The Fright Before Christmas: Surviving Krampus and Other Yuletide Monsters, Witches, and Ghosts (Hardcover)

The Fright Before Christmas: Surviving Krampus and Other Yuletide Monsters, Witches, and Ghosts By Jeff Belanger, Terry Reed (Illustrator) Cover Image

The Fright Before Christmas: Surviving Krampus and Other Yuletide Monsters, Witches, and Ghosts (Hardcover)

By Jeff Belanger, Terry Reed (Illustrator)


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Step into the dark roots of Christmas past where the Krampus punishes the bad boys and girls.

Christmas time is truly the darkest and creepiest time of the year filled with devilish creatures lurking in the shadows waiting to get us. Best known is the Krampus who has been the subject of films and songs. There was a time in the late 1800s when people sent Krampus cards, not holiday greetings. There are other violent and dangerous monsters from all over northern climes who have been hunting naughty children for centuries. From shapeshifters to mountain trolls, to elves, to heavy-handed cohorts of Saint Nicholas, the Christmas holiday has been filled with ghosts and monsters ready to dole out punishment to those who need it.

The Fright Before Christmas will delve into the folklore of Krampus and his friends with the elf-like Tomten and the goblinesque Karakoncolas. The Belsnickel is ready to hit us with his switch of sticks and Gryla may drag you back to her mountain lair. And watch out for the Yule Cat ready to pounce! These are just a few of the yuletide beasties coming for us in The Fright Before Christmas in the hope they can save us from ourselves.  

The folklore roots of Christmas under its many other guises (Yule, the Winter Solstice, Saturnalia) is examined in a different, darker light. The Winter Solstice is a time to be afraid. It’s the shortest day of the year. The longest night. In some parts of the world, the sun doesn’t rise at all. It’s dark, and we have to wonder if the sun will ever come back at all. Christmas has always been creepy and with The Fright Before Christmas you'll see the other side. This is a book for everyone who loves a little darkness around the holidays.

Be good or the Krampus will get you!
Jeff Belanger is one of the most visible and prolific researchers of legends and lore today. A natural storyteller, he’s the award-winning, Emmy-nominated host, writer, and producer of the New England Legends series on PBS and Amazon Prime, and is the author of over a dozen books (published in six languages). He also hosts the award-winning New England Legends weekly podcast, which has garnered over 4 million downloads since its launch, and ranks in the top 1/2 percent of all podcasts for popularity according to Listen Notes.  His books include the best sellers: The World’s Most Haunted Places, Weird Massachusetts, Our Haunted Lives, The Call of Kilimanjaro, and Who’s Haunting the White House?. He founded in 1999—one of the Web’s most popular paranormal destinations—and he’s a noted speaker and media personality. He was featured in the 100th episode of Stories from the Stage on PBS, he’s given a TEDx talk in New York City, and he spoke at MENSA’s national conference. Belanger has written for newspapers like The Boston Globe and USA Today, and has served as the writer and researcher on numerous television series including every single episode of Ghost Adventures (25 seasons and counting), Paranormal Challenge, and Aftershocks on the Travel Channel, and Amish Haunting on Destination America.
Product Details ISBN: 9781637480151
ISBN-10: 1637480156
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication Date: September 4th, 2023
Pages: 200
Language: English
The Fright Before Christmas is an informative romp through holiday history, revealing not only the whens but also the whys of cherished winter celebrations.”
—Foreword Reviews

“A well-researched and fun look at holiday traditions around the world.”
—Library Journal

“Belanger also wanders into the more obscure corners of dark Christmas lore, exploring the stories of ‘dirty Santa’ Belsnickel (as seen on The Office), Iceland’s trouble-making Yule Lads, and France’s cleaver-wielding ‘Father Whipper.’ The Fright Before Christmas will serve as welcome inspiration for lovers of the macabre who relish the threat implicit in Santa’s nice and naughty lists.”
—Jay Gabler, arts and entertainment reporter, Duluth News Tribune