8 Horrifying Christmas Characters That’ll Haunt Your Dreams



Knecht Ruprecht is a bearded old German man who serves as the Jolly Old Elf’s muscle by administering swift justice to naughty children. During his visit, Knecht Ruprecht asks children if they know their prayers. Answer yes and you get a treat. Answer no and you get walloped with his bag of ashes.

In some tales, he leaves coal for bad children. In others, he leaves a switch behind for their parents to use. The threat of future beatings is perhaps what makes Knecht Ruprecht the most terrifying of all of Santa’s “Dark Helpers.”