A ‘Halloweenmas’ Tale: The Krampus & Anthony Bourdain

by farrah on October 28, 2013 · 15 comments

This year I am feeling kind of ‘meh’ about Halloween. I think because there is so little in the reminder of the holiday- although I have been told that every year Halloween gets bigger and bigger in the Netherlands. It’s ok- I just don’t know if I have the energy to get behind it all this year anyhow, but my biggest regret is not seeing the boys trick or treat. On the other hand… then I also won’t have to deal with the battle over the candy. So it’s a toss up.

Krampus5Just your friendly neighborhood Krampus.

All we have going on is the expat club Halloween party- which yours truly is supposed to be in charge of throwing. Thankfully it’s on a pretty small scale and my friend Ace from A Life In Dutch is the co-chair. She possibly doesn’t realize I am nominating her as the co-party-host, but that’s ok. She’ll figure it out once she arrives to help me decorate.

So back to Halloween. The weather is perfectly set for the holiday. The nights are wet and dark, with blustery wind and swirling leaves. The sky this morning has fast-moving dark clouds and the wind blows right through you. I love it. Mix in the fact that it isn’t too cold- and what a perfect Halloween week it is! My husband and I are filling our evenings by gorging on American Horror Story episodes from season two that we haven’t seen yet. It has been pretty great so far, even if a little on the gory side.

So my tale for this year: I don’t really have one. I’m going to revert to the story of  Krampus which is actually a German Christmastime character. My hope, however, is that once you watch the video (a very short and delightful treat) you’ll understand why I wanted to include it for a Halloween feature. In a nutshell, the Krampus is a demon like individual- resembling a devil, that beat children with switches, dismembered them and carried them around in a sack if they were on the ‘naughty’ list. Kids were traumatized with threats of this guy coming to take them away- so next time you’re feeling guilty over telling them that your Elf on the Shelf is watching- don’t. At least you’re not filling their heads and nightmares with this guy.

I saw this recently on an Anthony Bourdain rerun- technically it’s the holiday special. However this video works for the Halloween holiday if you ask me. Not kid-friendly. Really. I don’t advise watching this around kids old enough to understand what’s going on. Or maybe so! Whatever you need. No judging here.

I hope you have a spectacular Halloween week ahead of you- and I’ve got only one more post in me for the Expativersary. I seem to have used up all my words last week- which might not be such a bad thing.

Video taken from Zero Point Zero Production and image taken from art of the beautiful-grotesque.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ace October 28, 2013 at 9:25 am

Welp, co-host it is 😉

This video is hilarious and disturbing – though I’d like to know why Santa goes through with the effort of delivering the presents if he’s just going to send the Krampus in… Overall, it does seem more like a Halloween story than a Christmas tale. I kind of love it for that.


2 farrah October 29, 2013 at 8:00 am

Good point! And I agree. I think it’s pretty great mysels- BUT I cannot imagine being a child terrified of Krampus. Oh my. Can you imagine our kids asking us about him?


3 Karla October 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Wow! There’s just no middle ground here huh? You either get delightful presents for being good or beat and dismembered for being naughty. What if you were just sort of ok that year?


4 farrah October 29, 2013 at 8:01 am

Yes! Well, I think as long as you weren’t on the bad list radar you were fine. As Ace pointed out above you got gifts either way— I suppose you had to spend the rest of your night wondering if a knock was going to come to the door afterward 🙂


5 Gayla October 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Wow! That was an Anthony Bourdain production?? Sure made me hungry for Christmas dinner. LOL! Reminds me a bit of one tale associated with Sinterklaas, where naughty children are taken back to Spain with Sint and turned into soap. Not sure how that one got started…
I do miss decorating for Halloween, but I don’t care for the particularly gory stuff that’s become the norm in the US. I’m probably more suited to the Gaelic traditions associated with Samhain as a celebration of the harvest and appeasing the spirits, usually by consuming and making offerings of ‘spirits’ 😉


6 farrah October 29, 2013 at 8:02 am

Yeah- that was his. His face is in the moon at the beginning of the little cartoon.
I like your consuming and offering of spirits. I think I’d like those very much!


7 Ann October 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm

ummm… hmm… this is making me rethink a few things.


8 farrah October 29, 2013 at 8:02 am

I know, right? Hmmmm.


9 Julia October 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Well that’s disturbing and amusing . I think the Elf on the Shelf is a bit of a creeper but this video has me rethinking it.


10 farrah October 29, 2013 at 8:06 am

They’re probably in cahoots!


11 Veronika October 29, 2013 at 7:32 am

In Czech republic, this is even more real for the kids. On December 5th we celebrate St. Nicholas. People dress as the pope St. Nicholas, Angel and Devil. This trinity then goes from house to house where kids are and Saint Nicholas asks the kids if they were good or not, the kids have to recite a poem. Meanwhile the Devil makes scary noises and threatens to carry the children in a sack. At the end the Angel gives the children a basket with presents – fruit like oranges, bananas, mandarines, some chocolate, a small toy and a potato and piece of coal (because all kids are sometimes naughty). Of course this is all arranged by the parents. The trinity are friends of the parents dressed like St. Nicholas, Angel and Devil and the basket is prepared by the parents as well. So the kids are mixed between seeing the angel, getting gifts and being scarred by the devil. My brother got so scarred once as a child that my grandmother had to go and chained the devil by the front door.



12 farrah October 29, 2013 at 8:08 am

Oh my goodness! That’s so much for a child to process! I think I wold be overwhelmed. I already made such a big deal out of the holidays that I got sick every single year that I bet if I had this on top of it I would have been even worse.


13 Deanna October 29, 2013 at 9:44 am

Wow…I have no words for that video. 🙂

I love that you and Ace are part of an expat club! So fun! I’m also quite jealous. 😉 We haven’t really been in the Halloween spirit over here either but my boy is still so little. We may have the opportunity to take him trick or treating on the military base! If so, I guess I need to come up with a costume. 😉 Happy Halloween!


14 Mrs. Chasing the Donkey October 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Geez, I am all for kids using their imagination, but Santa, Elfs, Easter bunnies and now this hideous Krampus-y creature just reassures me that there will be no lies in this house.
On another note, enjoy the paaaaat-y. You should have made Ace crochet all of the the decorations 🙂


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