Let's flip an increasingly common phenomenon on its ear, shall we? I think it's gotten to the point where we all know someone who starts decorating for Christmas on or even BEFORE Halloween. They just can't wait to get the holiday season started.

Well, for my money--and the "money" of others I know--the reverse is also true. We love us some Halloween and can keep the horror coming long past October 31st. Under my roof, we didn't even START Mike Flanagan's extraordinary new horror series The Fall of the House of Usher until after Halloween. There's never a bad time for a good scare.

Holiday Terror in Louisville KY

So who or what exactly will you turn to for such scares as we get further into the holiday season? Will it be that new horror movie Thanksgiving? Will it be that old 80s chestnut Silent Night, Deadly Night? Or will you head to Louisville KY to tour a "haunted hotel" where a certain Christmas demon will be lurking?

We took the tour a few days before Halloween and were duly impressed. But there were no signs of Krampus...not yet, anyway. He's waiting to make his first official appearance on December 16th, and then he'll take a week off to get ready for his second and final holiday appearance on December 23rd. Yes, Louisville's Haunted Hotel will only be open two days for your "Curse of Krampus" experience. Here's a walk-through from 2020, but keep in mind, folks who put these haunted houses together often change things up from year to year. Still, the scares will be plentiful. Take a look. (THE FOLLOWING VIDEO MAY CONTAIN COARSE LANGUAGE.)

The Legend of Krampus

The Krampus legend comes to us from Europe. The half-goat/half-demon is said to be a companion to St. Nicholas, one that punishes bad children at Christmas. (I always thought they just got a lump of coal in their stocking, but I guess not.) Here's the rather grim explanation from the Encyclopedia Britannica:

The creature and St. Nicholas are said to arrive on the evening of December 5 (Krampusnacht; “Krampus Night”). While St. Nicholas rewards nice children by leaving presents, Krampus beats those who are naughty with branches and sticks. In some cases, he is said to eat them or take them to hell.

So, good Lord, right? Whew. Personally, I think the lumps of coal are plenty. But then again, if we didn't have Krampus, we wouldn't have one final opportunity in 2023 to get the crap scared out of us.

Merry Christmas...or maybe Scary Christmas?

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Gallery Credit: Annalise Mantz & Madison Troyer

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