You’ve heard of mean one himself, the Grinch, but there’s a far more sinister character associated with the holiday season you may have never heard of – the Krampus.

Krampus gathering at event in Slovenia (photo: Getty)

Rooted in the 18th century, the history and folklore of the Krampus is based mostly in Austria and Germany and has become a part of holiday celebrations and observances all across the world, even in the United States. Whereas his counterpart, Saint Nicholas, rewards good children, the Krampus is said to deal with the naughty ones.


Krampus expert Al Ridenour will be speaking on the holiday character in a program through the German American Heritage Center and Museum to provide historical context to the rise of the Krampus and how its presence in American holiday culture came to be. ‘Krampus: The Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil‘ online program is Tuesday, December 6 at 6:00 p.m. The event is free for members and $5.00 for non-members. To register, click here.

Signed copies of Al Ridenour’s book, ‘The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil,’ are available for purchase at the German American Heritage Center and Museum, located at 712 W. 2nd St., Davenport. For more events, click here.