Demon-like creatures spotted in Sherwood Forest were scared away in traditional ‘wassailing’ ceremony
Terrifying demon-like monsters called Krampus were spotted roaming Sherwood Forest – scaring unsuspecting dog walkers and visitors.
Thankfully, the curious creatures were sent packing on Sunday, when a ‘wassailing’ ceremony was held to purge evil spirits from the area.
The strange events were all part of the Spirits of the Forest and Wassailing Weekend.
During the ‘wassailing’ event, a procession led to the Major Oak.
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With the help of people banging pots and pans, the pesky Krampus and evil spirits were soon frightened away – the noise is also aimed at awakening the the mighty oaks ready for spring
The Krampus is a central European legend, concerning a half-goat, half-demon creature which punishes naughty children at Christmastime, while wassailing is a Twelfth Night tradition, rooted in the pagan custom of visiting orchards to sing to the trees and spirits to ensure a good harvest.
A spiced mulled cider brew is traditionally drunk from a special wassailing bowl.
Richard Townsley, the forest’s Sheriff of Nottingham was on hand to bring order to the festivities.
He said: “It is the second time we have held a wassailing in the forest and we welcomed various Krampus as beasts of the forest, our old friends who take part in the Whitby Krampus Run.
“Although Krampus is not an English tradition we were happy to borrow it. The Krampus is a horned, beast in folklore who, during the Christmas season, scares naughty children.
“Although they feature in stories about St Nicholas, rewarding well-behaved children with gifts, while the badly behaved ones are punished by the Krampus, it has a much older and more pagan origin, representing the darker forces of the forest.
"We had about a dozen Krampus visit. Although they looked scary they were very nice, and chatted with visitors, but we did have to warn unsuspecting dog walkers they were out there!
“Thanks to the Whitby Krampus Run, ‘team Sheriff’, and the good people of Sherwood and beyond who participated. It was a real community event.
“It went extremely well, we scared away the bad spirits and awoke the trees. The forest and Major Oak tree are well and truly blessed now for a good year ahead.”