Sinister Christmas figure Krampus set to give Creswell Crags visitors a festive fright

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On the darkest day of the year the ancient caves at Creswell Crags will be visited by a sinister figure known across Europe for punishing bad children at Christmas-time.

Krampus – a name that strikes healthy fear into the hearts of children from Austria and Bavaria to the Czech Republic and Hungary – has recently become more familiar in the UK.

And, on December 21, naughty children are being told to watch out, as he will be at Creswell Crags.

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Depending on which tradition you follow, Krampus a horned goat-like figure, usually accompanies St Nicholas to punish bad children – either by beating them with a stick, putting them in a sack, or giving them coal.

Whitby Krampus Run will be down on the day.Whitby Krampus Run will be down on the day.
Whitby Krampus Run will be down on the day.

Staff at the crags, who are no strangers to superstition as their own limestone ice-age caves are full with witch marks, are not recommending visitors bring small children on the day.

Rebecca Morris-Buck, communications manager at Creswell Crags said: “Creswell Crags is a place of human stories, and superstitions, going back to prehistory. It seems appropriate, in this setting, to welcome one of the scarier aspects of Christmas, hosted in a cave full of witch marks. We hope to create an event that is very different from most Christmas events but which will bring people closer to some of the traditions of this dark part of the year.”

On the day there will be a gathering by a fire pit, tales of Krampus and a chance to hurl an axe with Sheffield’s mobile axe trowing unit, Battleaxe.