Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Old World Legends of Christmas: Santa’s Naughty List Helpers {Giveaway} #sharingjoy2015

A guest post by Matt Manochio, author of The Dark Servant and Twelfth Krampus Night

Krampus, slowly but surely, is weaseling his way into America’s Christmas subconscious, and this is a good thing.

For those unawares, Krampus derives from European folklore as Saint Nicholas’s dark companion. Saint Nick (our Santa Claus) would reward the good kids in days of yore, and he’d farm out the bad ones to Krampus, a giant cloven-hoofed devil who beats bad children into repentance (and those are the lucky kids).

There’s a Krampus movie that recently hit the big screen, although it’s not the first of its kind. There were a few lower-budget ones that preceded it. My first Krampus novel, The Dark Servant, similarly, wasn’t the first traditionally published Krampus book out there (but it was among the first, and I’m proud of that).

He’s appealing to me because even though Europeans know the big galoot well, he’s still a relative unknown in the U.S. pop culture—as are the other dark companions that populate Europe. One such dark servant is Frau Perchta, a belly-slitting hag from Bavaria (she appears in my new Krampus novella, Twelfth Krampus Night). If you’re good, you get a coin in your shoe. If you’re bad, you get disemboweled. There’s no middle ground there. There’s Knecht Ruprecht and Belsnickel in Germany, Black Pete in the Netherlands, and Schmutzli in Switzerland. All of these characters are, in some form, Saint Nick’s companions who administer discipline to the naughty.

These dark companions are hugely popular in Europe, where people dress as them (sometimes very elaborately) and parade around the streets to scare children. Follow this link immediately!


They’ve been doing this for centuries. Our version of Santa Claus takes on both roles of gift-giver and child-punisher, so why would we know about Krampus and his gang? We wouldn’t.

But that’s changing. Krampus appeals to people for different reasons. Those who dislike the Christmas season or who are sick of Santa Claus now have the perfect anti-Claus to worship. For those who enjoy all aspects of Christmas, Krampus provides another outlet to explore how the holiday is celebrated (Krampus usually makes his rounds on December 5) in other countries. And those parents with naughty children who aren’t deterred by the threat of getting coal in their stocking might consider telling their bad child about Krampus. Who says Christmas can’t be a little frightening?

About the Twelfth Krampus Night
“This is a macabre, dark tale with a timeless quality about it. An atmospheric landscape, complete with Bavarian castle; characters that could have stepped out from your worst nightmares. It kept me thoroughly and enjoyably entertained in a dark, scary way. Full marks!” –Cat Cavendish, Author of The Dark Avenging Angel

Follow the tour with the hashtags: #TwelfthKrampusNight #TKN

Print Length: 121 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (December 1, 2015)
Publication Date: December 1, 2015

Dark servants clash!

Medieval maiden Beate, who’s grieving over the mysterious evisceration of her best friend, Gisela, must escape a Bavarian castle under siege by sadistic creatures.

Standing in her way—beyond towering walls and crossbow-toting guards—are Saint Nicholas’s demonic helper, Krampus, and Frau Perchta, a belly-slitting hag who prowls the countryside during First Night festivities to punish naughty teens.

Beate wants out. Krampus and Frau Perchta want in, determined to breach the castle to snag their prey. Beate has no idea why these monsters want her, but she must use her wits to save herself from horrors both human and inhuman—lest she wind up like Gisela.

About the author
Matt Manochio was born in 1975 in New Jersey and graduated from The University of Delaware in 1997 with a history/journalism degree. He spent the majority of his 13-year newspaper career at the Daily Record in Morris County, New Jersey, where he won multiple New Jersey Press Association Awards for his reporting.

He wrote about one of his passions, rock ‘n’ roll giants AC/DC, for USA Today and considers that the highlight of his journalism career. He left newspapers in 2011 for safer employment.

His debut novel, The Dark Servant, was published with Samhain Horror in November of 2014. His second novel, Sentinels, was release November 2015, just prior to Twelfth Krampus Night in December 2015. He currently lives in New Jersey with his son.

Praise for Matt Manochio
“Twelfth Krampus Night is an enjoyable read and a strong horror story. Manochio is a very strong writer and his talent is evident in this novel. I easily slid into the world that Manochio creates and was fascinated by Frau Perchta and Krampus.” –Minneapolis Examiner.com

“The Dark Servant is everything a thriller should be–eerie, original and utterly engrossing!” — Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author

“Beautifully crafted and expertly plotted, Matt Manochio’s The Dark Servant has taken an esoteric fairy tale from before Christ and sets it in the modern world of media-saturated teenagers–creating a clockwork mechanism of terror that blends Freddy Krueger with the Brothers Grimm!” — Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author

“Matt Manochio is a writer who’ll be thrilling us for many books to come.” — Jim DeFelice, New York Times bestselling author

“Matt Manochio has taken a very rare fairytale and turned it into a real page-turner. Matt has constructed a very real and believable force in Krampus and has given it a real journalistic twist, and he has gained a fan in me!” — David L. Golemon, New York Times bestselling author

“In The Dark Servant, Matt Manochio has taken the tantalizing roots of Middle Europe’s folklore and crafted a completely genuine modern American horror story. … I fell for this story right away. Matt Manochio is a natural born storyteller.” — Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author

“Could there be a dark side to Santa? And if so, what would he do to those kids who were naughty? Matt Manochio provides the nail-biting answer with The Dark Servant.” — John Everson, Bram Stoker Award-winning author

“If you want some pure escapism on a quiet afternoon and you don’t mind a little–okay, maybe a lot–of blood, SENTINELS is exactly what you’re looking for. Manochio is a talented author with a bright future and someone who’s work I will follow with great interest.” –Shotgun Logic

Purchase Twelfth Krampus Night

Enter to win an eBook copy of Twelfth Krampus Night by leaving a comment below telling us if you have heard of the Krampus legend, or any other legends surrounding Christmas. Be sure to leave your email address. Last day to enter...Monday, 12/21 at 11:59pm CST.

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  1. A great post but then I love these legends. A character I have only come across recently and what a character he is.

    This sounds like a great book (I'm away to check if its available in paper format as I don't do digital), a perfect antidote for all of these Christmas novels I've been reading for the Christmas Spirit Challenge that haven't really been Christmassy at all.

    You might be interested in my post on another legend, Belsnckel, who is a compatriot of Krampus.


  2. I have heard of Krampus - and not even just from that Grimm episode a couple years ago.

    carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com


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