The Krampus storms through winter streets on hairy haunches, rattling chains and brandishing a bundle of birch sticks.
And if you’ve been naughty, he might just whisk you away in his sack.
The mythological creature — a sort of anti-Claus — originated centuries ago in the Alpine region. But Krampus has never been more popular in this country than he is now, with events planned from Los Angeles to New York City.
In Baltimore, Krampus lovers plan to tear past the lights of Hampden’s 34th Street in fur and horns Friday evening, sing Krampus carols at a Hampden curiosity shop and, after the children go home, quaff some beers.
“When I found a Christmas character with fangs and fur who whips naughty children, I fell in love immediately,” said Rob Hatch, who, with his wife, Nona, is planning Baltimore’s Krampuslauf, or running of the Krampus.