BANGOR - Earlier this week in Maine, a wandering Krampus was seen lurking in various neighborhoods throughout Bangor, Brewer, and Hampden. It was broad daylight and no confrontations were reported, though authorities warn citizens to steer clear. Many eyewitnesses reported seeing Krampus reading a book titled “Mythical Creatures of Maine: Fantastic Beasts from Legend and Folklore” as he wandered past their homes. Being the author of the book, I immediately sought him out for comment.
In an exclusive interview it was learned that he has been reading the book while he’s waiting for nightfall when visits homes and punishes naughty children throughout the Christmas Season. “There are so many other great monsters in Maine, this book really makes me feel at home,” said Krampus. “If you like odd and spooky stuff, you’ll love this book. Some of the more unfortunate creatures are good for a laugh as well.”
Krampus says he arrived in America as a full resident back in 2010 with hopes to start a new life as a movie star after a successful start in the American-Finnish independent film “Rare Exports”. But it didn’t work out as planned. While “Krampus” (2015) did meet with some success, grossing over $42 million at the box office, unfortunately none of the other Krampus movies made it beyond the B-list. Ready for a change, Krampus said, “I was sick of being typecast in horror movies with terrible writing and no creativity, I just wanted to get back to what was real.” So Krampus left the movie business and went back to his roots - punishing the naughty during the Christmas season. He was originally from the European mountainous regions of Austria, Hungry, Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, and Italy. Since at least the 1700’s Krampus has prowled the streets of Alpine towns during the yuletide season. In some towns annual parades called Krampuslauf, or “Krampus Runs,” occur, large numbers of hairy Krampus with baskets on their backs, and switches in the hands take over the streets as a warning to the wicked.
Later traditions are more well known, and involve Krampus as a follower of Saint Nicholas, the Patron Saint of Children. In the Saint Nicholas traditions both the saint and Krampus visit homes either on December 6th, the Feast of Saint Nicholas (or between then and Christmas). During the visit Saint Nicholas rewards children with small presents and Krampus whips the bad children with birch rods. The truly rotten children are stuffed into Krampus’s basket or a sack and eaten later. By the 1900’s, in many places, Krampus became associated with Christmas and Santa Claus. In Austria it became popular to send Krampus postcards to friends and family during the holiday season.
In the United States, Santa doesn’t seem to want much to do with Krampus. Krampus describes this situation as “deeply disappointing.” But on the bright side Krampus shared that, “I like the autonomy of being able to call the shots for myself. A lot of times in the old country I knew some of those kids had Santa fooled and made it onto the Nice List, so I couldn’t punish them even though I could tell they were naughty. But here I get to call the shots. I can whip who I think deserves it, and I can eat anyone who needs to be eaten.” Despite our efforts to reach out to Santa, at press time he had not responded to our requests for comments.
Krampus said his favorite creatures in the book were he said, “My favorite is the Kukewes, a Wabanaki ogre, because it’s also a man-eating hairy monster who tends to carry away their victims in a basket. We have a lot in common, and I think we could punish a lot of naughty people together. But it’s also nice to see my friend from the Old World, Loup Garou. It’s good to know that that old French werewolf is still around!” When asked what else Krampus liked about America he said, "The ash pack baskets are great here, and I love Bean Boots. They keep my hooves warm and clean. But the best part of America is really the fast food, it's great!"
So remember, Christmas can be for monsters too. If you want to stay on Krampus’s good side you probably check out “Mythical Creatures of Maine” and learn about the Monsters that have been prowling Maine’s land and water for centuries. It's Krampus approved, "Ten out of ten, would definitely recommend!"