Scary Christmas legends

Well well well…It’s December and that means Christmas time. So why not take a look at all the creepy and scary things from around the world that are Christmas based.


Grýla was not related with Christmas folklore at first. It was the 17th century when people first started connecting her to it. At that time she became the mother of the “Yule Lads”(A band of mischieving brothers). Grýla was a mythical giant who lived in Iceland who had the ability to detect misbehaving children. An ability which would prove very useful to her considering devouring children was her favorite meal. During Christmas time Grýla would come down from the mountains and search for naughty children which she loved cooking up in a stew.

The Yule Cat 

The Yule Cat is also a monster from Icelandic lore. It was the cat of the third husband of Grýla and also served as her pet. The Yule Cat devours children who have not received new clothes during Christmas time. The perception of the Yule Cat as a man-eating beast was partly popularized by the poetJóhannes úr Kötlum in his poem Jólakötturinn.

The Yule Lads 

The depictions of the Yule Lads varied greatly depending on location, with each individual Lad ranging from a mere prankster to a homicidal monster who eats children. They are:

  • Stekkjastaur– Sheep-Cote Clod
  • Giljagaur – Gully Gawk
  • Stúfur – Stubby
  • Þvörusleikir – Spoon Licker
  • Pottaskefill – Pot Scraper
  • Askasleikir – Bowl Licker
  • Hurðaskellir – Door Slammer (he loves waking people up by slamming doors)
  • Skyrgámur – Skyr Gobbler
  • Bjúgnakrækir – Sausage Swiper
  • Gluggagægir – Window Peeper
  • Gáttaþefur – Doorway Sniffer
  • Ketkrókur – Meat Hook
  • Kertasníkir – Candle Beggar

But in later times they have been changed up to have a more benevolent role like the one of Santa Claus.

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