Krampus run – devil creatures in Saltzburg

Krampus run is a march of wild spirits “krampuses” – devil like creatures.  It has a hundred of years long tradition in Alps region. According some tales they were dispelling winter. The other tales says that they beat naughty children or even stole them or the worst ate them. On the other hand, the well behaved kids were rewarded with presents by Saint Nicolas. Here are some pictures how I met them in Saltzburg, Austria.

Krampuses in Salzburg

A Krampus in Salzburg during the Krampus march. What has he got the basket for?

Krampuses – nothing for faint-hearted

Do not think they look like from a fairytale. For me they come from a horror movie. Wearing a suit usually made from goat fur, having scary mask with horns and carrying birch branches – they are really frightening!

Krampus in Saltzburg.

Krampus handcrafted wooden masks are really scary.



Krampus in Salzburg.

The krampuses horns are from the real animals – chamois, goats, cows or mouflons.


Brace yourselves – Krampus run is comming

Saltzburg street in advent time. Nicely decorated shop windows, cosy evening atmosphere. Suddenly, it is interrupted by cows bells and shouts. Tens of ugly devil creatures are running the street. You have no way to escape. Although your brain tries to persuade you that these are only masks, your instincts are alarmed. Believe me. This is not for kids!

Krampus in Saltzburg.

They carry bells and other loud instruments to dispel the winter.


Krampus with a boy in Saltzburg

Some kids were not scared. Other were close to cry.

Safe in Saltzburg

Comparing the previous time, nowadays you don’t have to be worry so much. All the Krampuses must be registered and the march is controlled by organizers in Saltzburg. In older times the krampus runs all around the region were not organized and it might happened that you were attacked by “wild” krampus – drunk and violent. And you got more than a slight touch of birch branches…

Selfie with a Krampus

Would you like a selfie with Krampus?







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