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Tim Rayborn

The Scary Book of Christmas Lore: 50 Terrifying Yuletide Tales from Around the World

The Scary Book of Christmas Lore: 50 Terrifying Yuletide Tales from Around the World

By: Tim Rayborn
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You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen…but do you recall the most petrifying Christmas figures of all? Not all children fear just a lump of coal in their stockings. Discover the terrifying Yuletide fables that have horrified kids for generations.

He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness’ sake. This lighthearted song is a bit more ominous in the context of other Christmas traditions. From beasts that threaten to cook children into stew to sinister crones who snatch little ones from their beds, you won’t find any dancing sugar plums here. Outside of the heartwarming Christmas tales we all know and love, there are an abundance of frightening stories to chill all who hear them to the bone. Discover folklore from all corners of the world, including:

  • Krampus (Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, and northern Italy), a demonic half-goat monster who drags chains and whips bad children with birch sticks, or stuffs them in his sack to take away
  • The Kallikantzari (Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Turkey), goblins who come out during Advent to cause mischief 
  • Père Fouettard (France, Belgium, Switzerland), Saint Nicholas’ eternal cannibal manservant who deals with naughty children
  • Hans Trapp (Alsace-Lorraine, France), who roams the countryside disguised as a scarecrow and goes door to door on Christmas looking for children to feast upon
  • Gryla (Iceland), the giant ogre who emerges from her cave on Christmas to hunt children and cook them into stew
  • Mari Lwyd (Wales), a creature with a horse’s skull and a long cloak that is followed by a group of chanting people
  • Frau Perchta (Austria and Bavaria), who slits the bellies of bad children and stuffs them with straw 

These tales are sure to leave you wishing for the Grinch. Whether you are a fan of history and folklore, you love learning about different cultures, or you just want to give a holiday gift that will bring the joy of Christmas to that lucky someone (just kidding), The Scary Book of Christmas Lore is for you. ’Tis the season! Is it beginning look a lot like Christmas, yet?

  • Contributor(s): Tim Rayborn
  • About the Contributor(s): Tim Rayborn has written a large number of books and magazine articles, especially in subjects such as music, the arts, general knowledge, and history. He lived in England for many years and studied at the University of Leeds, which means he likes to pretend that he knows what he’s talking about. He’s an almost-famous musician who plays dozens of unusual instruments from all over the world that most people have never heard of and usually can’t pronounce. He has appeared on more than forty recordings, and his musical wanderings and tours have taken him across the US, all over Europe, to Canada and Australia, and to such romantic locations as Umbria, Marrakech, Renaissance chateaux, medieval churches, and high school gymnasiums. He currently lives in Northern California with many books, recordings, and instruments, and a sometimes-demanding cat. He’s pretty enthusiastic about good wines and cooking excellent food. www.timrayborn.com
  • ISBN-13 9781646434527
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 144
  • Dimensions: 8.0(h) x 5.07(w) x 0.47(d) inches
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