Podcast Logo


Posted on December 15th, 2023 by Clyde Lewis

While many people are singing along to their favorite Christmas music, decorating Christmas trees, adorning their homes with fantastical light displays, and settling in to stream a myriad of Christmas-related movies, others are sniffing out Krampus and the Dark Soul of Christmas. There are Christmas conspiracy theories that have given people a headache about Krampus, Baphomet, and the Satanic takeover of the Yule. Superstitious folk back in the old days believed Jesus was the only person fit to be born on this sacred day, however, the holiday season was at another time when witches, werewolves, and other malevolent beings roamed. Behind all the holiday joy lurks some dark bedtime stories your parents haven’t dared mention. Tonight on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis talks with Fortean researcher and author, Tobias Wayland about CAMP KRAMPUS OR CAMP SANTA?



It is quite interesting how Ground Zero has sort of developed some Holiday end-of-the-year traditions. For Halloween, it is contacting Dr. Heldore, The Kennedy farewell tour in November, and at the end of the year, we do the year in reverse with David John Oates.

And of course, no Christmas season would be complete without our annual Krampus show.

Every year he comes back up like eggnog that has been sitting out for hours on the company party food table.

I guess there is something irresistible about Santa’s evil sidekick, a cloven-hooved demon who punishes the kids on Santa’s naughty list.

Oh, and he has been known to whip them with a switch, put them in sacks and throw them in the river.

This technique it probably far more effective than the psy-op Santa carries out of mass surveillance and his technique of spreading cheer with a bit of paranoia.

It’s not Santa doling out the punishments undefined that is left up to Krampus.

So, if the holiday season is getting a little too gooey-sweet for you, you can take refuge in Camp Krampus, and it is a scary thought that many people prefer him to Camp Santa undefined all because they despise the commercialism of the holiday.

We need Krampus more than you know.

I donundefinedt want to sound like a mean old man but undefinedkids these daysundefined am I right?

Are there any American children who seriously fear receiving coal in their stockings? Fat chance. The precious darlings are convinced they are entitled to those video games and cellphones and electric cars.

Until Krampus there really wasnundefinedt a magical being around to keep them in line.

Then there is that seasonal depression that some people get.

Why do you think people get depressed over the holidays? Because their vision of holiday joy doesn’t match the reality of annoying relatives, crowded malls, and not enough shortbread. This disconnect between “should be” and “what is” leads to an emotional disconnect.

There is also the war on Christmas, and those conspiracy theories to contend with.

While many folks are singing along to their favorite Christmas music, decorating Christmas trees, adorning their homes with fantastical light displays, and settling in to stream a myriad of Christmas-related movies, others are sniffing out Krampus and the Dark Soul of Christmasundefined there have been many Christmas conspiracy theories that have given people a headache about Krampus, Baphomet, and the Satanic take over of the Yule.

Last year and even this year I kept hearing about Krampus cups being sold at Starbucks in Seattle, and I have been begging for someone to produce one and I never seem to get my hands on one.

I always need to contribute to the river of coffee flowing through my veins and so Starbucks is one of the many places I do it undefined but so far I have gotten red and green cups undefined but alas there has been no trace of Krampus on any of the cups.

The story goes that the coffee cup in question shows the Starbucks logo as well as a young boy crying while being terrified by Krampus. They also have a handy slogan “Just in time for Christmas. ‘I like my Coffee Black like my Soul.’undefined

People of course are reacting to the rumor by demanding a boycott, or saying that the coffee chain is coming after the children. The allegation also spread rapidly across Facebook, where many accused Starbucks of being a Satanic corporation.

But as with any rumor spread on the net undefined there isnundefinedt a Krampus coffee cup.

This is both unfortunate and quite a relief.

In reality, the coffee cup wasn’t created or endorsed by Starbucks and it isn’t even new.

The cup was created in 2015 by a tattoo artist in Seattle known as Mike Tidwell and posted to his personal Instagram account.

But the rumors persist undefined like poisoned Halloween candy.

Although Starbucks has been releasing custom coffee cups for the holidays over the past 25 years, none of them have featured Krampus.

Too bad undefined it would be fun to have one undefined you know like having one of those comic book Big Gulp cups we used to collect?

Since Krampus has arrived on our continent, some see the irony of it, while some take it way too seriously undefined that includes the devoutly religious, and even the most satanic.

There is now controversy over a Satanic display at the Iowa State House that features a silver horned skull and candles just down a few steps from the government Christmas tree.

The holiday display was set up by the Satanic Temple.

It features a ramundefineds head covered with mirrors on a mannequin cloaked in red clothing.

Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple, says this satanic display is a symbol of their right to religious freedom.

Even though they say they do not worship God, or the devil and believe in anything supernatural.

Their religious freedom consists of defending abortion rights as a religious choice and pissing off Christians and anyone else who thinks that they always seem to demonstrate an air of arrogance -and the need for attention.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds released this statement about the display on Tuesday: undefinedLike many Iowans, I find the Satanic Temple’s display in the Capitol absolutely objectionable. In a free society, the best response to objectionable speech is more speech, and I encourage all those of faith to join me today in praying over the Capitol and recognizing the nativity scene that will be on display – the true reason for the season.undefined

Shellie Flockhart from Dallas Center organized a prayer group that prayed around the Christmas tree in the center of the rotunda to oppose the satanic display near the stairwell.

The irony here is that the Christmas tree is a pagan symbol.

Pagans in Europe used branches of evergreen fir trees to decorate their homes and brighten their spirits during the winter solstice. Early Romans used evergreens to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia, while ancient Egyptians used green palm rushes as part of their worship of the god Ra.

If you open the Bible to Isaiah 57:5, you read about the ancients placing idols of worship under a tree:

“You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags.”

In the tenth chapter of Jeremiah, we can also see that the decoration of trees was a custom that happened before Christmas:

“For the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move.”

The customs were to set fires and make sacrifices near the oak and evergreen trees and also in the sanctuaries in front of idols. They did so in the valley of Ben-Hinnom.

In ancient times, anxieties that existed when the darkness gathered were released by sacrificing a child to the horned god, Molech. Krampus seems to be the mirror image of Molech. What is even more chilling is how Molech and the horned Image of Krampus have evolved and how in biblical times the ancients knew of the Saturnalian sacrifices to the horned one.

So praying to a Christman tree may put a little cramp in your style.

Christmas gives us a little of this and a little of that undefined and unless you go full Jesus on the Holiday you are dabbling into some pretty pagan territory.

n ancient times, the Phoenicians, in Carthage and elsewhere, had a reputation for sacrificing children. One adventurer/explorer in the 1920s found 6,000 funerary urns in the sanctuary of Tanit, where the little children of Carthage were sacrificed for the sake of the city’s security.”

It was believed that the children were killed to provide safety from evil entities and to ensure that the Sun would return. According to the ancients, this would bring peace and goodwill to all men.

In the sanctuaries was a large, stone idol. It had the head of a horned bull. The horned god had arms where the child would be placed. Ropes and pulleys would raise the arms to heaven. The child would then fall out of the arms into a pile of burning oak. This was the gift under the trees. The gift to Molech would be an exchange for the birth of the Sun, or “Sol Invictus,” the unconquered sun.

Later the practice was abandoned, however, various sects would create child effigies or dolls that would be used in the ritual. The tradition of giving dolls for mock sacrifice was often observed in the Winter.

As part of the Saturnalia rites, namely, Saturn eating his children the Pagans ate little biscuits, often shaped like little human beings or children. These edible cookies evolved into gingerbread men.

Perhaps you will think twice before biting the head off one.

Beyond the idea that Christmas is Jesusundefined birthday, it was also the time to tell scary ghost stories around the fire.

The cold winter air often invites tales of ghosts and goblins.

Also, there are tales of werewolves and wendigos, There are also tales of demonic Gnomes and monstrous Fortean cyrtids that would haunt the countryside.

Many people do not believe in things like vile beings, shapeshifters, Skinwalkers or even werewolves, however, historical accounts of their existence are everywhere. There was a widespread pagan belief in Europe that the winter solstice was a significant time for these mythological monsters to appear. The howls you hear outside in the darkest winter may not be those of the wind.

The topic of these so-called cryptid creatures always sends a chill down the spine that adds to the apprehension of venturing out into the frigid weather.

It is said that in the winter months the veil between that which is reverent and that which is profane thins before the storms gather. Winter has always been a time when we can reflect on all of the stories of the ghoulish beasts that may or may not be lurking outside. It is even more of a scare to think that any of these creatures can hide underneath the bed or just outside your window.

The reigning power of the winter months is darkness, as the nights seem long and shadows tend to play tricks on the mind as they are cast away from the flickering fire.

When winter arrives my mind often turns to stories of magic and how the secret powers use their influence to shape our beliefs. I know that there are many people who tend to think that magic is all a fairy tale parlor exercise, but as a man who has witnessed folk magic I am willing to believe that the mind is a very powerful tool.

Magic of course can be written off by those who believe it is fantasy, however there is power in the will, curses and prayers have impact and there is always that fine line between those who witness the power, who utilize the power, and those who abuse their power and fall into a type of psychosis.

It is hard at times to determine the stages and so we must assume that while magic is real, the person who uses it has the potential to abuse it and when this happens the ether can open up and this is when we hear of the arrival of monsters.

Sometimes stories of monsters come from the most mundane of places and include some of the most well-known figures in our history.

It may also be observed that a being like Krampus could have been derived from winter monsters like the Wendigo.

The Wendigo is a creature of pure hunger, greed, and insatiable appetite.

According to First Nation tribes in Canada, the Wendigo is described as gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tightly over its bones. With its bones pushing out against its skin, its complexion the ash-gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the Wendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave. What lips it had were tattered and bloody. Unclean and suffering from suppuration of the flesh, the Wendigo gave off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption.

Wendigos are not merely supernatural creatures however, humans can become Wendigos simply by eating the most forbidden of foods: human flesh.

Folklore records that when a Wendigo ate human flesh, the creature grew in proportion to its prey, thus ensuring that its hunger could never be satisfied.

The Wendigo is, of course, just one of many cautionary myths from across the globe warning what a human may become should they commit the ultimate taboo of cannibalism.

Many today believe that tales of flesh-eaters such as the Wendigo, the ghoul, the vampire, the werewolf, and their ilk are just that; scary stories told to teach a moral lesson.

In Poland, Romania, and other parts of northeastern Europe, it was believed that a child born on Christmas had a greater chance of becoming a werewolf, and ritual steps were taken to prevent Christmas babies from becoming changelings.

This old legend is not the only one revolving around werewolves during the holiday season. More European stories show how children born during the 12 Days of Christmas (December 25 — January 6) will become werewolves.

In History of Goths, Swedes, and Vandals, exiled bishop Olaus Magnus (1490–1557) wrote about werewolves. During Christmastime, they roamed the countryside jumping over walls, drinking beer, and invading people’s homes. This was the only time they were in their wolf forms instead of every full moon of the year.

You would think it would be the ultimate blessing to be born on Christmas Day. Superstitious folk back in the old days believed Jesus was the only person fit to be born on this sacred holiday.

The holiday season was another time witches, werewolves, and other malevolent beings roamed. Behind all the holiday joy lurks some dark bedtime stories your parents haven’t dared mention.

Nor was Krampus embraced in North America until recently.

He just popped on the scene from out of nowhere undefined a tradition that usually remained in Europe.

But be very careful when you open yourself up to the Krampus festivities- and be very careful about who you speak with about your birthday or your ravenous meat-eating tendencies, The last thing you want as your Christmas gift is an angry mob at your door with torches, pitchforks, and guns loaded with silver bullets.


Tobias Wayland is a passionate Fortean who has been actively investigating the unusual for over a decade. The first several years of his investigative career were spent as a MUFON field investigator and following that he investigated independently before becoming the head writer and editor for The Singular Fortean Society. Tobias is a frequent guest on various podcasts and radio shows, has written several books and contributed articles to periodicals on the paranormal, has appeared on television and in documentaries, and is often invited to speak at paranormal conferences and events. His website is https://www.singularfortean.com

His book is The Singular Fortean Societyundefineds Yuletide Guide to High Strangeness