8 Horrifying Christmas Characters That’ll Haunt Your Dreams



The name literally translates to “Father Whipper,” and he lives up to his name by lashing bad children and advising St. Nicholas to skip their homes come gift-giving time. He’s typically depicted as a decrepit old man in tattered robes carrying a bundle of sticks on his back.

His origin story might haunt you, so feel free to repeat it to kids on Dec. 24: A butcher named Pere Fouettard kidnapped three young rich boys who got lost on their way to a religious boarding school. After robbing them, Fouettard and his lovely wife slit their throats, salted them up, and tossed them into a stew barrel.

St. Nicholas later discovers Pere Fouettard’s crime, and resurrects the children and returns them to their parents. In some versions of the tale, the murderous butcher repents and becomes St. Nicholas’ sidekick. In others, he’s forced by St. Nicholas to accompany him as his slave as punishment for his crimes. Either way, this is a Christmas story that involves butchered children. God bless us, everyone!

Fun fact: Some people believe the dude on the cover of the Led Zeppelin IV album is Pere Fouettard.