Artwork by Russell Jackson | Courtesy of Louisville Krampus

Look, we get it. You’re excited about Christmas — not just the day of but the whole bowl full of jelly. Lights in your yard began Nov. 1, ugly sweaters are worn un-ironically, and Christmas music of every disgusting flavor and genre blares throughout your house.

Gross.

For those of us a little adverse to the mainstream — maybe a little punk rock, maybe a lot naughty — an old eastern European tradition has gained traction in recent years that warms our cold little hearts: Krampus.

You ought to know by now, but in case you don’t, here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

“In folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as ‘half-goat, half-demon,’ who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas.”

You had us at “half-goat, half-demon.”

Louisville, keeping it weird like it does, has gleefully offered up a figgy pudding full of good-natured demonry and a goat load of naughty Krampus action. Here’s a look at some of the events:

Don’t Krampus My Style 2: An Alternative Holiday Show — Block Party Handmade Boutique — Dec. 1

“Krampug” by Gemma Correll

Those pug lovers down at Block Party have a cheeky but sweet sense of humor, as well as a tendency to throw awesome themed art shows. It’s no surprise they’d get excited for Krampus, and they are sharing that excitement with some of our local favorites, who will each offer up their take on Krampus.

Fans of pug-nacious artist Gemma Correll, who has stopped by Block Party several times in the last few years, has sent us some awesome Krampug prints to celebrate the season in her signature style.

The best part is that this show happens on Friday, Dec. 1, giving you a whole month to fly your Krampus love in the face of all those Ho Ho Ho’ers who have been celebrating since five seconds after they emptied their trick-or-treat bags.

The event runs from 6-9:30 p.m. on Friday at Block Party Handmade Boutique, 560 S. Fourth St.

Krampus: Hell Night — The Haunted Hotel — Dec. 1-2

Now as adorable — and as sexy — as some of the offerings on this list are, let’s think back a moment to those dark Austro-Bavarian days in the old country, before electricity helped us laugh at folks who were scared of the dark. Krampus is actually pretty terrifying, and the award-winning Haunted Hotel is opening for two nights to remind you why children used to shiver with real fear during Krampusnacht.

The Haunted Hotel will offer up more than just Krampus, though — you can expect Santa chainsaw maniacs, zombie elves, Jack’d Up Frost and other deranged versions of beloved holiday characters.

The event runs from 8-11 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2, at The Haunted Hotel, 3000 S. Fourth St.

The Eve, Eve of Louisville Krampus Celebration — Seidenfaden’s — Dec. 3

Who knew there were Krampus films?

The official Krampus celebration will get serious on Tuesday, Dec. 5, but on Sunday, the Louisville Gore Club is hosting an evening of good, clean, wholesome cinematic fun with the bloody, murderous and depraved horror films dedicated to Krampus.

The films run the gamut from expertly crafted to lovably schlocky, and include “Krampus,” “Krampus Unleashed,” “Rare Exports,” “Krampus The Christmas Devil,” and “Krampus 2: The Devil Returns.”

Louisville Gore Club hosts monthly meetings at Seidenfaden’s, and they stay serious about drinking and loving horror movies year round.

The event runs from 9 p.m.-4 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, at Seidenfaden’s, 1134 E. Breckenridge St.

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Finally, after several warmup events this weekend, the traditional Krampusnacht, which falls on Dec. 5, arrives with a doozy twofold event, brought to you by co-hosts Louisville Krampus and Louisville Gore Club …

Louisville Krampus Celebration: Family Holiday Art Bazaar — Art Sanctuary — Dec. 5

“Krampus” by Angry Blue

From 5 p.m. till midnight, family-friendly shopping and music will go down at Art Sanctuary. With more than 30 local artists and vendors representing, you can have fun and get all your shopping done, thereby avoiding Oxmoor Mall, which is actually the scariest thing about Louisville in December.

There are more awesome vendors than you can shake a stick at, so picking favorites is hard, but we know we’ll be eyeing wares from Angry Blue Ministries, Yoko Molotov and Miss Happy Pink.

While you load up on goodies, DJs Thulsa Goon and Talamasca will be on the ones and twos spinning tunes to keep the holiday spirit suitably strange.

Art Sanctuary is located at 1433 S. Shelby St.

Louisville Krampus Celebration: Rock ‘n’ Shock Party — Cure Lounge — Dec. 5

After you put the kids to bed, hopefully warning them that if they’ve been bad, an evil demon goat will come get them, you can head over to Cure Lounge for adult activities, the kind of stuff that’ll definitely get you put on the naughty list.

Music will be provided by Dead Room Cult, Isolation Tank Ensemble, Jack Holiday and the Westerners, and The Human Project, as they share the stage with some of Louisville’s best undressed burlesque performers as well as sideshow acts and yuletide drag performers.

Burlesque dancer Lady Rama will perform. | Courtesy of Lady Rama

Rounding out the evening will be The Krampus Rempler. A Rempler, from the German word that means to show or push, is a sumo-style wrestling event, and the rules give us a chance to mention another big Krampus tradition: costumes. A big part of the Krampus celebration is wearing costumes, and only those attired as the horned one will be allowed to enter The Krampus Rempler.

The rules also explicitly state no head-butting. You’ve been warned.

The event runs from 7 p.m.-1 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at Cure Lounge, 1481 S. Shelby St.

Naughty & Nice Christmas Spooktacular — 7th Street Haunt — Dec. 15-16

After the big night comes and goes, if you weren’t carried off in a sack, then you can visit the 7th Street Haunt on Dec. 15 and 16 to see its take on the holidays, which includes a naughty and nice side — so you get scares for the grownups and sweetness for the kids.

The event runs from 8-10:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec., 15, and Saturday, Dec. 16, at the 7th Street Haunt, 2900 S. Seventh St.

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Krampus Cookies & Cream — Louisville Cream

Yes, please! | Courtesy of Louisville Cream

And if your tastebuds need to do a little misbehaving of their own, Louisville Cream has cooked up — well, frozen down — a delightful Krampus Cookies & Cream ice cream flavor. The treat has the tang of a well-crafted butter cream icing, with sugar cookies and Oreos folded in, and a dose of red food coloring to give it a sinister hue.

Get it quick, because Louisville Cream’s penchant for small batch creations means this flavor will disappear fast. The NuLu store is located at 632 E. Market St.

Eli Keel is “pretty much” a Louisville native. You may have seen him around town reading poetry, short stories, dancing or acting. He’s a passionate locavore, so you may have also seen him stuffing his face at one of Louisville’s amazing restaurants. When he isn’t too busy writing short stories, he blogs at amanwalksintoablog.wordpress.com.


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