DIY Krampus Festivus!

While most children are told to be on their best behavior to receive presents from Santa Claus, Central Europe's other long-standing mythical being of Christmastime is the gnarly half-demon, half-goat creature known as Krampus. Thought to have originated in pre-Christian-era Austria and Germany, Krampus is said to either eat, drown or take naughty children to Hell for their misbehavior. In post-Christian times, parades and festivals feature men dressed up in full Krampus regalia to pass coal around and terrorize little kids.

These days, Krampus is more popular than ever. While traditional German restaurants such as the Phoenix Club in Anaheim honor Krampus at its annual holiday Krampus bash, non-traditional outlets express their admiration for the creature via industrial metal music (Krammpstein), puppet shows, even burlesque shows—not to mention the slasher horror-comedy film Krampus (starring Adam Scott), released this month.

Should we be surprised that a mythical, terrifying goat-devil that punishes deviant kids for bad behavior is revered in modern culture? Not really. Generations of American children have been exposed to his goody-goody counterpart, Ol' Saint Nick, so Krampus is a much weirder, scarier custom we adults can enjoy, if beasts of morbid and fantastical nature from ancient folklore appeal to you.

Throughout December, there will be plenty of Krampus-involved activities and parties to attend. Sinister Pointe, a horror-themed attraction company based in Anaheim Hills, hosts a few fun hunts in which participants can team up to follow clues through different locations within a 10-mile radius to locate and capture the elusive creature.

If you're looking to host your own Krampusnacht, you can easily buy a deluxe costume through any local Spirit Halloween store. Or if you want to be more creative, DIY outfits are more than possible: the quintessential design should include horns, a black or brown furry suit (bonus points if you can find a satyr costume), a beard, a bramble of branches and a chain. Add some demon hand gloves and makeup, and your frightful look is complete.

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