Written by John Squires
This past weekend, Michael Dougherty’s Krampus had an impressive showing at the box office, introducing the world to the titular “Anti-Claus” from Alpine folklore. In so many words, Krampus – according to the original legend – brutally punishes naughty children, but he’s not the only holiday beast to fear.
Over in Iceland there exists a similarly sinister Christmas villain by the name of Gryla, and like Krampus, hers is a cautionary tale warning children to be good around Christmastime. The mythical figure is often depicted as a giantess, and when she sniffs out naughty children, well, there’s just no nice way to put this…
She eats kids, you guys.
According to Wikipedia, Gryla became linked to the Christmas season back in the 17th century, and her basic M.O. is that she comes down from her hellish lair up in the mountains to feast on children who are misbehaving. “Her favorite dish is a stew of naughty kids and she has an insatiable appetite,” says the site.
But Gryla doesn’t carry out her dirty deeds alone. In addition to her children, known as the Yule Lads, the mythical monster also shares a cave with her beloved pet known as the Yule Cat. Like Gryla herself, the Yule Cat is a massive creature, and wouldn’t ya know it, he also gets off on eating kids. Because of course.
Is Gryla the next holiday monster to get her own horror movie? We can only hope!