From the Austrian countryside, where ancient folk tales are still told, comes the story of Krampus – Christmas demon of yore.

Krampus, a henchmen of Saint Nicholas, stalks from house to house on the night of December 5, known as Krampus Night, bringing swift justice and punishment to the naughty, sinful children of the land; beating them with birch whips, stuffing them in sacks, and dragging them down to the pits of hell.

Arga copyGigantic goat horns atop a harsh, gnarled face, long snake-like tongue, matted fur, twisted claws and cloven hooves; he towers at seven feet tall. Black, iron chains and cattle bells drag behind him lashed to his waist; creating an awful racket in the street that sends small children scampering for refuge, to pray Krampus will pass them by.

Each November, small towns and villages in Austria hold “krampuslaufs” or Krampus runs – remarkable parades of young men from surrounding villages donning elaborate Krampus costumes made of goat skins and horns, complete with intricately hand-carved, wooden masks. Backed by fire and elaborate pyrotechnics, they rampage through the streets with birch whips and cow bells, striking fear and delight into the hearts of small children, who then swear to be good ‘til Christmas.

Krampus: An Austrian Folk Tale, is a feature-length documentary that takes the viewer deep into the heart of Austrian and German folklore, to explore the mystery and origins of this ancient custom. From the beginning of the legend itself, to the creation of the costumes and riotous parades, Krampus will be discovered in all his fearsome glory.

Video | Official Trailer





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