The Spookiest Christmas Myths From Around The World

It is that time of the year when Santa comes out to haunt you.

Image Touchstone Pictures Skellington Productions

Christmas is all about love, family, presents, food… But let’s be honest, creepy Christmas is the best Christmas.

So let’s forget about Christmas Carols and whatnot, and let’s find out about some of the best spooky Christmas legends. They might not be real, but then again, maybe they are…



If you have children and want them to be scared sh**tless forever, then move to Iceland. This giant troll lives in the mountains and is said to hunt down children to then eat them. Just like that. She literally spends the entire year chilling up among the forests and then comes down for Christmas, just in time to eat children stuffed with sweets.


La Befana

Imagine Santa Claus, but Italian and a witch. That is pretty much what La Befana is. It might not be too scary, but it is definitely weird. On the night of the fifth, this little old lady flies on her broomstick (of course) to check if children have been naughty or nice. No word on if she takes you to Hogwarts if you’ve been nice.



We're pretty sure the Jólakötturinn is not as cute as this one Image John Verive/Creative Commons

And going back to Iceland (because apparently they love Christmas time creepiness), they also have this giant cat, commonly known as Jólakötturinn or Yule Cat, which is so very nice that it eats people who haven’t been able to buy new clothes before Christmas Eve. But the question is, how does it know if the clothes people are wearing are brand-new or not?


Frau Perchta

Weird old woman alert. According to Austrian folklore, this woman would show up during Christmas time to check if children and servants had been naughty or nice. If they’d been good, they got a coin. If not, they had their abdomens cut open and their organs replaced with straw. The usual.


Père Fouettard

This spooky myth comes from France and Belgium, and it is about a butcher who killed three wealthy boys and then chopped up their bodies to keep them in a barrel. But then good old Saint Nicholas found out about these atrocities, so Fouettard’s punishment after that was to spend eternity following Saint Nicholas. Which, yes, it means Fouettard will be up there on your rooftop helping out Santa on Christmas Eve. Charming.



There is nothing more obscure and depressing than the Dark Ages, which is where Belsnickel comes from. Imagine a Santa Claus who’s had a very hard life. He used to abduct naughty children to then take them to the forest and punish them. Not sure if that made poor kids back then stop stealing bread to have something to eat.

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