Utterly terrifying Christmas tradition leaves children cowering in terror

Christmas is supposed to be a happy of year with fun-filled festivities with our loved ones.

But there’s a very frightening tradition that terrifies children in parts of Europe – destroying all the warm and fuzzy festive feelings and replacing them with terror.

Footage from Austria shows the Krampus, the Christmas devil visiting a town in the run-up to Christmas and it’s utterly terrifying.

The tradition goes that naughty boys and girls are visited by the goat demon in a tradition called the Krampus run, where people dressed as the creepy devil chase people around.

The tradition takes place in countries such as Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, where legend says Krampus would swat "wicked" children, stuff them in a sack, and take them away.

In other footage from the Czech Republic, the Christmas devil visits a family in their house.

Young children in the video are left hysterical as they cower and run to their parents in a bid to get away from the terrifying creature. It’s not very Christmassy at all.

In the video the little ones are horrified by the bearded devil, which appears to come to give them a scary warning.

So what’s the origin of this creepy tradition?

According to the National Geographic, legendary beast Krampus is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology.

it’s part of a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Germany, where Christmas celebrations begin in early December.

According to folklore, Krampus shows up in towns the night of December 5, known as Krampusnacht, or Krampus Night.

The next day, children look outside their door to see if the shoe or boot they’d left out the night before contains either presents if they’re good or a rod if they’re bad. That’s when they know what their fate is.

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