Krampus: One Hoof or Two?

As I always do this time of year, immersing myself in Yuletide lore (being the folklorist that I am I cannot resist all the lush legendry associated with the holidays), I was reading through some Saturnalia esoterica and such when I chanced upon a mention of my beloved friend Krampus and learned something about him I did not know. Krampus is supposed to have one human foot and one that is a hoof. How had I never heard that before?

As it so happened, last night I was watching the movie KRAMPUS again, also as I do every year around this time, and I remembered this newly-learned fact. I kept an eye out, but it appears that Krampus in the movie has two hooves, not just one. Either Michael Dougherty, creator of the film, had never heard about this physical feature of the folkloric fiend either, or he simply chose to ignore it in favor of the badass design for the beastie they went with.

I’ve also been looking at photographs of the Krampusus—Krampi?—that take part in the yearly Krampusnacht revelries in Austria and elsewhere. It seems none of them, or none that I have noticed, have mismatched feet, either. Nor do most of the historical depictions found on postcards show the horned dude with a hoof and a foot, though obviously some do. (Scroll up.) Is this part of the legend meant to imply that Krampus was once human, a man who was transformed, or who transformed himself, into the Krampus?

By The Evil Cheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (,, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at


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