Maybe we've been hammering this point home a little bit too hard lately, but if it's worth saying once then it's worth saying again: Santa is a truly terrifying face of unspoken eldritch horrors. Don't believe me? Check out some of these creeps below!
According to my extensive Wikipedia-based research, this video is representative of the tradition of the Krampus figure in Austrian and Alpine-European folklore. Krampus, usually portrayed as a demonic figure, accompanies Santa and punishes children by stuffing them in a sack and taking them back to his lair to be eaten. Every year, young men in Austria dress as Krampus and parade around town, frightening children with rusty chains chains and elaborate costumes.
In other words, Christmas is way more Metal in Austria.
For your bonus entertainment, here's a short about Krampus that was commissioned for one of Chef/Travel Writer Anthony Bourdain's TV shows. It was never aired for fear of being "too scary." All things considered, I can see why.
A gun club in Scotsdale, Arizona is offering photo shoots with Santa with a slight twist: Families are encouraged to bring their favorite firearms to the event - or even pose with guns they have on hand.
This is the rare case of the families perhaps being sketchier than the Santas themselves. We've reached a new peak, people!
It's only a matter of time before Santas begin to invade our local malls, department stores, and festive gatherings. Before braving the holiday maelstrom that is Christmas 2011, however, verse yourself on how to spot a Sketchy Santa. The first telltale sign, seen above, is in the eyes. Does Santa look particularly angry and spiteful? Dead giveaway. Or in the case below, does Santa appear to be on the end of a 12-hour bender with severe sleep deprivation?