Weekly Features



Obviously, I love to write about Yuletide ghosts and goblins so much that I rarely come upon a new one. In Iceland there is the terrible ogress by the name of Gryla whose name translates to ‘Growler’. Less well known as Krampus, Perchta, Knecht Ruprecht and those yuletide werewolves the Callicantzari, Gryla is a terrifying holiday monster whose favorite meals consists of spoiled children. She is claimed to hate Christmas and Christmas decoration which she will tear apart given a chance. She frequently marries and once she grows tired of her husband, she simply devours him. Like many Christmas bogeys she is often used to threaten misbehaving children into acting like good little boys and girls. Her equally hateful offspring are the Yule lads who also work overtime to ruin the scared holiday feasts. Like the other Yuletide bogeys she and her nasty brood were active around the winter solstice until Epiphany (January 6th) which is a sacred day onto itself. Concepts of Gryla being a Yuletide ghoul seems to have started around the 13th century. Besides her sons she also travels around with the Yule cat, a all-black cat who also is connected to the cold dark night of the winter solstice. In Iceland people dress up as the devilish damsel and walk in Christmas parade as warning t bad little boys and girls. And so, it goes.