Written by Aaron-Michael Fox.

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday have come and gone, and we are now firmly into the Christmas season. Children all over the world are turning their thoughts to a visit from the one-and-only St. Nicholas (a.k.a. “Santa Claus”).

According to our local German restaurant, Bahnhof WVrsthaus & Biergarten, there is another Christmas character experiencing a resurgence in popularity after falling nearly into oblivion in the 20th century: Krampus.

It should be common knowledge to all Americans that Santa knows which children have been good and which have been bad throughout the year, and he treats them accordingly. In Alpine tradition dating back to the 7th Century, St. Nick was only concerned with rewarding the good children and left punishing the wicked children up to Krampus. Armed with a terrifying appearance, horns, fangs, and a bag full of birch switches, Krampus is well-suited to the task.

According to tradition, children are supposed to leave a boot outside their door on the Night of Krampus (Krampusnacht). Good little boys and girls will get sweets and candy while bad little boys and girls will get coal or even a switch. Legend says that the worst of children will be carried away to Hell in Krampus’ sack.

The tradition fell out of favor in the 20th century as it was considered by many to be too pagan, scary, or backwards for the modern age. The Nazi government in Germany outlawed any depiction of Krampus as they believed he caused mental illness in children. But Krampus is back in a big way in Bavaria with the rest of the world following right behind.

For the first time ever, Huntington will have a formal Krampusnacht event as Bahnhof at 745 7thAvenue will be hosting a Krampus event on December 5, 2023 from 5-8PM.

Krampus at Bahnhof will be presented by the haunted team at Twelvepole Manor who will be hosting their own spooky Christmas events the weekends before and after Krampusnacht. Bahnhof will be supplying a professional photographer to take family photos with Krampus that can be downloaded free of charge. A link will be provided when you have your picture taken.

True to their German roots, Bahnhof has put up a “Krampus Tree” every year since they opened in 2017, but this is the first year they will be featuring a real-life Krampus. There will also be drawings for door prizes for kids all evening. Will Krampus’ buddy Santa show up? Who knows!

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