Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus, by Kate Wolford

tyler_j's review against another edition

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As typical with anthologies, some hits, some misses.

1st night of Krampus "Prodigious" - 5 stars

2nd night of Krampus "The Wicked Child" - 5 stars (Favorite!)

3rd night of Krampus "Marching Krampus" - 3.25 stars

4th night of Krampus "Peppermint Sticks" - 1 star, didn't get it

5th night of Krampus "Ring, Little Bell, Ring" - 1.5 stars, also didn't get it but was kinda catchy

6th night of Krampus "A Visit" - 4 stars

7th night of Krampus "Santa Claus and the little girl who loved to sing and dance" - 1 star, made me so angry i'd seriously consider giving the 4th and 5th one higher ratings just because I just didn't get them but this one actually made me angry! Ableism, Fat-phobia, TW: Eating Disorders (and no respect), R-Word, the little girl making me think of a female Dudley, but worse and going so far as to threaten Santa and say he r*ped her when he never touched her or anything just because he wouldn't break another girls ankles (she wanted a part in some commercial or something) and I seriously don't think that is something this world needs right now with the way r*pe culture is.

8th night of Krampus "Between the eyes" - 3.5 stars

9th night of Krampus "Nothing to Dread" - 1 star, I originally rated this 3.75 as it gave me some food for thought and taught me some things I didn't know because I don't know my history very well because the American school system sucks. However upon looking at other reviews the fact that one of the kids name is Jakob makes it incredibly racist against Jewish people. I had no idea it was a Jewish name. It's *possible* the name was an accident but given it's so clearly about the holocaust, if it wasn't on purpose than it was at least careless as care should have been taken to not give that kid, that ended up ruining the future (now past), a Jewish name. My average rating below has been changed though it still ends up being a 3 over-all.

10th night of Krampus "Raw Recruits" - 4 stars

11th night of Krampus "The God Killer" - 4.25 stars

12th night of Krampus "A Krampus Carol" - 5 stars (A close second favorite!)

Averaging out to 3.20 stars, so a 3. I enjoyed most of the stories and loved a few of them! I am glad to have read some of them and wish I could wash my brain of a couple of them. 

slimeandslashers's review against another edition

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Wonderful assortment of Krampus-themed stories! Such a fun collection. Some stories shined above others, but overall the entire collection was very enjoyable. This was a perfect, thematic read for the Holiday season...with a delightful, creepy and sinister twist.

withthebanned's review against another edition

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On the whole, this was only an okay read. Some of the stories were terrible, and some were just okay. Alas.

ceallaighsbooks's review

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dark fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


“He stamped his hoof in front of the house. The front door began to groan. He stamped again. Its locks ticked as the bolts slid free. He stamped a third time, and the door opened wide with a loud, slow, long creak.” — from “Nothing to Dread”, by Jeff Provine 
TITLE—Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus 
AUTHOR—various, ed. by Kate Wolford 
GENRE—short stories: horror, speculative fiction 
SETTING—var. in the western world 
MAIN THEMES/SUBJECTS—Krampus, Christmas & Yule, folklore, “modern life” 
“You know how Santa is supposed to leave lumps of coal in your stocking if you’re naughty?” 
I nod. 
“Let’s say it isn’t Santa. Let’s say Santa only wants to deal with nice kids. Somebody still has to deliver the coal.” 
“Krampus.” She pops her gum as if that’s the last word.” 
— from “Prodigious”, by Elizabeth Twist 
A couple of these stories were cute but overall I thought that the style of writing felt a bit outdated with some flat, cliche-feeling imagery at times (at least for a collection published in 2014) and while that almost contributed to the darkness of the feel of the collection—sort of dreary-dark but with a pseudo-modern feel—I’m not sure it was the best choice either for the collection as a whole or for each individual story. I would have liked a more contemporary feel (especially philosophically-speaking) to the stories for it to be a truly meaningful collection for me. And a couple of the stories were just plain bad—like unreadable, cringey bad 🥴😅—imo, but since I am extremely invested in the Krampus myth it was still interesting for me to see how modern writers are interpreting the legend for “modern” days. 
I would certainly love to see more stories featuring my favorite holiday demon but these stories just weren’t for me. 
“For if truth and beauty and love of life must be labeled wickedness, then heaven loves a wicked child, my Tuva. And so do I.” — Krampus in “The Wicked Child”, by Elise Forier Edie 
TW // g-word slur (used in an appropriative manner), fatphobia, a super cringey comment about an author liking “off-beat, quirky ethnic holiday traditions” in their bio 😬  (Please feel free to DM me for more specifics!) 
Further Reading— 
  • Krampus the Yule Lord, by Brom
  • The Krampus and the Old Dark Christmas, by Al Ridenour
  • Krampus and Other Yuletide Tales, by Faina Lorah
  • Gothic Blue Book VI: A Krampus Carol, by Sara Tantlinger—TBR
  • Rare Exports (2010 film—Finnish with English subtitles)
  • Krampus (2015 film)

jessejane306's review

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dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot


ntrlycrly's review against another edition

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More like three and a half stars.
While Krampus was most likely part of a morality tale to keep children in line, I have to admit that the tales of greedy adults getting their just deserts were rather satisfying. Favorite story was "The Wicked Child" where Krampus actually protects an orphan from her abusive grandparents.

kaylana's review against another edition

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Not all stories were created equal but I enjoyed enough of them that a few stand out.

My favorite was the story of Krampus going to local pubs on Christmas Eve and finding the most down-on-their-luck souls he could find and giving them the choice to either die tonight by a bullet or to have one year and die by fire. What does one do when given only a year to live? It was a great horror short story. Loved it.

Another great one was where a human who can see all the demons demi-gods unleashes her vengeance on Krampus after she catches him stealing children. The gods hold a trial and she defends herself. It's just awesome.

There's a second book. I'll probably pick it up next Christmas.

exorcismofemilyreed's review

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"For if truth and beauty and love of life must be labeled wickedness, then heaven loves a wicked child." - Elise Fourier Edie

I randomly came across this book in a used bookstore & I was so happy to find it! Krampusnacht is an anthology of twelve short stories about Krampus edited by Kate Wolford. Although I didn't love everything in here, I would say that the book is worth reading for the ones I did love. I rated nine of the stories 3-5⭐, so that's pretty good.

I was pleasantly surprised by the variety in this anthology since all the stories are focused on Krampus. I was concerned about the stories being too similar, but the editor did a fantastic job of choosing different types of stories.

My top 3 stories in this collection were Prodigious by Elizabeth Twist, The Wicked Child by Elise Fourier Edie, and Santa Claus and the Little Girl Who Loved to Sing and Dance by Patrick Evans. I had not read these authors before, and I fell in love with their stories. I would really like to read more from them. Actually, I don't think I had read any of the authors from this anthology before, so it was pretty cool to be introduced to so many new ones. I believe there are more women writers than men in this anthology, which you don't always see. That made me happy.

Some of the stories like Santa Claus and the Little Girl Who Loved to Sing and Dance by Patrick Evans were pretty amusing, and I liked having a bit of horror comedy mixed in. Many of the other stories were too slow for my taste, or just didn't really capture my interest, but I think the ones I love balanced out the anthology. This is a book I would read again.

deearr's review

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Just when you thought getting a piece of coal was the worst that could happen...

I had never heard of Krampus and was intrigued by a being who would have an interest in those children on Santa's "bad" list. For some reason, I thought I was purchasing a book of legends, old stories about a half-forgotten Christmas legend, dusted off and presented just in time for the holidays. What I received was reminiscent of Robert Lynn Asprin's "Thieves World," where authors would share their individual visions of a world and its characters.

This is not a book of Christmas horrors; rather, I found it to be a lighthearted look at a character many of us did not know as children. If I had to rate the scariness, it is on par with Grimm's Fairy Tales. However, this is a book aimed not at children, but at adults who enjoy that feeling of Christmas and want to suspend their level of belief in supernatural characters, if only for a little while.

Kate Wolford has assembled a cast of wonderful writers, and each has provided readers with their view of Krampus. From the rough beast who eats those who fail him to the tavern "bookie" who invites his victims to gamble to the best buddy of good old St. Nick, these separate portrayals are sure to make you smile...and maybe cast a wary eye over your shoulder. Fun read and a definite five stars.