Krampus at Midsummer Scream

Al Ridenour mans the Krampus LA booth at Midsummer Scream.

Al Ridenour ambassador of Krampus at the Krampus LA booth at Midsummer Scream.

Fans of the grisly and macabre and made friendly acquaint LA’s indigenous Krampus troupe at the Halloween and horror convention Midsummer Scream held over the last weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center.  Thanks to convention organizer, David Markland, (aka “Creepy Dave” for inviting us!)

New Book: The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas

Coming October 11, 2016, the first English-language book-length exploration of Krampus folklore and history by Krampus Los Angeles director, Al Ridenour, The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas.

bookcoverThe Krampus, a folkloric devil associated with St. Nicholas in Alpine Austria and Germany, has been embraced by the American counterculture and is lately skewing mainstream. While shockingly out of place with the modern Christmas, the old world from which he comes feared this season and its nights haunted by ghosts, witches, devilish horsemen, and even murderous incarnations of Catholic saints. Central to this folklore are the Perchten, Alpine demons on which the Krampus is based. In Austria, these creatures were connected to Frau Perchta, a witch-like being who threatened naughty children with disemboweling. In Germany, her peer was Frau Holle, ruler of a fabulous realm hidden beneath a mountain deep within the Thuringian Forest. Even the Church once celebrated the season with plays depicting the Devil, Antichrist, and Herod’s gory Massacre of the Innocents. Together, these dark traditions gave birth to a figure now more popular than ever, the Krampus.

Krampus Mask-making Workshops for 2016

Good Krampus masks are not easy to come by in the US. The few mass-produced masks made here are sadly lacking.

Buying an authentic mask from a German-speaking vendor overseas can be daunting as well as expensive ($300-700 and shockingly expensive to ship.)

Many consider making their own masks, but have difficulty sourcing the appropriate materials and sculpting a mask they are happy with.

Our mask-making workshop does not rely on sculpting skills but takes more of a kit-assembly approach that ensures the quality of the end result while allowing you the ability to create your own custom look.  Kits include a selection of paintable pre-cast resin faces, ears, teeth, and tongues, a selection of fur colors, as well as authentic goat, ram, or springbok horns.


LOS ANGELES DATE: 1-5pm, Sunday, November 6. (Brooklyn and San Francisco dates will also be available.)

PLACE: Location in Pasadena TBA.

COST: $300.  ($150 for materials, $150 for instruction).

ENROLLMENT:  Email for details including address and deposit. Please contact us ASAP if interested as enrollment for this class is limited to 10 students. A second LA date may be added if there is sufficient demand.

Workshops will be lead by Krampus LA director and author of the upcoming The Krampus and the Old Dark Christmas, Al Ridenour and art school instructor and manager Lauren Church.

Some of Ridenour’s creations for Krampus Los Angeles.

Austrian Suits and Masks for Sale in LA

Our visiting friends from the Moor Troupe from Maishofen, Austria, are interested in selling some of their masks and suits to avoid paying the costs of bringing them back.  If you have ever considered buying authentic costume elements from Europe, this would be an opportunity not only to purchase them without paying the exorbitant transatlantic shipping costs, but to see them in person before buying.  Come to the Krampuslauf, Thursday, December 10, if interested, and ask one of our Krampus wranglers to introduce you to Al or Mike.  As the troupe would like to sell them before returning, prices are lower than normal for authentic gear, even for used items.  Having the cash on hand at the event may get you an additional discount.  If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to mail us.

Animal hide suit — $370. Carved wooden mask with plastic horns — $580

Animal hide suit $370. Carved wooden mask with plastic horns  $580

Goat hide suit.  $380

Goat hide suit. $380

Wooden mask, real cow horns $550

Wooden mask, real cow horns $550

Rare aluminum mask with real goat horns $1000

Rare aluminum mask with real goat horns $1000

Wooden mask $530

Wooden mask $530

Other masks, suits, belts, or flails may also be available.  Here’s what the Moorpass will be wearing at the Krampuslauf, some of which may be able to talk them out of bringing back.

That “Krampus” Movie

For months, we have been getting questions about Universal’s horror-comedy Krampus that was finally released Thursday.  Though the production has helped raise a general awareness of the name, “Krampus,” American understanding of the figure will only be clouded by the muddled mythology it creates for the figure.

Eager for the public to understand how  the film diverges from the traditional folklore, I wrote an article for the website Boing Boing, where I summarize:

The simplest thing I can say about the film’s authenticity, is what I wrote post-screening to Universal publicists declining my intended involvement in their promotions. I wrote: “I thought there would be a Krampus in the movie.”

Reimagining the folklore does not in this case breathe exciting new life into the production.  For the full story, please see the original article on Boing Boing.