Review for Krampus Book by Bookgasm

Bookgasm calls the new book by KLA’S Al Ridenour “a veritable visual feast.”  And given all the feasting, thankfully, they also remark that the text is “easy to digest.”

They write:

It only took several hundred years, but that anti-Santa demon known as the Krampus finally has become an American celebrity, thanks to movies like A Christmas Horror StoryNight of the KrampusKrampus: The ReckoningKrampus: The Christmas Devil and just plain ol’ Krampus. Exactly from where did this unconventional leading man come? That’s the global-spanning goal — cleared! — of performance artist Al Ridenour in The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil. Using the baby-consuming creature’s recent cinematic surge as a launching pad, Ridenour explores the horrific goat-man’s European origins, town-to-town traditions (Buttnmandl, anyone?), stage appearances and more, all pithy and neatly arranged under subheads for easy-to-digest reading. Personally, I would have preferred more focus on the aspect of pure pop culture. One of the most appealing chapters introduces readers to the Krampus’ monstrous relatives, such as Pinecone Man. As is the modus operandi of outré publisher Feral House (whose recent volumes on Grand Guignol theatersleazy sex novels of the 1960s and men’s adventure pulp magazines are all incredible), this trade paperback is a veritable visual feast of maps, photos and possbily insane vintage illustrations. So visual is The Krampus that it’s quite possible that functionally illiterate could spend time leafing through its pages and emerge satisfied, but why? They’d miss out on half the fun.  —Rod Lott

Get them at Amazon.


Krampus at Pagan Day Fest September 10-11

Krampus Los Angeles will be offering sign-ups for our mask-making workshop, information on our events, and art & craft inspired by your favorite Yuletide devil at Pagan Day Fest in Burbank this Saturday and Sunday, September 10-11.

Pagan Day Fest is a FREE event with speakers, rituals, an art show, altar competition, and a hall crammed with vendors.  Besides all the free attractions, there are also some ticketed events including the Dark Woods Masquerade and Wicked Costume Ball hosted by BatCave.

Krampus LA will have a booth there where we’ll be taking sign-ups for our mask-making workshops, and offer Krampus-themed merchandise by Krampus LA director Al Ridenour and Church, including the items pictured below and similar merchandise, which can be browsed in Al’s Etsy store, Gingerbread Casket, and Lauren’s store, Churchyard.  In-person discounts on merchandise will be available at the festival.

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.