Jeff Belanger joined GBH’s All Things Considered host Arun Rath on the radio.
Hallmark cards and Coca-Cola ads tend to dwell on the happy and cheerful side of Christmas. But there’s always been a dark side. The fear of St. Nick putting coal in stockings for misbehaving and even creepier, the old man watching you day and night, tracking your misdeeds.
If you dig deeper into tradition, it’s darker still. The original St. Nick had an enforcer to take care of the bad kids: Krampus, a terrifying horned Christmas devil who whips misbehaving children before carrying them off to hell. And that’s not the only creepy holiday tradition out there. GBH’s All Things Considered host Arun Rath spoke with local author and folklore expert Jeff Belanger, who dives into the legend of Krampus and other frightening Christmas characters in his newest book, “The Fright Before Christmas: Surviving Krampus and Other Yuletide Monsters.”
You can listen and read the transcript here: https://www.wgbh.org/culture/books/2023-12-22/folklore-expert-explores-the-legend-of-krampus-and-holiday-monsters-in-the-fright-before-christmas