In European folklore, especially the folklore of Austria, Germany and Hungary, Krampus is a devil or demon that accompanies St. Nicholas (Santa Clause).
Appearance: A hairy, satyr-like man with goat horns.
Lore: It is Krampus' responsibility to punish sinners and bad people near Christmas time. December 5th is Krampusnacht, where the devil is said to visit. Krampus carries a whip or bundle of birch sticks which he uses to beat bad boys, girls, and adults. Krampus takes particular delight in attacking young lovers he may find giving public displays of affection, otherwise known as "making-out". Other than beating sinners, Krampus enjoys abducting and eating bad children. Krampus also enjoys scaring people, regardless if they are sinners or not.
Although modern folk tend to think that it is Santa who places coals in the stocking of bad boys and girls, they are quite mistaken. Santa delegates the job of punishing bad people to Krampus. It's Krampus who puts Hell-coal into sinner's stockings.
Powers: Incredibly strength, the power to punish sinners, possible other supernatural powers.
Defense Against Krampus: Be good.
Trivia: In the 1800's Krampus Christmas cards became extremely popular, especially among adults as a way to tease each other of being "bad". Such items are now highly-desired collector items. In one of my favorite examples of a Krampus Christmas card, the devil is pictured parading around while holding a bowl of what appears to be burning coals. The inscription reads, "When the fire burns in the heart the black monster rejoices."
Who In The Hell Is Krampus?