But where did the legend of the Krampus originate? The word itself comes from â€˜krampen’ and is from Old High German. It means claw. Krampus is an incubus who accompanies Santa Claus, but does not follow the old man’s prerogative of present giving. An incubus is a demon in male form which visits sleepers and lies upon them (the word comes from the Latin â€˜incubo’ which is to lie on top). The Krampus is not your common or garden night rapist, however: his brief is to punish the children who have misbehaved during the year. Below, in this early twentieth century postcard, you can see the whip (or Virgacs) he would carry with him.
(via Miss Cellania)