Traditionally, young men in Southern Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czechia, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, and even Northern Italy dress up as the Krampus during the first two weeks of December, particularly on the evening of December 5, known as Krampusnacht, and roam the streets in grand, sweeping parades through town. Often, they will go after adults in the audience who are in on the fun, especially tourists encountering their first "Krampus Parade" or attractive young women. Curiously, despite their fearsome appearance and reputation, the (plural) Krampusi are generally fairly kind to children, generally exempting them from the shenanigans they pull on the adults.

Despite the frightening overtones, Krampus is quite a popular character in the Alpine countries. He brings some harmless "scary" fun to the Christmas season, not unlike what happens at Halloween. He is also not alone as the companion of St. Nicholas. Compare him with Knecht Ruprecht, a German character who performs a similar role (though more as a stern authority figure than a nasty devil), Zwarte Piet, a Dutch character said to put bad children in a sack and take them to Spain, the Lady Perchta, a female version of Krampus who can either be drop-dead gorgeous or hideously ugly, Père Fouettard (Father Whipper, sometimes localized as Father Flog), a French version usually depicted as a dark-haired and black-wearing Santa Claus who whips misbehaving children, Czech chort putting naughty children in a sack and bringing them to hell, and The Yule Lads, a group of 13 Icelandic troll-like beings who historically caused mischief during Christmas, but became more Santa Claus-like in modern times . See also Bad Santa, which the Krampus is occasionally portrayed as. If The Krampus and Santa Claus are the same person, see Santabomination.


Another part of Krampus's popularity comes from a feature you might not have noticed in his picture up above. His very long tongue. Sometimes just a few feet long, sometimes ... excessively longer. Once that became part of the lore, Power Perversion Potential came into play, and he became quite popular with the ladies. You can buy postcards of Krampus. Some show him menacing children. Some show him kidnapping women. Some show women kidnapping him.

If you're looking for the 2015 horror movie, see Krampus.

Depictions of the Krampus in media

    open/close all folders 

  • On the old G4 channel, there was an old ad for one of the shows featuring Krampus. Enjoy.

    Anime and Manga 

    Audio Play 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who audio two-parter "Better Watch Out" and "Fairytale of Salzburg", a wish-granting entity in Salzburg grants a wish that brings the Krampus into existence, along with an army of imps that attack practically everyone in Salzburg, targeting people for even relatively minor sins. As the entire city, including the Doctor, faces being dragged into Hell, the Doctor's companion Helen Sinclair is forced to take the TARDIS and spend literally decades learning how to pilot it until she finds Bishop Nicholas of Myra, the inspiration for Santa Claus, and brings him to Salzburg so that he can order the Krampus to release its captives, based on how the myth states that Saint Nicholas is the only person able to command the demon.

    Comic Books 
  • 'Twas the Night Before Krampus: A Tale of St. Nicholas Christmas. A dark revamp of Santa and an even darker revamp of Krampus.
  • Krampus appears in the 2010 story "Grounded" in the erratically published Paul Dini comic Jingle Belle. He's introduced lamenting how Santa's "gone soft" and gotten too lenient with putting kids on the "nice" list, which has pretty much put Krampus out of work.
  • Chickenhare has a Krampus named Banjo.
  • The horror comic Grimm Fairy Tales featured the Krampus in its 2010 holiday special.
    • It has been featured in almost every subsequent holiday special since its first appearance.
  • There is a five-issue comic book series created by Brian Joines and Dean Kotz with Krampus as the main character, appropriately called Krampus.
  • How The Krampus Saved Christmas is a project by Ryan L. Schrodt, Dominic Black, and Adam Wollet about Krampus setting out to save Christmas and punish Santa for letting the holiday be consumed by commercialism. It is currently in Development Hell, however. You can read the first few pages here.
  • Krampus: Shadow of Saint Nicholas by Michael Dougherty is an upcoming comic-book tie-in to the horror comedy film Krampus.
  • Malice and Mistletoe by Nathan Grahan Davis is about an assassin contracted by Santa (who is not the jolly old elf he used to be) to kill the Krampus.
  • In the miniseries Klaus by Grant Morrison, Krampus (rather than being the servant/partner of Santa) is Santa's enemy who feeds on bad children and corrupts things with his mere touch.
  • Issue seven of Holidaze is entitled The All-Krampus Spectacular and is an anthology of Krampus-themed stories with other holiday icons.
  • Lots of comics have superheroes or other comic book characters/characters from other media fight Krampus:
    • Amy, Rory and Mels encounter (and defeat) the Krampus as eight year olds in the Doctor Who Magazine strip "Imaginary Enemies". However, the version depicted has very little to do with the legends - he is the Evil Counterpart of Santa and a member of the Trickster's Brigade, and he looks like a black-bearded Santa in a colour-reversed white suit with red fur trimming.
      • Krampus also appears as a species in an earlier comic, "Red Christmas." They are a red gaseous species (otherwise looking like typical Krampus) that feed off negative emotions to survive, using a psychic fog to separate people from loved ones and send them into states of panic. They are very weak against bright light, which is revealed when the Doctor used both the sonic screw driver and the roof light of his TARDIS to disperse their fog.
      • The Doctor Who (Titan) Thirteenth Doctor Christmas Special story has the Thirteenth Doctor and fam fight another completely different Krampus, who uses the pseudonym "Mr. Henderson" despite being apparently female. She is an entity that feeds on fear and an enemy of Santa. She was plotting to send out brainwashed alien "Santas" to terrorise Earth, in order to nourish herself and discredit Christmas for a generation.
    • Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose has a 2013 special issue called Night of the Krampus. As is typical of this series, Krampus is depicted as a hot lady.
    • Evil Dead 2: Revenge of the Krampus is part of the Evil Dead 2: Revenge of series, this one has Ash saving a kid who has been taken by Krampus.
    • Spawn: A Holiday Krampus Tale has Spawn fighting Krampus.
    • The Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider took on the Krampus in Ghost Rider X-Mas Special. His little brother is getting teased for being too into Christmas, and the lack of Christmas spirit draws Krampus to the town. In this Krampus literally looks like a thinner demonic Santa, even having his own sled pulled by skeletal reindeer.
    • Hellboy: Krampusnacht has Hellboy up against Krampus.
    • The Power Man and Iron Fist Sweet Christmas Annual has Luke, Danny, and Jessica Drew (Spider Woman) get into a fight with Krampus and an army of demons after Luke's daughter Danielle and Jessica's baby. They're saved when Santa swoops in and beats Krampus, delivering a heartfelt message as he drags Krampus's bloody body onto his sled.
    • Krampus is the Big Bad of the fantasy comic Klaus, in which he goes up against a Badass Santa.

    Fan Works 
  • In Shadowchasers: Ascension, a minor villain named Victor used a deck that included an Xyz Monster based on the character; Ophelia was the only one who recognized the reference, leading to this exchange:
    Ophelia: ...but it was a rather scary story, and not too pleasant to tell during the holidays, so the legend of Krampus was rarely mentioned outside of the Alpine countries, while everywhere else, St. Nicholas evolved into jolly old Santa Claus, a guy who would never dream of using such scare tactics.
    Dante: Maybe it would have been a good idea… A guy like this might have convinced kids to behave more than Santa threatening to leave coal in their stockings.
  • Krampus is a semi-popular monster for custom dolls and original characters in the Monster High franchise.
  • Given the nature of The Guardians of Childhood book series and its movie adaptation Rise of the Guardians, it's inevitable that there would be many fanfictions/fanarts/ocs based on the Krampus. One of these, The Sabbat, features the Krampus as Nicholas St. North's predecessor, as one of the Guardians of the Sabbat. And as the opening of the story shows, he's a dangerous individual.
  • The fanfiction Hetalia: Axis Powers comic series, Chibi Prussia, has a Christmas story arc where a young Hungary warns Prussia that Krumpas will come for him because of his naughtiness. Hilarity Ensues as a terrified Prussia tries to defend himself from Krumpas and ends up tackling Germania to the ground as Hungary and Austria have a laugh. It comes to a rather amusing end as the real Krampus passes over punishing Prussia since Germania's already spanking him, then carries off Hungary and Austria for being naughty and scaring Prussia.
  • The Invader Zim oneshot Knows If You've Been Naughty features Krampus coming after Gaz after she shows some particularly nasty Christmas behavior. He assaults her with a switch beating, as per the tradition, and then proceeds to abduct her to the North Pole, where she's transformed and brainwashed to serve as one of Santa's elves, making presents for nicer children for the rest of her life. In some twists on the original folklore, he's shown not as a demon but as a man who's an inverted Santa Claus, being rail thin and all in black; he notably states that he does not eat naughty children (in fact, he's vegetarian); and he and Santa actually appear to be close friends.
  • In Undertale King Asgore also plays the role of Santa for the monsters. So, in the spirit of the popular grimdark AU Underfell, this blog made Underfell!Asgore as the Krampus.
  • In Earth 27, Krampus (or as he used to be called, "Krampos") is a satyr who works for Santa Claus. He's an Adaptational Nice Guy, only really persecuting naughty children- or Nazi officers, apparently.

  • Night of the Krampus has the Krampus kidnapping children and a team of supernatural investigators going after him.
  • Krampus: The Christmas Devil is an indie movie released in 2013 about a detective who searches for missing children while dealing with the trauma of when he himself was kidnapped as a child. In this movie, Krampus is Santa Claus's evil brother.
    • There is a sequel called Krampus 2: The Devil Returns.
  • There is much debate over Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale and whether the antagonist in it is a Bad Santa, a Krampus, or Joulupukki. Given that it is a Finnish film, it is more likely that it is Joulupukki. Note that the characters in the movie always speak of Santa Claus/Joulupukki. The modern Joulupukki is the Finnish version of Santa Claus, usually treated as interchangeable; his name means, nonsensically, "Christmas goat", and by some accounts, this originally referred to a goat accompanying St. Nicholas that sounds very much like Krampus. Returning to the movie, its depiction of "Santa" might have been inspired by Krampus, although in-universe, there are old depictions of "Joulupukki" as being like that. (All save maybe the mildest one (left) seem to be fabrications for the movie.)
  • Kranky Klaus is a documentary of an Austrian Krampus tradition.
  • A Musical Journey: A Christmas Musical Tour is a compilation of the orchestral music of Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach set to recordings of Christmas celebrations over Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. One segment is to the tune of J. S. Bach's "Orchestral Suite No. 2 - Badinerie" and features footage of a Krampus Night festival in Steyr, Austria.
  • Krampus, a horror-comedy from the director of Trick 'r Treat about The Krampus attacking a Dysfunctional Family who must band together to stop him.
  • A Christmas Horror Story is a horror-anthology film about the horrible, seasonal happenings in the fictional town of Bailey Downs. It stars George Buza as Santa, Rob Archer as Krampus, and William Shatner as the narrator DJ Dan.
    • There are in fact two different Krampuses in this film. One is a transformation some people will undergoe when they are deeply enraged during the Christmas Holiday. The other was an evil anti-Christmas demon, who turned out to be a hallucentation by a Mall Santa.
  • Santa Krampus is a short indie film from Jerry Williams.
  • Krampus: The Reckoning is about a disturbed young girl named Zoe who's "imaginary friend" turns out to be the Krampus, who she uses dolls to summon to kill anyone who she deems "naughty." The twist ending reveals that Zoe is a ghost, with the implication being that the Krampus is just a manifestation of her powers, and not the real one.
  • The Krampus in Krampus Unleashed is trapped in a coal-like "summoning stone" that activates and releases it when exposed to fire. According to the film's lore, St. Nicholas would place small pieces of the stone in the shoes and stockings of his enemies, who would then be slaughtered by the Krampus when they obliviously placed the garments by a fire to dry. The Krampus itself is seemingly nothing more than a mindless killing machine that rips apart and eats anyone that it comes across; it's sucked back into the stone when there's no one left to terrorize, and while it can be killed, this merely results in the summoning stone re-birthing it.
  • Despite being called Mother Krampus, said movie is actually a take on Frau Perchta. It was likely named the way it way due to the prior Krampus movie.
  • Astro Monster Holiday is a strage film that has Santa and Krampus celebrating Christmas with other characters such as The Queen of the Galaxy, The Queen of the Unicorns, The Dark Lady, and the literal devil.
  • Slay Belles stars three women (who for some reason are cosplaying on Christmas) who end up releasing Krampus and have to team up with a very casually dressed Santa to defeat him.
  • Pagan Warrior: After being driven out of his castle by Viking invaders, a Saxon king summons Krampus to defeat the Vikings and regain his castle. This ends badly for all concerned.
  • The Field Guide to Evil: The Greek equivalent of Krampus—goblins released from the underworld at Christmas to mingle with drunken revelers and play tricks—feature in "What Ever Happned to Paganus the Pagan?"

  • In Krampus: The Yule Lord, the plot revolves around a feud between Santa and Krampus. The two are depicted as a bit more morally ambiguous in this tale.
  • Skyler Hornbostel from the short novel series Samhain Island is a young Krampus with a showman-like personality.
  • Krampus: A Christmas Tale by Phil Ives is a retelling of the tale for children.
  • The Moonlight Monsters Detective Agency has a Christmas story that revolves around a bunch of Krampus that are masquerading as mall Santas.
  • The Claus Effect by David Nickel and Karl Schroeder, which makes Santa a sadistic monster and Krampus... better.
  • The Spirit of Krampus, a short story written by Kate Danley, in which the titular spirit infects all the adult and a young boy named Skip goes to find Santa Claus to fix things.
  • Olivia Black wrote a children's adventure book called The Return of Knecht Ruprecht. where three children help Santa Claus fight off the army of the Krampus.
  • You Better Not Cry by Miriam Soumiyè
  • Krampus is a character in Annalina: The Untold Story of Mrs Claus
  • The Krampus Night Before Christmas and A Visit From Krampus is a two-part book series by Clement Gore.
  • Of Christmas Present by Thomm Quackenbush has Krampus try to have an alchoholic Salvation Army Santa be the new Santa.
  • The Winter Witch and the Krampus: A Christmas Tale by J.P. Reedman.
  • Untouchable by Alice Janell is the first of the Everwinter series and features a couple characters who are Krampusi (Rattagan and Drosselmeyer)
  • The Elf Who Saved Christmas: A (Sweet) Horror Novella by Rebecca M Senese.
  • Krampus is mentioned, talked about, and the inspiration for the protagonist's band name in Krampus by Shona Mc Aleese.
  • Like Coal for Krampus by Scotty Schrier
  • The Pyhäraapia by Craig Allen Reade
  • Making Santa: Advent by Blake M. Petit has Craig Anderson taking up the mantel of a Krampus.
  • Mentioned in Away for the Holidays by Elliot Arthur Cross.
  • Holiday, Inc. by Anthony Caruso and L.J. Simone.
  • Krampus is a monster that the heroes fight in Shark Knights
  • Sol Invictus by J. Paul Roe.
  • The Yule Demon by Tony Karnes is a picture book that tells the mythology of Krmapus.
  • The first book of the Empire Beneath series introduces several Krampus that act as guards to prisoners. At first the protagonist mistakes them for Yetis, other characters speculate the possibility of other species, but throughout the book, they are called Krampus.
  • Letters From Krampus is an epistolary novel that tells of Krampus's banishment from"North Pole Corporation" and how, when Santa goes missing, Krampus gathers help to find and save him.
  • Dark Servant by Matt Manochio has Krampus stealing children en mass in New Jersey during a blizzard, and our seventeen-year-old protagonist trying to figure out what is going on.
  • Yuletide, the third book of the Matilda Kavanagh series, has the protagonist's town invaded by Krampus and the titular Matilda has to save everyone.
  • Night of the Krampus by Matt Lake is a children's picture book that also features reimagined Christmas carols in the spirit of Krampusnacht.
  • Run No Longer: A Krampus Tale by Marcia Felts
  • In S: Memoir of an Iconic Gentleman, Krampus is brought up as having been a story concocted by Leonardo da Vinci in order to disuade da Vinci's adopted son Salai from misbehaving, since the child knew that da Vinci was lying when he said that Santa would spank him. It did not work.
  • A Far, Far Better Thing by Lindsay Coyle has Krampus appear to one of the characters, telling him that they are the next Santa and that he is bound "by natural law" to serve him. In this story, Krampus punishes people by swallowing them, consuming them body and soul and sending them to Proditio, the realm of Hell he rules over.
  • JG Faherty's Winterwood has the main character's grandsons kidnapped by the Krampus and taken to a place called Winterwood.
  • Prison of Hope, the fourth book of ''The Hellequin Chronicles, has a krampus in it. In the book lore, Krampusi used to be human but are transformed using dark blood magic, and it is illegal to create them. They apparently feast on children's souls tossing their bodies in a river.
  • In Devil in the Details by Tamara Hickman, a krampus attack the characters. Krampus are described as being a "superior form of Boogie Man" and while they have a preference for children, they'll go after whatever they can find. They tend to take the form of whatever scares their target the most.
  • Chasing the Trickster describes Krampus as a trickster God, one who has been reinterpreted by many cultures. He starts out the story as a voice in one of the character, with the character insisting he was a demon. This is the first book of the Cerunnos series.
  • There is a poem about Krampus in the book Children of the Night School: How to Put Your Nightmares to Bed.
  • The Krampus by Dale Harker
  • Twelve Black Hearts for Christmas by Wulf Godgluck
  • Society of Steam (a steampunk superhero book series) has a prequel story featuring Krampus, called Merry Christmas Mister Krampus.
  • A children's book called We Wish You A Merry Christmas: The Tale of Santa's Evil Sidekick has an evil stepmother trying to sick the Krampus on the main character. Krampus is at first described in much more mild terms in this book, said to be Santa's best friend, that he punishes bad children by putting chocolate-covered cockroaches in their stockings, and that he mainly punishes to correct bad behavior. He was removed from his duty due to complaints from parents, and soon grew resentful until he ran away to devise a plan of revenge.
  • Eleanor Bolden and the Shadow of Krampus is the second book in the Blue Bay Tales series.
  • La Befana by Emily Kirby stars La Befana and is about her battling Krampus to save Christmas.
  • Volume three of the Gunfighter Gothic series has the protagonists facing off against many fiendish Christmas figures, both mythical and otherwise. Krampus is, of course, one of them.
  • The Legend of the Winterking: The Crown of Nandur by J. Kent Holloway is a high-fantasy story.
  • In the second book of Adventures of the Five by Mark Bousquet, Krampus is one of the beings locked inside the nutcrackers. In this version, he wasn't Santa's partner, and in fact, when Santa found out about him, he sought to hunt him down.
  • Krampus Unchained by Edmund de Wight has Krampus being imprisoned for a thousand years. He's released by a misanthrope and goes on a killing spree that Santa and the plucky child protagonist must stop.
  • The Devil Behind Me by Christopher Fulbright and Angeline Hawkes has it's main character Alex traumatized as a kid after witnessing Krampus massacring a group of people in the woods (after Krampus had sex with Alex's sister). He goes back to Bavaria to find closure, but finds more than he bargained for.
  • Immortal Nicholas by Glenn Beck (yes, THAT Glenn Beck) tells a more "Christian" version of the origins of Santa, here called Agios. Along his journey he meets Krampus, here depicted as a giant disabled slave (it's possible he's meant to be a Composite Character between Krampus and Zwarte Piet) whom Agios frees.
  • The Krampus Chronicles by Sonia Halbach.
  • Krampus is Coming to Town is a poem by Serena Silenced.
  • Collin and The Krampus by Keith White Jr. is a coloring children's book. After trying to capture Santa and steal all the presents he wants, Collin gets a visit from Krampus.
  • The Return of Krampus by Tim Ozman has Krampus taking over the North Pole from his brother, Santa, after the revelation that there are more naughty children than nice children. He also has his own gang of elves.
  • The Krampus on Chestnut Street by C.M. Smith is a fictional autobiography story of C.M. Smith's supposed encounter with Krampus during his childhood.
  • Secret Santa by Dave Ferraro has Krampus as being a part of Santa.
  • The Return of Knecht Ruprecht: The War of the Krampus has a war going on between Santa Claus and Krampus.
  • Krampus & The Thief of Christmas by Eldritch Black has Gabrielle Greene trying to find the Krampus after he kidnaps her brother.
  • To the Krampus - a Daughter by R.S. Pyne.
  • A Krampus Carol by Lauren Onca O'Leary is a creat-your-own-adventure as well as a coloring book.
  • Cowboys & Krampus by Lucy Blue has zombie fighting outlaws Daisy and Cade taking refuge in a hotel while a blizzard rages. While there, they get a visit from Krampus.
  • Krampus Hates Christmas by Andi Van has Krampus (named Karl) and Santa as brothers. In order to learn more about the holiday spirit, he's turned human and forced to live among the humans, during which he develops a romance with neighbor Lewis Weatherby. This was a story from Dreamspinner Press 2016.
  • Krampus vs The Wendigo by AL J. Vermette.
  • War on Christmas by Edward Lorn
  • Kris & Krampus Kringle by Bailey Quillin Cooper is a children's book about Kris Kringle and Krampus growing up as brothers
  • Calling On Krampus by Alan Toner has a school bully being punished by Krampus.
  • Krampus in the City is part of the Indestructibles series by Matthew Phillion. This has a team of superheroes taking on Krampus as he starts kidnapping children from their home city.
  • He's Coming for Yule by Katie Curtis.
  • Maxwell Beldam and the Krampus by Kyle Wilson and Lindsey Matousek says Krampus takes a thousand kids each year, and this year he's coming to the titular Maxwell's town. Maxwell is determined to stop him, despite the protest from his friends.
  • Monster ABC is a children's book that has many monsters from A to Z, including Krampus.
  • Krampus in the Corner is an Elf on the Shelf horror parody by Justin Cristelli. Like the original, there is a Krampus in the Corner plush toy that goes with the book. Unlike the original, it's not meant for children and is mildly gorey.
  • Krampuslauf by Sydnie-Leigh Jean has the main characters encounter the Krampus during a Krampus parade.
  • Gnome Exchange Program by Matt Caliri has the main character (an exchange gnome, surprise surprise) helping Santa save Christmas from his evil half-brother Krampus.
  • Bad Elf by John Rae has an elf that idolizes Krampus and who steals the Naughty List to try and track him down.
  • Santa vs. Krampus has the concept of mall Santas be a cover for a secret order of wizards who use swear words as spells to fight Krampus and his minions.
  • The Faces of Krampus by Joe Moore has Krampus (aka Black Peter aka Pelznickel) being a willing companion of Santa and their relationship starting amiable until the devil himself gets involved.
  • Nick and Me is a story told from the point of view of Krampus.
  • You're Not Santa! by Dawn Chance is about Krampus helping an abused kid who believes Krampus is the real Santa.
  • Krampus: A Terrorverse Tale by Robert Thompson.
  • Twelfth Krampus Night by Matt Manochio is a Medieval story set in Bavaria about a girl trying to escape a castle being invaded by Krampus and Frau Perchta.
  • Goodnight Krampus by Kyle and Derek Sullivan is a children's book that has a little Krampus who won't go to bed.
  • An essay about the Krampus appears in the 2016 edition of Llwellyn's Magical Almanac.
  • Krampus is the name of the raven pet from Storms of Lazarus
  • Volume one of the Horrible Holiday Series by Autumn Steam is called Santa Snack wherein Krampus overthrows Santa along with one of the elves.
  • Book twenty three of the Dark Fantasy Library is called Krampus the Yuletide Terror. This has Krampus at the crucifixtion of Jesus and having sex with Mary Magdalene, who places a curse that grants him immortality. In this story it's Santa who's the alter ego of Krampus, and the elves are replaced with dwarfish orges who used to be the people Krampus punished. He continuously punishes nonbelievers, awaiting Christ's return.
  • Santa’s Little Helper Wants To Eat Your Children & Other Holiday Musings is full of essays on Christmas traditions, including (as the title suggests) about the Krampus.
  • Yuletide Lords has Santa battling Krampus before his trip around the world.
  • Krampus by Billy Mc Laughlin has Santa and Krampus as brothers separated for a century before they have to reunite to save the world.
  • The Twisted Christmas Trilogy by Daniel Parsons has Santa and his elves help the young protagonist under the initial guise of being a travelling circus. In the second book Santa goes missing and enemies threaten to summon the Krampus.
  • Operation Tannenbaum is an alternate history tale about the Nazi invasion of Switzerland from the point of view of a small child, with Krampus thrown into the mix.
  • How I Learned The Truth About Krampus by Tom Johnstone
  • In The Krampus Hunters Santa is a red goblin named Nickor that uses Krampus to capture children to sell them.
  • The Night Before Krampus by Peter Johnson has a pair of Krampus coming to make the protagonists pay for the sins of past generations.
  • The Krampus Christmas has a group of elves journey into the Krampus's lair to find a good substitute for sugar in cookies (no, really)
  • The Vampire Who Saves Christmas has Santa and his team becoming vampires to combat the Krampus.
  • Nicolas and Sabina in The Busy Season has both Santa and Mrs. Claus (Nicholas and Sabina) dealing with Krampus on Christmas.
  • Letter To Santa by Shawn Hudson is a children's book about a kid that writes to Santa, not knowing that he's on the naughty list and thus will be getting a visit from a very different person.
  • See Amid the Winter Snow by Peter Fenton invokes Krampus as the alias name of the elf blackmailing Santa Claus.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On an episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen decides to join forces with Krampus to fight the eeeeeevil liberal secularists' War on Christmas. He offers Krampus some cookies and milk, which Krampus promptly whips with a rusty chain, then threatens to drag Stephen to Hell.
  • On the season 4 Christmas special of The League, Taco tries to convince the owner of a mall to add a "Mall Krampus" to accompany the mall Santa. By the end of the episode, Taco gets extremely high, dresses up as the Krampus himself, and charges into the mall to attack the mall Santa an terrorize the children. Hilarity and Groin Attacks ensue.
  • The Supernatural Christmas Special featured Krampus as a suspect for Monster of the Week but it turns out to actually be two pagan solstice gods. Of course, given Krampus' probable origins, this distinction may not make much of a difference.
  • History channel's eighth episode of History of the Holidays delves into, among other things, the Krampus folklore.
  • Suburgatory has an episode entitled "Krampus".
  • Grimm had a Christmas episode with the Krampus, taking the form of a humanoid ram with tan fur and dressed in a Santa suit. As in folklore, he kidnaps naughty children; in this version he leaves coal after taking them and keeps the kids prisoner with the intention of eating them. This Krampus was only transformed into his Wesen form around the winter solstice, and had no memory of what he did as the Krampus during that time. (or even that he's Wesen)
  • Shock Theater 's framing segments on their episode featuring Santa Claus Conquers The Martians features a fight between Santa and the Krampus after Krampus causes trouble for the hosts.
  • In the Murdoch Mysteries Christmas episode "A Merry Murdoch Christmas", Inspector Brackenreid believes in the Krampus, having supposedly seen him as a child, and thinks he's responsible for the murders as part of a campaign to destroy Christmas. It turns out the murderer of the week was trying to ruin Christmas and was dressed as the Krampus to do so, and the Inspector's childhood experience is implied to be a nightmare caused by guilt. (He told his father he hated him when he didn't get the present he wanted.)
  • One Christmas Episode of NCIS has "Krampus" as the screen name of a notorious hacker—who also turns out to be an online sexual predator.
  • The Krampus shows up as the villain of The Aquabats! Super Show! episode "Christmas With the Aquabats!"
  • American Housewife's ninth episode and Christmas special has the youngest daughter think that her mother is the Krampus.
  • On The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Christoph Waltz explains the legend of Krampus.
  • On the Christmas Episode of Danger Force, the Krampus is Santa's evil brother who wants to destroy Christmas.

  • The most prominent piece of merchandise to feature Krampus is Christmas cards. They have been around since the 1800s and come in all varieties, from gruesome to humorous to sexy to kid-friendly.
  • Some alcoholic drinks based on Krampus have been made, like is Southern Tier's Imperial Helles Lager Krampus Beer and Birrificio del Ducato's Krampus
    • Munkstein made two steins/mugs related to Krampus. The very first stein in their line, and one with Krampus and Santa fighting.
  • As mentioned in the Literature section, there is a Krampus in the Corner plush that goes with the book of the same name. It is a parody of the Elf on a Shelf.
  • For the 2017 Holiday season, Funko Pop released Krampus Funko Pop figurines. The normal one is a brown figurine, but there are many exclusive variations, including two different flocked variations (black and white) at Hot Topic, a blueish frozen-looking one at FYE, and a red one at Chase.
    • Funko Pop also has a little Krampus figurine as part of their Pint Size Heroes line.
  • Minimates has Krampus attachments you can download and print off of Shapeway.
  • Universal Studios had an attraction in 2016 based on their Krampus film.
    • Creepyworld also did a Krampus-themed haunted house in 2016.
    • The 13th Floor Haunted House in Chicago redid the house Krampus-style in 2017, entitling the event Krampus: A Haunted Christmas.
  • Bad Dragon did a color variation in 2017 for its products called "Krampus Present." It was a marble mix of Tannenbaum green and metallic copper.

  • The back cover of the Sunset Rubdown album Random Spirit Lover has Krampus on it.
  • This.
  • Musician and stand-up comedian Christopher Wauben aka Super Klaus Santa wrote a song called Krampus Night. Here's the music video.
  • I Saw Mother Kissing Krampus by Gallows Humor.
  • There is an Italian folk-metal band called Krampus. Here's a link to their youtube.
  • Krammpstein, a parody band of Rammstein, mixes metal with a twisted Christmas spirit.
  • This Instrumental by the band Midnight Syndicate as a part of their album Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering
  • Krampus is one of the main characters in Lacuna Coil's "Naughty Christmas"
  • Chris Wauben did a music video for his song Krampus Night. It's available on Amazon Prime.
  • There's a band called Krampus Parade with an album called Alpine Nightmares and Holiday Horrors
  • Ivan Ziraldo made an album for a hypothetical Krampus opera called Opera: The Legend of Krampus.
  • As said in the description of their music video, "IKON's 'Gruss Vom Krampus' in the A-side of their Christmas single, released as part of the 2015 edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club."

    Radio Drama 
  • The Strange Adventures of Edgar Switchblade #1: Krampus Unmerciful is a gruesome and graphic tale from Lonesome Wyatt.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The card game Munchkin has an expansion called Waiting For Santa. There's a card for the Krampus in it.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has Santa Claws, which is the Krampus in a Santa outfit.
  • Let's Kill Krampus is a card-based role-playing game filled with dark humor. If you play as Krampus, you play to eat the children and/or make them grow up cynical and unhappy. If you play as one of eight children, you play to ultimately kill Krampus.
  • A free, downloadable board game on Drive Thru RPG called Krampus Race has every player being a Krampus and going across the board, trying to collect as many naughty children as possible.
  • Yet another downloadable boardgame, this one is a Werewolf/Mafia re-theme that gives players the option between playing Krampus, children, or various other Christmas-themed characters. The end-game goals differ depending on who you're playing.
  • Pocket Adventures Card System is a type of card-based role playing game. These promo cards come with a Krampus card.
  • Troll in the Corner created a system-neutral NPC sheet for Krampus.
  • Macabre Tales has a mini-supplement about Krampus called The Shadow of Krampus. It gives you his folkloric backstory, game statistics, and advice on how to use him.
  • Acts of Villainy: Solo created this supplement for Mutants and Masterminds to add Krampus as an antagonist.
  • The second volume of Octavirate Presents is called "Night of the Krampus" and is meant for multiple d20 campaigns. It provides a very interesting mythos for Santa and Krampus in the mythical role-playing style world.
  • Something*Positive did a Dungeons & Dragons'' conversion for Krampus, which can be viewed here.
  • Related to the game folder but not a game itself, Nevermet Press created stock art of Krampus for anyone to use for their game manuals.
  • There are a few Krampus miniatures out there, the easiest to find being the one made by Chronoscope. It isn't for any particular game (nor are most of Chronoscope's miniature). Strange Aeon also has a seasonal Krampus miniature.
    • There is a Twisted Christmas set that includes Krampus and a crew of dark Christmas-themed miniatures.
  • The Red Dragon's Lair card game made an expansion in 2015 that made Krampus a boss.

  • There is a traditional, somewhat educational short play in Austria called Krampusspiel Weißenbach bei Liezen. Here is a recording of one outdoor performance (there are no captions unfortunately).
  • The Krampus: A Christmas Play for the Bad Little Boys and Girls in All of Us! was a musical performed in Brooklyn. It is described as "A beautiful, profane, heartbreaking, hysterical piece about the holidays and family and traditions."
  • In Armstrong, BC, one of the shows that the Caravan Farm Theatre put on was an origin story for Santa, called Old Nick and was an outdoors theater performed as the audience took a sleigh ride through the forest. Krampus played the part of the antagonist. Here's a review of the show.
  • In Atlanta, GA, the 7 Stages Theatre performed an adult-only rock show called A Krampus Christmas in 2010, 2013, and for a final time in 2016. The website describes the plot as "There’s a plot to turn the world into one giant mall, and there is only one myth-made-manifest that can stop it: KRAMPUS OF THE BLACK FOREST!"
  • Appears in Whiskey Wry Productions one-hour sketch comedy "A Sack Full of Coal."
  • Krampus Takes Back Christmas is a bawdy puppet show by the Pull The String Players.
  • The Blue Barn Theater's Witching Hour in Omaha, NE performed a play in 2010 with Krampus in it called The Christmas Rumpus.
  • In Detroit there's a variety show that happened in summer and winter of 2014 called ''Krampus Night IV.''
  • In 2016 the Three Brother's Theater in Illinois did a play called ''Santa vs. Krampus''. It's a family-friendly show about brothers Santa and Krampus, the latter of whom kidnaps two children to work in the coal mines and gets into a fight with Santa over not wanting to punish children anymore but instead wanting to deliver presents.
  • * Seattle Immersive Theater does a dark yearly show called Krampus Christmas: An Immersive Look at the Naughty-List Nightmares, advertising itself as "a kind of carnival ride through your Christmas nightmares." It walks people through several scenes and stories as they explain Krampus and shows him punishing the naughty, all with dark humor featuring a creepily cheerful elf guide and a drunken pervy Santa. Here are two reviews that goes into greater detail about it.]]
  • Krampus: A Yuletide Tale performed by the Short North Theater. More info here and here.
  • Krampus! by the Ghostlight Ensemble (previously produced by Strangeloop Theater). An evening with the family in a cabin turns sour as Krampus possesses one of the characters, and priests brought in to exorcise him end up bloodily murdered.
  • The Krampus: Initiation by the Abyss Theater.
  • The Oriental Theater in Denver performed a Carnivale De Sensuale: Krampus! on December 17th 2016.
  • An Evening With Krampus is a musical written by Sam Krahn that has Krampus meeting his match. This musical was funded through indiegogo and there's a demo of the soundtrack here.

    Video Games 
  • In CarnEvil, Krampus acts as the boss of the Christmas stage, although here he's more a demonic green Santa Claus combined with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  • The Krampus was added as a boss fight in The Binding of Isaac in the Christmas update. The Krampus will randomly appear in the Devil's room with the chances of him increasing the more you visit the room and even more if you actually take items. Defeating him unlocks the unique Lump of Coal item (Rebirth also adds the Head of Krampus pick-up as a possible drop.)
  • The indie game Don't Starve has the Krampus appear and steal the player's things if the player is naughty (defined here as "killing too many non-aggressive animals" like rabbits and beefalo). A skilled player, however, can repel or even kill the Krampus, which will allow him to keep his bag. There is a Halloween skin that allows you to dress as the Krampus.
  • A Krampus Christmas is a RPG Maker-based game created for RMN's Game Chill 2013. The plot has three kids breaking into a school to steal the hat off a Frosty statue. They become trapped by Krampus and must find a way out of the school. It's free to download here.
  • Medieval II: Total War has a mod that includes Krampus among Santa's units.
  • There are two limited edition Krampus monsters on Puppet Nightmares.
  • Wizard 101 has a spell/item card based on Krampus.
    • They also made a Krampus dungeon for the 2016 and 2017 holiday events. You get to fight Krampus and get Krampus themed items.
  • There was an iTunes app game called Slay Ride wherein you play as Santa and battle the Krampus. (who is the final boss) This game is no longer available on iTunes, but you can still see the iTunes info page. The developers will also give people a copy of the game if asked though. Further info is on this page.
  • Knights and Dragons has a seasonal Epic Boss based on Krampus, who is part of the Winter Kings event. It is a Water/Fire elemental that drops Evil Fur when defeated that can be used to create Krampus' Mantle. There is also armor called Krampus Nemesis.
  • In 2013, the The Secret World featured a Christmastime event that allowed players to face off against Krampus demons wandering the various combat zones throughout the world. Should the player succeed in killing one of them while they attempt to escape through a portal, they are given a route into the Krampus' home dimension of Niflheim. Yes, that Niflheim. There, the player can battle an entire army of Krampus, along with a much larger boss Krampus, before finally duelling the mother of all Krampus, Hel herself.
  • A short, free three-level game from Kongregate simply titled Krampus has you playing as a cutesy little Krampus. You stomp reindeer and present, and steal toys from children as fast as you can to unlock the gate.
  • Krampage is an iOS game where you lead Krampus out of Hell to punish naughty children. It's part platformer, part Fruit Ninja rip off.
  • A rare type of armor in AdventureQuest Worlds is called Krampus. It requires being rank 5 Loremaster. Going by the item description, it may be meant as druid armor used to channel nature-based magic.
  • EpicDuel has a race called Krampus in it, and has three Krampus NPC in it. There are two Krampus Warriors (one level five and level eleven), who will give you missions and you can also challenge to fights. Then there's the Krampus Technician, whom is level twenty, believes magic simply be advanced technology, and will challenge you to a duel. They are all from Frysteland, which has been taken over by a tyrant named Alydriah
  • Eric's Xmas has Krampus invade Santa's workshop with his own army of evil elves, and it's up to Eric the Elf to save the captured Santa.
  • Krampus is an enemy in Terraria during the Frost Moon event.
  • An indie game simply titled Krampus is about a teen who is spending Christmas with his family at a country house when he gets a visit from Krampus.
  • Krampus in Wreck the Halls is a mobile game which has you playing as Krampus as you storm the North Pole, where Santa has hidden many naughty children to try and deprive Krampus of his power.
  • Appears in the indie defense tower game Santa's Salvation.
  • In the mobile game Merry Krampus you play as Krampus and try to capture as many children as possible.
  • In December of 2014, Game of War: Fire Age had a few seasonal enemies. Krampus was one of them. There were also Krampus items like Krampus Beard and Krampus Bells.
  • The app game Christmas Crisis has Krampus taking over Santa's workshop with his yeti minions and you try to take him out with a snowball gun.
  • In Bad Christmas Mrs. Claus has to save Santa, who has been kidnapped by the Krampus.
  • In Monster Legends, Krampus is a monster that you can raise from an egg.
  • There is a custom Minecraft map called Krampus all about, you guessed it, being terrorized by the Krampus.
  • An unlockable level for Secret Santa has you playing as Krampus, stealing kids and punching obstacles in your way.
  • Daze Before Christmas is a platformer starring Santa. A special power-up has him transform into "Anti-Claus" and he bears a bit of a resemblance to the Krampus.
  • In the Christmas Episode of The Darkside Detective, the villain is the Krampus, depicted as a demonic green anti-Claus who hates children and can be defeated with cookies and milk.
  • Killing Floor 2 added a Krampus-themed map for the Twisted Christmas 2017 update. It is described as "a twisted and dark lumberyard, workshop, and prison all in one." Krampus himself appears as a reskin of the Abomination boss during Christmas events. He's essentially a giant Bloat, and thus a Gasshole of the highest order.
  • In the survival horror game Krampus Is Home you play as Sebastian, who is home alone and must contend with the Krampus lurking about.
  • Krampus Quest is a retro platformer where you play as Krampus, released after having been imprisoned for over a century by Santa, as you make your way to Santa to get your revenge.
  • In Yuletide Legends 3: Who Framed Santa Claus? Krampus has Santa arrested for stealing presents after capturing his voice in a magic globe so he can't defend himself.
  • Fortnite has two DLC versions of the Krampus in both Save the World and Battle Royale. In STW he's a jolly-looking fellow using the Constructor moveset, and sounds suspiciously like Heavy Weapons Guy. In BR he's Lean and Mean with his hood up, darker fur, a too-long tongue, glowing eyes, basically more demonic than he really should be.

    Web Animation 
  • Krampus makes a brief appearance in Holidaze (2019) when Jingle and Jangle are reading a story about him.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In The Venture Bros. Christmas Special, the Krampus is accidentally summoned by Hank and Dean and proceeds to punish Rusty Venture.
  • Bob's Burgers: The Christmas / Musical Episode in season 8 "The Bleakening" has a plot of the children trying to figure out whether a Krampus-like creature called The Bleaken is coming to steal their presents. In the end, the Bleaken that they thought to exist is just a legend, and a Jump Scare in the middle of the episode turns out to be just a man in a party wearing a Bleaken costume.
  • The Krampus is featured in an episode of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, terrifying children and turning their hair white. The Krampus was actually part of a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax set up by the gang themselves for a Gambit to steal the pieces of the MacGuffin from the show's main antagonists.
  • In the American Dad! episode "Minstrel Krampus" (the intended Christmas Episode of season 8, but pulled because of the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders and finally aired in season 10) Stan's father Jack Smith revealed that he sealed Krampus in a pot fifty years ago and that's why kids today are so rotten. Stan releases him and he kidnaps Steve. In the end Santa kills Krampus with Stan's help but it then turns out that Krampus was good (he punished kids because he cared about them) and Santa was evil (he spoiled kids rotten no matter who was naughty or nice because he makes money off of it), and Jack becomes the new Krampus.
  • Adult Swim did a whole Christmas block themed around the Krampus during the 2014 holiday season.
  • Phineas and Ferb parodies this with Der Kinderlumper, Drusselstein's mythical troll-like creature resembling the Krampus very much, and kidnaps naughty children and puts them into his sack or rewards nice children like Santa does; it turns out that there are 2 different children's songs being sung about it in Drusselstein and that it can be interpreted that it is actually a merging of Santa Claus and the Krampus.
  • In the Robot Chicken Christmas Special 'X-Mas United', the final twist in that story is that there's no way Santa Claus can be The Nerd's biological father because he's sterile...and also that The Nerd's mother had also had sex with the Krampus, specifically noting that the Krampus convinced her to do it without a condom. The Nerd, unable to accept that the Krampus is his biological father, returns home and says to his stepfather that as far as he's concerned, he's his real father, much to the stepfather's irritation and the Krampus's disappointment.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Krampus



The Krampus has come to take Max's family after he has lost faith in the holidays.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheKrampus

Media sources:

Main / TheKrampus