While the idea of the Krampus may have more of a fun and silly connotation in America, ask anyone with a strong German heritage and they will tell you that Krampus is no laughing matter. If you’re brave enough, you can check out the most terrifying Krampus Fest in Florida next month.

While American children who were naughty throughout the year only have coal in their stockings to look forward to on Christmas day, naughty children in Germany were terrified into obedience with tales of Krampus, Saint Nick’s devilish counterpart, who would whip misbegotten children with sticks. 

Surrounding countries like Austria also celebrate (though that may not be the best word) Krampus, however, Germans go hard with their annual “Krampus Runs.” People dress up in all manner of ghoulish costumes emulating the character and rush the streets.

If the idea of masked people running through the streets isn’t unnerving enough, in some places, they’re actually allowed to smack people in the shins with their stick bundles!

The concept of Krampus stretches back beyond pre-Christian Alpine traditions, and around the 17th century, his image was incorporated with that of Saint Nick. In certain parts of Europe, The Feast of Saint Nick is celebrated on December 6th, and the preceding night is Krampus Night.

And while in the West, we are accustomed to leaving Santa Claus cookies, it is common to leave Krampus an offering of schnapps. He may be related to the devil, but he still likes the good stuff.

While Florida’s Krampus Fest won’t have you whacking anyone with bundles of sticks, you can don some terrifying costumes and stalk the streets and neighboring bars with your group of Krampus-wannabes and end the night with an Alpine toast at Bar Stache.

Feel free to get creative with your costumes, but if you run out of time, there will be some provided for free upon meeting up. The event is free, so come have some traditional terrifying holiday fun!

If you're looking for some less terrifying ways to celebrate the holidays, you can check out Christmas at Hogwarts, and the ultimate Disney Christmas package.

Krampus Fest Ft. Lauderdale 

Price: Free

When: December 23, 7:30 p.m.

Address: Esplanade Park 400 SW 2nd St, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312

Why You Need To Go: "Celebrate" Krampus with crazy costumes and drinks!