For those who do not know, in central European tradition, St. Nicholas (Santa Claus is our variation of this figure), is accompanied each Christmas eve by Krampus, a demonic cloven hoofed monster that takes, naughty children and eats, swats or drowns them. Though there are many different variations in his appearance he tends to look something like this:
It is likely that Krampus dates to pre-Christian Pagan traditions, but some argue that the fact that he is often depicted with chains may be have been added to the mythology by Christians as a symbol of bondage to Satan. As such he is an interesting holdout, of the Pagan traditions that became co-opted into Christmas. Additionally, Europeans have been exchanges greetings cards with featuring Krampus since the 1880s and there is a tradition known as Krampuslauf, in which individuals dressed at the beast parade through the streets each year. An example can be seen here:
While, I believe it to be highly immoral to use threats of monsters like Krampus to frighten children, I do find Krampus to be a fascinating character, especially in regard to his relationship with St. Nicholas and I think it would be awesome to see something like this in some American cities.